Finished Work – Untitled

After rather detailed postings on the making of this piece, here is the finished result. I may make a smaller companion piece for the show. Not sure…

I’m still struggling with the title. I can’t find succint words to describe the meaning. The overall forms are flower-like, yes, but the  materials, silk and wool, are derived from animals. I see them as somewhat Venus Flytrap like. The tendrils absorb energy from the environment, like some sort of osmosis, capillary action, etc. Haven’t decided if they absorb only positive or negative energy, or if it’s just dependent on one’s mood at the time, but somehow, I see them being a bit greedy. These are just musing, of course. I’m trying to find more meaningful words for “Energy Suckers.” Ha. Final Dimensions: 36x12x4″ Materials: silk, wet-felted shetland wool, oil sticks, acrylic on panel

Work in progress update – mixing felt, silk, & acrylic

Here’s another background texture I’ve been working on. This time with acrylic paint on the panel for the silk yoyos and tendrils. Still a few layers to go. I think this has about 4-5 on it now, but it’s hard to keep track.

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Here’s what the final composition is leaning towards. Hope to have the piece finished in a week.

Process – fun with felt and oil sticks!

 In the first post for this piece, I showed a picture of a test with tendrils that were felted with natural white and black wool, but didn’t feel that the white of the silk worked with that.  Just for fun, my mom and I took an Art Institute class in October that used oil sticks (Shiva is a common brand) to create pattern on silk. I had seen oil sticks before, but had never thought of them outside of the realm of painting. Oddly enough, the teacher of the class had never heard of them used on anything else than fabric. I, of course, wanted to try them out on felt.

Luckily for me, the store was out of titanium white, which is what I would have gravitated to, because the antique white is just the right color.

I sort of  roll the oil on, which keeps the felt smooth. I then blend the color and work a bit of the color up the tendril to get a smooth transition.

 

 

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Repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

 After letting these dry out for a couple of days, I’ll wrap each tendril in parchment paper and heat set the oil with an iron.

And this is where they’re headed…

 

Work in progress – “Fu Man Chu” vessel

I posted the first step in this piece, so here is the before and after what that same threaded section looks like now, filled in.

I had planned on making the stitching really thick, so you couldn’t see any of the black underneath, but then I got to like the little bits of black peeking through. The tape is protecting the edges from getting scratched by the needle. And below, while there is still much work to do, you can see where I’m headed, with the hanging strings (each has a bead on the end).

It is a slow process tying each bead on, and everything likes to tangle! I’ve actually done more work since I took this picture, and the finished result will be posted within a week, I think.

Work in Progress – silk yoyos anyone?

I like to have a few pieces going on at the same time, so here’s another one I’ve been working on. These are silk “yoyos,” as they are called, fused to acrylic felt and stitched. They’re not attached to this panel (an old piece I gessoed over) at the moment, as the next step is to felt 50 or so tendrils that will be inserted in the centers of the yoyos, as in one of the sample pics below. I’ll probably make the tendrils all black though. Not sure the white of the silk and natural fleece really gel.

Testing out the composition. 36" x 12"
Shiny! (Silk from Dharma Trading Co.)
I made a few sample boards trying out different variations of the "yoyo" with tendrils.
I do a lot of thumbnail sketching to work out composition.

Glacial – Felt/Ceramic Wall Hanging

I finished this in October, but I’ve been bad at blogging lately. I’ve been having problems getting accurate photographs of the fiber work.

The main section of Glacial features natural colored fleeces from the farm, wet-felted. The “buttons” are pit-fired earthenware with amorphous, needle-felted wool attached to each. It is backed with a commercial felt fabric (ie., not craft felt) to hang on a wall. It’s about 18-20″ across.

Glacial wall hanging
Natural colors in Shetland wool
Glacial wallhanging detail
Pit-fired buttons with amorphous wool "nubs" (I don't really know what to call them).

Bub Vase

This is a walnut vase I turned on my Delta Midi Lathe and carved channels into with the idea to inlay a mixture of crushed glass and resin. However, I did a test of the inlay and a person who I trust for their candid opinion said that it looked like someone threw up glass, so that idea got put on hold . So it sat on a shelf for several years just waiting to be finished. So here comes the felt! This is a functional vase with a glass test tube insert.

Bub Vase - turned walnut w/ mohair & shetland wool

The wool is a mix of mohair and shetland. The nubs were initially needled felted to strips of cotton, which were then affixed to the carved channels. Then additional needle felting took place, carefully working to get symmetry.

First of Ceramic/Fibers Hybrid Series – Neb

Sort of a tester. Just a little guy. First attempt to combine one of the pieces from the pit firing with some wool and silk that I had dyed. The wool was more of burgandy originally, but when carded (will try to post more on this process after July 4th) with pink to purple silk, it created a much better tone, and the silk adds nice sheen to the matte shetland wool.

image of neb front
neb 1 (front) : slip cast, pit fired earthenware; needle-felted silk & shetland wool : 3x3x2"
image of neb back
neb 1 (back) : slip cast, pit fired earthenware; needle felted silk & shetland wool : 3x3x2"

The name “Neb” refers to a spiral nebula, since they kept popping into my head as I felted this. Due to its small size, it’s simply shortened to “Neb.”

New Work – Translation: I will never understand.

Hand-dyed and needle-felted Shetland wool. 10’L x 12″H x 1.75″D  This piece covers an entire wall, so sizeable length makes it difficult to show online. Thus, the detail shot and I will put a higher resolution shot on the website. Individual “letters” are three-dimensional felted objects, each pinned to the wall. Each shade of blue was dyed separately and color gradations were carefully created in the needle felting process.

The “letters” do not have direct meanings or pronunciations, though the phrasing was carefully chosen through extensive writing /sketching. Though I am usually Google Image-happy, I purposefully avoided researching languages, as I wanted to let the shapes be influenced only by my  pre-existing references, subconscious or otherwise. Frankly, I’m not certain why that was so important, but it was. I guess a thought would be that I should make another after taking a look at world languages and see how the additional visual references get assimilated.

See website for larger image.

Translation: I will never understand.
Translation: I will never understand.

Translation Detail

Detail of Translation: I will never understand.