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Melisa Bonding and Fusing


5 sentences

1. To express 
2. To learn how to control materials 
3. To bond and collaborate 
4. To communicate with visuals  
5. To own my emotions


ESSAY digital craft

Making as a personal journey

My way of making comes from a personal interest and need. My mind can be all over the place and making something from scratch can get things straight for me. I'm not great with words and i tend to overthink things if i keep ideas in my head to long, so for me the process of making and reflecting makes things clear for me.

As a child my dad would always draw me, i would sit on a chair for hours sometimes so he could draw me, which i hated. It did inspire me to make myself, but my idea of art was somethinf that should be "pretty". I've been drawing since then and started cutting and pasting from magazines. I had concentration problems and when i started drawing portraits i noticed it calmed me down. When i was 18 i was accepted to the HKU, at the fine art department. It was a really hard, cause i learned that art didnt have to be visually pretty but needed a story. At that age especially it was hard for me to open up about myself and it still is.

i don’t like writing at all, so writing this is very hard for. I’m more a visual person and i find that explaining things takes away something away from the art. Like if you make a painting and call it the sea, the all people see is a sea, or at least look for one.

With making i like to find the line between expressing myself and keeping things questionable at the same time. As a person i’m not an open book and i’m trying to find ways to express as an artist, with or without opening up about myself. It’s a hard contradiction, but i’m figuring it out.

Making within the Fine Art Department

WDKA is mostly focussed on applied arts and i always felt like my department was very out of place. Showing process and communicating work is very essential, which i get, but it’s difficult for me cause i don’t work like that. I do make a lot of process, but at Fine Art my end work get’s rated. For me the proces can also be the end work sometimes, or even a part of the proces. There’s a never an assignment and lot of freedom for exploration whit-in my department.

Because the work that i make comes from a expressionist angle, it can make some things difficult. It needs a lot of concentration and discipline, which i sometimes lack. But my passion for making is mostly my drive, cause i do reallt enjoy making en facing problems to solve. It's sometimes tempting to run away from a project whenever i got stuck, cause it sometimes can really overwhelm me. I sometimes feel like problems and criticism effect me harder then most people, cause i work from such a personal angle. I'm still trying to learn to how to balance me as an artist and me as a person.

Making within digital craft

I chose Digital Craft as a practice cause it immediately spoke to me during the introduction hour. I always use craft in my work, as i'm not really interested in computer work. I do want to learn someday about using digital attributions as manipulation tools (i hope that's a clear sentence..). I work as a photographer and only use analog camera's with 35mm film. With the analog camera i feel like i make the pictures with my hands, as i develop and bath them myself. But i started using a scanner since recently, which makes it somewhat easier for me. It also takes away a personal touch from the making proces, but the digital developments within photography are really helpful sometimes, so i'm always trying to find a mid way. When i entered the course i wanted to work more with materials and hoped to be in the textile group. When i was put in the bonding group i was really disappointed, but i dealt with it pretty fast. It was very open for interpretation, which i liked.

i didn't really felt a connection to 3D printing and working with a textile was always in my head. But i've learned that latex isn't just a textile, it depends on how its made. as i looked deeper into it, natural rubber had always been used as a bonding tool! I wish i would have experimented more with it, but latex is such a beautiful material to me, i wanted it to stand out on itself. For the end work i used the backyard of my parents house, cause it's the place where i started making. I didn't process it unfortunately and at the presentation i couldn't really explain why i did it there. But it's just hard for me to explain myself, cause most of the time i don't even know what i'm doing until weeks after, when i'm doing another project and see the connection. That the downfall of working intuitive, but i'm trying to work on it.

i really enjoyed the making proces and i know i can get more out of it. unfortunately i'm slow in realizing stuff cause of my history as a maker where i didn't train myself in communication, which i do through my work. i want my work to be interpreted in any way possible. That's the fun for me as a maker. I'm a social artist, but not in the concrete/literal way where i react to heavy social issues, but more like giving people something personal from me where they are free to interpret however they want.

I'm mostly still searching for that line between autonomous and social work. I always rejected the social label, but i feel like what i make needs an audience, but i don't want to be depended on them. I really enjoyed this course and the workshop in Heerlen, cause the people there were really passionate about their craft and despite the flaws that i have, that's the kind of artist am in the end


Latex is a stable dispersion (emulsion) of polymer micro particles in an aqueous medium. It is found in nature, but synthetic latexes can be made by polymerizing a monomer such as styrene that has been emulsified with surfactants.

Latex as found in nature is a milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants (angiosperms). It is a complex emulsion consisting of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins, and gums that coagulate on exposure to air. It is usually exuded after tissue injury. In most plants, latex is white, but some have yellow, orange, or scarlet latex. Since the 17th century, latex has been used as a term for the fluid substance in plants. It serves mainly as defense against herbivorous insects. Latex is not to be confused with plant sap; it is a separate substance, separately produced, and with separate functions.===



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Latex is being used as a natural rubber to make gloves, ties and boots, for example. It takes several years for rubber tree to mature. After that you can slowly tap from the tree, a process that is still happening.

The colors of latex was determined by what kind of three it was made from. It also took several days of tapping for the rubber to recover and a lot of baths. Fire ovens were build with a smoke room above where the rubber hang for 5 days, in order to prevent mold.

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1. Started making prints with rubber, but it fused together

2. Working in layers to create rubber

3. Combining with textiles

It is usually applied using a disposable sponge and would take about five to ten minutes to dry depending on how thick it is applied. As it dries it solidifies to a rubbery consistency and in the processes ends up shrinking. As the latex dries it becomes very sticky and will stick to itself if accidentally folded over. Alternatively, shimmer powders can be dusted over dried liquid latex to create metallic effects. One advantage to the tackiness of liquid latex is that it can act as an adhesive to attach things to the paint. Liquid latex is removable by peeling it off since water does not reactivate it.

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Latex is usually used as a mal in the cheramic station, which i tried to avoid, by making the material the end piece. But to experience with it and push the material, i tried everything with the latex. After choosing the mal to work with, i went two different routes, casting and layering.


casting makes the material smooth, which makes it able to use it as a textile to make gloves or clothes. I used a mirror and an old painting with some structure and colours.

PROCESS casting ---- 20 hours ---- object

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Wish the brushwork i was going for a more rubbery effect with some texture. I added 20 layers to the mask. It was nice to stay with the work instead of leaving it for a day, which made me feel more connected to it.

PROCESS BRUSH ---- layers ---- speed the drying process with a hairdryer

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The function of the end result can be used as a mal but also as a object


I knew i wanted to focus on material pretty early and i was inspired by de work of Eva Hesse. She was a sculptor known for her pioneering work in materials such as fiberglass, and plastics. She is one of the artists who ushered in the post-minimal art movement in the 1960s. Her work often shows minimal manipulation to a material while simultaneously completely transforming it.

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1. Eva Hesse's "Untitled (Rope Piece)" (1970) was made when the artist was dying.         
2. Aught, 1968, Latex, canvas, polyethylene sheeting, rope and unidentified materials, metal grommets

I'm not that focussed on manipulating materials in my work so far, but i always had an interest in working in layers. Layers can create an different interpretations from the viewers, depending on the area it's put and the position of the viewer. To me latex was an interesting material to work with cause of the transparency it creates when you cast it on all at once, instead of layer after layer which people use to create a mall.


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I used my parents garden as a print for the latex. As i'm a maker working from a personal point a view, so i used the place where i started making. We are a few weeks later now and the latex started to crumble. It made me wanna research the pre industrial ways of how to keep the material from breaking apart and i want to search for ways to ad more elements to he material to keep it useful en recyclable (especially cause i made so much latex the past few months). my revelations are a bit late, but i did come to useful conclusions, so i'm happy i had to do a resit, cause i know i can do better from now. ✌️