Today, my samples have dried fully, and that has taken about 2.5 – 3 days. So I need to bear this in mind when planning to make my final piece. So whilst the latex is drying, I will be working on the mechanism of the piece.
These are three out of the seven samples that are finished. I found these three techniques to be the most successful, because they were exactly how I wanted to manipulate the latex, and the surface of it. Weaving the latex strips was also very easy, as the strips stuck together, and I blow dried it to see if heat increased the bonding of the pieces, but it could do without. It is also bizarre, and therefore grotesque to just see a skin surface being woven!
The hand stitched latex sample was quite difficult. I was surprised to even be able to sew through the rubber, but it does make hands sore and so I cannot create any more complicated stitches. But I didn’t expect this sample to turn out as well, so now I will definitely use this technique for the final piece. I find it disturbing too with the image of “stitch onto skin”, as the thread digs in so tightly into the rubber, it’s almost as if sewing real flesh.
The last sample is very witty with the eyes. I followed this knit structure as my inspiration, and again, it worked out pretty well.
It was difficult to control the yarn and latex strips to look exactly like the loops above, and perhaps it would be easier if the strips were cut a little more thinner, and be a darker colour than the bottom layer of the sample, so we can differentiate the loops more. The dark purple yarn was definitely successful, as it provides a focal point, and provides a “direction” for the eyes as it studies the sample.
These samples still need to be completed. I learnt that if I want to add specks of paper, yarn etc onto the already dried latex, it is best to seal it with liquid latex, because stitching specks is not time efficient, or possible with the thick rubber. By sealing the specks with liquid latex, it is stuck onto the top surface forever. It just requires one more night of drying time. Also, it is too fiddly to insert hair into the latex “beads” I created, as the hair slips off so easily. So yarn is the better option, even though hair would make it more grotesque. As for the last sample, I don’t exactly find this gross, and it may be the addition of slime. Slime was not easy to mould into teardrop shapes, so this was my most unsuccessful sample, as it seems very messy and unrefined still. But I intend to just leave it like that, as I know now not to use slime for moulding delicate shapes.
I was unable to photograph the clay mould making process as my hands were covered, but I have made 4 moulds, covered in plastic ready for vinamould tomorrow. Helen has instructed me on how to create the fingernails, which is clay mould first, via mould, and then wax. The clay should be damp too, so it’s sealed very tight.