SKILL LEVEL:  All Welcome

October 14 2017

St. James Episcopal Church, 11815 Seven Locks Road, Potomac, Maryland

1pm – 4.00pm

Members – $30

Non-Members – $40

Supply Fee – $5

 

Integumentary Experiments with Gut and Wire

in-teg-u-ment :  a natural outer covering such as the skin of an animal or the membrane enclosing an organ; a protective layer; something that covers or encloses; an enveloping layer.

In this class we will use wire and hog gut (sausage casings) to create free-standing sculptural forms and explore the metaphors that exist within the materials. There’s an interesting duality that exists between the rusting wire structures and the fragile membranes that covers them – thin skins stretched over skeletal frameworks that are simultaneously repulsive and attractive.

 

Participants can bring in personal ephemera such as small buttons, thread, bits of fabric such as dyed or rusted silk organza or old handwritten letters to embed in between layers of the gut creating a more expressive narrative piece.  Advance students can create multiple forms and move on to bifurcated shapes.

 

Sausage casings are clean and packed in salt water, however they do emit a slight odor, much like the sizing in watercolor paper. But the beauty is they stick to themselves! So when used like paper mache no other glues are required. They also stretch and conform as they dry and create unusual and luminous effects over found objects and steel wire. The casings can be dyed, painted or inked when wet. Or after they dry, they can be written on, painted, sewn, stapled, anything you can do to paper.

All participants to bring:

  • Various hand held plyers that are comfortable to use for long periods of time.

The best I’ve used are what jewelers use and are available in craft stores. Try to find them with a spring action that will open easily as you work. Students will need a round nose, a flat nose with teeth to grip the wire and one to cut the wire. These can usually be purchased together as a kit. These can also be shared but it’s nicer to have a set for each. (see photo)

  • scissors
  • a bowl for holding gut
  • hand towels
  • paint brushes (any kind is fine they will get ratty),
  • A couple of paper plates for matte medium
  • Wire:  at least 2 rolls of *19 gauge dark annealed steel wire in small rolls of 100 ft. *The dark annealed is important to getting the rusting look.  Other wires will work but they will have a different look. Copper or galvanized steel will work with different results. The gauge is important because this is the size that can be worked with the hands but also hold its shape when the gut starts to dry and shrink.
  • Liquitex Matte Medium. This is applied to the dried forms to prevent cracking and tearing. A little goes a long way.
  •  Hand lotion is good to have since the gut is salty and hands can get dry.
  • Wooden base(s). These can be various shapes and sizes from the craft store or even better – a small tree limb cut down into disks. Whatever makes sense but the organic nature of the branches would be nice. I’ve also used pieces of driftwood or large animal bones. Students may opt to not have a base too. (see photo)
  • Optional:  Participants may bring in personal ephemera such as small buttons, thread, bits of fabric such as dyed or rusted silk organza or old handwritten letters to embed in between layers of the gut creating a more expressive narrative piece.  Advance students can create multiple forms and move on to bifurcated shapes.

 

Supply List PDF

$5 Materials Fee includes:

  • Gut, gel medium, glitter spritz, fabric
  • Shimmer mist sprays (crylic thinned with water that works great on the gut)
  • Drill for class use