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.

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

Reshaped Vessel

February 16, 2011

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This vessel has undergone a re-shaping since I saw the original with my glasses on.  The vessel is the same in all three photos, even though the shape differs slightly. I am unsure if this is my camera, the distance from the camera in each shot or merely the surface design that tricks the eye into seeing the shape differently in the various views.

Felt Sphere

February 15, 2011

Directly applied Dye

This Drying felt sphere is 34.5 inches. The dye had been directly applied with a sponge and the grape color was mixed with a thickener and stamped on while a beach ball (inserted inside) held it taunt. I am unsure of the final object whether to leave as is, add glass beads, or cut the surface.

Christo

November 25, 2010

I have followed the work of Christo, who uses NO PUBLIC money to support his projects as they are funded by the sale of his preliminary sketches, renderings and watercolors. I am excited about Over The River project as it is one of my favorite places in Colorado after the San Juan Mountains.  I used to take my son camping and on of my first needle dry felting pieces was done based on the area between Canon City and Salida. This was our campsite one summer looking down the mountain top.  the light blue rippling is the Arkansas River, little dot is our campsite.

Felt Exhibit

October 6, 2010

This is rather poor documentation of an art exhibit I had in August  in the KC Arts district called Crossroads but it was so hectic, I failed to arrange to have it photographed.  These are the first public display of a group of wool vessels created during the 09/10  winter. I spent my time developing vessels using unprocessed, (uncleaned fleece with Vegetable matter and animal waste). have posted this previously, and I drill  down the process in previous post. The white and teal piece was constructed  with 100% unprocessed Icelandic lambs wool. The yellow/red piece is alpaca and Icelandic lamb’s wooI that I processed and dyed.  the yellow, Indigo piece is made of poodle hair.  The white piece is a scrumptious Icelandic lamb (first hair cut) with embellishments from Irish feathers sent to me by a pen pal in Ireland.   

Thanks

December 31, 2009

Two thousand nine would not have been complete without all the new internet friends I have met and enjoyed learning and discovering felt, the world’s oldest  documented fabric. It began with an unbelievable woman in Ireland who is not only an incredible creative felter but has a gift of networking,  Nicola Brown. She introduced me to numerous others working and doing unbelievable work in fibers. I also made contact with earthly people raising animals, many of whom are also artist. For a bit of quick and dirty history of felt check this : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felt .The difference between what some call felting is really fulling (shrinking a knitted wool), which many of us have mistakenly accomplished to our favorite wool item while laundering it.  Felting is the actually beginning steps of using wispy fibers to interlock and compress to make a lightweight yet incredibly strong fabric, nearly waterproof and blocked wind.

Tabby Colored Vessels

July 7, 2009

The colors in these vessels remind me of my ticked tabby cat, COCO. Black mohair mixed with New Zealand wool, White mohair sparingly swirling over the outside.  Inside, I used white alpaca and white mohair I like to use a layer of the mohair as the some  hairs rise to the surface  softening the colors with modeled appearance.

If they look similar, it is because they are reshaped.  I am still in experimental stages on how to shape and dry the vessels. These are 12 inches high and 8 inches diameter.

Knowing When to Quit

June 28, 2009

I just wanted to add a few details and got totally carried away.  I think I shall blame it on the music. HA.  I am not a bluegrass fan and it was playing on the radio without excuse I did not turn it off.  The key to knowing when to leave something alone is always a frogs fine hairline. I always told my art students take your mistakes and turn them into a masterpiece so it will be interesting to see where I can take this piece as of now, I see it as a total disaster. I suppose it lost it smoky fiery touch by defining areas.  Perhaps if I revisit with some light layers of golden smoke I might be able to salvage it.

Tassels

May 12, 2009

The feather is from was included in a News Years Exchanged package with a  felt maker in Ireland, Anniebel. She sent a variety of unidentified feathers. I mistakenly posted the pics of some before the tassels were added.  UGH.

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Purse Turns Cozy

April 10, 2009

After adding silk scraps, and various embellishments , it just was not making it as a bag. I tossed it on the table landing it beside a stack of cozies. Viola! Its real calling in life is to be a tea cozy. I removed all the attachments, UGH but I was backing up files on my lappy so the time was double duty. I added some more design elements using needle felting.

Ummmmmm

April 7, 2009

I currently am distracted by unwarranted circumstances. I normally can press through once I enter my magical work studio, NOT SO, yesterday. Instead of leaving I reworked a previous project. LOL I am still not satisfied, the passion for working with these colors is sorely lacking and so back on the shelf it will go. It seems I have played out my hand with functional items and am returning to the painting with Felt concept, I began with in January. The angora, mohair, merino wools just feel so sumptuous I wanted them near my body or to use them in daily life as in the tea cozy. Nonetheless my passion is more for conceptual visual communication .

orangetoteside-borangetoteside-a

Wow, These Tea Deals

April 5, 2009

Seems word has spread bout my tea cozy and friends are clamoring for them, there always seems to be an occasion birthday, house warming, thank you gifts. Looks like I will make a batch of them in various colors as I did for the glass photo frames–which are great for last minute gifts. Since NOT doing art work but am refining my wet /dry felting skills. On the Purple one I put mohair under the purple and it seemed to work nairs to the surface… lesson learned: swirl it instead of total coverage. I am drawing closer to resolving the foot for the cozy.

Yet Another

March 17, 2009

felt-004

Okay I am not obsessed with tea cozy but it seems to be a versatile gift for lady friends. I like the idea of a foot to complete the piece.It is dry felted on… the cozy.

Multiple Purses

March 8, 2009

Using my basic shape to experiment with adding elements. I have used my 20k word quota at the party last night, thus I muted. I did not get the dimensions taken or added to this post yet.

Sanded Tea Cozy

February 17, 2009

This is a birthday present for a friend, a tea cozy for a two cup size pot. Yes, this was my first sanded project (see steps in previous post) and I am hooked on sanding. My shoulders were beginning to ache from all the massaging, soaping, massaging, boiling water, cold water, more massaging. The process has been cut by 75%of not 90% and I am on cloud nine.

Two Cup Tea Cozy

Two Cup Tea Cozy

teacozyb

Side A

Side A

Side view

Side view

Trail-Mix Campground

January 22, 2009

Trail-Mix Campground

Trail-Mix Campground

The trail-mix campground felt is nearing completion. I was so delighted by the memory that was being stirred as I made this piece, as it is a commemoration of an activity that my son and I shared- we conquered a mountain. The nostalgia of the event may have overshadowed the execution of the composition but I will not be able to fully comment until the highlights are added. I proudly shared the piece with my son, hoping the mountain climbing event left him with warm fuzzy feelings. Wrong!!! It was definitely more of a mothers’ affectionate slice of time, to be cherished alone. Anyway my feelings are not dashed, as I think the piece turned out interesting for a representational dry felted piece. It added some new techniques to my visual vocabulary on the craft and I am exuberant to press onward.

Felted Campsite

January 8, 2009

Trail-Mix Campground

Trail-Mix Campground

Eighteen summers ago I was a self supporting artist. Once the school year was dismissed my son and I would pack my art-wares, and camping gear into a 1979 Toyota Celica hatchback. All items had to be carefully placed like a jigsaw puzzle or the doors would not shut. Our journey always led us to art fairs with nearby vacation sites, (i.e. mountains, oceans) naturally it was not as spontaneous or as simple as I am describing but it more of an adventure.

Our favorite destination was Colorado. On one trip we camped beside the Arkansas River and what a lovely way to drift off to sleep with rumbling mountain water just meters away. The next morning I sat staring at the mountains while drinking high octane coffee, I exclaimed, “What does the camp site looked like from on top of that adjacent mountain?” I trotted off to the camp office to inquire about possible hiking trails up the mountain but none that were known. I decided that is not going to stop us, after all how difficult could it be? It is just a big hill laced with a combination of rock and shrubs.

We packed water, snacks, camera, binoculars, and walking sticks and headed upwards. Since there was no path just over grown shrubs and trees, we meandered upwards; it was exciting, adventurous and physically taxing. Now, you must visualize this was not a 10K mountain but a mere foothill nonetheless, an out of the ordinary activity for us.

Once at the top, out of breath, it was glorious to see what we had accomplished. Since I had never hiked, I was pleased to have shared this mountain with my son. We explored the top, and we discovered a few signs that we were not the first, as there were snack cake wrappers, a soda cans and other evidence of human activity. Totally exhausted I rested my bones while my son romped around the rocks, and shrubs. Over the edge we could see the speck of our campsite at our feet. Oh! It was a fun memory to peer through the binoculars where we had just eaten breakfast. This abstracted felted piece marks time of that exhilarating morning.

This felted piece is forming into an abstraction of that mountain top memory. Still in progress!!!!  I discovered the mixing of colors fibers(kind of combing by pulling apart multiple times) produced much more interesting colors.  I needle felted  in some details. I did not like the texture it created on the back, so I placed it back onto the screening and bubble wrap, soaped it up and proceeded with the massage.  Thus the topical stitching is still necessary to  give this rhythm,  simplification and cohesiveness.