© 2017 created by Alexandra Brennan

New Developments

March 9, 2018

Since writing the previous blog update I have been busy developing ideas and making new samples. The ones below were next in my journey. To make these I simply created some twisted wire forms and dipped them into liquid latex. In order to achieve the 'thickness' and 'webbing' effect I had to dip the samples, let them dry for a while and then dip them again. I would say I probably repeated this 15 times to get this finish. I am really happy with the idea and how successful the experiment was.

These images below show the latex samples after they had dried. They darkened quite a lot, the overall final aesthetic I really like. 



I then started to play around with the samples on photoshop to see what ideas I could come up with to take the idea further:


 I really like being able to get onto photoshop with my samples, it saves me a lot of time and allows me to visualise my ideas a lot easier.


Around this time I also went and had a quick experiment with enamel. I haven't really used enamel for other projects, partially because I don't like the idea of a full block of one colour. I'd much rather have a interestingly textured surface. I was given a few samples from 'Milton Bridge' which is our local enamelling company. In the pack of samples were glass chips. These were something I have always been intrigued by and wanted to try so was excited to do so. I love the enamel on the steel mesh, again this us an idea I am hoping to push in the near future. 

 After having a quick play I had the idea of cracking the enamel purposefully to see what effect I could achieve. I chose white as I wanted contrast, so I cracked the enamel by bending the copper and then I highlighted these cracks with some black ink. I love the final idea, they very much remind me of the structure of insect wings. On top of the enamelled copper there are a few sterling silver wire pieces that have been dipped in latex and PVA glue to achieve the translucent wing effect. The sample also features a locust wing, which I electroformed later on.


Below are my two most recent elctroformed samples. I was really sceptical  about whether these would work or not. The piece on the right has a lot of cotton thread in it and so I needed to coat the piece in sealant before I painted it in the silver paint ready for electroforming. I put quite a few coats on because I really wanted it to work, and I have never really tried to electroform a porous surface before. But they both worked, the piece on the left is one of my latex wing samples. So I have successfully electroformed a locust wing, cotton, and latex! :)



Most recently I have been playing a little with PVC. I was intrigued by how I could exploit the material and do something interesting with it. I was unsure about health and safety etc so I decided to create theses samples at my dads garage, where there is sufficient ventilation, masks etc. I melted the PVC with the heat gun, rather than a naked flame. This made the plastic 'shrivel' up and then start to burn and go black in places. I really liked the effect of the plastic scrunching up, it reminded me again of the insect wing patterns. How I achieved the flash of yellow was quite an interesting story.


My dad over the years has spilt a lot of paint on the floor of his garage, meaning theres randomly coloured sploges of paint dried to the floor. I was  heating the plastic up on the floor, not realising that I had placed it over a patch of yellow paint until afterwards. Heating the plastic heated the paint at the same time and so it started to stick to the surface of the plastic. I LOVE this effect and the little story behind it :) I will defiantly take advantage of those paint splodges in the future! 



So far we have had two sessions with Designer Sara Preisler. She has been teaching us how to use the press former and all about mass production techniques. I have always been quite sceptical of using the press former if I am going to be honest and never really felt like I could take the idea anywhere. However after talking with Sara and making a few samples I can now say that I quite enjoy it and really look forward to where these next lot of sample ideas can take me!



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