Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Large Stained Glass LXXXV

 (Above:  Detail of Large Stained Glass LXXXV.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

I finished Large Stained Glass LXXXV last Saturday.  My husband Steve came into the garage just at the perfect moment to capture still images and a couple videos of the final melting steps.  I posted these to Facebook and got lots and lots of positive feedback.  Yet, I couldn't take final pictures for my blog until today.

 (Above:  One of Steve's photos from the melting stage of melting.)

Until this morning, I've been waiting for my weekly delivery of mat board and moulding.  Pieces this size have to be stitched to over-sized mat board in order for me to photograph.  So ... here it is:

 (Above:  Large Stained Glass LXXXV.)

Large Stained Glass LXXXV measures 56" x 16" unframed and is 63" x 23" framed.  It was created from layers of polyester stretch velvet fused to recycled, black industrial packaging felt.  Free-motion machine stitching is done using only 100% cotton thread.  Then comes the FUN part ... melting!

 (Above:  Detail of the top of Large Stained Glass LXXXV.)

I first spent hours melting holes through the fabric using three different sizes of soldering irons.  Because all the layers are made from synthetic material, the heat from the soldering iron just melts straight through.  Then, I flip on my industrial heat gun and aim toward the space between the polyester velvet shapes.  This is the "thinnest layer".  It is simply the industrial felt ... also a synthetic.  It is often difficult to explain this in words which is why THIS VIDEO is helpful.  

 (Above:  Detail of the "rose window" portion of Large Stained Glass LXXXV.)

Want more of the melting process? CLICK HERE for a continuation of the melting!  Please notice that I am wearing a carbon filtering ventilator mask.  The fumes from melting polyesters is toxic.  

 (Above:  Another detail of Large Stained Glass LXXXV.)

The success of my work is based on the fact that synthetic materials melt and natural materials don't melt.  Each of my works is stitched using only 100% cotton thread.  The cotton thread doesn't melt.  It stays and holds the various shapes together!

Here are some of the still images that Steve took in the garage.  Generally, I melt from the reverse.

I hold the heat gun rather close to the packaging felt and aim for the space between the shapes.

The final step is using one of the soldering irons to release the piece from the stretcher bars.  I always have my work stapled to stretcher bars because the melting process would otherwise shrink the artwork!


Els said...

What a beauty, Susan !!!
(and soooooooo much work !)

Vivien Zepf said...

Lovely! Never would have thought that you melt from the back!!

Margo Duke said...

You are one amazing creative lady!!!