27 April 2017

Origins and potential of materials

I found  myself working with materials that I have owned for nearly forty years, dating from when I designed yarns for commercial use. This is in character with Slow Making, where the pace of a project is not dictated by immediate demands, but by a combination of skills and resources brought together for the task in hand.

Almost all materials used in this collaboration were considered a waste material in another setting and have been given an adapted use or form. Depending on resilience or adaptability of the materials they may be re-formed and used again in future.

I had not taken advantage of some of the yarn properties until now, the effects of natural or Ultra Violet light on artificial and natural fibres. The UV light is used in the lab to reveal changes that take place in cells as they deteriorate, I am using it to change the viewers perception of what is visible, the fibres sensitive to UV light are almost invisible in natural light.

The wave length of Ultraviolet light falls between 'visible light' and X-Rays, the human eye lacks colour receptor adaptations for ultraviolet rays. Polyester and polypropylene are made from processing oil and petroleum based chemicals, they reflect more UV light than natural fibres which is why the human eye can see them as brighter than other white yarns when the light is shone onto them