MM Part Two – Project One – Joining

For each exercise I tried to make at least five samples. I have also tried to use a few new materials in this work, straying away a little bit from using just white paper.

All sample photographs have been taken on a white background. This was a conscious decision as I had used the shadows formed by the samples in some of my drawings so wanted those replicated in these photos. I have also tried to use a smoother background in these sample pictures to not distract from the sample being photographed.

Samples and any drawing or sketches from them follow the text for each exercise.

Exercise One – Joining straight flush edges

For these samples I have started with the most basic materials and joining methods I could find.

Contrasting papers and the torn edges of the cardboard samples are my favourite. I like the texture from the cardboard edges and the shadow of the corrugated edges.

Exercise Two – Joining straight edges with a gap

I found it difficult to keep the edges of some of these samples apart while trying to attach them together. I used weights to keep the paper steady and hung part of the edges off the table in order to start attaching the tape or stitching to the samples.

I like the two pieces of card offset and then attached together with tape. The contrast of matt card and shiny tape is good and translated well to the drawing I made of this sample.

Also the sample held together with fabric tape is interesting. For all the other samples in this section I left the gap between materials open in places but in this sample the gap is completely covered, forming a continuous surface.

One sample is formed with cut pieces of wire loosely holding two pieces of card together. This is quite delicate as the wires aren’t that long and move about within the card used. However, this movement is useful as it allows the gap between the card edges to be manipulated. This can give a continuous, equidistant gap, between the edges or be used to leave a larger size gap at one end of the sample, pushing the top of the card pieces together.

I also like the samples produced from tracing paper. Both samples use shiny materials to attach the matt paper together giving a good contrast in each of the samples produced.

Exercise Three – Joining curved edges

By the time I got to this exercise I was very aware that I had used very basic materials for both the items to be joined and the methods to join them. I had produced some good samples but felt I should try to use something a little bit different from here on.

First was a copy paper square, cut with a craft knife in to a curved edge. Not a great start with the new materials but using white fabric tape to hold the edges apart might fulfil that requirement. It is not the obvious gap between the paper edges that I find interesting in this piece but the depression left in the fabric tape that covers the gap between the edges that casts a slight shadow.

From the research I had done previously recycling featured highly. I then made a few samples from junk mail and old maps, my own attempt at re-appropriating these materials. However I didn’t want to waste anything so when I was cutting the curves in to the paper I had two different papers laid on top of each other. This allowed me to swap the tracing paper cut out with the map paper underneath. These were then attached together in different ways. The red tape strips were kept from a recent parcel received, this is quite a departure from the previous samples as up until now I had really only used white papers and clear tape.

I really like the stitched sample as the roads on the map have been continued out in to the tracing paper area.

This layering of paper technique was also used for samples using junk mail and lining paper. The cut-out areas were swapped between the papers and stitched together in two different ways. While the straight stitches used to attach the squares permanently to the lining paper background are good, giving a sturdy sample where the squares don’t move, it feels a little bit flat.

The second sample where a single line of stitches has been used is much more successful. The squares are free to move in their apertures giving more interesting shapes and allowing light in to the sample.

I found some raffia to tie some papers together. I like the spacing of the ties here, they aren’t the same distant apart but look well-balanced on the sample. It was difficult to pull the raffia through the tracing paper and I felt like it might tear. It didn’t but this sample still feels very delicate.

Raffia was also used to weave the edges of the card sample together. Buttonhole stitches at the edge of the card give an area to be threaded through with the raffia. The long tails also add something to the sample as many of my other samples have been very contained, keeping the ends of threads used very neat.

My final sample has a circle of paper inset in to the map. From the front the circle fits exactly in to the apertures cut out, but the back of the sample could also be a sample with the strips of fabric tape covering the edges of the paper circle forming an interesting area.

Exercise Four – Overlapping edges

This set of samples uses recycling as all the materials had been left over from one of the previous samples.

The square sample and the paper strips were held together with masking tape. The matt surface of this kind of tape fits well with the other paper surfaces. However adding some shiny tape to the paper strips adds another texture to that sample. I particularly like the edges of each of the papers laid next to each other, torn and straight edges contrasting well together.

The overlapped circles were cut out at the same time as a sample from exercise three. Rather than inset the circle and produce a very similar sample as in exercise three I overlapped the circle and the aperture. The shiny tape adds another texture to this sample.

Again I felt some new materials would be appropriate here. A circle was cut from a cream carton lid and threaded with paper strips. The plastic reflects the light away from the paper leaving the sections underneath the plastic slightly in shadow.

A section of lining paper was attached to some bubble wrap using staples. When it came to drawing this I felt I couldn’t do it justice. In order to document this sample I chose to print it using acrylic paint. This has left not only a set of interesting marks from the prints made but also a more interesting surface, such as where the paint has been taken up on the lining paper but not in the depressions formed by the staples used to hold it to the bubble wrap.

My favourite sample from this set of work is formed from a strip of squared paper and the tear off strip from a padded envelope. Not the whole sample, but just a section where the contrast of the grey squares, white paper envelope and the red plastic strip is visible.

Exercise Five – Forming corners and angles

I began with some paper samples, using stitches, and masking tape and bracing one side of the sample against the other. The stitches used cast some interesting shadows on the sample which I feel I have captured well in my drawing.

I then made some paper beads and attached them together, keeping the work of Pippa Andrews in mind. I formed a series of triangles with a pyramid at one end of the sample. This was easy to manipulate in to different shapes, both flat and raised.

I then tried some more unusual materials. A plastic square balanced on pins and attached to thick paper. This gave a very acute angle but I didn’t feel it worked very well overall. Also it is quite dangerous as the pins didn’t fasten back together leaving the points exposed.

My final sample was a pyramid made of sticks, held together with elastic bands. In my real-world photos I had a picture of a fence in Japan lashed together with string, this was based on that photo but using much less glamorous elastic bands.

Good angles have been formed here but the wrapping formed by the elastic bands is much more interesting. I may have jumped the gun here as wrapping is the next part of this assignment. I have kept the sample in this section of work though as the structure produced is part of this exercise.

Extra Samples

When reviewing the samples and drawing produced in this section of work I was drawn to my sketches of a single square with a row of stitches through it. The original sample was made in Exercise Three.

I first made a sample in thick paper of a single square with a row of stitches through it. This was quite small in scale, approximately 3cm across. I then made another sample, much larger in scale, approximately 20cm across. These both moved in the same way and when photographs were taken of each without any sense of the size of each sample they both look very similar.

I then made a second sample using five different materials to form the stitched square, these were then cut back to reveal each different material used. This gave an interesting texture to the square surface.

I explored a single square a bit further by producing two more samples. One had a threaded strip of paper instead of the stitch line, with another raised off the surface of the paper to give more shadow to the sample. The raised sample worked well and gave a good sketch of just the shadow sections.

I then explored repeating this shape over an A4 sheet. First I stuck a layer of printed paper over a piece of black card. I then laid a piece of white paper over the top of the black card and used the same technique as above to cut through the two layers of paper and then swap the cut-out squares from the back card in to the white surface.

These were then stitched to the white card with grey linen thread. There was some movement in the squares that allowed small areas of light through the apertures at each corner. I have tried to capture these in my drawing. This sample has worked well as the squares cover the surface of the paper with the laminated paper and thread adding contrast to the sample against the white card.

The paper squares could also be turned in each aperture to give some black squares and some areas of text.

The white cut out squares did not go to waste, these were strung together to form a lanyards and attached to a stick to hang down. These also move if some breeze is applied to the sample, turning the squares and casting more shadows.

Recording Outcomes

My selection of materials has not been too out of the ordinary but I think that the combination of materials used has given some good samples. Combining several types of papers has given a good sample where cut and torn edges contrast well together.

The method of attachment has added to these samples in some cases. The staples used to bridge the gap across tracing paper not only join the paper together but adds a mark to the surface of the sample. Also the shiny red tape used is a good contrast to the matt tracing paper and map used.

Joining two pieces of the same material together gives cohesion to a sample. It allows the method of joining to feature and also for any shapes made on a surface to become more evident. This can be seen in the extra stitched through squares where thick paper has been raised from the surface of the sample or threaded through with a paper strip. The shadows and torn edges here are more easily viewed as the paper used does not distract from the sample construction.

The reverse of some of the samples can also be used as samples in their own right. This can be seen in the map paper sample with a lining paper circle inset, also in the extra samples produced where the reverse of the inset squares are moved to the front of the sample.

Using movement in the final samples has given the best results. The shadows cast by the shapes have given very interesting photos and drawings that could not be produced by simply recording flat cut out shapes from paper.


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