Sunday, March 15, 2009

Great Balls of Pollen?

Back to the heat setting experiments....

You remember the heat setting that I was doing back in early February?
This was the piece of fabric after I had filled it full of nails. The poly organza was laid over each nail and a small rubber band was wrapped around it. I went through the entire jar of nails. "How many nails?", you may ask. Let's just say that some things are better to remain a mystery.
After binding the fabric, I put it under the heat setting machine. As I mentioned before, the heat setting machine is basically a heating coil and fan. The idea is that the heat slightly melts the polyester fabric and when it cools down, it stays in what ever shape it was bound.

In this case it was poky bits that looked like some close up photos of pollen. Which is what I was aiming for.
I made a form out of reed from a basketry class that I had taken a few years ago and stitched on the fabric
It was a bit of a challenge to cover the entire ball, but with some creative clipping and stitching, I was able to get full coverage. This little guy is probably about 8 inches high.

The problem was that with full coverage I was missing the detail of the beautiful basketry that was the base. So I made a larger one and covered it with the clippings and some of the leftover fabric. I think that this one is my favorite in the series.
Next came the other pollen type. The fabric for this was a silver poly organza that had been bound and scrunched on a piece of PVC pipe and steamed to set it. I read about steam setting synthetic fabric in a sewing magazine while I was looking for something completely different. Instead of using the heat set machine, can bind and then steam your fabric using a vegetable steamer. Let's face it, vegetable steamers are easier to get then a heat setting machine.

This one I had great difficulty with. I first tried to cover the entire ball with the fabric but it ended up looking a bit messy no matter which way I put the fabric on.

So I cut it off and made swirls which looked great when there was only one, but looked silly when the ball was full of them. So I trimmed them to make then narrower. But that didn't look any better.
So finally, I cut them off again and laid the narrower strips along the ball to sort of mimic the inspirational pollen photo.

And there you have it! Great balls of pollen. So far the response has been positive. Very positive. So positive in fact that several of my class mates have asked me to show them how to make the basket forms. It looks like there is a workshop in my future!


Anonymous said...

I love your brain and the nifty things it comes up with.


Cynthia said...

I must say I love the partially covered forms better than the fully clothed model. Those underlying forms are really are so creative Jackie!

Christine said...

Very cool!

Julia said...

Those pollen balls looks so real that they are making me sneeze.


ICQB said...

Wonderful! I love the basketry.

Leigh said...

In don't think this is something I would ever try, but it sure is interesting!