Both of the base fabrics here were dyed using shibori techniques., ie. a resist is used in various ways which keeps the dye from penetrating the entire fabric surface, creating patterns. The berries on the second bookmark are image transfers from Before the First Touch, a pen and ink illustration I did toward the end of my residency at the Bonfills studios.
This piece I started as part of a live demonstration at Paint the Town – St. Lukes Hospital’s annual benefit in late September. I demonstrated wet-felting, as most people probably haven’t seen this done, or know anything about it. The initial idea was to finish a piece at the benefit, but even with a lot of prep work, it just wasn’t feasible.
The main shape was wet-felted, which was completed at the benefit. The pink dots were blended into the back of the piece with a felting machine, or embellisher. Originally, I was going to just put pink dots on each of the sections, but I added the stitching for contrast and texture. I sort of tried to come up with a name for it, but I always thought of it as the “St. Lukes piece,” so might as well leave it at that. It’s approximately 24″ accross.
This is also backed with a commercial felt for hanging on the wall.
The colors are hand-dyed from Shetland wool. I have a thing for hot pink and (especially) purple lately, which might sound bizarre to those who have known me for years. What can I say? I have no logical answer for you. It does not stem from K-State (those who know me well should know that!). I avoided purple for years due to my anti-sport and superfluous school spirit policies.
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.
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.”
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.
Some of you may or may not know, I am taking a 6-wk surface design course at the Art Institute. The class focuses on dying techniques for cellulose fibers, which opens up new techniques and processes for me as thus far, I’ve only dyed protein fibers (i.e. wool). The sample here was my first attempt at a certain type of Japanese shibori using a nylon rope to resist the dye. The result was not what I was going for, but I still like the landscape effect it produced. Sometimes, you just don’t know what you’re going to get. Fun stuff! I’ll be posting more samples…