December 20, 2012

Someone found this post and contacted me about purchasing the vessel for his wife.  Even though the pics have been published previously here is a narrative about the creation of the vessel.

This piece was originally inspired and constructed for an invitational show in Paris, France called “Stations”. The show was held in a gallery made of ancient stone and it was on exhibition during the Passover Easter Season.  Fourteen USA artists from a wide array of disciplines each were given a station to create a work of art. The show was fascinating and vivacious in its interpretative views and reading between the lines of the titles.

I was invited to do an interpretation of Station #10 called: Stripped, where Jesus was beaten, thronged and stripped of His garments.   I had plans for the piece to be more graphic with the skin torn and ripped to bits for our wrong choices, misdoings and our wicked ways. But once the vessel dried I heard a calling of the maroon ( dried blood) dribbling  down the vessel as it made an interesting contrast against the butter cream innocent skin made of Icelandic lambs wool.  Though, I usually have no issue with destroying a piece to express my messages, this one beckoned me to leave it alone, a task that has taken  me 30 years to learn.  As artist, it is a fine line between pushing one’s idea and allowing it to stand.

I like to paint a composition then cut it up and weave it back together or dribble other paint over the composition.   In the 1990’s I designed wall blankets, I would create a composition on fabric, the size of a quilt then sew several together, using a machine free form design.  Slash the top layers to reveal the composition underneath, representing people and how we expose parts of our personality and sometimes different from public persona. There is a well known textile artist named, Tim Harding, who inspired me in the late 1980’s with the unraveling of cloth, which gave the cloth a soft pliable function and I employed this technique vivaciously in the late 80’s early 90’s.

In 2007, I answered an ad on Craig’s list to swap artist materials. I forget what I offered but I inherited a large array of wool roving.  I made felt in college using raw wool,  learning to  clean, card, spin and dyeing it but I was not terribly drawn or inspired by this scientific approach to self expression.  Creating the “canvas” so to speak was highly unappealing to me weather it was fabric, paper, reeds metal or wood until I grew increasing bored in winter of 2007 and wanted a new avenue.

I like unusual things and to me vessels made of lambs hair or wool is a lovely revelation because we normally use wool to clothe or keep us warm hence the  astonishment of making a work of art with no intended function  seems like a surprise.

reposting

reposting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://seegart.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/stripped/stripped3w/  Previously posted pics

Advertisements

Art Spaces

May 31, 2012

I  cleaned my studio spotlessly and meticulously, making it a usable food consumption kitchen once again.  My new tenant, AKA boomerang son, has taken up residency in the apartment on the lower level of my home where partially my studio resides; it is split into rooms, with doors and a dedicated lavatory but a large section serves as my studio because it has a functioning kitchen and refrigerator, used for felting and dying.  The son and I are in process of arrangements so I can have access to my print table.  What is a print table you ask?  Just as the name suggest but  homemade: I used a four feet by eight feet sheet of wood, covered with ½ inch of carpet wool padding (no longer manufactured)  which is tightly snuggled into place with a unbleached canvas secured underneath with a gazillion stables and it rest on portable legs.  I constructed this table when I was in school, so I could work on screening/printing wall blankets at home without taking my son from precious sleep. He had a locker at the school studio crowded with roller skates, various toys, sleeping bags, pillows stuffed animals and his favorite yummy snacks however did not have a quite space to sleep during my late night creative hours.  I constructed a section where I could stretch fabric and anchor it to a taunt surface.  It is similar to stretching a canvas onto a stretcher frame except instead staples I used stainless steel t-pins so the applied wet paint or dye would not shrink the canvas when air dried.  The table has been the single most useful tool I have ever created, seen the most work activity and it has served me well, since I religiously covered the base with a tightly woven canvas drop cloth.  The table is virtually pristine with exception to a few dyeing jobs that meandered or bled though to the base layer.  Yes, 24 years of various art projects interlaced with tutoring sessions and a sprinkling art instruction classes have all used this print table in diverse avenues.  I covered this cloth table with plastic when I make felt projects.  Though I would love to have stainless steel, I use the print table for dyeing and sewing projects.  Therefore, to loose access is creatively crippling and I have yet to resolve it.

Second Hand Fabrics

May 30, 2012

Oh, Nicola is now, speaking my language: second hand stores.  I openly admit as a true artist that I have rescued items with a bit of dumpster diving, which ended up being excessively valuable. When I first time visit a town I do not head for the tourist attractions but I scan the environment for junk stores.  I found a little fabric store many years ago, along the side of the road not unlike a fruit stand. It was near a quaint town population just under 200. The store was crammed pack with 100% natural fabrics that were end roll or bolt ends.  I found delicate cottons, silks alongside heavy-duty sailcloth. Oh, I had so much fun dying those fabrics and I still have a few left in my stash. Sadly, the store was torn down in lieu for a convenience store.

 

I read an article in the NY Times that  the cotton industry has discovered a way to  intermingled nano Millimeter ( I forget the actual weight but it was microscopic) of  synthetic  to reduce shrinkage, yet the amount is so small it  is still legally label it 100% cotton. This explains why newer items such as tee shirts and linens will not dye properly with procion dyes.  Yes, I have taught classes on beach towel dyeing using a kiddie swimming pool.  Have you ever wondered by some 100% cotton tee-shirt seems to be hot or slightly itchy? This small percentage of non-natural fiber keeps the fiber from “breathing”, or allowing the air to freely flow through the garment.

 

The only true test is doing a burn test, which I found this one of the most useful tools I learned at art school.   For a final test in this class, I was presented a pile of samples and required to identify the contents by burning them.   A small sliver is fibers, held of course with tweezers or tongs, set a flame with a match, various fibers will have a different burn rate, odor, and a distinctive ash or rubbish result. I have worked with textiles for over forty years and yet garments or unmarked fabrics have deceived me especially some with the distinct feel of silk, when tested will burn into a hard uncrushable black ball and smell foreign.  Silk will scent of burned hair and crush into ashes.   Plant fibers have the odor of paper burning while all animal protein: wool, silk, leather have the smell of when you get too close to an open flame and your eyelashes get  singed, the stench of burning hair.    It is a fascinating, to me after I wrote this, I discovered there are several web sites with the various  test results.

Hooked on wool Soap

March 2, 2012

 

Yay,  I was able to work in studio every day this week.  Yes, even when yesterday was 75F and today snowing at 30F normally the drastic change messes with my moods to be flexible. I am still intrigued with covering hand made soaps that are not THAT attractive but so yummy on one’s skin. What is there to say about such functional items when it is past my ability to stay awake.The luscious colors combined with the baby soft wool makes one want to shower with all of them at once.

while I was photographing my newly felted soaps,  I was so excited by my new phone (8 megapixels) I wanted to see how well it would capture details of a felting piece.  In this piece I wanted to see if I could capture flat locks. I felted a piece made of layers alpaca, mohair,  merino and  unscoured, uncombed Icelandic lambs wool.  the locks are sort of nuno felted on. If one looks carefully you can see the brown alpaca hairs that have migrated to the surface. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

More Wool covered soaps

March 1, 2012

If any of you have used handmade soaps, then, you know how easily it melts with any amount of moisture.  These wool covered  handmade are great for the shower.  The wool holds all the suds and  any melted soap instead of it rinsing down the drain.  I rub mine withe the shower scrubby and tons of lather is made.  I like to make little guest soaps,  that guests can take home with them.

Felted Postcards

February 9, 2012

I adore postcards,  and have collected them for over 40 years, even though the internet can take us to exotic lands, postcards are a signal that some one thinks of you even while they are gone.  Over the years, I  have been in several multimedia post card exhibits and it is great fun.   I would like to see  a twist on the travel postcard event by  creating felting post-cards about HOME.

This challenge is called “Postcards from Home” and features small (4 inch by 6 inch) pictorials of scenes from you home environment: landscapes, perhaps a historical  point of interest.  Some suggestions to get you thinking about a pictorial postcard:  the natural environment, such as mountains, deserts or coastal scenery; native flora and fauna; images of agriculture such as farms, ranches and dairies; man-made scenes, such as towns and cities, bridges, monuments, museums, and theme parks; historical images from home past; and recreational settings.

Deadline:  August 15, 2012
Open to all
Size:  4 inches by 6 inches (traditional postcard size
Writing may be included
Make a label for the back of your postcard containing the following information:

Postcard from Home Challenge 2012
Your Name and Address
Title of Postcard
Location of scene

On a separate piece of paper, please include a short paragraph explaining the scene you felted and any additional information that you wish to share.  This information may be used in promotional materials and articles concerning this challenge.

Bring the finished postcards, or mail* the finished postcard to me.  I will document and photograph each postcard. I would like to take a display of these postcards to various exhibits. We have a Final Friday exhibit here in my hometown of Lawrence, KS. There is First Friday in Kansas City, MO. There is a large possibility of several national venues for a traveling exhibit but locations are undisclosed at this time.

 

Leave a response if you might be interested.  The pieces will be auctioned off for a charity fund raiser TBA later. So this is a mere feeler for a response.  I may extend it to fiberart postcards, since  my circle of acquaintances extend way into the fiber world: weaving, surface design, beading,  hand made papers,  fabric design, dying, indigo, baskets etc. i have yet to decide.  What a great way to get your work SEEN by a groups of people.

NO felting again

February 8, 2012

The physical therapist is putting some action back into my rotator cuff but not enough for felting.  I  am hoping that my shoulder will be much better and strong enough for making some Valentine handmade soap. Here are some samples I put together last year.  A librarian contact about a workshop  and we have discussed paperweights and I believe this technique would be nice.  The alpaca did not felt well but the Icelandic lambs  wool was superb, and naturally the good ole standby merino  wool.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New project

February 4, 2012

I have been working on this for 2 months but my day job has so rudely interrupted my process.  It involves, merino wool with silk wrapped in a spiral around the cylinder of wool  that was created with a resist and loose locks left unfelted. Then,  direct application  of acid dye  was applied after  a 4 inch PVC pipe was inserted into the felted cylinder and scrunched  using a Japanese method.   I found it interesting that the silk dyed a different shade of blue even though both the wool and silk were white.

This is a detailed of the piece that is 9 inch circumference with a height of currently 17 inches but with the copper tubing  it will extend it to 24 inches. The copper tubing and  the base is still in design stages but as soon as the piece is completed decent pics of piece will be posted.  I am very excited about this piece but currently I am still mending from a rotator cuff injury, which is adversely affecting my ability to felt.

Sad hats

January 3, 2012

Hi   from Midwest USA and I am sending you the best for the New Year.  It is good be back online after the dreadful holidays. I bolted out the felting gate , determined to not be defeated by a bit of wool .  This was my fifth attempt at a beret and once again, it has become a vessel.  I tried it on my head for shape even while still wet and it was so humongous it fell to my shoulders.  (Heavy sign)  I fulled it  bit more when I gave in to crushing defeat by  I admitting  I am not “meant” to make hats, I shall leave it for Dawn and Nicola.  Here is a side story to prove my non-wearable challenge.  When I was in high school my aunt was teaching me to knit, I made a beautiful mitten that fit with the utmost precision. The second one was so large (my stitches became looser) that I could put BOTH hands into ONE mitten. I pitched the craft until  my son was born, when I tried again but this was a sweater for a toddler.  Remembering the loose mitten fiasco of several previous decades, I tighten my approach to the knitting. I suppose most people would just take a class and struggle through teaching ones self.  Anyway, the stitches were so tight, it made the sweater weight nearly 10 pounds and he  only being 25 pounds fell down because the sweater was so heavy.  It was more like a rug than a cuddly warm sweater. OKOK slight exaggeration but it would break your toe if you dropped it. Therefore, I am not a knitter except for a few straight knitting  no purling winter scarves.

 

Back to my newly created vessel,   I inserted a beach ball, filled the ball with air and it fit nicely, so all evening I mentally thought of ways to finish the vessel with hand applied thicken dye finished with machine stitching.  This is really my first object of my winter felting session as my headband idea died. I thoughtlessly put wool on both sides of the silk so it totally covered it.  I must have had some good distracting music on too loud and lost my way in the endeavor.  Since I am taking a trip to New York where the winters are wicked windy and cold; I bought a lovely wool hat similar to this style   which  upon my return from NY, I will wear  on bad hair days or just when I need to run out for quick errand. Therefore, hats are officially off my felting list.  It seems necessary for success to stick with what I know: making wall art instead of wearable art.

Locks

December 15, 2011

Lately my day job has eaten up my time and I am too exhausted to get to the studio after work. It seems my excitement with wool is waiting for the cold winter months to set in. I was looking forward to making a beret to hide my unsightly hair while if grows from the spiked dew I wore for the summer months.  It was just too unmanageable so instead of felting a beautiful head covering, I got a fabulous haircut, by Jody Seitz, which is excessively adorable to hide under a hat.  NOW, my motivation to felt a wearable item is in gone.  For nearly two decades ago, I did silk scarves and the proverbial unusual socks for Christmas gifts, but I took a long pause from that work.  I had a nice inventory left but it has finally dwindled, thus people are clamoring for my wears.  Friends and relatives got felted items last year and they met with gratefulness but the regret was seen in their eyes “Where are my silk scarves and socks”?  HA HA.

I am at least trying to get momentum even if it is with posting older work.  The chalice (2009) looking vessel was my first attempt to work with locks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I attended a fiber group who had just returned from a fiber workshop with Elis Vermeulen demonstrating exactly what I attempted on my own.  As you can see in my vessel the success of a demonstration even though, I did not add near enough locks.  I was extremely apprehensive about them felting on top of one another so I placed only a minimal number of locks even though they were side by side in the lay out stage.

 

Today, I am free of my tech work and so I would like to devote myself to the studio. It is only 5 AM here so let us see how the day unfolds. Perhaps today is the day a new vigor will ensue.

Works in Progress

November 26, 2011

Taken with Rebel T3

Work in Progress

Work still in progress. The re-bar needs to be straighten and waxed.  I am still working on the idea  and what I am actually conveying in this piece. I am using a new camera, which I am uncertain it does the work justice so the camera back get returned.  I have fifteen days for a final decision.

Work in Progress

This piece was a direct result of  my local fiber group by demonstrating how to achieve locks. This piece was made of raw fleece, un-scoured, uncombed or carded  with wee bits of previously dyed fleece.

he teal, aqua, blue piece was totally an experiment with un-carded, non-scoured fleece and white silk  gauze. Once the piece was felted then fulled, it  soaked in white vinegar then while still wet, it was bound with  cotton twine and scrunched together. Three shades of blue of acid dyes were mixed and dripped onto the wet wool. The silk readily absorbed the dye the most.  Once the dying was completed, wrapped into cellophane shrink wrap and nuked for 2.5 minutes on high power.  It was reste4d then additional 2 minutes in microwave. Not shown are the intact locks at the top, which adsorbed the deep midnight blue dye that match the silk portions. It was left to dry in the scrunched position.  The vessels is in progress as I am making a copper tubing to hold it.  Once completed the piece will be displayed in its entirety.

Untitled as work is in progress

Warm-up Piece

October 2, 2011

Yesterday was not only October 2 but the global day of Felters United and I had so much fun looking at others work that I forgot to create one of my own.  Today however, I officially began my felting season again with a small warm up piece, which I will turn into a head band.  I am totally embarrassed because I have stockpile fabric and have done so for years that my studio cabinets will barely close shut because they are brimming with luscious fabrics.  One can never have enough fabric for that midnight projects  to soothe the ravenous beast. OK, truth to be known, I am a fabric junkie and I used to purchase for projects, or just because it was a good price or I had visions of possible outcomes or just because it was too irresistibly beautiful or felt nice in my hand.   A decade ago, I purchased multiple yards of deep sea green, which I thought would make into a stunning wedding jacket. The wedding event occurred and the silk is still in my cupboards so I am unsure what I wore to the wedding.   I believe the silk to be  duponi or it could be shantung, the passing of time overshadows such minute details. Anyway,  I cut a strip off to see how it would it would react to a nuno technique. My confidence for a successful felted piece  was near to zero because of the tight weave of the silk. To my astonishment the Icelandic wool bonded and felted beautifully with the silk and this winter, now that I have very short hair, the headband will keep my head warm without the fuss of a hat. I did not dye the wool but I will dip it into some acid dye matching the silk and I hope to have photographs after the dyeing is done.