hello all, today’s post March 27th  is not about felting  but a good friend in his endeavor as a fine artist.  It is best to just post a link instead of me translating his vision and work.

Darin White

Sorry, Darin, for the delay nonetheless I was excited to see the Brooklyn show was a great success, thus congrats are in order. What is next?

I found this posting in my draft basket.  My blogging hit an all time low in the late winter and I am dragging to regain the momentum I once had.  I have been having fun with my adult son and ignoring any ideas and aspirations to create.  I cannot begin to explain how difficult it is to switch between the left hand brain activity of my day job, and the vibrant, creative right brain activity and energy in my studio. Excuses aside I stand empty handed, projects unfinished and allowing the technology of my smart phone to suck the life out of me.  I have shamelessly admitted the admiration of the smart phone developers is high.  I can now draw on my phone, in color and digitally record it. It takes me back to 1994 when I discovered the personal computers and the internet.  When I attended university in Durham, England, I met a nice chap, with whom I interacted for a few years even after my return to the USA.  Years, decades flew past me.  I decided to put this Internet thing to the test. I set out on a quest to find this chap.  The internet was not THAT refined, cataloged or databases had crude inter-connectivity in 1995, even though it only took four seconds to send an email to Australia;  my search took four months and resulted in a phone call in Tasmania. Shocked to hear each others voice, it was not brain surgery to conclude that this internet thing was not only useful but here to stay.

 

I was not terribly successful convincing other artists that putting their artwork on the Net, would give world wide expose, of course all those artist, now, have fancy websites and I do not.   When the US Science Foundation was the sole distributor of domain names, I had registered several in 1994 before there was a cost and my foresight provided a nice profit when I sold them to various firms.  Anyway, I tried to integrate the digital world and my creativity, which never clicked for me; I am not a graphic artist and was not terribly interested becoming one.  I missed the other input of my senses, the smell of the paint, and the feel of a lovely brush in dipping into paint and applying to a surface.  There is an inner pleasure when paint is applied to various surfaces whether it is smooth and slick like a Bristol paper or rough watercolor paper. The fragrance of indigo oxygenation when fabric is pulled from a vat or mono gum when applied to fabric for a dyeing resists. Now, the smell of wet wool is unmatched.

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.

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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