These are my intial samples to portray the idea of metamorphic decadence.
At the early stage in my development process I have chosen to use pattern within my work as a means to convey the idea of indulgence in excess, I have deliberately tried to use harmful techniques such as verdigris or bleed dyes to put across the idea of distressed whilst also changing ever so slightly over time to fully relate these samples back to my project title.
The above image shows my first attempt at verdigrised gilt copper leaf, although it is quite rough and unrefined in appearance it is very exciting to see that gilt copper leaf can be verdigrised. For this sample I first created a back layering of gesso which I then gilt using real copper leaf on an acrylic size, then I added the pattern on top by placing a reduced adhesive vinyl which I used to control the application of varnish. I applied two coats of varnish to this piece then brushed on bleach to speed up the natural verdigris process.
This has been partially successful by showing that verdigrising copper gilding is possible and creating a pattern through this process, I think using bleach as an agent to speed up the verdigris was too harmful and destroyed the varnish as well in some areas.
The above sample documents my exploration into inlaying pieces of copper into gesso to create a smooth surface that resembles marquetry, I am very pleased with this outcome.
I really like the combination of the dark lightly textured gesso alongside the dimpled shiny copper. Now that I have developed this technique I think it could be really interesting to add more pattern onto the copper shapes through verdigris, acid etching or perhaps sandblasting
This above image is easily my favourite of these samples, I think it is has a beautiful aesthetic from the combination of contrasts between; the high shine gilt surface and the matte dusky blue gesso work, and between the colour choice which verges on complementary colours blue and orange.
To add the idea of distressed into this sample I kept a very high refined finish but distressed the pattern imagery used by gradually fading out the design taking elements of the details away as if there was only elements of the pattern left behind.
The above sample derives from a happy accident, my intention was to create a sample where the copper gilding was raised slightly above the coloured gesso. So I dyed my gesso a strong dark blue and then placed a vinyl stencil on top, and used an acrylic size to apply the copper leaf. A couple of days later I resumed work on this sample hoping that the leaf would be firmer and ready to remove the vinyl stencil hidden underneath. However over these couple of days the dye in the gesso had bled and dyed the copper leaf also, creating a slightly subtler pattern than intended but it has great interest when manipulated against light.
To develop this I need to explore further into dyed copper and discover a method to remove the vinyl sticker which I think may destroy this sample of found and removed by someone other than me and adds a personal element ofdisaffection for me knowing it could damage this sample.
I really like the above sample and the colour action change caused from the process used. To create this I was trying to create an embossed sheet of copper from a cardboard cutout . However of course the cardboard wasn’t strong enough to withstand the pressure of the roller and crumbled whilst also getting slightly attached to the copper surface.
Very carefully I decided instead to try to capture the cardboard in its current crumbled state whilst also capturing the tiles’s cut out pattern detail. To do this I mounted a mould around this copper tile which I filled with plaster, when I was remove img the plaster tole from the copper I noticed the copper had been discoloured by the plaster andalso small traces of plaster were left behind on the copper’s surface.
Above is the before moenitoned plaster cast crumbled cardboard cutout elements, I like the disruption of the pattern that this distructive process has caused and alonside the gold detailing this responds very well to my project intentions.
Copper gilt textured surface, created using a roller to apply the base layers of acrylic gesso, then dyed and coated in acrylic size and imitation copper gilded. In this sample I really love the effect the textured gesso has had on the copper gilding’s ability to reflect and manipulate light.As in one of my previous samples the dye used had also dyed the copper leaf, this has happened again, but in a slighter manner caused just occasional element of the copper to be affected. Perhaps it would be interesting to sand the surface gently and explore the results of this, whether it would reveal the coloured gesso below or just damage the copper leaf
Acid etched copper sheets created by covering the surface in a matte spray paint and then using a laser etcher to remove elements of the spray paint and form the pattern. Then I placed it in a acid bath for 30 minutes to etch the details of the laseretcher pattern into the copper’s surface, next I removed the protective spray paint and then polished up the copper sheet.
I think this is a really successful method to to use a distressing process to to retain an image on the samples’s surface whilst also keeping true to the idea of luxury and decadence.