I decided that I wanted to try some new experiments and have had a couple of ideas on my mind. The first involved using some of the finished coloured cloths from WSP. The use of these fabrics has been tricky due to the nature of their strong colours. How to manage the contrast next to the muted natural tones of the other work, has been the question? However for this experiment I decided to ignore the colours and consider instead the qualities of the cloth and how I could manipulate it. Also I thought I would like to experiment a bit more with the fullers earth clay and maybe this would be an opportunity to combine the materials in a different way.
I began by creating a hand stitched sample using billiard table and tennis ball cloth, then pressed it into wet clay. I felt the result was interesting enough to pursue and continued to make a larger scale version.
It was a lengthy process that included machine stitching strips of green onto yellow cloth length ways and then cutting short horizontal strips. These were hand stitched together to form a long length that was finally wound into a spiral and hand stitched together, top and bottom to secure and prevent it from unraveling.
I then pressed the whole spiral into a bed of muddy clay. To get an interesting effect was a difficult task. The spiral became clogged as I had made the clay too thick and much of the detail was lost. However with the help of a brush and knife I managed regain some detail and the results were decidedly fossil-like. The pattern left in the tray was interesting too.
I tried printing the spiral onto yellow cloth but this was unsuccessful. In the end I decided to wash off the clay completely and am now waiting for it to dry before deciding what to do next.
I have found some hard clay pieces within the wet clay and have wanted to use them in some way. It seems they are compact layers and I wondered how they would respond to carving.
I really like these little carvings, they reminiscent of unearthed primitive artefacts. Unfortunately as they dry out they are showing signs of cracking, so I don’t yet know if they will survive for long.