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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New fleece

December 5, 2012

I thought I posted this; it looks as though I do not understand my tablet as well as I hoped.  I can successfully do a few things but posting to my bog is not one of them.  Although to my credit I was able to upload this pic on Wednesday but then it has been sitting in the draft section of several days. Let’s be fair and say I was working on the tablet in my car not while driving mind you but sitting in a parking lot using an establishment’s WIFI.  Distractions still keep me from felting however I did clean off the table and get the studio ready to felt by spreading plastic across the print table and sorting through items which I have collected–you know for a future project.  YAY. Perhaps today after work and a shopping trip to Trader Joes, I will get at least a test felt completed. The daunting idea of cleaning all that wool is the main deterrent.

fleece 3 bags full

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

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.


Camera Phone

March 15, 2011

I have an hour to kill before I must leave for a Circuit Swap at a retail store, so might as well be productive.  I left this vessel drying last night on my kitchen table and so here it sits.  I like the way the inner layers of white and black mohair migrate to the surface. I could not capture that bit of detail as I took the pic with  my blackberry. You will be able to see it once I shoot in in the photographic studio with better lighting and no distracting background information. The glass table is rather reflective.  The inner most layer  is white merino  with gray alpaca, white mohair, more merino, black mohair and final layer of thin Shetland wool fleece. I have plans for  embellishments  but as most things in life are subject to change. I really want to create a vessel that I can slice open and sew back with copper wire surgical stitches,  but I am not confident this is the vessel for that treatment.  I have been intrigued with the idea of scars for about 2 decades and like to use it as a metaphor in my work.

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.

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.   

Metallic Polymers

June 3, 2010

Hello all! I have missed you as I have been doing many experiments. I am particularly interested in paints or getting color onto surfaces.  I have always been fascinated by the chemistry of paints of al kinds especially when I made my own gouache and watercolor paints. In 1990, I did a series of paintings on unstretched canvas using latex paints.  Now, twenty years later, I see why house paint only have a ten year warranty as it begins to crack and peal.  I am not sure if  Jackson Pollock ‘s paintings cracked but  of course his are kept in climate controlled environments but also,  perhaps the ingredients of his paint were different from today’s latex paints.  I was surprised,today, as I researched the binder of acrylic paints which are a direct result/invention from Pollock’s experiments with happenstance latex. I never thought about it but there were no acrylic paints until the pop revolution of the 1960’s. I found that retro tidbit of information interesting.

I discovered  a regret, when I had the opportunity to study chemistry, I immaturely thought that I would never need or use that sort of information , thus, I quickly flung the coursework aside. However, one will make many crooked lines if they are always looking backwards, so I plow forward.

I used a simple cylinder vessel and before it dried, I soaked it in a metallic glazing solution, which  I mixed using acrylic copper paint.

Vessel

The results were interesting,  the copper liquid was absorbed by the wool, coloring the white vessel to a lovely shade of muted tones then as the liquid evaporated it deposited a nice residue of the metallic particles around the lip, furthermore the polymers in the glaze take on characteristics similar to a stiffener. This excited me, as the only stiffeners I have found were all water-soluble hence, in humid climates, you can guess accurately the results. I am pressing onward to  new horizons  with textiles.  I did not document a before pic  but this vessel was 100% white wool before soaking.  The images were applied while wet with a foam brush. To those into soft wearable art, this technique could be repulsive it’s stiffens wool fibers not merely on the surface but throughout the vessel. I like the idea of creating a 3D wool canvas.

Detail Copper Lip

Samples

May 25, 2010

A taste of samples from my studio, these are very raw colors but the intent was not tonalities or combo of such, but technique.  I am satisfied with the knowledge acquired from these experiments, which provide a studier foundation even though I have just begun the climb.  I have a few more pieces with resist dyeing that I need to photograph but I am too excited as I want to move forward. I am currently working on a proposal for a contrast/ tension gallery showing, thus with my newly acquired knowledge, I will be able to finally add depth and a quality missing from my previous work. I suppose dyeing is after all more closely related to painting, which I enjoy the most, so painting on felted vessels is ecstasy and an adventure.  My skill as a fine crafter is sorely missing however, in all justification I am mainly passionate about light, tones, shades and hues.  I have two more vessels that are drying where utilized transference in the technique from silk to wool.

Resist Dyed