This is Part 2 of Assignment 2A which was done in pairs. I was paired up with Ik Hwa.
Going into this, both Ik and I had no clue as to where we should even begin as we were both inexperienced in weaving. We started off by doing our own self-studies by watching videos provided by Sherry. We explored other videos when we met up to attempt the project. At first, we contemplated between the Hexagonal and Octagonal Pattern. However, as we went on with our research, we realised that the Octagonal Pattern was a little too ambitious as a first attempt. In contrast, Hexagonal was a little too simple and we want to attempt a pattern that was somewhat challenging but doable. Upon pinning several images on Pinterest, we both decided that we were going to settle for the Pine Needle pattern.
Looking through our Pinterest pins, we realised we were both drawn to the lanterns/light 3D pieces. We felt that the Pine Needle pattern would suit what we were going for as well. It will allow the light to be emitted through the tiny spaces. It also fitted the aesthetic style we were going for.
We soaked the rattan provided by Sherry into water. This helped soften and moisten the rattan to allow it to be bent into shape without much fraying and breaking. The idea is that as it dries, it will retain the shape that we’ve created when it was wet and malleable.
We first had to create a 2D flat weaving pattern (20x20cm) and measured our rattan strips before anything else.
We had trouble starting it off as it needed to be stuck to a strong base to be pushed into place.
Hence, we laid the vertical rattan strips in a row with 2cm spacing between each strip. We stuck it down to a piece of paper with masking tape and secured it further by placing it under something heavy.
After which, we started weaving with the horizontal strips. It went well at first and the rattan strips were secured tightly to each other without much struggle.
However, as we went along, it got tighter and tighter. Even after using pliers to assist the tightening process, it was still challenging and trick to get the strips to be pushed close to each other. We even tried moistening the rattan again which didn’t help much as well. The whole process was extremely time consuming.
We discovered that the reasons for this:
1. The vertical rattan strips were exactly the same size as the horizontal ones which did not create much space for the rattan to be pushed up and be secured.
2. The strips were not long enough which resulted in them being propped up as we went along since it got tighter.
The final result for the 2D weaving:
Knowing the problems we encountered and the reasons behind it, moving forward, we took note of all of it and rectified our errors.
For the 3D object, we drew inspirations from Pinterest and sketched out our idea on paper.
Again, we couldn’t figure out as to where we should begin. Hence, we started watching videos on youtube on wicker baskets etc.
Main video reference:
I had a previously used MDF board which I had cut into a circular shape. I brought that which we used as a base.
Since we had a problem with spacing in the 2D model. We decided to add two vertical strips (attached together) instead of one and kept the distance between each other to be 2cm. We marked the circular board according to the width of the two pieces of rattan.
After which, Ik used a hammer and a sharp object to create a inserts/slits into the MDF board.
Mimicking the steps from the video reference, I then inserted the rattan strips through the inserts and secured the remaining rattan at the bottom using the same braiding-like method used in the video. This was challenging as the rattan kept sticking out. Hence, we secured it with clips until it dried into shape.
We then started weaving the horizontal strips through the vertical ones. It was a much smoother process compared to the 2D model when we were still exploring the weaving methods. The rectification of our previous mistakes really mad a difference in making the weaving neater. We also taped the rattan together to make the process easier as the weaving did get a little complicated.
We wanted to add battery operated fairy lights into the 3D model. Hence, I brought it back and inserted the fairy lights before finishing it. Before that, we had discussed that we wanted a space between two sets of weaving as it will allow more light to be radiated out of the model to fit its functionality.
Finished the model off by bunching up the rattan and wrapping a piece of rattan around it. I tied it off with two knots (one in the front and the other in the back).
Overall, Ik and I are quite satisfied with our outcome despite the several hiccups we had. We learnt quite a bit about weaving and have a better understanding of the material.
One thing we would have done differently, given the chance, was to switch up the rattan for a thinner one like a cane or actual pine needles as it would create a better effect.
This is a video of our process:
Final results for 3D weaving: