Friday, May 24, 2013

the kelp fascination continues

 Two weeks in a bucket of water does not make for sweet smelling kelp.... There was an odd smell in the studio competing with the already sulphurous indigo vat (which has more than a little of the brimstone and flick of pointy tail about it). I took the lid off the kelp vat and reeled back. I had been meaning to get back to the kelp after my initial experiments and clearly it was now or never to play with the rest.
So I took the bucket outside and tipped the water under the lemon tree - rinsed the kelp several times and went back to the studio to play.
I have been wanting to make something inspired by the Indonesian Batak divination books and the Chinese pillow books - in fact I had been saving a piece of written over momigami that I made at least 4 years ago to turn into just such a book.

I tore the momogami in half lengthwise, folded it, bored holes down one side with an awl and stitched with red silk.
Then I sandwiched the folded paper between 2 pieces of kelp and stitched that.  The kelp still had structural integrity but was incredibly slimy and slippery and again I had to wrestle with it to keep it in the bucket on my lap as it seemed intent on legging it out of the studio.
 My tolerance for slime and bolshy kelp was rather taxed by now but I didn't want to waste the remaining kelp and I wanted to incorporate some fabric that had been soaking in the same bucket.  I ended up stitching the fabric (a piece of vintage linen and some hand loomed Indian silk from Fiona Wright) to the kelp then rolling it and stab stitching it, leaving a tattered streamer of kelp trailing from the roll.
They are slowly drying out and distorting


Living to work - working to live said...

Am I right in thinking that you sewed with the wet kelp? Which rather begs the question, what's the smell like now?

Felicity said...

I did - it was slippery and rather revolting, but the kelp dries and shrinks and has very little smell at all.