Having spent quite a lot of time arranging and photographing my beach-combed items I then started to draw some of them, experimenting with different media, trying to treat the man-made items in the same way I would the natural ones, really looking at them, knowing their form.
As a step on from that I've started to engage more directly with them, get to know the different types of material, seeing how they feel, how they act and react to being manipulated.
How does a synthetic material act when you try to knot it?
How do natural and synthetic materials act when you try to bring them together?
How does each material act under tension?
Does a synthetic warp act differently to a natural one?
I started off with this translucent plastic which was twisted into a rope. I unravelled some and used it on my wooden frame to make a narrow warp. It is rigid, whip-like, smooth, hard and un-stretching.
Knotting it was difficult because of it's un-stretchiness but it holds tight and taut.
More of the same as weft sits very awkwardly.
A natural fibre as weft slides about; there isn't that relationship that you get between two rougher fibres. The bends that remain in the plastic are absorbed by the natural weft. Inserted objects, a twig or bits of feather, are held tight but the warp doesn't pull back either side easily so there is more distortion caused by the object for longer.
Different synthetic in the same warp, a more hairy plastic string, knits together more easily, acting more like a hairy natural fibre would. Strips of dried out seaweed, flexible but also a bit brittle, hold well amongst the warp. A few rows of a thin plastic wire-like thread is more stretchy and knots nicely.