ATV - Pt2 - PJ1 - Creating Surfaces · Textiles 1: A Textiles Vocabulary

Folds, Tears and Circles

Power tools scare me, they’ve always made me nervous and they never fail to make me jump! 

This happened at least once today as I ventured into the world of manipulating paper with grinders and sanders. 

This pretty gold tool (that’s the technical term!) was satisfying but a little bit too rough for my liking. It had a habit of swirling big bits of paper away from the layers and I didn’t feel any where near enough in control of what I was doing. 


In the end the whole front sheet of the layering was whipped lose by my over enthusiastic hole making. It was a happy accident and I really like this top sheet glued onto a new background layer.


So I changed the fitting for the rest of the circles and used a flat circular grinding stone. 

I like the little green half moons and the rubbed rings of texture (that sounds like somewhere on the moon!)



I’ve also been having a play with flexible filler to add some texture and as an alternative to PVA for sticking together layers of paper.


This gave me some great texture but made the paper feel quite thick. Using it with Modge Podge glue made the paper very wet and this resulted in delicate papers becoming mushy. 

It didn’t help that I had rubbed a juicy succulent leaf into the mushy mess.


I wanted to find a way to adher the layers but not have to slop on lots of glue, even if it does dry clear. Again, I had the uneasy feeling of not having enough control over the layering.

This led me to have a dig around in my workroom and to finding a tin of 505 spray, its a fabric glue that’s not designed to be permanent. There was nothing left in my can of 606, the permanent version so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the 505 holds on because this is paper and not heavy fabric.

The spray has allowed me to make a couple of samples with more defined and controlled folds.

On the next folded experiment I used a pocket file, much less scary than the power tool to mold and define the folds.


I used the spray to layer up some lighter papers on a sheet of bark paper and used another pocket file and the flat circle grinder to create some lines, folds and signs of general ‘wear and tear’. 

The file was particularly good for embedding the layers into each other.

I felt like I was getting into a rhythm then and I worked another piece of light paper glued onto painted cartridge paper, slashed with the grinder. Then more tissue paper spray glued into place with more grinding and filling. 

Next came some slightly more defined lines I made with what was left of the cartridge paper and lots more tissue paper.

I continued to explore using the same process and rhythm and put together this final piece. I particularly like the feeling of seams and slashing.



I’ve decided that I now have enough surfaces to stitch and it’s time to start considering and planning what I am going to stitch.

 This fills me with excitement and trepidation, but first, where did I put that copy of Selvedge?  Said the procrastinator to the student!! 

2 thoughts on “Folds, Tears and Circles

  1. Some pretty amazing papers there! I have read that one might also use the paste used to glue wall paper (can’t think of the name right now). I believe it was in a book by Cas Holmes. Have only tried it once but seemed OK, not so heavy.


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