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

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Experimental Vessel

March 6, 2012

My idea for this Nuno vessel is to paint on the dye THEN finish fulling it because the vessel is very soft at this point and barely will hold its shape.   The vessel is merino wool made with a resist template and the final layer of silk gauze.  Once it is painted, I will complete the fulling process and draw the design in tighter since fulling shrinks the wool.  I am excited to see how much control I lose over the design. Previous vessels that had white gauze applied in a nun fashion received the dye differently.  The silk tended to be several shades darker than the wool even though they were painted with the same dye at the same times and process identically.  I am unsure why this surprises me, because different fibers traditionally have absorbed dye in varying degrees.

last night

March 3, 2012

My shoulder is still healing so all I can physically do is felting soaps.  These are felted wool covered hand made soap.  The covers are made of merino wool and is felted so it hold the handmade soap that tends to melt allover the place when moisture hits it. Some people like to just keep them as decorative items. the small are $5.oo USD large 10.00 USD plus shipping.

gift soaps

Customer colors available upon request. Mothers Day is not too far away and if your mom is like mine,  consumable items is about all her house can accommodate.

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. 

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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.

She has returned.

February 24, 2012

Oh, how I would like to make the statement that I am BACK, yes back as in felting but it is increasingly more difficult to make plans. Yesterday, I knew I needed to felt and since the rotator cuff is still squawking at much activity I just let it have sample of this beloved activity.  It seemed that little gift soaps covered with merino wool and accented with hand-dyed wool was just the activity.  I dyed the bright turquoise in the fall of 2011. Wow has it really been that long since I did serious felting.  I have a proposal in for a workshop at a library ( 50 miles away) Since the facilities are limited covered rocks about the size of these hand crafted soaps are the focus of the workshop.  I love having these around as they make a special unexpected gift or consumable thank you gift besides food plus the soap has a much longer shelf life.  I experimented  a bit with each bar, trying to discover the easiest and more effective way of not only demonstrating the technique but allow success for each student.

It seems placing the soap on a piece of bubble wrap then layer with wisps of wool and topped by the outer  compositional layer was the best and most successful.

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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.

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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

Rework/Finishing Projects

March 23, 2011

I began the spiral Painting in November and just finished it today.

The Resist Alpaca vessel (before pic) began as jester’s hat for my nephew. Highly dissatisfied with the results it was tossed into the reject pile. Last week, with the coming of warm weather and the rejuvenation of spring air, I picked up the experiment gone array and began to reform it a vessel, which is the nice feature about Felt is it never truly locked into a shape.  It is much like a canvas that can be whitewashed and begin afresh. I am unsure of the vessel’s destiny but perhaps for some hand stamped acid dye and some decorative stitching.

Today, I also found in the discarded pile a brightly colored blue bag. I have added some decorative stitching and fulled it with my patio sized (88″ x 108″) bamboo screen.  Yes, I stitched it first then completed the fulling, I was unsure what would happen to the cotton thread, but it seems to not mind going through the fulling session.  I enjoyed this free form stitching because it lends more visual interest to surface. Sorry I could not photograph the detail but I am limited to my aging camera.

The black mohair ball that I felted last week got the same stitching with indigo thread as the blue bag; I re-fulled it, which shrank it to a mere 43 inches in circumference. It is the softest vessel that I have made today, it has a yummy soft, rich hand. The stitching on this vessel once dried might be nice with some shiny German Rayon embroidery thread.

Yikes, we have a tornado warning here in the Midwest of USA.  80F this morning and it is now a mere 60F so the storm is moving even though no funnel has been sited on the ground-just yet.


Dyeing a wool vessel

March 12, 2011

This unexpected vessel design was an exercise in creating color on a pure white vessel using acid dyes from Pro Chemical.  Once I felted and fulled the vessel, and it was completely dried, I folded vessel like a paper fan on one side.  I held the folds in place using metal pinch binder clips (the giant size). I wanted a random application opposed to a regular pattern, as the vessel was much too petite, so I added a few additional clips and even wood clothespins.   I mixed the acid dye with a tiny bit of water to create a paste then it was mixed with a pint of water with a pinch of non-iodized salt and tumbled into one of my stainless steel bowls and placed  on top of the electric burner. When the dye became 140F, I submerged the bound vessel into the dye.   Once I was satisfied with the saturation point judged by personal preference, I put the bound vessel into a plastic bag to slowly cool, this allowed plenty of time for the dye to penetrate and since protein, fibers require heat to open the cell structure and allow the dye to penetrate the cell membranes. .  I let it sit overnight in the bag, though this step is not necessary.   The following morning I rinsed the vessel but the dye had correctly exhausted or absorbed by the protein wool fiber.  When I rinsed it, no excess dye bled into the drain. It was a gratifying lesson, as I have never approached wool dyeing in this manner. The high contrast of the white and turquoise gives a vivid graphic design, which is definitely out of my comfort zone, and I enjoy more subtle designs but this one is promised to an adoring fan.

Satisified Vessel

February 27, 2011

As I was taking pics of this dried and completed vessel, I contemplated my process or approach.  It occurred to me that  I like to perfect a technique knowing that I can control the medium then intentionally distorted and bend the process which gives an organic looking item.  I do not always follow through  because I get distracted  nonetheless I feel I can now begin the  distortion to create a visual  texture of poetry. This piece I fulled when it was inflated with a beach ball.  I found a great amount of satisfaction in this process.

I had my mind set to move back to painting with wool and even began a wool canvas (see below)  I had intentions of adding images using German embroidery thread. I am, now, unsure of my next direction.

Canvas ready for Machine stitching

Last Scheduled Vessel

February 26, 2011

Working on technique once again.


Another wintry storm after 7 days of 65F spring weather.  It is gray, icy, snowy and we are warned to stay in door because of the dangerous ice;  great day to felt.  I am trying of vessels and  am ready to move forward with more felt paintings; so, this will most likely be my last vessel.  I might add some stamped dye images,  I am unsure at the moment.

Flying Geese Vessel

February 23, 2011

This piece is available for sale at the Women Made Gallery  It is made of Mohair, Alpaca and Icelandic Lamb Fleece approximately 33 inches in circumference.  The abstract aubergine flying geese has been stamped on using a thickened dye. Once it was dry it was steamed in a commercial Chinese Steamer (similar to home bamboo stove-top steamers) with  three inches of white distilled vinegar  in the bottom portion covered and boiling over a hot plate.  To keep the condensation from dripping back onto the vessel, clean unprinted newsprint paper was put under the lid while it steamed twenty minutes.

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.

Piercing the Vessel Walls

February 9, 2011

I have packed one of my studio walls bookcases with last years felting projects including many vessels.  Naturally, to me they are not just empty containers but marks of time and last winter experiments.   Yesterday I began a timid deconstruction of one such Vessel that I called “Five A”.  If my recall is correct, I had just acquired some luscious white mohair,(from the local Yarn Barn) which reminded me of a fine Pink Mohair sweater I owned as a child. I loved the texture of that sweater and the slight sheen it reflected in the bright school florescent lights. Instead of listening to the teacher’s explanation of algebra or the revolutionary war, I would gaze into the curly swirling mohair fibers, which were much more interesting than what the teacher had to say. Anyway I digress, and if one looks carefully the wisps of mohair is easily seen on the surface of Five A” much like it did in the pink sweater.

Continuing my experiments with direct application dyeing, I thickened the Pro Chemical Acid dye with sodium alginate thickener so I could stamp dye on to “Vessel Five A”. I soaked the vessel in solutions of warm water and white distilled vinegar.  A couple of decades ago I was mesmerized by found and scrap objects.  My studio used to be located close to a wood shop and I was intrigued by the various discarded cutouts left at the feet of a ban saw covered with sawdust.  Many of the interesting shapes found a home after I first covered a side with a glue adhesive and a commercial wool felt, these made handsome, durable stamps.  If one were to survey my work over the past 30 years, one could easily see the evidence of these stamps that I dipped into paint, dye, and textile Createx, which were foundational visual textures in much of my work. Anyway,  the teal dye was added to the thickener and stamped on using the stamp in the photo.  The eggplant dye was stamped on using the bottom of a wooden spoon and the dye was thinner thus one can see how it bleed into surrounding areas and did not hold its shape. The Vessel was wrapped into cellophane and nuked in microwave for 3 minutes on high, allowed to cool then nuked  and additional two minutes. I proceeded to full the shape tighter and tighter.  I reshaped it so it no longer resembles the original “Five A” vessel.  Oh this is a moot point but I attempted discharge dying that failed miserably.  I could not get the thiox thick enough and even strong enough to maintain a shape this I scraped the idea for now.

Today I pierced the walls of “FiveA” with my new dressmaking Gingher shears slicing bits and pieces from the vessel that created a repetitive design in the teal colored wool.  I found this snipping away most satisfying in a peek a boo fashion. In the past, I used slashing and cutting the surface of items in a metaphoric approach to communicate or provoke thoughts of universal emotions. We, as humans, have all experienced betrayals, rejections, or humiliations from those we trusted and that slash in out heart rarely heals without a scar.  It seems there is much room to push this envelop further and see how far one can distress the vessel and maintain the  integrity of the wool  So on to more cuttings.

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Escape

January 23, 2011

I finally escaped the world’s troubles and got into the studio today.  I madly felted three Vessels.  One lattice, which I intensely love, a ball  with hand applied acid dye using a natural sponge (I was surprised the sponge is now also dyed) and another vessel made of poodle , mohair,  Icelandic wool and  hand dyed silk.  I will be out-of-town Monday,  Tuesday either planning a funeral for my car or biting my nails.  I will write more description and add pics some time after Wednesday or when I have some direction for my transportation.

A Mother’s Heart Vessel

January 4, 2011

Busy day doing technology work, stopped by a friend’s house and got to see all their awesome new work. Darin White a fabulous sculptor explained his new proposed acrylic sculpture that is wall encompassing. Shannon’s new digital image work in repurposed metal was colorful, playful, whimsical and a touch of mystery.  After a dinner of spinach salad and tuna, I chatted with my friend Jan, a struggling writer we both admitted that we have been terribly distracted by life and have sorely neglected out specific artistic expression.

I want to finish a piece that I already showed in its unfinished state. It is called, “A Mother’s Heart”. The bamboo spearing the delicate folds were originally designed to be arrows made from brass, which I intended to approach and give it an additional  swing at expressing a bleeding heart for one’s children.