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.


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.

Shibori and Felting Silk

January 5, 2010

Vintage Silk Scarf

This is a vintage silk scarf that has been part of my large scarf collection for many years, which goes to emancipate any doubt to the longevity of silk. I employed a favorite Japanese Shibori technique consisting of pole wrapping the silk, which I placed on the diagonal, and tied tightly with linen wound around and around the pole. I, then, scrunched the silk together towards the end of the pole or in my case a PVC pipe suspended with a broom.  The exposed portions were discharged dyed leaving the nice taupe/caramel color.  I have worn this scarf for the past twenty years and decided it needed a lift. I removed the hem to provide a nice frayed look and began adding wisps of wool.  Someone made a nice gift to me  of some splendid alpaca from a farm in Wyoming, in natural black, caramel, gray, and white. I thought the black and caramel would marry well with this silk scarf and I felt it met my expectations.  It is very lightweight but I wore it yesterday (temperature was 2F) and it was toasty warm, which amazed me the queen of hard sales. I have not worked with this source of alpaca and I found it rather resistant to felting despite its unbelievable softness. In my readings, I understand the processing, some dyeing or the age of the animal can hinder the felting ability of a fiber, which I have experienced from various sources. The felting ease of some Icelandic lamb’s wool has immensely spoiled me and I have become lazy and nearly intolerant with wool that does not immediately take to bonding together. The lambs wool felts so easily that  in merely  agitating the fleece while washing, it will felt together.  I have washed several batches of this lambs wool and plan to dye it this afternoon, after work.

Love-Long-GoneW Pure pigments mixed in various sections with gesso or createx binder. Sea grass created with acrylic paint.  the backing still needs to be attached.  70″ x 70″. When one looks carefully  the shibori dyeing on the body of the fish is very visible. I did a series of fish with kissy type lips and this is a remnant of that series, which I never completed.  I am attempting to tie up the numerous projects I have begun but not finished. I still have a glass top table which I am doing in tandem with the new  fire felted piece.

This is hanging in my bathroom beside a huge glass block window, which is burning out some of the color in this piece–not in reality just in the photograph.  I will get it to the studio for a controled lighting photo shoot however the time frame is unpredictable.

Wall of Paintings

March 9, 2009

Adjacent WAll

Adjacent WAll

Someone asked to see my studio, here are 2 walls.

Shibori Spirals

March 3, 2009

Since I have been working with the spiral motif for countless years, thought I would resurrect some vintage fabric. This is a bit of reclaimed fabric (purchased at a second hand store) that I have discharged dyed using an ancient Japanese technique called Shibori. The fabric is wrapped round a 15 inch PVC pipe with cotton binding and then scrunched together; the discharged is applied to the exposed crunched portion. There are numerous patterns achieved by the way the fabric is laid on the pipe and of course the diameter of the pipe. I have seen 55 gallon drums used for this procedure or pipes as tiny as 1 inch. I prefer size as it is easily manageable for this method and it lends a sweeping diagonal motion to the otherwise static design. Again the sheen to the fabric is impossible to capture effectively even with hand-made light filters.