Tuesday, March 18, 2014

INDN 341: Idea Re-Re-Focus

So, after talking to my tutors, there has been another re-shuffle of my project. The potential of the project was questioned and I know that my tutors don't want me to make something that's just average. And I don't do average either.

I'm still going to work with the wool. After talking at great length with my tutor today, I realised that there was a lot of potential in the wool-PVA mix. The PVA reinforced the wool significantly and kept it from fraying, while the wool fibres did their part to keep the PVA together. Separately, the two components both lacked strength, but together, they combined the pest of both worlds.

What I plan on doing now is to combine the two together in a very use-driven concept. Rather than making a more abstract composition, I'm in stead going to make a rope. It's going to be a braided rope that should theoretically be significantly stronger than either the PVA or the wool on their own.

We got a delivery of different PVA today, namely stuff that came in a powder form, as opposed to a granule form. Apparently it's a clear type of PVA that is slightly easier to work with. WOW. Overstatement of the century much? I felt like I was working with epoxy, not PVA. I mixed it up in a trusty ice cream container, and it was fuuuuun.

As you can see here, it didn't initially dissolve like the other stuff I've worked with, but rather together in the water. When I started mixing it up, it started changing significantly. It actually started to turn into this foamy, gloopy stuff, which was EXTREMELY thick. Continuous additions of water made it less and less thick, and more foamy. Strange.

 This is the standard granulated stuff working it's more mundane magic. It just dissolves pretty cleanly into the water. This however actually wasn't what I wanted though, as the way I spread the stuff onto the wool worked much better with the thick stuff. The reason for this was that I wanted the PVA to stay around on the wool for much longer so it could really soak in.

The method that I used to treat the wool / plan to make the rope is as follows:

#1. Tear the carded wool lengths into roughly 1.5 meter lengths.
#2. Drench the wool in a bowl of water, ensuring the wool was thoroughly wet through, and then squeeze the water out.
#3. Lather my hands up in gloopy PVA-mixture. Smear and work it into the wool fibres, ensuring even coverage overall, as well as making sure the PVA wasn't clumping anywhere.
#4. Smooth the wool together to make the fibres adhere to each other, as well as to squeeze the excess water out.
#5. Hang out on the washing line to dry.
#6. (Hopefully) Success, followed by braiding the "rope" together.
#7. Prove strength of rope by suspending a small Japanese wrestler from the ceiling with it.

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