Feeling Edgy 2

Since dipping paper and fabric edges using India ink, I have found myself making some more pod-like structures. I didn’t dip the edges as I guessed the CMC paste would stop the ink soaking in and there was the small problem of having everything turn back to mush. However, I used the dipping exercise as inspiration and will return to fabric at some point to explore some more ‘noticeable edges’. 

I’m also slowly weaving tiny bits of shredded paper from work into pieces that I’d really like to join together and dip somehow.
I hate weaving but the possibility of this working is driving this particular insanity. 


I’m also experimenting with pulpy paper and dipped edges.  This was a quick experiment but has a bit of potential.  I dipped the edge first and let it dry.  The strips look complete but they are actually little sections pasted together.  The fibres relax enough to reform them together.  One long strip would just buckle when wrapping round.  


I started in a bit of a mad frenzy with the other forms and ended up with a rather gooey offending article that I had no patience with. It looked pretty disgusting and I tried machining it when damp which wasn’t exactly a success. I had used mawata hankies and silk fibres and the inside was too fluffy to sew as well. So I chopped it up and used bits to test some potential textures…


Starting again, I gave myself a good talking to and slowed down to take more care. This time, I used teabag paper to line the ballon I worked on so that if I wanted to sew anything I could. I haven’t actually put any other pods through a sewing machine yet, but I think they would be OK.   

The first one is made with silk hankies and cotton fibres. When dry, I used silk fibres dyed with India ink and pasted them around the edge. I left them long and fluffy but they weren’t quite right. I sewed long stitches along the edge to blend the black fibres in and add some interest. Once the sides were pulled together and sewn I cut the fluff off as it was competing with the stitch marks. The resulting material using this technique is stiff enough to keep its shape and stay rounded.


This next one was made the same way, but having found some natural fibres in a rummage bag at our guild, I used some stiff linen fibres (at least I think that’s what they are).  These made the pod really stiff and crunchy to touch. Having made the previous form with a straight edge, I really wanted a hairy one so I left plenty of length on the edge. These bowl forms look rather strange to begin with but once pulled together they become much more interesting. Before pulling, they are just too tempting not to be worn on the head by Him Indoors. In fact, all my makings seem to be just the right size to be ignominiously reduced to two things, a hat or a butt-flap if 2D. I’m just not given the proper respect. It was difficult work out how to bring the sides together as the material was now really strong. I worked out that small beads could secure nylon threads across and pull the edges together. Having tested some options, I used small round stone/shell sequins and a tiny copper bead to secure each knot. Once the first one was on, the others were easier.   
I give you ‘Old Man Eyebrows’!


I have a head full of ideas for these forms and am just enjoying playing with whatever takes my fancy, so next I thought let’s do a black one with a white edge. I used teabag paper and layered up three layers with paste before a painting it all over with neat acrylic whist wet. I had no idea that it would have this lovely mottled effect inside when the balloon was removed.   


Now I envisaged this one with a white tufty edge frill so I started using sets of the same linen reads to sew pieces through. The paper never tore at any point, it’s just great. The threads were really tangled and it took an absolute age to get them all sorted. Honestly, it took days to do this.  I started and thought ‘What have I begun?’ But I’m a bit of a completer/finisher so I decided to accept my self-entrapment and soldier on through all the effort and annoyance.  I had to be SO patient, and on day three it received its name.   

I give you ‘Hair ‘n Swear’.

(secured with a tiny bead and one nylon thread across the middle)  

Hair and Swear with a side parting… 

The pile of offending fibre


Before pulling together

Some different edges


So there we are, I’m still messing about other ones so I shall post any further friends that get created. I did think a set of black ones would be nice, with knots, then loops and the final one with tufts but I can’t quite bring myself to look at linen thread for a while. My relationship with Hair ‘n Swear has effected me too much…

Actually I lie, I have really enjoyed these. I find 3D irkingly difficult but using a balloon to make a very simple shape was comfortably familiar and has allowed me to play around with design rather than being exercised with construction problems. I’m thinking eyelets, and getting knotted and…and…

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12 thoughts on “Feeling Edgy 2

  1. These are very interesting shapes. It is good fun to follow a theme and keep going. I laughed at the names you have given the pieces. Interested in seeing where you end up with this

    1. Ha, thanks! Yes, I’m at the point where I think I could do with a mentor, but I’m hoping that our new fibre arts group might help. I’d like to do a collection of smaller thinner shapes that will hang. We shall see what occurs… Its never usually what I think will happen.

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