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Armature experiment 2; Adhesion and Rotation of the wool on wire

Armature experiment 2; Adhesion and Rotation of the wool on wire

While making samples for the study group investigation of wire for armatures I have noticed that there have been differences in getting the wool to adhere to the wire and sometimes this seems to be leading to rotational movement of the wool on the armature.

While the rotational movement of upper quads on many of the leg samples would be reduced if a pelvis/hips had been added. I was still interested in investigating further.  Since there may be a shape I would like to make that does not terminate with a hand or foot.  Maybe a tentacle or spout?

The underlying problem may be adhesion to the wire. When twisted there is a bit of improvement in wool adhesion over the single untwisted wire.  This could be improved by adding a pipe cleaner (now called “Chenille Stems” since there are fewer pipe smokers who need to clean their pipes) which allows the wool something to grip as it is wrapped.

Sample 1; Untwisted 6ga aluminum wire with pipe cleaner on the loop half of the sample and Floral tape on the second half.

1 Pipe Cleaner wrapped 6ga aluminum.

One of our study group had been instructed to add tape to specific areas of her armature. I had at first thought this may be for added strength or stiffness to that section. Then, wondered if it was for improved adhesion to use the wool to strengthen the section with tape. I did a sample of a single 6ga/4mm wire with pipe cleaner on half the length and floral tape on the other half to compare adhesion. I had the upper quads on the leg sample to use as a bare wire sample.

Floral tape is a strange thing to work with. It is dry and a bit wrinkly until you give it a gentle tug, then it turns sticky especially when wrapped over itself. I did discover the stickiness does not last forever or even very long. So, only wrap the section you will be working on.

2-4  Pipe cleaner and Floral tape over a single wire

In sample 1; 6ga aluminum ½ Pipe Cleaner (loop end) and ½ floral tape.

Rotation is present, greater in the pipe cleaner section than in the floral tape.

Flexion test;     – both sections will make a sharp bend but are vary stiff due to the gauge.

I am also curious to see if with a weaker gauge wire if a duct tape or gorilla tape may give restrictions to bending in the section where applied. I may try a sample with the floral tape over the top since I suspect the adhesion will not be enhanced with duct or similar tapes.

5 Duct Tape and Gorilla tape. (Gorilla tape is an extra sticky extra strong version of Duct tape.)

I sampled with 18ga aluminum so it would show flexibility more than the 6ga I had been using. Note that the aluminum I have presently at this gauge is intended as picture wire and it is not coated. If you are selecting aluminum, try to perches the coated wire since it will not leave dirty marks on your fingers.

6-7 Residue from uncoated aluminum and what was on the empty plate (in case you were curious).

The two wire samples were about 10 inches long, which I divided into approximately 3rds. 2/3rds I twisted together and one-third was left single.  I put a small open loop on the single end and the fold on the other end created a longer loop. I wrapped as tightly as I could the middle section with gorilla tape. This covered about half of both single and double twisted 18ga wire.

8-9 bare wire and gorilla tape and sample covered in wool for flexibility test

In sample 2; 18ga aluminum ½ single/ ½ Doubled with center 1/3rd wrapped in Gorilla tape.

Rotation is present and seems equal in all sections.

Flexion test;       –  single could make a sharp bend

                            –  Taped section could make a curved bend

                            –  Doubled could make a sharp bend

 

For sample 3, I used 18ga aluminum as before,  ½ single/ ½ Doubled with center 1/3rd wrapped in Gorilla tape. This time I added floral tape over all sections in hopes to increase adhesion

10-11 Bare-wire, wire with tape added (about 6 wraps)

12 Test bending with tape to see how the tape was resisting making a sharp bend.

13 covering wire and tape with Floral tape with the hopes of increasing adhesion and decreasing the rotational movement of the wool around the wire.

 

In sample 3; 18ga aluminum ½ single/ ½ Doubled with center 1/3rd wrapped in Gorilla tape. Floral tape over all sections in hopes to increase adhesion.

Rotation is minimal to not noticed across all sections.

Flexion test;        – single could make a sharp bend

                             – Taped section could make a curved bend

                             – Doubled could make a sharp bend

 

14 Sample 3 with wool, checking flexibility in all test sections.

The use of tape may be helpful in spots where you want to allow a curve but not a sharp bend. The amount of tape (number of wraps) will change the amount of flexion in the wire. If you want to use tape to restrict a sharp bend, more sampling may be required. While the gorilla tape adhered to the wire and itself, the wool did not adhere well to it without the addition of the floral tape. The use of the two tapes together may have merit in a particular application.

 

The Rotational movement component may not be a problem when working on a large or thick figure or object but may be more problematic on fine legs or other skinny appendages. In this case, the assist of floral wire may be very helpful.  Another future investigation for thin appendages would be to investigate the use of waxes to assist adhesion.  Wax has also been used to create surface smoothing as seen in some felters’ bird legs. Although that may partly get beyond the parameters of wire, it may be well worth further investigation. unfortunately, I will leave that for another day.

PS; while Glenn was spellchecking (if there are more spelling errors blame me I think I have broken his spelling), he suggested I try the sticky cloth medical tape it may give an improved adhesion over the bare wire. I suspect it would likely have a bit more flexibility than gorilla tape and be a bit more expensive than floral wire. (Drat now I have to go look and see if we have any medical tape!!)

 

Nuno Wall Hanging

Nuno Wall Hanging

Since I started felting, my daughter in law Lia has been fascinated with the nuno textures.  So, a while back we shopped for some fabrics we thought may go with her decor and she picked colors.  Unfortunately, after making samples, the gold polyester fabric we chose even with open weave did not felt well.

She loved one scarf I had made in particular that I had hand dyed.  So, I went to plan B and dyed more silk gauze and merino.  She picked out the wool colors for accents.

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Originally it was planned to be a very big wall hanging and I calculated a 50% shrinkage rate that I had achieved with the scarf.  I had to recruit another table and used boards on top to give it more length and width to do the layout and felting. I couldn’t even get the whole table in the pic and I was standing on a high chair.

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What was really fun was flipping it over to layout on the other  side. Not.

When the first side was layed out, I wet it down and began my rubbing until I felt the fibers were catching enough to flip it.  I did the same on the second side before I began the rolling.

The process went quicker than I expected and the shrinkage more than I wanted.  But the ruching was what I wanted. I had to square it up and then figure out how to hang it. So, I pinned it to a towel and let it dry.

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But when dry I noticed there were big spots that were bubbled up.  It didn’t help the shape for hanging so I added some wisps of fiber and felted them in and had to re-block it and wait for it to dry again.  Fortunately, I put enough fiber around it to get the edges to roll in for a nice finish.  But I still had to figure out how to keep it’s shape for hanging.

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After adding extra fiber to fill in big bubbles.

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Lia didn’t want to put it under glass, but wanted to keep it floating against the wall. I wasn’t sure what a framer would suggest so I came up with an interim solution. I had some thin wire that I sewed around the edges trying to keep it concealed. It gave the nuno felt more stability and shape.  I didn’t want to invest too much time in the event she didn’t like it or wanted to take it to the framer.  There were a couple of spots I wrapped in scraps of silk that showed thru the front.  I tried hanging it on the wall to see how it would look.  It’s hard to see the detail.

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I felt if she liked it I could wrap the wire later and sew the wrapped wire  back on.

20150624_141143The nice thing about the wire it can be bent to help shape it.  It is not totally a rectangle and has a couple of tails, but it’s an original.

I haven’t been back to Florida, but I sent it for their anniversary and it’s now hanging on the wall and I’m told she loves it.

It doesn’t show here in these photos, bu the wall color is a very light yellow.

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Smartly hung high enough so the boys can’t pull it down.

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What do you think of adding two narrow panels one on each side to help fill up the wall?

 

 

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