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Textile Hybrids

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posted on 09.03.2020 by Anne Marr, Rebecca Hoyes

Over the past four years the authors have been working on exploring the boundaries between textiles and ceramics with an aim to use process-led open-ended research to develop new hybrid materials. The exhibition includes two different series of work 'Glaze Grids' as well as "Hybrid prototypes 001'.

These series of modular glazed ceramic pieces explore the fusing, melting and glazing possibilities of basalt and silica and have resulted in new research findings as well as prototypes for potential interior applications.

Basalt and silica are used industrially for its strengthening and reinforcing properties and the authors research explores new material potential for the fusion of heat-resistant textile materials with clay and in its application as a glaze medium.

For "Hybrid prototype 001" (2014-2016) the authors tested how hybrid amalgams of silica, basalt and porcelain slip would withstand the extreme temperatures required of the firing process. Fusing clay with high-tech textiles, and looking to retain the tactile qualities of hard and soft, their playful process-led approach created unexpected outcomes by capturing the instant act of knotting into ceramic artefacts. The hybrid material outcomes and experiments, using direct glazing onto textiles, offer new future material possibilities for design applications.

“Glazed grids” (2016-2017) investigates and exploits the specific melting and fusing points of basalt, the resulting material hybrids, in the form of prototype modular tiles. Through careful control of temperature a range of colours, material finishes and soft grid textures were created – intricately fusing woven textile structures into ceramic glaze. By using woven basalt structures and basalt-based glazes the authors experimented with different firing temperatures in order to manipulate colour shades as well as controlling the tipping point from textiles into hybrid materiality.

The results are a playful range of interactive pattern combinations which can be generated by combining the geometric tiles modules – with a proposed applications for architectural and interior environments.

Processes used:

  • 573C Quartz inversion – clay becomes ceramic
  • Firing - 600C Biscuit firing of clay
  • Fusing -1100C basalt mesh is fused with glaze
  • Glazing -1060-1280C Basalt and other glazes
  • Basalt melting 1290C

Futurescan 4: Valuing Practice Exhibit
University of Bolton
23-24 January 2019

Photographs by Tony Radcliffe and Di Downs.

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