The Fresh Goods: New Cast Lace Work

Putting my Anderson Ranch Studies to the test, I have been busy making the first new lace works and I want to share them with you! These are the first mid-sized works on the way to working larger in scale.

These works use three main techniques. This first vessel uses what I call gravity casting, which allows for free form shaping.

Gravity Vessel #1
12 x 10.75 x 7.75″

In the Memory Records below, I cast resin in a highly detailed mold, which was made at Anderson Ranch. Learning a technique used by my teacher, Lynn Richardson, I carefully remove the piece before it has finished curing, allowing it to deviate from its initially flat existence (I do leave some flat though). While from the same mold, no one piece is exactly alike.

each 8 x 8 x variable depth (1/8 – 1 7/8″)

For an installation, they would hang in concert, but be available individually. This is the one examples where physical lace or thread is not used, but represented as subject matter.

For the following works, I’m working with two casting techniques. The lace is initially cast over a form and then I use gravity casting to build additional layers and texture. Mm, mm, MMM. I do love texture.

Pillar of… (#1)
23.5 x 6.5 x 2.5″

Pillar of… (#2)
24 x 6.5 x 2.5″

Parabolic Triptych
each approx 11 3/4 x 11 7/8 x 3/8″; overall 11 3/4 x 40 x 2 1/2″

Anderson Ranch Arts Center – Soft (and not so soft) Sculpture

I have been so busy that it’s hard to even decide what to write for this post. I should backtrack…

The Kickstarter Campaign was successful. Wooo!! After finding that out, I immediately had to race out to Aspen, CO and The Anderson Ranch Arts Center for my course in Soft Sculpture.

Aspen…yes. Beautiful, amazing, and of course, depressing to leave. Time flew. While it did fit in a smidge of site-seeing and one good hike, most of that time was spent in the studio – a beautiful and well-lit loft space.

A few of my studio cohorts! Such a wonderful crew!

Our teacher, Lynn Richardson was (and I’m sure still is) fantastic. She had the great attitude of, “Yeah! Let’s make this!” Exploration and invention was definitely encouraged. Here’s some of her fabric sculpture…

Red State by Lynn Richardson
vinyl, nylon, steel, lights
20′ x 20′ x 18′

On that note, I’ll just start posting some of my experiments of combining casting resins and lace or other fabrics.

 Cast paper lace.  This was a tricky little mold to make, but I enjoyed the crystalline results when backlit. So much so, a studio cohort even helped me shoot a few videos of it spinning in light. There’s no thread in it (just bits of paper), but hey, it’s definitely lace! I am currently making a series of these in black. Small individually, they could fill a wall and look delicious.

 This is a hanging onion orb, if you will, using only red organza. I recently tried casting one in my own lace, but learned the hard way that I must use clear tints when using my lace – ope!

I donated this little piece to the Art Center’s Auctionette, where I heard it was happily snapped up. This is 100% cotton cast in red-tinted resin.       I am currently trying my hand at this technique to make a lace bowl. I hope to get it cast this weekend (fingers crossed).

Here are a few more studio shots of building the molds and mother molds.     

And finally here I am examining my experiments. I suspended all my little tests so by the end of the week I had a curtain of randomness behind me. I also cast a few fishing bobbers and had some fun little results (the intent is to work with the media on a larger scale, but for the workshop I worked on a small scale to conserve materials and make as many experiments as possible). But I’ll save that for later!

We’re Here! (I’m bringing you along vicariously)

After a somewhat treacherous trip through the mountains at night in rain and fog, Aspen revealed itself as a safe haven! After some much needed sleep, today I got my bearings and went over to the arts center to drop off supplies and check out the campus. A pre-workshop dinner and faculty lectures are scheduled for tonight. Excited to meet my classmates and teachers! Then tomorrow morning, we start in full swing!

LAST Day to Make Lace Sculpture Happen! Every Bit Counts!

Today is the day. Down to the wire.

I have until 11:59 tonight to raise $355 for my lace sculpture project on Kickstarter or it will not receive any funds. That is the nature of Kickstarter and it is to ensure that your pledges go towards the full project as you were promised.

As I’m finishing up the last lace samples to test the casting process, I hope you will check out the project, join the project’s backers in whatever way you can, and share this with whomever might be interested in the project. Enough people making even $5 or $10 pledges can make this happen!

Without funding, I will have to subsidize this phase of the project with funds intended for  a dedicated studio, needed due to the scale and technique of casting. This means I will know HOW to make the work, but won’t be able to actually make it!

One day you could walk into an exhibition and know that YOU were a part of making it a reality; YOU made it possible (and if there is a program or catalog, you will receive credit for it). The end goal is to bring full scale, lace sculpture exhibitions to local and regional art centers. This is the first step to getting there,  but only if we can bring other people along and raise $355 by tonight!

Pledge to the Aspen Adventure: Casting Lace Sculpture

I hope my next post includes a massive, grinning from ear to ear thank you.

Last Week for the Aspen Adventure!

Last Week for The Aspen Adventure on Kickstarter!

We are in the final week for fundraising for The Aspen Adventure – Casting Lace Sculpture! At this point, the project is 43% funded with only a few days left to reach the $1000 goal. Kickstarter is an all or nothing fundraising platform (for good reason), so unless the $1000 mark is reached by the end of Friday, no funds will go towards the project.

What happens then? Well, I will still learn how to cast lace sculpture, but won’t actually be able to make it. This process will require a dedicated studio space when I return from the Arts Center, and I’ve already found the right space at a great price. Without the Kickstarter funding, the project will have to be subsidized by the studio budget.

You’re contribution, no matter how small, has a direct and significant impact on the outcome of this project. So, I’m busy preparing lace samples for testing, such as the lace/felt combo you see above. I’d love it if you could share this with one other person who might not know about the project otherwise!

Few of us are in the position of being major donors to projects like the Kauffman Center or large museums. Here you can be a significant donor to something smaller, but unique. Your contribution will be meaningful in taking sculpture in a new and unique direction.

Here are some images of a few of the rewards for your participation that you may not have seen:

New Reward – Tree of Yours framed in black glass – $20 Reward Level

Bad Vibes Filtration Devices ($25 Reward Level)
Hang a Bad Vibes Filtration Device by your door and let it remind you to stop and release some of those bad vibes before you walk out the door. Stitched with symbolic images of objects that transform, cleanse, and are filled with potential energy, such as lotus pods, leaves, nuts and berries.


Blooming ($40 Reward Level) – hand made lace brooch, seen below in “Shimmey.” See Kickstarter Page to view additional color option.

If you haven’t already, please visit my Kickstarter page to see a plethora of lacy rewards, from books marks, prints, and even large textile works!

All support is appreciated, down to the price of a cup of coffee and all supporters will receive credit in the exhibitions that result from this project. We’re in the last few days, so if you’ve been on the fence, now is the time!

View The Aspen Adventure: Casting Lace Sculpture on Kickstarter

I hope you can join me on this journey and see lace in a whole new way.

All the best,
Rachelle Gardner

Bad Vibes Filtration Devices (in lace)

Bad juju? Hang a Bad Vibes Filtration Device by your door and let it remind you to stop and release some of those bad vibes before you walk out the door. Stitched with symbolic images of objects that transform, cleanse, and are filled with potential energy, such as lotus pods, leaves, nuts and berries. Only available through my Kickstarter project through this coming Friday (July 13).

Select your color: Anja Purple or Absorb Black.

What do you do to clear up your bad vibes? Do you have a little ritual, something that helps you hit the “reset” button?

Samples for Casting – Preparing for the Aspen Adventure

While I focus on lace, I have incorporated felt into that lace, which will be a component of some of the tests I will do at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center. To find out more about my project to cast lace sculpture, please check out THE ASPEN ADVENTURE on Kickstarter.

An example of such felt lace can be see in Seeing the Signs. While it can appear opaque, a bit of back light proves otherwise.

I am certain this sheer play of felt, thread and color can go farther, so one of my samples that I have prepared for my time at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center includes this technique to test translucency in the casting process.

This sunshine yellow hand-dyed wool absolutely glows when back-lit.

But is a yummy sunshine yellow even when it’s not back lit! I included hints of melon and orange  wool for accents as well. Just for flavor.

If you haven’t seen my Kickstarter page to help fund my project at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center this summer, please check it out!

Just for kicks, here is where all that bright, colorful wool comes from!