Playing with a hot glue gun!

For my experiments with printing and painting in Project 5 I used a hot glue gun to create some stencils for backgrounds and main features.  I also came across the use of a hot glue gun in the book Raising the Surface with Machine Embroidery by Maggie Grey (2006, Batsford, London).  This was not a method I have tried before so I decided to have a play.

For my first experiment I applied the glue to a sheet of baking parchment then laid a piece of silk chiffon on top while the glue was still hot.  I then did another layer of glue, and another piece of chiffon and finally more glue on top.  Between layers I put the piece in the fridge to speed up the process of cooling down the glue.

I applied rose gold and old gold acrylic paint to the surface glue using my fingers and finally used a heat tool to melt away areas of the chiffon.

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For my second experiment I thought I would try increasing the number of fabric layers and trying different fabrics.  I started with a base of felt, then a layer of chiffon, paj silk and chiffon on top.  All had glue layers in between and the final glue on the surface.

I stuck to a simple colour palette of black fabrics and black and silver acrylic paint.  This time I added some surface embroidery with chain stitch, trying out metallic and silk threads to see their effect before I melted areas again with a heat tool. The finer silks used on the surface did not show but bolder stitching in metallics worked well.

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I learned that there is no need to increase the number of layers and this can be a hindrance as the extra glue between them adds bulk and makes it harder to get the needle through for embroidery.  The number of layers and choice of fabric would depend on the purpose; I did think that adding a felt base gave an extra firmness and that perhaps the glue could be used as a moulding tool if the fabric was secured over a shaped surface before the glue was added – I can envision shaped wristbands, a gauntlet, bodice or armour type effect if it can be shaped effectively.

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