Thursday, 26 March 2015

Hemmed In

Continuing my exploration into creating fences using different mediums, Hemmed In is created incorporating textiles, ceramics and jewellery techniques.

Knitted cotton within fused silver 'gates'

The first step was to knit (with cotton) some panels of fence that are inspired by wire fences.

Knitted cotton dipped in porcelain slip

Next, I dipped the cotton in a high fire porcelain slip and I laid them out on a canvas board to dry. This worked well, but they had a 'front' and a 'back' from being dried flat. If I was to do this again, I would suspend them so that they had two interesting 'front' sides.

Painted with Cone 06 glaze

I wanted to apply gold lustre, gold leaf and decals onto the surface of them (they need a layer of clear glaze to adhere to the porcelain). So once they were fired (one firing all the way up to cone 10) I painted them with a thin layer of clear glaze.

The pale aqua are covered with clear glaze prior to firing.

I experimented with gold lustre, but wasn't incredibly happy with the results because it came out quite a dark copper gold.

I also experimented with putting gold leaf followed by decals that were fired in an enamel kiln at 1500 F degrees for a couple of minutes. The gold leaf remained light in colour and the decals were reminiscent of the blue willow ware that dates back to dinnerware of the 18th century.

Hemmed In

To attach the ceramic knitted pieces to the fence panels I used very thin silver wire to wrap them into place. I was inspired by the rustic and often ingenious ways fences are repaired. 

Hemmed In (detail)

The ceramic panels were dispersed between panels that were fused together with the fine silver wire.

I joined the fence panels together using a method used by the artist Alexander Calder, who whilst well known for his mobile sculptures, was also a prolific maker of jewellery.

He is one of my heroes because of his unorthodox approach to jewellery.

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