This piece of work was made in response to the Lustrous Surfaces Exhibition at the V&A. I learnt that 10th Century Chinese Giangjin lacquer work had been the inspiration to earlier artists and its process became my starting point. Giangjin presses gold powder or foil into incised lines filled with an adhesive. Foiling onto fabric uses a not dissimilar process, open screen printing provided me with a direct way to achieve the shapes and patterns I wanted with the adhesive gum, onto which l heat pressed the gold foil. I used digital embroidery to replicate the flawless finish of the inlaid shell work. Fine black halos emerged around digital shapes which in themselves mimicked Giangjin work.
Giving some thought to the final composition, l used
the deliberate contrast of these 2 techiques to give an energy to the final
design. This satisfied my aims for the final outcome, a bookcover, chosen after seeing an example from Afghanistan in the exhibition.
Example of Giangjin lacquer
V&A collection reference number(s):