Monday, September 24, 2012

Is foam fabric?!!

On the weekend I did some embossing on foam.  I knew that you could heat foam up and then impress something for a stamp, but I hadn't thought of using that texture in a mixed media piece, until I happened to read it in several places.  I also knew that certain foams could be used as padding in embroideries and I thought, what if?
I had lots of foam scraps I got from a recycling depot and hadn't worked out what to do whith them other than make stamps, but for this experiment, I actually used stamps to make textures.
 Stamps like this with solid backs worked best.
Unmounted stamps and flexible texture plates like these did not work well unless I put a piece of plexiglass over them to even the pressure when I was pressing the texture in.
I forgot to take pictures of the process, but basically, I ironed the foam very briefly between baking paper sheets.  When you peel the paper off after ironing, the foam tended to roll up, but I quickly flattened it out with the stamp and pressed HARD.
Here are a selection of the foams I impressed.
And a close up of the texture.

After I had made quite a few of these with lots of different textures and impressions, I had a bit of fun with some paint.
These two were painted with bronze acrylic.  You can see the one on the left did not impress well in certain areas.  If this happens, you can reheat the foam and try again, but only once or twice.
These two were done using texture plates and a piece of plexiglass.  In the one on the left, I painted with gold paint.  If I did it again, I would use a colour that had more contrast with the white.  Theone on the right was rubbed with oil pastel.  I think oilsticks or a softer pastel would have worked better, however, the effect is quite dramatc.
The two blue pieces were done with diluted acrylic in a spray bottle and the more fluid paint pooled in the crevices, creatng great contrast.  The white sample was rubbed with a distess ink pad, but the colour was not very deep.  Worth a bit more work.
These two were painted with straight acrylic, the left, gold piece was impressed with a doily hardened with white glue and attached to wood as a stamp, which I love using.  The right piece used an unmounted rubber text stamp and plexiglass.
Because the foam was so thin (less than 1/4 in or 2-3mm), I wanted to sew on it.  It sewed extremely well.

The background for this journal quilt was made from scraps left over from a textile collage, which you will be able to see in a week or two as a video.  The strips are simply laid down, not glued pr pieced.  The landscape is a piece of foam impressed with a landscape stamp.  I painted the landscape in appropriate colours, then painted over with iridescent medium (a medium with mica in it).  I stitched it down free motion using a gold thread in all the stamp grooves and around the edge.  I did some scribbly circles around the landscape as a frame and stitched the background with vertical lines.
I made another one or two journal quilts, but put then in my sewing box for me to add some embellishment to - so no pictures :-(

Have fun creating!