Manipulating materials


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Exploring manipulating materials.

Looking at the primary research I gathered in my local woodland I wanted to recreate the textures and surfaces that I photographed. I wanted to convey ideas of texture and muted colour. I enjoy using different materials and seeing the types of effects they give. I decided to melt plastic using the heat gun. I chose plastic as it melts easily and there are large amounts of plastic in a variety of colours. I found whilst doing this experiment that different type of plastic melted differently.

I took precautions when doing this. For health and safety when melting plastic, it can release fumes so I conducted this experiment in an empty room opened the windows. I used a heat proof tray and heat proof gloves when handling the plastic and the heat gun. I placed the plastic in the tray to control it and prevent fires, I then used the heat gun almost like a paint brush to apply heat to different areas, I found that changing the angle of applying the heat made the plastics melt differently creating lines instead of bubbles. I was fascinated by the effects this gave and how similar the melted plastic looked like the growths and textures I found on the tree in my photography. I like the unpradictability of the material , I wasn’t sure what would happen, similar to felting when you begin to control the felt and manipulate it by the time it’s dried and in the process it shrinks combining these methods could be interesting and create a textured outcome.

In development from my honey comb work, I have had an idea to heat up chicken wire as it has a hexagonal structure and then place on to plastics and polystyrene to leave an indented surface which I could then print / weave with. I think melting the plastic has worked really effectively and made me think more about how I can develop my theme, I plan to take this idea and look more into manipulating fabric and looking back and getting more research on designer Issy Miyake. Miyake uses fabric manipulation in garments and uses pleats and folds.

I think this relates to my project because the garments look like they are growing and are very organic in form. Although, I am only experimenting at this stage and not necessarily going to create a garment as my outcome I feel it is important I look at the style and the techniques used to develop my growth theme further. If I was to melt plastic again in the future I would use larger sheets of plastic so that I could get more length when weaving. Especially after doing some felting samples I feel as though it was effective I could possibly try to create structures using felt I plan to look at more designers who use textiles manipulation in their work to gain other ideas.


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