Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Talya Baharal Jewelry

I have discovered how to make a very bone and shell imitation surface for my little paper sculptures.. I used miles of tissue paper and painted it with a gloss acrylic medium and applied it to the wire forms. Very tricky because the tissue is not as substantial as the rice papers I normally use. It rips and tears and evaporates if the amount is not fairly thinly spread.

I let it dry to just a little tacky and painted on the next layer. The wire shows through nicely and didn't disappear after three layers. The big surprise was the strength when the thing dried. It was perfectly opaque and was ready for my next trick. I took the burning tools to the little beast while it was wet with a fourth layer of varnish. The acrylic bubbled and frothed and took on more dimension. The acrylic also allowed for a more substantial burn. So I just kept hot carving out as much as possible before complete decay and found that it held it's shape almost as well as tyvek but in a more controllable way.

I was more than happy with the results but am interested in the quality that will result from different papers and different mediums. The matte medium will probably be a bit more bone like but sometimes doesn't seem to have the opacity that I like. Also wondered if a thin layer of plaster will bond to the dry structure or the wet structure. It might work better with an acrylic medium over top of the works.

The most satisfying part of the adventure was the discovery that the water colour pencils accented any of the wire and could be sealed under more acrylic medium with a little interesting bleeding. Dry brushing acrylic would be a lot more tedious.

A final zap with the heat gun bubbled stuff up nicely and created just a bit more texture.

Further experiments were done with an Africa grass paper and a Batik paper that has been saved for a few years. the grass paper looks amazing with stitching but the batik didn't seem to be holding form at last look. Oh well!

Thought I would show you some inspiring work from Baharal until my new stuff can be photographed and downloaded.

Hope Joseph can make it to the studio next week! Will try and connect with Young and see how she is doing with the experiments


arlee said...

OMG P!!!! This sounds like a FASCINATING process! You're so inspiring to me! We could start a "Mad Textile Scientist" chapter!
I can't wait to see photos as your description alone is giving me chills :}
I wanted also to thank you for your last comment--it means a hell of a lot to me, the words and the empathy, the reflection and the reverberation :}

giuseppe said...

Hello Patricia!
Is Young still working at your studio these weeks? I will send you an e-mail now to tell you what's up.
I'm really interested, reading what you've been experimenting with. I am curious, in your post previous to this, you mention your inspiration images. You create sketches from your inspiration (photos, real materials, etc.) and then you make further inspiration images from those sketches?

material witness said...

Glad to know you are still of the world!
Crazy isn' it! Sketches from sketches and collages. I am even remaking paper to do it on!
One shett Georgia Straight folded four times and gessoed between each page. Actually used flour paste cause I ran out of gesso.
Gives a nice card to work with.
You have seen all my inspirational materials. I really use them!
Brought you a sketch book from PORTLAND.