Archive for the ‘Process’ Category

My new fiber love

November 6, 2015

Mulberry Bark.

Well new to me anyway. Apparently it has been used for hundreds of years in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. It’s also referred to as kozo and is used extensively in papermaking.

I got some bleached and then dyed it with Setacolor.

dyed mulberry bark

dyed mulberry bark

I’m a sucker for the texture which is irregularly grid-like but can be teased into curvier lines that form around serendipitous holes. Very fun to play with. It’s quite stiff and when wet and shaped will dry to that shape. Folks, like this woman, make delicate bowls with it.

Me, I will dye it, pull the fibers into the pattern I want and stitch it down. That’s the plan anyway. I think it has great potential to add interesting organic surface texture.
Have any of you used it?

Glimpses of breath

October 19, 2015

During this past summer, due to other obligations, my artmaking was fairly fallow. Periods of time like that leave me uneasy and both eager to get back to it and anxious that it won’t come easily. Though I wasn’t dyeing and stitching much, my mind was playing with an unformed, vague idea that I wanted to do something about Breath. This connects to my (mostly) daily meditation practice and the role  breath plays. It also fired up my curiousity to understand more about respiration both in us and in plants and how the miraculously efficient and rapid exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place. And this (of course, to me!) lead to thoughts about the interconnectedness of our world.

I get excited about making art when the seeds of an idea are connected on multiple levels like this! I felt a series coming on…and about a month ago, I got to work!

There are several new-to-me materials I knew I wanted to include one being silk organza (lovely but tricky) as well as attempting to sew bombyx silk directly onto fabric and felt. Many mistakes were made! A lot to learn! Here are a few glimpses-close up detail shots-of the workpiece in process on my design wall right now.

glimpse 1

glimpse 1

glimpse 2

glimpse 2

glimpse 3

glimpse 3

 

Hmmm…hard to believe these are all coexisting in the same piece! Hopefully I’ll finish it and post a photo soon.

Roots of Rhythm X-Part 4

July 1, 2015
Roots of Rhythm X

Roots of Rhythm X

The finished piece.
So I’m pretty happy with it! Especially the way the colors work together and the textures. The blues sing to me.
I still need to get a more professional photo so it’s not even up on my website yet.
Thoughts? Feedback?

Roots of Rhythm X-Part 3

June 28, 2015

If you’re late to this party, here’s Part 1 and Part 2.
Now that the lower left and upper right cellular sections were mostly complete, I needed make some choices about how to use the  large space between them where I wanted to somehow show a flow happening. This took time-with  lots of ideas tried and rejected. This is the stage in the process where a lot of self doubt creeps in. I had a pile of felted “elements” which I had separately stitched to add shape and sculptural lines .  I knew I wanted to incorporate them but there were endless possibilities as to how. I considered color, balance and line as well as the abstract “story” in my head of what moment of change/transformation was happening. After weeks (really!), I found a direction, I was happy with.

Roots of Rhythm X-step 6

Roots of Rhythm X-step 6

 

some of the felt elements looking for a home

some of the felt elements looking for a home

Lines were couched to carve the space into flowing sections. I had known all along that including the blue felt was critical, but wasn’t happy till I stumbled on the “ladder” possibility.
This now defined the basic structure of the space so I was more sure of myself and confident I was moving in the right direction. It was then much clearer to see how to show movement and flow with stitching,the felt pieces and some lovingly placed french knots.

detail

detail

Next time: the whole enchilada done.

Roots of Rhythm X-Part 2

June 26, 2015

If you missed it, here’s the previous post about this process.
Once the underlying structure was complete, things got much more interesting for me. I selected a piece of silk I had dyed over a year ago that had a beautifully complex and intricate texture. This was cut and fused to each cellular section.

Roots of Rhythm X: step 4

Roots of Rhythm X: step 4

…until all were filled.

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5

…and I happily free motion stitched each one. I love this part-podcasts and stitching!
Here’s a close up:

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5 detail

Roots of Rhythm X: step 5 detail

More to come…

Roots of Rhythm X- Part 1

June 23, 2015

I’m often asked questions about my process so whenever I start a new piece, I try to make a commitment to document it along the way…and usually fail.

BUT the piece I just finished, Roots of Rhythm X was happily an exception. So, if you’re interested, here are a series of posts looking at the steps to its creation. This piece was under construction for the better part of two months.

Part 1

After sketching out some rough ideas and making some critical color decisions (documenting that step would involve many pictures of me pawing through piles of dyed silk and looking discouraged and lost), I chose the violet background silk, fused it onto a piece of Warm and Natural batting cut a few inches smaller. I then couched varigated yarn to build the cellular grid.

Roots of Rhythm X: step 1

Roots of Rhythm X: step 1

When the grid was done, inner shapes were added. This red/rust silk is all one color. The variation comes from light catching the nap of the charmeuse at different angles.

Roots of Rhythm X: step 2

Roots of Rhythm X: step 2

…till all spaces were filled. I then stitched around each red/rust shape.

Roots of Rhythm X: step 2

Roots of Rhythm X: step 2

Please let me know if you have more specific questions about these steps.
Stay tuned for more…

Snow and felting

March 10, 2015

A good combo.  Instead of whining about the below zero unrelenting cold, I made some cobweb felt using various fibers; merino and wensleydale (curly!) embellished with bombyx silk and bamboo silk for lustrous shimmery lines. Here drying  by the woodstove. Extra credit if you spotted the bird at the feeder.

I’ll go back to whining now while it’s all drying.

cobweb felt

cobweb felt

A closer look for you all that appreciate lovely fiber texture.

cobweb closeup

cobweb closeup

Felting Frenzy

December 31, 2014

For the past month, I’ve been slowly and joyfully working through an online surface design felting class
taught by Fiona Duthie.

My own felting methods have mostly developed based on slow, disorganized experimentation resulting in some satisfying successes and a few too many disasters. I’ve learned SO much from this course! Techniques are well organized, fully explained and some are brilliant. I never would have stumbled upon them myself. So many new ways to create delicious texture with silk! I highly recommend if you want to further explore the endless possibilities of felting.

So I’ve been inspired to felt up a storm trying out these new techniques and combining them with my old stand bys. I used lots of different fibers and techniques-cobweb, craters, cords and more- and yesterday, finally, after weeks of holidays and illness, I got to spend the day with fellow fiber artist, Kris, dropping it all into dyepots. Lovely results. I’m planning to be working on a series of smaller (12″ x12″) mounted pieces that will not only be more affordable for folks but will give me lots of opportunity to play with felt/silk  compositions. Be looking for bits of these babies in upcoming work!

pile of newly dyed felt

pile of newly dyed felt

A peek at the secret piece in process

May 23, 2014

I’ve been pretty quiet on this blog recently because  I’m creating the work on my design wall ” under wraps”. My wonderful daughter, Caitlin is marrying wonderful Alex this July here in Vermont and I am making them a wall piece that will double as the chuppah (at a Jewish wedding, it’s a canopy the couple gets married under). They’ve decided they don’t want to see it till their wedding day…thus this hush hush business.

But here’s a peek at a small detail:

 chuppah peek 1

chuppah peek 1

They made some genersl choices about colors and looked through my portfolio to let me know which pieces of mine appealed most to them and left the rest up to me!
I’ve been surprised at how much it means to me to be working on a piece that I know will live in my family for a long time. I feel a much deeper connection to the work.

 

Potential IV

March 29, 2014

All that resist felting, dyeing, felt ball rolling and pocket filling has come together .

Potential IV

Potential IV

I’m still enjoying experimenting with combining silk and felted areas and pushing the boundaries of including increasingly 3D elements. Here’s a close up.

Potential IV detail

Potential IV detail

Any  feedback?