Sunday, November 8, 2015

What I finished yesterday .....

This is silk gauze that I attempted to dye black with Winton food dyes. I have had great success dying wool with these dyes but not so much silk. As you can see it turned out purplish. I am trying to play with the way the silk puckers depending on the way the wool shrinks. This was the layout.

The finished scarf - very fluffy like

 Close up detail 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

What was on my table last week....

Koolaid dyed silk gauze with merino/bamboo blend. I started out with this but then removed some of the strands to add more pucker. I was working with a shorter piece of silk gauze  and wanted it to shrink width wise and not length wise.

I layed the strands so they went off the edges then trimmed as needed 

The final piece 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A lunchbox from leftover felt.

I am not sure how many years ago it was that I went to a workshop by Luckystone Felt - Robin Blakney Carlson's studio at Lake George and Polly Stirling was there. We made blankets but I used silk organza and it took forever to felt and my three panels never turned out so I threw them in the dryer to harden them up but when they came out they were small and very very hard. I took two of the pieces and made an overnight bag, but the third piece remained for years languishing away in a box.

Well my lunch box zipper broke!  And I saved the plastic insert, thinking I could use it for something but I have not bought a new lunchbox. So I remembered last night that I needed a lunchbox and thought about that piece of hardened felt sitting in a box, so I rummaged through my unpacked boxes and found it!
Then I made a paper pattern and cut out the pieces I needed. I had enough plus a few pieces left over.

These are the leftover bits.

 I sewed it together from my pattern around the plastic bin. Added rings on the side and repurposed an old strap I found that had clips on the end.

I added twill tape on the inside of the lid and put an elastic that I had through it. I have this pinned in right now. I need to play with the length of that. The lid did not stay down the way I wanted so I am putting a button on the front, cut a slit in the twill tape and tied a piece of repurposed leather to the elastic. The leather allows me to pull the elastic down over the button. 

My almost finished lunchbox.  I need to sew the button on permanently, and need to put my label on it. I am not sure about additional embellishments but am considering it. I plan to take it for a test drive when I go into the office and bring my lunch.  Wool is a very good insulator so I think this should work well.  I may slide some thin foam down the sides and on the bottom to improve the insulation if I find I need it. I am quite pleased with the results. The elastic pulls the lid tight around the sides with the button holding it in place. 

Friday, July 10, 2015

It's been while.... Lightweight silk and wool scarf

Since moving to New York, I have been able to set up a studio in what would be a dining room in the house I am renting. I love walking through the room with a piece on the giant table and just stopping to look and add to it. Every morning after the dog and I do our routine, I will work for ten or twenty minutes on whatever I have on the table. I am trying to build an inventory. I have a few pieces in a gallery in Horsham, PA, but I really want to get some in local galleries here in New York.

The table is almost 8 foot with the leaves in. I still need to raise it up a few more inches so I don't keep killing my back but it works for now.

I started with long piece of silk that was almost 8 foot long, added merino edge around the side then merino wool branches. At this point I decided to fill in the silk with white merino wool in a very thin layer.
I added prefelt green leaves, and silk paper flowers that I had made. a few blue silk paper dots and strands of merino.This picture is a panorama that is a bit distorted in the middle.

When I make silk paper I lay it out on parchment paper and spray it with starch, then cover it with another piece of parchment paper and iron it. let it dry and then cut it into the shapes I want. For felting this works well.

I sprayed it with water and olive oil soap and covered it in plastic then rolled it. then opened it up and rubbed it, then rolled, etc.
The finished piece about 3/4 the length of the table. I am letting it dry and will check it in the morning to see if it needs more work. I was pleased with the results.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

My 2 state scarf

Last year I had a workshop with Leiko and learned her Pine Needle technique. I wanted to play around with this a bit but make it easier to do so I used longer pieces of roving, but added a few areas with her technique and filled in some areas with merino I cut into short fibers. I did this because I used a silk organza, which in retrospect I should not have because it made it harder to felt.  I thought I had taken photos but could only find a few. I did the layout and partial felting then let it dry completely in Pennsylvania. I then rolled it up on a pool noodle and tied it off.

Four months later in New York, I unrolled the in progress scarf which had actually been slightly felted.
Added a bit more wool to it. I used merino from Outback Fibers. Wet it down and felted it. 
This is the same table, and you can see it shrunk about 30%, although I did not measure it.
Close up detail of the scarf. 

I am very happy with how this turned out and hoping it will be accepted for sale at a gallery I recently was in contact with. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

6 x 6 mounting and new label test

I made a few 6 x 6 pieces for the Rochester Contemporary Art 6 x 6 art show. Its a fund raiser where they sell pieces of art mounted on a 6 x 6 board.  I thought it would help get me back into being creative since I moved.

A few months ago I had my friend Lori design me a logo, which I love. I used the logo to have a stamp made. I use  black acrylic paint with the stamp.
I then stamped it onto silk I had dyed awhile back and heat set it with an iron

I cut out the logo and burned the edges to seal it and prevent unraveling

Then I glued the silk to the back of the piece

Mounted the hook part of some velcro onto some pieces of mat board I got today at the Village
Frame Shoppe. The owner was very nice and cut me some 6 x 6 inch pieces from scrap board she
had laying around. I would definitely take something to her to be framed if I was going to frame something. 

I press the piece on to the velcro and it holds it quite nicely. No special mounting required.
I will need to sign the board on the back as well.
These two pieces are inspired by winter. All I see from my window right now is snow and brown trees.
This one is wet felted

This one is wet felted and needle felted using locks, homespun yarn on a prefelted base.