Saturday, 22 August 2009

Fun and Games With the Prof's Soldering Iron

Dearest Terry,

I do apologise for not sending this earlier, but Mr M has been visiting and we've been showing him the delights of the Colony. But a promise is a promise, so here are my experiments so far.
First we have experiments with heating melty things (synthetic organzas) that have been embossed with metallic embossing powders. I used some Indian wooden print blocks I have, as well as a couple of butterfly stamps (not so's you'd notice 'cos it all went a bit smudgy). Any way, some interesting crinkly effects, which I sewed onto black acrylic felt. Nowhere near a finished concept, but it has some potential I think (although you never quite know where the crinkles will go).

Then I moved on to burning burny things with my soldering iron (which is much smaller and more delicate than the Prof's and much less grubby). I couched some knitted copper mesh (or some antique gold coloured stuff that I have no idea what its made of) onto acrylic felt and used the grid to work out where I was going to burn the holes. You really need to think about where you want the holes or its a bit of a bugger threading them later on.
On the left is the first 'xperiment. Plain background, some holes, some silk ribbon and a few beads. Then I wrapped the edges with satin ribbon (3mm) because the edge of the felt is a little indistinctish. But the satin ribbon is really wobbly, so I think I must resort to my fearsome sewing engine and just zig-zag the edges (although this will have to be done before I thread the ribbons or it'll end up trapped in the wrong places and I'll owe the swear box a fortune).
The next one is threaded with some rayon cord I space-dyed myself for another project (a wall-hanging inspired by Durham Cathedral's pillars ). I had a bit of a mishap with the embossing powder on the acrylic felt, which sadly deadens pretty much anything you stick on top of it. The butterflies were cut from metal shim (copper and brass) and couched down. No edging (didn't fancy fighting with the machine).
(There is another experiment, but the daguerrotype is proving recalcitrant, so that one will have to wait until another time).
The last of the tests so far is this one to the right: no embossing, no edging (see above for rubbish excuse as to why not) but more butterflies and beads and ribbons. Its definitely getting there, but still needs some tweaks, like brighter ribbons and cogs and things. I have many cogs, but I'm reluctant to use them on test pieces; after all, samples are to make sure the technique is right, not to squander precious materials.
Phew, I think that's more than enough for now!
All my love,
F. xxx

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