As well as oxidising and reticulation we also experimented with putting pieces of annealed gilding metal through rollers and by placing textured items such as fabric, snakeskin, feathers etc on top, impressing the surface of the metal with the imprint of the item.
A grid like jute ‘ribbon’ that came round a bunch of flowers. This went through about three times, with the ‘ribbon’ moved slightly each time.
Chenille thread, wound round the gilding metal rectangle before I ran it through the rollers. Patterned on both sides but the chenille turned to dust as it came through.
Stick-on round dots, the sort of thing you get to decorate hand made cards, turned into ovals by the pressure. I love this – it’s like bubbles.
The night I did the bubbles I really wasn’t getting anywhere at all. Other stickers that I used just crumpled into a mess, the reticulation wasn’t working and I felt I was getting nowhere.
I had hoped to imprint some gilding metal with a lovely piece of antique crocheted lace, but it had turned to dust under the rollers and left a splodgy mess in the metal. I annealed it again, ran it through the rollers like home made pasta to stretch the metal out and then tried a piece of silk carrier rod. It didn’t make much of a pattern, just faint lines…
…but importantly, it the silk didn’t crumble like the cotton had, not even after several trips through the rollers. Silk. High tensile strength. I went home and hunted out samples of textured, embroidered or woven fabric in either silk or purely man-made fibres.
The first piece I tried was a motif of concentric circles in pure polyester.
Not only did it imprint brilliantly, it was also strong enough to do two more pieces before the pressure of the rollers started to destroy the fabric.
You can see the central shape, which was a circle with no stitching, starting to distort through the three pieces, but it proved that my theory was a good one.
I want to make a tiny book locket/pendant with the two bottom pieces, another one with fabric (probably very fine silk) pages, hence the piercing you can see starting along one edge.
It has to be fabric and metal. Silk and metal for preference but textiles have to be in there somewhere. Now I know how I can combine them it feels like a weight has lifted.