Monday, 29 September 2014

‘Water fan’: silk paper and lace

I often combine lace and silk paper when I want to be able to see through the lace but need a strong, translucent structure for holding it in place; my ‘Water fan’ is a good example. I wanted to produce a fan that would be practical but simple to make so I started with a piece of wire bent to a fan shape and designed some lace to fit across the shape.


I then placed a layer of plastic over the pattern and laid down the first layer of silk fibres roughly across the fan shape leaving a channel for the lace.


I then put the wire in place making sure the edges were on the silk fibres. Then I carefully placed the lace across the channel left between the areas of silk paper and attached it to the wire frame. To attach the lace to the silk paper I looped extra threads along the edges of the lace which were then smoothed into the silk area. This is the fiddly part and you might need to use tweezers or a cocktail stick to manoeuvre the threads.


Once the lace was in place I carefully placed another layer of silk fibres over the first layer to trap the lace threads in a sandwich of silk fibres. I also made sure the wire frame had a layer of silk above and below it so the frame was secured.


Once everything was in place I placed a layer of net over the whole thing, sprayed it gently with warm water and patted in down to make a flat slightly damp layer. Then I sprayed it with diluted acrylic gloss medium, and used a stencil brush to make sure the adhesive had penetrated all the layers. I then left it all to dry. When it was dry I removed the net layer and gently peeled the fan off the plastic. Although it looks delicate, it is quite robust and can be used as a fan.


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