This is where my textile art meets mixed media as I grow and experiment. Having been into re-cycling and re-using since the 60’s there is nothing more exciting to me than finding a stash of materials I have never used before. From Perspex off cuts to PVC tubes, bobbins and materials traded or gifted by other friends or artists they will eventually get used and made into an installation or an artwork.
My daughter spotted online someone selling off a box of off cuts of Perspex in all different colours and shapes, transparent and opaque. I made the deal and cycled off to pick them up. I didn’t realize then actually how hard it is to find Perspex off cuts as since then despite searching I have been unable to find a similar box of goodies.
Not being handy with power tools and saws I had to leave them as they were, I did manage to drill holes in them with my Dremel but that was it. So I had to work within the parameters of what I had with shape and colour which was actually not a bad thing in the end.
I keep a note book where I draw or write all my ideas in just so I can refer back to them later, it has proven to work well for me as many of the projects in there have been made. As I am going through the creation with a new idea I may try out things that don’t work the way I want. Especially with found materials this can be a long process over quite a period of time. I had the box in my studio for a few years before I really got going on it.
THE CREATION PART
The way I work is I just start and then change and adapt as I go through the process, I have a kind of a concept of where I want to end up but am not fixated on it. First I drilled holes randomly, then I sewed on the pieces with embroidery thread in various colours. I still wasn’t certain of where I was going to end up but finally added extra lines and shapes with coloured acrylic pens.
This seems like one process but it doesn’t work that way for me, there is a lot of time in between to let the idea materialize and savour the creation. Finally I had enough of them done and I wanted to put them together. Then I ran into a problem! How to hang them? I wanted a kind of patchwork effect but floating free this required experimentation and ideas. Again a lull in the creation as they stayed in their box waiting for inspiration.
I constantly update my book of ideas as you never know when you get or see a great idea. Could be at an exhibition, or at a shop with a display. How to display something is sometimes just as important as the work itself. Badly displayed work can detract from the piece and all the work the artist has put into it.
Anyway months passed pieces in the box and sometimes laid out on a canvas, that was a white background and the transparency was lost, the pieces were double sided and that just didn’t work. I bought fishing line to see if I could make a woven frame to suspend them from……. this was so much work and ended up being too fragile to transport or hang.
Then I found a piece of acrylic plate that I had previously used to hang things on and discovered a see through double sided tape that could be cut into thin strips to attach the Perspex to the plate. Now it worked! Finally the pieces could float free in space and the light could pass through so reflect into the room. Rather like a Perspex patchwork stained glass abstract. This now hangs at my bedroom window.
I wanted to share this story as so often I see that artists can get stuck because it didn’t work out or it takes too long so they abandon their idea. I used to have this issue until I tackled this idea head on, I think I had inherited it from school…..Anyway the truth is that artists create and change and grow, try things out, leave it lying around till the right idea or maybe the right method presents itself. It is good to try even if it is an experiment and you’re not sure it will work. After all it is a creative process…..
You will learn so much if you just keep going, leave that one for a while and move to something else and create on that in the meantime, keep updating your book of ideas above all enjoy the process.