In The Abstract in Nature, our latest assignment was to take a natural process and find a way to make a work of art from it. I decided to experiment with sumi ink on fabric and paper by dipping or dripping ink to see what effects I could get. I got some interesting effects and noted that some of the pieces were even more interesting when folded or manipulated into different shapes. I chose a few that seemed to have the best possibilities of becoming a 3-D work.
Ink on torn watercolor paper
ink on crinoline
Wet ink on various papers and fabric, added salt and allowed to dry
I created more papers and fabrics and played with ways to make a 3-D art object. I like the materials I created in my experiments but I felt like one of the designers on Project Runway up against a tight deadline trying to create something from odd materials. Since I haven’t done much 3-D work, this idea may have made it too challenging for working under a time crunch. I finally decided just to create an interesting 3-D shape then see what would happen if I could apply the ink directly to it. I stitched together an interestingly shaped tube of crinoline leaving the seam on the outside. I liked the result and stitched more flaps of crinoline to the shape. I liked the shape but it was kind of floppy, so I experimented with different ways to get it to stand up and wound up using empty deli container as a stand. I stiffened the crinoline with a thick coats of gesso, crackle paste, and glass bead gel. I molded it into the shape I wanted and allowed it to dry. I applied some ink to the edges of the crinoline flaps. Here’s the final result: