As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I have been experimenting with dyed silk and producing sheets of a paper-like material made from silk fibres. The process has some similarities with the initial stages of wet felting, and involves laying out layers of silk fibre, covering it with a mesh and wetting it thoroughly. It then diverges from woolen felting as silk fibres do not have the scales that allows wool to hook onto itself and felt. Silk has to be held together using a cellulose based medium (similar to wallpaper paste, but without the extra chemicals).
I discovered that there is huge scope for varying the thickness of the resulting material, but it was the very fine, cobwebby layers that interested me most. I mixed in a little wool and some fine thread and created a number of very sheer translucent sheets that layer beautifully over a painted background.
I have used some of them on this mini series of water studies based on my local sea views and I’m delighted with how they have turned out. They are quite a challenge to photograph, but I’ve tried to capture the textural quality and the transparency which allows the painted layer to shine through.
I don’t know if there’s an official name for this type of mixed media, but I have called it fused textiles. I’m excited by the possibiliites and will continue to experiment.
The four pieces here are now listed in the shop in the original paintings section, starting at £45.