playing around with various resists and techniques.
firstly, i’ve found the firing temps/times which are most critical for the red i’m using (opaque red is an utter pita i think that’s why i like it, it’s a challenge :D). i don’t trust the data-sheet temperatures – i “should” be firing with the regulator on around 7.5 but my sweet spot is 8.5 for 2 mins. i did a range of timing samples on the different temps and, say, reg 8 for 3 minutes doesn’t quite get there.
it’s worth noting that temp can take the black a little over, so i give those a fraction less time (but it seems that the more layers the better the black gets).
i tried various combinations of resist materials and techniques: using ferns and feathers, in combination with diluted klyr-fire (adhesive gum). i love the fugitive forms of the red and black pieces above, but the details are obscured, due to the use of adhesive solution. these pieces have a shifting, uncanny feel, but not enough control for this project.
it turns out that the greatest clarity and sharpness are achieved without any adhesive; simply sifting a top-coat over the resist and – crucially! – being able to *remove* the resist in one sharp movement that leads to the greatest accuracy in registration. i need to practise that last bit!
next up – a slightly larger/more complicated resist…
a trickier process than might first appear.
first issue is resin preparation and ensuring the chemistry is in date and thoroughly mixed. decanting into a second container for further mixing is a step i’m keeping in my process as i’ve had issues with incomplete curing even with fresh materials.
my preferred technique for avoiding bubbles is to leave the mixed resin for approx. 10 minutes before pouring – makes a huge difference to large bubbles. the smallest bubbles are less of an issue for me on top of the colours/patterns of the chiyogami papers. i did experiment with a heat gun on top of the fresh pour but if anything it increased bubbling problems. the gun has turned out to be really helpful in evening out accidental dents in nearly-cured pieces.
my final step is to apply the resin with a syringe – it doesn’t deliver a steady stream, rather spurts, but it helps me not to over-pour: each piece takes approx. 4.5 ml to make a nice dome without overspill. i’m getting better at clean-up, but the ideal would always be to pour just right first time.
in development 🙂
i first encountered peter hall’s work when i was making curtains for our vw camper. i found a vintage piece of fabric on ebay, and the designer’s name and the name of the pattern – petrus – was on the selvedge.
my research led me to the v&a, who hold a number of peter hall’s designs for heals in their archive. following the sad demise of the camper i resold the fabric, but remembered the name and the wonderful combination of geometric and plant-like forms, and strong colour palettes of his designs.
when i came across original fabric another of his designs, candida – in 4 different colourways! – i snapped it up. it’s a more figurative, botanical design than petrus, but the use of bold stripes of motifs still gives it a structured feel. the pattern is a much smaller scale than petrus (ruler in top image is 50cm) and for my purpose of covering books it works well in small sections, each with an emphasis on one or two elements of the design.
it isn’t one of the designs held at the v&a and my research came to a stall, until i found that peter is still working as an artist, though relocated to new zealand. i emailed to ask if he could give me any information on this particular design and was a little star-struck when i got a reply 😀
this is what he has to say about candida:
Originally the design was printed in the early 1970’s and was part of a collection of designs I produced, some of which were also purchased by Heal Fabrics. The group were inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite and the Art Nouveau movement.During the late 1960’s and early 70’s there was a revival inspired movement against the modernist design influence of the mid 50’s and early 60’s.The 1970’s in Britain was a tough time for local manufactures, and consumers were also looking for a more romantic and nostalgic inspired products, for both fashion clothing and furnishing.
gathering images and links for this post i realise i’m missing at least one colourway – i had no idea it also comes in this glorious blue. *sets up ebay search* 🙂
see peter’s recent work on his website: petejhall.com