My initial thoughts about wrapping were that the process would involve concealing the object within; very quickly I learned this doesn’t have to be the case.
Almost as soon as I started to record the wrappings by drawing, I realised that this technique is really useful for revealing information about an object’s form. When I draw, I am constantly considering which angle line best describes the shape of an object, once the object has been wrapped with a linear material, like a yarn, some of that decision making as already been made for me. I found this made drawing a more straight forward process.
At first, I wrapped very closely and carefully to the outline of the object, which served to soften the edges but still maintained the original silhouette. I felt this was a similar approach to that used by Joana Vasconcelos in her crochet skin series. Here she wraps (imprisons or protects) faience created by a renowned male artist in a web of femininity and domesticity. Although she changes the appearance of the objects she is not seeking to alter the shape or form, it is left to the viewer to determine whether the lacy covering is concealing or revealing the slightly threatening animals within.
I next decided to alter the silhouette of the object through wrapping, drawing the conclusion that this could be done in two ways: by changing the way I wrapped or by changing the material I wrapped with.
The above samples show how I tried to control the areas that built up in an orderly way, typically interested in the patterns I could create. I think it would have been interesting to develop this by adding another smooth layer on top of this, perhaps of paper mache, modroc or stretchy elastic material like tights?
Since I had been thinking about the way Vasconcelos challenges beliefs about femininity and domesticity in her work I thought I would try to imprison the spoon (an object that I would say has definite connotations of women in the home). I’m not sure the message I was trying to get across in this sample comes through, in actuality it speaks to me more about the way Corsetry has been used to reveal and conceal the female form over the years. I keep returning to the V&A Undressed Exhibition, this is something that interests me very much.
I then moved on to a more haphazard style of wrapping:
I preferred working on the more organised wrapping (no surprise there!) but the haphazard looping and tangling produced better textures and shapes to draw.
I used different ‘yarns’ to straight wrap the spoon to investigate how the thickness and texture could mask the shape. A really thick chunky yarn made little difference, although I noticed the ply of the yarn and its slightly fuzzy aura became more of a focus for me as I drew. Other experiments with a soft, silky eyelash yarn, a scratchy plastic yarn with a double snarl and plastic strimmer line had more definite effect.
I have recently become interested in weaving, I was in awe of the woven diptych by November Hoibo at the Entangled Exhibition because of the way she mixes textures within a single piece (combining wool with plastic, tulle and cut fabrics) something I long to be able to do. I have begun some experiments of my own and quickly observed that weaving seems to be a short hand for knitting. I have always knitted but now find I can only do it for very short periods of time because it is so labour intensive and hurts! If it is true that weaving is a faster way to knit then I propose that wrapping is even quicker! I think this makes it easier to pull the yarn of the spoon every time a sample is completed and to begin again.