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!