WEEK THREE -Plastic experimentation

After speaking to Duncan as a team about materials in terms of sustainability and what would be suitable for our designs, I realised that plastic was such a big thing in the 90’s. Everything was made of bright, cheap, thin plastic: toys, hair accessories etc and so I would quite like to make reference to this in my artwork in the frames. Years ago I saw something online about melting down carrier bags with an iron and baking sheets to make plastic fabric, and so today I had another look and thought I’d give it a go.

First I tried it by layering up just a standard, thin Tesco’s carrier bag. I was surprised at how quickly it shrunk and melted. This one came out very thick, I think I used a few too many layers. Its is hard and stiff and would therefore be too hard to sew into or to manipulate it in anyway. It would however look quite effective in a frame, just on its own.

I then tried the same again but this time with thicker ‘bag for life’ type bags and managed to find some nice brightly coloured ones. I also paid more attention to the layers being even and this produced a much better thickness. I had a go at stitching into them and it was a lot easier that I was expecting, you just need to take it slow.

I had a go using this technique with food packaging, but it came out very thick and bubbly. This again wouldn’t be very easy to work with but would look good on its own.

This one was a much thicker type of plastic and produced a really nice, consistent sheet with a nice thickness. It was easier to sew on because it was less shiny and slippery.

Here I used the same technique but instead of layering sheets of plastic carrier bag, I cut it into strips and layed them on top of each other. It did create quite a nice effect but looks quite childish.

Here I attached a few different plastics together using a simple straight stitch. I like the idea of having the geometric shapes attached to each other – post modern.

So far I had only used the straight foot to stitch into the plastics, so I had a try using the free embroidery. It did come out better than I was expecting but you do have to go really slow, because the needle leaves holes, which are much bigger and more obvious if turning corners or creating curves.

 

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