I wasn’t sure if I should post this here or on my AIPLW blog, but opted for here. AIPLW is more for strict pin loom weaving activities. Nevertheless, I certainly could have started there and ended up here which would probably be a waste of time, so . . .
I’m working on a collage (which is remarkable since I generally have difficulty with collage) and I needed some mesh for a bird cote.
I considered cheesecloth, a rubber stamp of cheesecloth, and window screen mesh, but none were suitable. Somewhere in The Stash I have some mesh fabric, but from what I remember, it would be iffy and who wants to go on a fabric stash search?
SOLUTION: Weave a square with very fine thread!
I thought about using gray thread, but didn’t want to chance it being the wrong shade. And very fine thread would need to fixed in some way to keep the woven piece from losing its structure so, since this is mixed media, I think I found a good solution.
I remembered this Micaceous Iron Oxide paint I have. It’s dark gray and has a bit of texture to it. It’s not too sparkly, but might have a glint or two. It would add a little weight and color to the thread, and I think it will look great in the collage. I used glazing medium to give it a thinner consistency and to lighten the weight of the paint a bit.
First, LEAVE THE FINISHED PIECE ON THE LOOM.
Put painter’s tape on the inside of all the pins to protect them from paint.
I cut some cardboard and foam core to 5 3/8 inches square to fit inside my loom, under the woven piece. I needed a few layers to support the weavie and lift it slightly up from the surface of the loom.
I recommend preparing some paper (about 5 3/8″ square) in advance for taking prints from your painted weaving.
Mix the paint and glazing medium. Use a wide brush (mine was 1″) and apply the paint lightly over the surface of the weaving. It was relatively easy to avoid the edges closest to the pins.
When finished painting, lift the loom off the supports. At this point you might want to take some prints from your support and/or the piece of weaving (still on the loom). I got some good prints.
I have a small brayer which came in handy when taking the prints from the piece still on the loom.
When finished taking prints, remove the tape, rearrange the woven thread with a fork, if necessary, and leave the square on the loom while it dries. Glaze medium slows the drying process.
It took about a half hour to dry (thanks to hot summer in arid Utah). I inched the threads carefully, carefully to the tips of the pins before finally removing the square from the loom. (BTW, there were little bits of paint on the frame, but they were easy to scrape off—the sooner, the better.) It’s delicate, but the mesh is fixed in place; the square is stiff. The results may not be stunning to look at yet, but I tried the mesh on in front of the birds and it’s the exact effect I wanted. The 6-inch square is enough to cover all sides of the coop.
Now, to finish that collage . . .
. . . aaaaaaaaaaaaaand, many hours later (including overnight glue drying time), voila!
The finished product is lovely. The faux-wire cage looks just right. Thank you for sharing your clever techniques and the stunning end result !
Thank you for the kind words Margaret! You’re very welcome. You know, I actually considered trying to weave with wire . . . for about half a second.
Brilliant! Great work!