Once these samples were made it was too late to remind myself I was supposed to be casting a flexible internal shape, not the rigid internal shape of an egg. However, it has been an interesting exercise, mostly for reinforcing my discoveries about the nature of plaster and Sculptamold, and for practising the application of embroidery stitch to a hard surface. As explained in my previous post, I was interested to discover how French Knots might attach to a flat surface, rather than being embedded into a fissure.
Gathering of materials and equipment. A tiny bit of oil was rubbed around the inner surface of the egg to help remove the shell. Missing from this photo is some acrylic paint which was used to tint the plaster.
Two eggs which have been filled with a plaster mixture.
This is the first egg, with the embedded pieces of wool. It feels beautiful; smooth and cool, fitting seductively into the palm of the hand. I reckoned the embedded wool would help the small pieces of embroidered curtain net stick firmly with fabric glue. I made various clumps of French Knotting next to each other on a piece of netting, adjusting shading slightly from piece to piece. The completed pieces were cut out and arranged in different ways on the egg (this is about 1 x 1.5 inches) before gluing them on.
This was successful as a technique, and I could see myself making these for Easter. If the netting is well covered and the Knots glued on well, these could look intriguing and novel and I think the technique has possibilities. But, but, but .. this pretty egg doesn’t set my enthusiasm on fire. The technique of gluing embroidery to hard surfaces does though.
These are the other eggs. The top left and top right are the same egg and shows faint impressions of the membrane from the inner surface. The middle right is Sculptamold, whose lumpier surface is apparent here. It is very light compared to the plaster eggs, whose water does not gradually evaporate but is involved in the chemical reaction that makes them solid. (This is frightfully nerdy, but I find it interesting). Bottom left is Sculptamold which has been smoothed with my fingers and then carved into. Bottom right is Sculptamold which has had threads tightly wrapped around it while it was still wet, and therefore they embed themselves into the material.
These eggs look good as a group, and it would be interesting to experiment further. They relate to Textiles more than the other pieces I have made but, as mentioned earlier, I just don’t feel very enthusiastic about them. I can’t relate them to a feeling, an idea or an event. They would be most successful displayed alongside other things, for example the plant, as shown above.