Materials and Processes Research


computers, fridges, microwaves, cars, coins, power cables, electric wires, plumbing fixtures, water pipes, brass furnishings

Raw Material
Only found in small quantities around the world. Found in distorted masses and crystals. Well crystalised specimens are much sought after.

Unusual uses
Copper has been used for sculptures, and water features as it doesn’t corrode in water or air. Also it has been used to make reliefs.

It’s colour ranges from copper-red to brown. Tarnishes green, sometimes blue, brown, red or black. Second best conductor of electricity after silver.


Used for decorative pieces, crafts and clothes

Raw Material
Made from a range of materials; velvet, satin, cotton, wool, silk or synthetics like nylon or rayon. Classified as a narrow fabric ranging from 0.32 – 30cm in width.

Unusual uses
Vadis Turner: She creates mixed media textile pieces, using recycled goods including clothing, bed sheets, ribbons. She assembles abstract pieces, which are chaotic and colourful.

They are among the oldest decorative materials. Used as a way to personalise items.


coasters, wine bottle caps, notice boards, flooring

Raw Material
Harvested from the cork oak. The bark (outer skin) is peeled off and the tree is left to regenerate. The material is fairly sustainable.

Unusual uses
Wine Cork Portraits by Scott Gundersen. He uses corks of various colour and tones. He has been known to use 9,000 wine corks. This piece, Trisha uses 3,621 wine corks.

Pockets of air in cork compress and the expand again, but never collapse in.


windows, glasses (optical/cups) vases, bottles, jars

Raw Material
It is made up of sand, soda ash and limestone. The substances are heated altogether and the molecules band to form glass.

Unusual uses
Knit Light Fixture by Rashid & Vianello: Covers 60 square metres, with 80,000 glass elements ranging from white to black.

A hard material that is breakable and transparent.


A fluid substance made up of pigment suspended in a liquid binder. It is used to cover or decorate a surface. Paint can be applied through a range of tools, such as, brushes, a roller, painting knives or paint sprayer.

Binder: acrylic polymer
Vehicle: water
Common surfaces: prepared (gesso) or raw canvas, paper, wood, glass
Characteristics: drys fast/ permanent, opaque/ translucent/ transparent, can mimic oil, tempera, watercolour.
Binder: linseed oil
Vehicle: turpentine, mineral spirits
Common surfaces: prepared canvas, paper, wood
Characteristics: drys slow/ permanent, versatile, opaque/ translucent/ transparent.

Binder: gum arabic and water
Vehicle: water
Common surfaces: prepared wood panel, paper
Characteristics: drys fast/ water soluble, opaque, dry, matte surface, egg tempera – egg yoke can be added to make it enamel-like and permanent.
Binder: gum arabic and water
Vehicle: water
Common surfaces: paper
Characteristics: drys fast/ water soluble, translucent to transparent.


A print work is made up of ink on paper and exists in multiple examples. It is not created by drawing directly on the piece, but through an indirect transfer process.

There are four manual processes used in traditional printmaking:
screenprint ( silk screen, serigraphy)

wood-cut, wood engraving, linoleum-cut
dry point, engraving, etching, aquatint, mesotint

Book Binding

There are many ways to bind a book easily, such as folding and stapling. However for more sophisticated results; book board, paper, adhesive, and book thread are the most common materials to use.

Coil Binding
uses a smooth round coil to hold pages together. Most common is plastic, but metal can be also used.
Comb Binding
uses a plastic “comb” which wraps around the edge of the pages. The page edges at the spine are covered by the plastic comb.
Double-Loop Binding
uses formed wire that threads through square, rectangular or round holes. Similar to coil binding.
Saddle Loop Binding  
Similar to saddle stitching, except that three staples have loops that extend out from the spine. It makes it possible to put in 3-ring binders, and add items separately.

Saddle Stitching
involves placing two or three staples along a folded edge.
Taped Binding
a strip of tape overlaps the bound edge. Usually the pages need to be stitched together first.
similar to tape binding. It uses a cloth strip with glue-laminate on one side, and pages are pressed into the heated glue on the cloth.
Perfect Binding
pages are glued along the edges inside of a wraparound cover, which includes the front, back and spine. It is the most flexible method to bind when using specialty sizes.


From the French word “to stick”, it is an art technique which involves gluing objects to a central backing

Common two-dimensional collages are made with such materials as photos, ribbons, magazines, newspapers. But virtually anything can be used to make a collage, and to make structural collages wood and figurines are not uncommon.

A collage will generally include mixed media, this may include using clippings from a magazine and then writing or painting over the top.


The art or process of setting and arranging type. This involves typefaces, point size, line length, leading (line spacing), tracking (space between groups of letters), kerning (space  between pairs of letters)


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