Like Ann, I have been having a busy time since the last post. I was all set to head to Oakville then my trip was postponed to next week. So I am packed, but still need to find the camping cots we bought years ago to sleep on. They are nowhere to be found so we went out to Canadian Tire and bought a new one. I have been refining my notes on the chickadee as I made another armature. (well you just saw that so I don’t think you will be much interested in seeing a second bird so much like the one Mom got and liked! But I fear Ann’s Cookies may have been more appreciated!) The bird is now living in her living room by the window. I did have something I wanted to investigate further and now might be the right time to get part one started. This will have a time component so I will not make a full report now.
Surface Control – looking at Hair Spray and styling gel, initial investigation.
Last week I was wondering about how to reduce the flyaway fuzziness of Mom’s Chickadee. I eventually took matters in hand with a pair of fine sharp pointed scissors. This did quite a respectable job, but I had considered other options. Spray fixatives were used with pastels at school and being cheap art students we often bot inexpensive hair spray rather than proper artist fixative. Will hair spray work on wool? Let’s Investigate!!
When considering fixatives/ hair spray there are a number of factors to investigate.
- Does it hold the fuzz in check when initially applied (I was using the product instruction for distance for spraying.)
- Dose the hold lasts more than a few hours or days?
- Does it discolour the wool?
- Are there any other changes in the wool that is noticeable at the time of spraying, or over time?
Off to the Dollerama to find cheap hairspray! On previous visits, I had seen hair spray and hair gel (Glenn uses it to keep his hair neatly in a ponytail for work.) I found two hairsprays that looked interesting.
1 the subjects of investigation.
The “Blue sample” was Finesse – Superior hold Firm Unscented Hairspray, it boasted a weightless, dry finish. The instructions are shake can then hold 20-30 cm away from hair (in my case wool)
The “Pink Sample” Was Salon Selective all day Volumizing Stay Put, Extreme Hold, enriched with argan oil from Morocco. ( I have no idea what that is but it sounds impressive!) The instructions are to shake the can and hold 20 to 25 cm away from hair/wool.
The “Black Sample” was AXE Styling Adrenaline Spiked-Up Look Extreme Hold Gel. Instructions, use a fingertip amount mix vigorously then style through hair.
The “None Sample” was Core wool from World of Wool in the UK, just the wool covered by a piece of card stock to keep the sun off.
What I have learned so far: hairsprays have long names and seem slightly pompous in their extremeness. (No Hair products were harmed in this experiment and all hairspray will go to Glenn at the completion of this investigation.)
Next, I made the test felt pieces using the World of wool Core wool that I had hand carded. I made a sample 7 inches long and about 3 inches wide. I used a bit of light blue merino yarn to mark off the sections.
2 making the needle felted wool sample
3 dividing the sample into sections for each application and a control or None section.
I masked off the sections that were not getting the spray treatment to reduce cross-contamination of the samples.
4 Prep to spray the blue sample
5 Blue spay applied
6 parted off the excess and tried to compress the wool. Wax paper may have been a better choice, next time!
The Blue sample is unscented (mostly) and it gave a good light coverage at 30cm.
Next cover that sample and on the pink spray.
7 pink sample was much wetter than the blue spray.
This gave a lot more wetness both on the surface and into the wool but it was also held at the suggested 20-25cm for this product.
Next up was the black sample
8 I borrowed Glenn’s hair gel from the bathroom.
For this one, since I had to apply it to the surface I made little finger circles on the top half and stroked the felt in one direction on the bottom. It took a couple of fingers’ worth of gel to get the surfaced covered. The circular motions loosened up a few strands of wool but seemed to have stuck the surface down. It remained damp long after both Blue and Pink were dry.
9 On the back of each sample I sewed on a tag saying which sample it was.
Then I covered the thin “None” sample on the right so it would not be in the sun.
10 the sample
Hum, maybe I should change that to half in the sun half out of the sun so we can see if the plain wool will change colour in the light…. Give me a moment I will fix that.
11 the upgraded sample
OK, now we can check if wool left in a window will change colour in the sun. (It may lighten I suspect, but let’s see if my hypothesis is correct.)
12 L to R; Pink, Blue and Black
|Sample||fuzz check at application||Will the hold last||Is there any discolouration at the application||Is there any discolouration over time||other changes noticeable when applied or over time|
|Black||Least fuzzy * see other||Slightly shiny or more reflective||Surface is compacted more than other samples also has the firmest surface|
|Blue||Second least fuzzy||Not noticeable||Closest to None sample|
|Pink||3rd fuzziest||Not noticeable||2nd firmest surface|
Now we have gathered all the data to begin this experiment. We will have to return to this in a few weeks or a couple of months and see if we can see a change. By then I may have finally cleaned up my desk again, how does it get so messy?
Next week I will be off in Oakville likely working on the project I have started for Glenn. He has had only had one picture felted for him so far so I think he needs a sculpture. Here is the fabric that I hope will be part of his accessories (the sculpture, not Glenn).
14 it’s not the plaid I was looking for but it may work.
Have fun and keep felting!