Trapping

Trapping is a technique that I have recently become increasingly interested in within my art practice in textiles. More specifically the way in which an item can be suspended in time, preventing it from being subject to decay, is a quality that helps me to provoke a lot of questions. With great influence from Jennifer Collier, who is more specifically a paper textiles artist, I have started to trap flowers using a variety of her techniques and processes; from bonding and waxing to trapping and stitch. Incorporating various materials and developments has led me to produce a plethora of different trapped flowers and observe which have the best outcomes highlighting a range of qualities within the piece itself.

Firstly using Colliers technique of trapping; I emptied out the granules from a teabag and placed my small flowers that I wanted to trap inside the pocket. Then I lit a candle and allowed the hot wax to drip all over the teabag and seal it closed. Once the entire surface of the teabag was covered I placed it between several sheets of newspaper and gently ironed over the piece to flatten the flowers, melt the wax and ensure that everything was trapped perfectly. As the heat begins to melt the wax completely the teabag absorbs it, resulting in the fabric to become transparent, and the flowers trapped inside are clearly visible. This technique also works with tissue paper if you would like to trap items that are much bigger than the size of a teabag. I am particularly pleased with how well small delicate flowers take to this technique, as I was unsure whether or not they would burn under the heat of both the wax and the iron. I also think that the final outcome lends itself to be worked into even further with the use of stitch for example to highlight certain finer areas around the flower stems.

Flower trapped teabag
Flowers trapped in a teabag with wax
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