Latex and Resin

Thinking further about ways to preserve all the rusty objects and the idea that these had been encased in the mud at the base of the reservoirs for decades I began thinking about ways that we preserve sentimental items. Resin was an obvious choice to me for experimentation.

I began by making two moulds one from a house brick and the other from a cast iron water grid that I had acquired previously.

Once the moulds were made I missed the pouring resin and poured an initial layer into the brick mold before leaving to gellify. At this point I laid my sample rusty object in the Mold and poured the second layer before leaving for 24 hours to cure.

The water grid I simply cast in its own right as I feel this has conceptual meaning if it’s own and if replicated could infer the many households who continue to benefit from the reservoir waters.

Reflection

Some of the latex in the water grid stuck in the resin and has ripped the mold a little.

I could have done with using a wax releasing agent to ensure that the latex did not stick. Also if I’m thinking about replicating this many times a rubber mold would be a better option, possibly silicone.

Overall especially pleased with the effect and see potential with lighting from behind. Definitely would like to create repeated patterns with these.

The Wildling – Part 3

And so the making begins – armed with gaffa tape, Kitchen roll and cotton wool I begin by focussing on the gloves planned in The Wildling – Part 1

Wrapping the cotton wool in Kitchen roll and gaffa tape was a surprisingly quick and relaxing process.

Reflection

The Wildling – Part 2

Thinking about this idea of the Wildling and with time to kill on the train I spent my time using digital imagery to process my thoughts a bit and try and visualise more my intentions for the costume I’m about to make. Much excitement as that’s my next step forward.

Reflection

Citrasolv

The reason I am interested in looking at Image Transfer is due to the fact that there is a lot of archive material relating to the events surrounding the building of the reservoirs and the removal of the community that has potential to be distorted and used in this project. I am also keen to use Image Transfer with Fabrics as a way of adding more depth to the fabric pieces I envisage.

Prior to the course I had used the following Image Transfer processes.

  • Transferring inkjet printed images using water.
  • Transferring laser print images using Mod Podge.
  • Using T Shirt Transfer.

New Image Transfer Processes are:

  • Citrasolv Image Transfer for National Geographic pages and Laser Prints. Can be used to transfer photographic images onto fabric, paper, wood and other surfaces.
  • Poloroid Image Transfer, otherwise known as Emulsion Transfer where the emulsion from the poloroid is transferred onto another surface.

Citrasolv Image Transfer

I took a step away from overly thinking about my project and spent some time experimenting with Citrasolv (on Jonathan’s recommendation) What Fun!!! Having purchased a collection of second hand National Geographic magazines and waited patiently for the Citrasolv to arrive (3 weeks) I was ready to go.

It’s a messy job to be sure and the area has to be well ventilated – my whole house smelt of oranges. Latex gloves are a must as it can irritate the skin.

I set about identifying images I was interested in and soaking them in Citrasolv before leaving them ‘to cook’. The Citrasolv essentially dissolves the ink on the page. After some time text can be rubbed out.

Quite impressed with the results so far.

I then experimented a bit with laser print not so successful but had some interesting outcomes. The first – glossy photo paper and rubbed the Citrasolv into the ink.

Secondly I used the Citrasolv from the back to transfer onto paper and fabric.

Finally thinking along the lines that my art tablecloth is an evocative object in its own right hold lots of memories of work previously done. I produced these:

I’m going to try and identify a cheaper more accessible alternative as I really like this process.

Reflection

 

Bibliography

Citra Solv. (2019). Photo Transfer Tips — Citra Solv. [online] Available at: https://www.citrasolv.com/photo-transfer-tips [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Citra Solv. (2019). Image Transfers – 1. [online] Available at: https://www.citrasolv.com/image-transfers-1 [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Green Olive Arts. (2019). Citra Solv Image Transfer Tutorial – Green Olive Arts. [online] Available at: http://greenolivearts.com/citra-solv-image-transfer-tutorial/ [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Hackshaw, A. (2019). Making a Crown Part II: A Citrasolv Transfer onto Wood (A Tutorial). [online] Ashley Hackshaw / Lil Blue Boo. Available at: http://www.lilblueboo.com/2011/09/making-a-crown-part-ii-a-citrasolv-transfer-onto-wood-a-tutorial.html [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Lyrickinard.blogspot.ca. (2019). Citrasolv Photo Transfer Tutorial. [online] Available at: http://lyrickinard.blogspot.ca/2010/02/citrasolv-photo-transfer-tutorial.html [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Raquo, M. (2019). Fabric Printing With Citra-Solv. [online] Instructables. Available at: http://www.instructables.com/id/Fabric-Printing-with-Citra-Solv/ [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Snapguide. (2019). How to Transfer Images Using Citrasolv Natural Solvent. [online] Available at: https://snapguide.com/guides/transfer-images-using-citrasolv-natural-solvent/ [Accessed 13 May 2019].

The Quilting Company. (2019). Transfer Photo to Fabric: Tips for Using Citra Solv – Quilting Daily – The Quilting Company. [online] Available at: http://www.quiltingdaily.com/blog/transfer-photo-fabric-tips-using-citra-solv [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Thicketworks. (2019). Image Transfers on Leather. Quick. Ridiculously simple. Essential.. [online] Available at: http://thicketworks.com/image-transfers-on-leather/ [Accessed 13 May 2019].

The Wildling – Part 1

After my tutorial with Jonathan I felt really inspired to put some thought into making my wildling (tree stump) costume to be used in video footage.

I have two main ideas in terms of the footage:

  1. Shooting the footage on site including using drone footage (drone now purchased)
  2. Using a green screen and applying the new footage over existing footage – considering purchasing my own green screen materials given lack of local studios with this facility.

Either way before any of that can happen I need to have a Wildling costume.

I spent some time researching how people structure Comic-Con outfits, particularly as I had in my minds eye what I wanted to make and how I wanted it to look.

I knew I needed to use latex but didn’t really know how I was going to structure the roots of the costume.

To pull it all together I decided that the willing volunteer will need to wear a morph suit – either black for on site shooting or green for studio shoot.

So here I am with an idea for a latex suit – to make it easier I plan to make a mask, headwear – shoulder wear and gloves.

To give an authentic impression of the wildlings at Thruscross I plan to cast from bark – I’m lucky enough to have some amazing bark in my garden to cast from – and I intend to colour the latex dark brown.

  • Shoulder-wear: The shoulder-wear is going to be supported by a black vinyl waistcoat with oddly spaced roots around the shoulders. For each root I will use cotton wool at the core wrapped in kitchen towel and the gaffa tape before finally using latex to add the finishing touches.
  • Gloves: I have purchased some rubber gloves which I intend to make three roots per hand from using the same technique as the shoulder-wear.
  • Head-wear: I intend to sculpt a head piece casting the bark master in the garden before creating the latex copy. I intend to strengthen the latex with a wire mesh and mould the head piece so it blends with the shoulders.
  • Mask: This is currently a maybe as I’m not entirely sure it’s required.

Reflection

This is my current stage of thinking and I am sure as this progresses, my opinion will change. I think I’ve spent enough time thinking it through and feel its now time to put my thoughts into action.

It’s not often I actually draw anything any more so I really enjoyed sketching my plans for this. It reminded me that as a child I was always drawing designs for costumes so this is definitely something that has stayed with me through my life.

Rusting Objects

Having found several fragmented objects on my site visits I have been collecting lots of rusting household remnants such as hinges bolts and nails. All things that are akin to those objects I found. below is an example of the current state of the objects and what I hope to achieve.

I have rusted items quickly in the past with a view of making rust prints and I’m keen to use latex to acquire the rust from the objects.

So I sought out a solution called Rusty 3000 (I’m no chemist so this is probably the extent of my chemical experimentation) 16 oz of Hydrogen Peroxide, 2 oz of White Vinegar and a tablespoon of salt. Highly corrosive so rubber gloves were used.

I’ve made two solution baths and placed a door handle in a jam jar.

Below are photos from within the first few minutes.

I removed the door knob from the jam jar so not sure how effective this will be for the door knob in the long run.

After 1 day:

After 2 days:

Leaving it now for a week to let it cook.

Meanwhile I decided to take advantage of the rusty froth and make some prints too.

Reflection

This was a really successful exercise – the liquid was very caustic so I had to be extra careful and this scared me a little bit, however the end results were really good.

I learned that not everything rusts as well and additional things on the surface of the metal can hinder the process – paint for example.

I really liked the bit of video I recorded where I could see the interaction of the liquid with the object and definitely plan to investigate this further.

The greatest challenge would have to be not getting burned – I’m really clumsy at the best of times and working with a caustic liquid was difficult for me.

 

 

Fragments and Latex – Part 1 – Objects

While on my site visits I collect some fragments of buildings that had previously been underwater- only small rusty metal parts and broken pottery that most would overlook – however in these broken remains I see the life that these objects once had and the representation of the lost communities and the collective memories having become distorted – no longer like their original state – a metaphor for our own personal memories that become distorted over time.

I’m still experimenting with latex and wanted to see what objects I could produce that show the essence of the space that the object once inhabited.

So I decided to use the slate as a base for these objects – not my best idea in terms of a well thought out process yet I continued anyway.

Some of the objects were and immediate fail moving as I painted them – yet I managed to gain some success with this experiment.

The more successful ones after three coats I covered with fabric before adding an extra two coats.

Partly here I succumbed to my lack of patience and removed them the same day – with some success but overall pleased with the outcome.

What I particularly like is that the latex has really taken on remnants of the rust and dirt on the objects and that this has lead the imprints to become metaphorical in their own right.

The less successful ones I rescued and continued with a new experiment with ink jet paper in Fragments and Latex – Part 2 – Prints

Still to experiment with a pouring method.

Reflection

I began this work early in the morning and my head wasn’t really in the right space, so I struggled to get the objects to stay still on the slates and in fact this reduced the number of final objects completed.

I would definitely find a way of fixing these objects to the surface prior to painting the latex on and indeed plan to experiment with pouring latex around the object so as to fix them in place early on.

I definitely enjoy working with latex and like the way that it takes on rust and dirt from the object you are casting.

The overall effect I am happy with and I like the effect of the space that the object had inhabited creating the essence of negative space akin to the work of Rachel Whiteread where she casts the space around the objects of her attention.

The most tedious and challenging aspect of this work for me is waiting for it to dry enough to apply additional layers and then to finally cure. This really challenges my lack of patience.

Fabric Samples

Having previously decided to investigate using lighter weight fabrics for my digital prints and an interest in creating a metaphor for the loss of homes and community in the context of collective and personal memory I have been thinking a lot about my own personal memories of home – particularly reflecting on my mums house (my childhood home).

The idea of using a washing line originally came from the idea that since the onset of the automatic washing machine and the ability to tumble dry our clothes washing lines are seen less nowadays. Something else I associated with home from those years 1960’s onwards was the plain old fashioned net curtain.

So I decided to order some samples of lighter weight fabric akin to net curtain material.

I ordered a chiffon sample and a netting sample. The images below are to give an idea of the fabric samples.

Before I received the samples I would have definitely said my preference would have been the net sample yet when they arrived the chiffon was noticeably more tactile and fluid and had an ethereal sense about it.

I decided to make good use of the samples anyway and used them again in the Fabric and Latex experiments.

Reflection

I think the best thing about ordering these samples is that I ordered several different types of fabric so that I know what will work the best. In actual fact, the one I thought would be the best – net fabric turned out not to be. The chiffon has a much lighter ethereal presence about it which lends itself to the historical nature of the subject matter. From here I intend to spend some time choosing the images very carefully.

The piece, Memory by Christian Boltanski displayed at the Kunstmuseum in Wolfsburg expands this further into an installation where the 1200 portraits printed on net fabric are continually in motion and the scene continually changing.

Roof Slates and Latex

I previously had an idea to latex the roof slates and decided to put this idea into action.

I had in my mind a larger sculptural piece of work and saw potential in using the slates I had previously gathered to create this piece. I also had a desire to investigate potential projection surfaces and latex could possibly provide me with a suitable surface to project onto.

As part of this task I also wanted to estimate how much liquid latex I would need to create a large sculptural piece and some estimation would be required as to the number of layers.

As well as some liquid latex I also purchased a cheap decorators drop sheet from my local B&Q to cut up and use as a reinforcing material.

I set about beginning to apply latex to the roof slates to see how successful this might be. Having laid out the slates on my kitchen table, I started applying thin coats of latex to the tiles and decided after three coats that it would be a suitable time to add the reinforcing material.

I had the idea that I would ultimately stitch the slates to a larger piece of strong canvas material. so I used the edge of the drop sheet to provide a strong supporting edge that I could then stitch to the larger canvas material at a later point in time.

Half an hour between coats and once the reinforcing material was applied I left an hour between coats. I only applied one extra coat after the reinforcing material – bearing in mind that this was an initial experimental stage. In total – 5 coats. I then left the latex to cure overnight.

The next morning I then began removing the latex from the slates and for the first experiment with these slates I was delighted with the results. I really like the fact that the latex has taken on some of the material from the slate and the effects that were produced.

I then laid out the latex slates in the manner that I had in mind for the larger scale piece. I’m happy that this will scale up really well.

img_4524

At this stage I had half a litre of latex left so I repeated the process on six of the larger slates. Left the latex to cure and then removed the latex from the slates. I applied anti fungal talc to all of the slates to ensure that they don’t go mouldy and no longer stick to each other.

img_4539.jpg

The next day I reflected further on what I had produced. Not all of the slates would prove to be useful at this stage. If I decided to create a larger piece that effetely appears like a roof top the larger pieces are more effective for what I have in mind. I’m happy with the number of layers required to produce what I need.

I estimated that it takes 1 litre of liquid latex to produce 12 large tiles which would be approximately 1 square metre. Knowing this will help me to calculate how much latex to purchase when I decide to upscale.

I’m really keen to produce the larger piece which I have in my mind to be approximately 3 metres long by 2 metres tall – 6 square metres and 72 slates in total – six litres of liquid latex.

I only have six of the larger slates at the moment so my estimation would be 2 days per square metre – 12 days of latex prepping in total.

Reflection

The best thing I did was to go back and read up on applying liquid latex again as it had been some time since the last time I did this. This gave me the confidence to just get on with the task in hand.

It was a good idea for me to latex all the tiles I had as this enabled me to be more clear about which tiles would be most suitable and what I would need to do to upscale.

Because I read up on this subject again, I remembered to use anti-fungal talc and not just ordinary talc – saving the latex from becoming mouldy in the future.

I possibly could have put more thought into the process prior to starting and that way I may have produced only the larger tiles from the outset. With hindsight, this would have meant that I’d have had more useable pieces at this stage. I also feel that although the reinforcing materials was appropriate in this case, if I was working with different objects (for example the fragments I have collected, which I intend to work with) then I would need to use a lighter weight reinforcing material.

This task will definitely have an impact on my future work as I have intended for a long time to reintroduce latex into my practice and definitely see ways of introducing stitch into this work as well. I have several 3-dimensional ideas which I feel latex would be an appropriate material for.

The greatest challenge in completing this task is the one thing that always raises it’s head and that is my lack of patience – I so wanted to hurry the work along to see the final effects – however managed to reign this in and wait albeit slightly impatiently for the curing to take place.

I didn’t find this task boring or tedious at all, in fact very therapeutic and calming. If anything the production of 72 tiles is going to be a bit repetitive and in the future producing a larger single latex work may be more stimulating.

All in all – very happy with this piece at this stage.

 

 

Student Wall @ Galeri Caernarfon

6th April 2018

I contacted Lisa and asked about removing the work, as today is the final day of the agreed contract period. However due to other circumstances I have been asked to leave the work up for the time being.

20th March 2018

img_5639I finished adding images to the wall in preparation for the Easter holidays. There was a small issue that turned out to be a non-issue as far as I was concerned. Someone had complained about the content of one of my images and I was asked to remove it. I was however quite proud of the fact that the image had created such a reaction.

13th March 2018

Today I added the work I have done in the past week to the Student Wall. I am really pleased with the outcome. Lisa very kindly translated my Artist Statement into Welsh.

6th March 2018

img_5256

Over the weekend, I prepared several images from my photography session up at Capel Celyn and added them to the student wall. Very Pleased with the result. My next step is to begin working with the slogans used in the protests at Capel Celyn.

I also added a Brief Biography and Artist Statement to the wall.

The Drowning of Treweryn                                              Michelle Wright

This collection of work is part of a broader body of work which will be on display at the final exhibition at Coleg Menai, Bangor in June. The events that occurred at Treweryn in the 1960’s are relevant to the location of North Wales, with political context, not only historically but to the present day.

In 1965 Llyn Celyn was created, a reservoir that filled the Treweryn Valley. The village of Capel Celyn was drowned to provide water for Liverpool. Nevertheless, it seems that Liverpool then sold the water onto other regions in the country. These events were significant politically sparked by the Treweryn Bill. Passed in parliament this bill allowed the Liverpool Corporation to bypass local planning laws. The wishes of the Welsh people were ignored and plans continued to turn the valley into a reservoir.

Still a current topic, having recently passed a 50-year anniversary and with Brexit looming, Wales still does not have control of its own water. There are plans for this to change as a result of Brexit and claims that this could never happen again. However, with Devolution, the Welsh could categorically ensure this never happens again.

I am most touched by the unanswered protests of the residents and the fact that many of the family graves are still underwater. There continue to be many personal accounts from people who were and continue to be affected by this.

Liverpool Council did apologize in 2005, however this is widely seen as a political move with their bid for the Eisteddfod looming and too little too late.

Biography

Michelle Wright is currently in her final year of study towards a BA(Hons) Fine Art at Coleg Menai in Bangor North Wales. Photography and Video are core aspects of the artwork she produces. She considers all of her work to be of a humanitarian nature and a reflection of the way she sees the world. However, her work subconsciously considers social and political issues that arise as part of the practice she has developed.

27th February 2018

I added a mood board to the Student Wall as a starting point for this project.

22nd February 2018

Today I met with Lisa and signed the contract for the student wall at Galeri. We also discussed my ideas for the wall. My final intention is to fill the entire wall with preparatory material towards my final exhibition in June.

17th February 2018

I was contacted today by Lisa, the curator at Galeri to ask if I was still interested in working on the student wall. Short notice, but basically starting immediately. Although nervous I’ve decided to give it a go. I previously had an idea for this wall, so I plan to resurrect this idea and expand on it so that I can use it to practice a technique that I plan on using for my final piece.