Saturday, 18 May 2013

Stage 4: Starting to make my collar

This entry in my blog is following the way that I went about making the collar.
I decided that I was not going to have time to make the whole collar, but in order to get the idea of the whole thing, I was going to make at least one whole side of it.

To start with, I cut a piece of pongee silk bigger than I would need for half the collar.

I attached it to a frame and drew the outline of the wing using gutta. I then drew around the small areas which I wanted to be darker. Then I drew lines to show myself how the direction of the sound waves needed to change over the surface of the wing to take into account the 3D end shape on the body.

Because of the long thin shape I had to paint part of it, and then move it along to attach the second, and then third parts of the fabric to the frame.

 This photo shows that once I had the directions correct, I softened a small part of the inner tube of a biro into the gutta bottle, so that it came out more thinly. Then I drew the more complex pattern of the sound waves onto the fabric.

I didn't mention before that I made the gutta in the pattern of the sound waves themselves, so that they show as transparent, while the colours of the paints indicate the negative spaces between them.

Once that was dry, it looked like this.

I painted the squares a contrasting greyed down mauve colour, and then gave them two levels of more texture by sewing either crosses of metallic machine embroidery thread, or tiny red/purple beads. These colours and textures were inspired by the patterns and hard lumps on the legs of the cicada.

My next task was to fix the grass-green gauze over the top.

In order to do this I had to push the wires through the gauze in some places.

Halfway through doing this I realised that while it looked interestingly complex and organic, ding this gave the whole thing a texture and softness which took away a lot of the crisp cleanness that appealed to me in the painted sound waves.

I don't have a picture of this, but this one, of the green gauze sample superimposed on the wing, gives an idea of the effect. What it doesn't show is that the colours of the silk alone are much clearer and brighter.

So after a day or two of soul-searching, I took the green gauze off altogether.

I then tacked the silk onto the wire frame.
This one is a close-up of the painted silk tacked to the frame. 

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