Thursday, 14 January 2010

3D - i think i need help!

after i got the 'go ahead' for my 3D lights, i have been going at full steam. i wanted, or at least 'he who cooks' wanted my paper pulp out of the fridge by Christmas. so this is how i made the light bodies. white plastic bags cut up into continuous thin strips, then knitted with large needles.
i did various samples to work out size for the finished piece to go around my spray can forms.
once knitted they were pinned onto baking parchment and ironed through baking parchment to set.
image 4 shows all 5 layers together before the paper pulp was added. i thought they had potential for future work!
once they were set the wet paper pulp was applied. when dry i felt i had been very heavy handed with the pulp, so i rinsed it all off and re-did it with much thinner pulp. once dry i re-wet slightly and sprayed a black line onto each piece so when the cans were placed together they looked like one continuous wavy line but with each can having its own continuous line. the re-wetting helped to form the pieces around the cans.
image 6 shows one after it was dry and released from its can form. still not happy!!!!!!
so i went back to the plastic. i am becoming an authority on plastic bags! my husband is beginning to get worried because i keep feeling plastic bags in shops! any way i decided i wanted a more transparent effect and much less pulp. the bags i finally chose are a sandwich bag with dark blue lettering which when knitted and melted give an interesting pattern. i am really pleased with them. image 7 shows all 5.
so to the lids and i think this is where my problem is or not! in the end i made the lids as i had suggested but the clear layers of plastic i was going to use seemed too 'clean'. i heat set my layers together instead and the result i am really pleased with, i like the ragged edges and the 'material' i have formed. image 8 shows one lid. eventually after a few trials with different types of eyes and mouths i decided to machine stitch them onto the plastic and cut the eyes out. each one is an individual and has been altered slightly and because each section is formed as a separate piece they are not uniform.
now here is where my problem lies, or does it? i think originally i was intending to have lids that fitted tightly over the bases but these do not because they are not completely dome shaped. they sit on top. the problem is i like them as they are but do they look ok? should the bases be all the same height? or vary? i did try making some 2d 'lids' but came back to these.
they also work by themselves (i think) as smaller forms.
as to the lighting i have thought of many different types such as 'tea lights', glow sticks and eventually LED lights. my intention is to have a different colour in each 'can' using the graffiti colours there instead of the pristine whiteness of the forms. like a blank piece of paper/wall.
the lights are in the lids which work well as it lights the head and still lights the base to give the effect i wanted to achieve.if the heads are separated then more lights can be suspended in the bases which gives more of a lacy light effect. i hope i have made myself clear! the remains of the pulp is still in the fridge but i hope i don't need it again!! in the course of this project i have come across two amazing artists who work with paper, Annie Vought and Susan Warner Keene, check them out.


  1. I think these are brilliant! You've gone to such a lot of work, and the end result is worth it. Go with your gut feeling of what YOU like best, that's what makes it YOUR art! I love them and love the lights and colours they omit. Fantastic.

  2. Wow, the lace effect is beautiful and so effective when the lights are on.
    You've inspired me to get back to my lace now.

  3. Your lights look great. A bit spooky, especially the heads on their own! As there is variation in the heads, a slight variation in the heights might look good, but I agree with thimble fingers, go with what works for you.