The rules of resin casting are simple. Mix 3% of hardener into your resin (i.e. the hardener should be calculated to 3% of the weight of your resin), this can be measured with a scale.
If too much hardener goes into the resin, it may crack. This is sometimes done intentionally by artists. If you go way over 3%, it starts to smoke. Too little resin, and it might not harden. The quantity of hardener is key to producing a good result.
Afterwards, you can pour the resin into the mould. Items can be cast in the resin, but be warned that it tends to ‘cook’. One could also opt to poke out the bubbles with a needle to produce a cleaner finish.
When the resin is cured, we can pop the resin out of the mould, and it should retain a solid shape.
Fibre etching is a technique used that makes prints by selectively eating at fibres. The solution burns off the fibre of the velvet and leaves only the translucent silk.
We used silk screens to screen out a pattern for the fibre etching solution.
However, to my dismay, the velvet that I used was actually synthetic, and would not separate no matter how long I ironed.
Commonly seen on scarves.
This technique is rather straightforward. Bleach removes pigment from the cotton, and the imprint creates a pattern on a fabric. In class, we were provided with a spray bottle of bleach. By obscuring parts of the fabric (tying it up, folding it, or even shibori), we could create patterns based on the parts exposed to the sprayed bleach.
Rasterising is also another common technique that works by removing materials. We can do so by uploading designs to send to the laser cut machine. It then burns partially through the wood (or acrylic), creating an ink-like imprint of your design.
We can transfer an image onto a fabric by ironing a crayon-drawn image on a piece of baking paper. Since the baking paper is translucent, we are able to create a tessellated image or pattern by tracing over it.
The iron should be set to a significant hear (recommended the cotton setting), then it melts off the baking paper and transfers onto the cloth. The image can come off a few times if battered thick enough with crayon, the residue from the crayon could last a few rounds. The iron should round the paper slowly to yield the best results.
I scribbled some graphic drawing of people and traced over them with a crayon on the baking paper. I traced over it twice to create a pattern and then transferred it onto a cloth to create somewhat of a graphical pattern!
Wet transfer is similar to dry transfer in a sense that it is a transfer of ink from one surface onto a textile with heat. However, working with a wet medium, we generate more unexpected shapes and textures. They are more organic and allow better blends of ink.
For this method, we used wet inks painted on paper, covered it with a sheet of baking paper, placed it on the cloth (wet side faced down) and ironed it on. I layered the wet paints and also created one that was mixed with a dry transfer. The outcome had a live edge effect and created unique, dynamic patterns.
Smocking is an extremely tedious method that yields great results. It involves plotting a pattern on a grid drawn onto a piece of cloth, then hand sewing through that pattern. It creates a three-dimensional texture on what was once a two-dimensional cloth. The smaller the grid squares, the more intricate the pattern.
I created a smocked cloth with grid squares that were 2cm wide. It took almost a whole weeks idle time to finish sewing it. Mid-way through I tried it as a means for creating a poofy sleeve.
I also smocked with a machine by loading elastic thread into the bobbin.
UNCONVENTIONAL FABRICS USING THREAD
Using a water-soluble stabilising agent, we are able to create a textile with a mesh-like quality. We start by arranging items (threads or cloths) within our stabilising agent, then pinning them down and sewing through the agent both horizontally and vertically.
We finish by dissolving the agent in water, and drying what’s left on a mould of the form that we’d like it to take shape in.
Creating new fabrics from scraps.
Plastics melt! Therefore, it is easy to combine them by simply ironing layers of thin plastics under a sheet of baking paper (so as to keep your iron and ironing board safe). One could even create patterns or graphics by combining different typer and colour of plastics together in a deliberate manner. Here I’ve created one reminiscent of fire.
Appliqué involves stitching multiple fabrics together to form a single piece of fabric. In experimental explorations of this, it could also involve embedding other materials in it.
For my exploration of appliqué, I places some 3D pompoms inside pockets I created through sewing 2 pieces of cloth together in between the felt. I also embedded some threads and yarns in the felt to create a graphic outcome. To finish, I made a lining with pompom trimmings.
Wet felting involves creating a felt by layering wool (they could be in different colours) and lathering them with soap and warm water. The arrangement of these wools could be deliberate to create a designed wool piece. Small items like yarn can also be embedded in them.
The more one lathers, the more dense the felt. It is also a choice to create shapes and holes with the felt. To finish off, we dry it in between sheets of paper.
You could also needle felt some eyes on after it’s dried.
Needle felting is a common technique used in puppetry. It is created with a felting needle (practically a normal needle with upward facing hooks) and wool. The needle agitates the wool and combines them into a felt. The more you agitate the wool, the denser the felt created by it.
I created a puppet had by felting some beads onto a sphere (felted previously in class). I also felted some wool yarns into the head to create hair.