Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sharing - Brenneta

Brenneta created this beautiful triptych after getting her materials from Mary the week before. I can't give all the thought behind her piece, but I believe she relies a lot on her faith and this work pays homage to that. She made references to Ash Wednesday and Easter, renewal and rebirth. I could really tell this one came from her heart, I think it is one of her best class pieces.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Sharing - Jan

Jan started with my metal cube stuffed with gray fabric.

I thought she came up with a wonderful solution. She said she was playing off the desire I had in my piece to balance it on one corner, so she balanced it with sticks on a rock. I guess it took quite a few tries to get it to ballance, but when it does only a few sticks actually touch the rock. The sticks laying around are the ones that slipped through the cube and didn't "stick."

Monday, February 23, 2009

Studio Visit

Our class was invited to our fall quarter instructor's studio. I certainly wanted to go, wondering if she had the kind of place I could only dream of, and of course it was.

On arrival we were met by the studio dog. He was suppose to stay outside, but what fun is that when there's a comfy rug to lay on and lots of women to pat him on the head.

The main floor was huge, many square feet of space to spread out and lots of wall space to hang works. Layne said she waited 7 years before the studio was built. During that time she made many notes, envisioned all the processes she would do and what space they would require, plus visiting other studios to find out what others did.

Layne - sorry about the bad photo! We all had a great time sharing our winter quarter projects with Layne and hearing her thoughts. I think we all were remembering fall quarter and have been missing her insightful comments and helpful suggestions.

Yes, there's also an upstairs.

Also a "kitchen" type area with a large utility sink and more space to work. There was also room for a large table of food and wine where many classmates gathered toward the end of the day.

What's a fiber artist studio with out a collection of scissors?

Sunday, February 22, 2009


I inherited Sally's transparent squished ball. She had printed on the acetate and cut it into strips, sort of pumpkin shaped.

I liked the idea of transparency and had not worked with plastic yet this quarter, so I thought that was the way to go. I had also recently taken some photos of light rainbows on our walls and wondered if I could include some colored light into the project. But what to do? maybe plant shapes? growing? maybe fan shapes?

At some point I thought of this line someone had posted on Twitter; "What color is the wind?" I really liked that idea and thought, "I'm borrowing materials, why not borrow the inspiration?" I'll use plastic to represent the wind. I can add colored LED lights -- the colors I found were red, blue, and green -- the colors of light, which together in their pure form equal white (or clear). How perfect I thought!

I sketched some sail type shapes and started to construct it. After spending a bit on time on the project I realized that how I was going about it and with the materials I had, it was not going to look like how I envisioned it. So scraped the wind idea for now.

I then thought of something Sally had said, she thought her object was kind of sea creature like and I agreed with her. I thought back to last fall when I visited the Monterey Aquarium and how I loved the jelly fish, anemone, and other sea life. I thought of making tubes out of plastic and how the small lights I had made them glow. So I decided to just have fun with the materials I had and play, probably creating some kind of sea plant.

I added some flowy plastic strips coming out of the base where the tubes of light were "planted," in part to cover the Styrofoam base and also to create a more organic form.

I like how it looks, even though I realize it looks a bit like a cheesy Christmas decoration. I don't like that it's really put together without a lot of finesse, plain old scotch tape is pretty much holding the whole thing together.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Time - Classmate Projects #2

Louise "Waiting Room" a mock-up for a room installation.




Thursday, February 19, 2009

Time - Classmate Projects

Janice "In the Moment"

Debra "Dying Flower"

Barb "Grand Canyon"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Time | Sharing

We have two weeks to do this assignment in two parts. The first part is "create a work of art that is conceptually centered around the theme of 'time'. Consider time and its effects on how we think, live, work, create culture in our lives, etc. This could also branch out to themes centered around traditions, history, past, present or future. Time as an abstract notion should be your focus, think about how it is connected to your choice in materials and subject matter."

Then after finishing this part in one week, we're going to give our projects away, and will receive a project in return. And this project we receive will be the starting point for the other half of the assignment. This whole process sounds like a lot of fun, what will the person receiving think of my project and materials and what will I get to work with?

So on to the first part. I'm always complaining about lack of time (along with so many others). There's never enough time to do the things I have in my head, not even when I try to narrow my focus and only consider what I think to be most important.

Hence the "cage" I built out of this metal grid mesh which I think is suppose to be fencing material. It wasn't fun to cut out the pieces, I have the blisters to prove it, fiber is much more forgiving. I then took this gray fabric and ripped it into strips that I tied into knots, representing stopping/decision/frustration points. This is suppose to represent my brain, there is too much to do/think/figure out so it's overflowing its container.

Within the "brain" there are also items that represent the parts of my life or what I think about. These won't show to the viewer, because they don't always get talked about or shown to the outside. They're my secret and of course the person I share my project with will find them when they pull it apart to make the second project. I wonder what they'll think?

I can't quite explain the burning part. I just new I wanted to set it on fire, not to destroy it, but to maybe show a giving up on some activities so make room for what is most important and maybe then everything will fit into the box. Or maybe I wanted to have a bit of a performance piece if only for a few minutes and let the neighbors wonder what was now happening over in #116.

I wished I could have figured out a way for my little sculpture to stand on it's point. I wanted to show some kind of tension in all of this or maybe how we can balance all of the parts in our lives. But I am not a metal smith or know about fabricating, so I ended up making a simple stand for it to rest in while standing on its point.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

More class projects - 2

Barb's 3-d Heart - Empathy. Made with felting. gauze, weaving and many other fabrics. A very cool project, I wished it was huge so I could walk through it.

Kaylin's Tropical Homeland. She was showing the tropical feeling of her home - ocean,greenery and hibiscus.

Jan and her stitched hand. I didn't hear her thoughts on this one, but I l iked it and will need to ask her about her concept.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2 week class review

Last night we were in groups of four reviewing the work of our classmates.

I wasn't part of the team that reviewed Sally's basket, but I wish I was because it was maybe my favorite of the night.

I was in on Debra's review, she had a whole thing going with renewal, spring and life. I should be able to say more, but last night seems like a week ago. I was quite intrigued with what was a felt layer that she said she stitched leaf shapes and then took a torch to it. The result was a really nice lace effect that was really organic and lichen-like. It had a lot of depth and nice colors, but I couldn't get past the baby chick fuzzy yellow on the top layer or that it was stretched over a form and is supposed to be framed, it seemed so "contained." Does putting a frame around it make it more like "art?"

I briefly talked to Karin about her quilting, didn't really quiz her about concept or anything, but I liked what I saw, the colors were mature and gorgeous. When she gets on that sewing machine, she really rocks.

More class work to come when I get the photos fixed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The 2 week weaving is done

It is off the loom and I'm tying ends, but it is not ready to hang so I would not exactly call it finished, but good enough to evaluate. I like parts of it. I also see what else can be done and what is possible, but over-all it needs work, I can see where I went wrong and I can also see where my dyeing technique needs to improve.


In creating the dyed pattern, I thought that it would be boring to have large areas of the same color. I wanted more depth to the piece so I started dyeing the warp in gradations of color from the outside in. On top of that was going to go a subtle gradation of the same color to mimic the gradation of the window blinds, but in weaving the two together I see that I have too much going on. It’s distracting. It is more distracting in the green area than the blue area on the bottom.

The weft gradation dyeing that I loved so much wrapped on the pvc pipe ended up sometimes being dyed on only one side of the yarn. Although they were in the dye bath for quite a long time, I think they were wound so tight the dye couldn't penetrate through, so I ended up with white streaks where there should have been dark blue, adding to the busyness of the piece.

In trying to dye just one small area -- the bright yellow oranges, where the "light was shining through" I was not careful enough and dyed too large of an area so there is a lot of the orange mixing with the dark green. Some of this seeping is would be kind of interesting, but there is so much of it. I see that is possible to dye, or paint a certain area with dye and have that be the design, the subject of the work, I just need to be more careful. I also need to plan for the "accidents" that will happen and let them happen in the most pleasing way.


I think I had a solid concept, something good to explore. I thought about it, kept revising it in my sketchbook, but I rushed when I got to the dyeing part of the execution and made decisions without thinking them totally through. I also needed experience and more practice exploring dyeing techniques to get what is in my head to the yarn. How can I make it more accurate?

I like the idea of the piece. I like that there is a technical challenge in the painting or dyeing of the fibers. I also like the excitement of starting to weave and put it all together. Have I dyed the parts so they end up in the right place? Will the colors in the warp and weft mix well together? I want to continue exploring this dye/painting idea.

I also like the strong colors, some of it is probably the newness of these acid dyes which I have only begun to use, but on the other hand I also think it is time to refine my palette. I think the total color of this piece is too dark. If I lighten up the colors I use and try not to be so dramatic, the colors will achieve something more sophisticated, more depth and richness in a more subtle way. The dyeing "accidents" which are going to happen will probably blend more pleasingly with softer colors.

Friday, February 6, 2009

2 week weaving continued again and again

My life. Go to work, eat, go upstairs and warp loom. Hopefully Saturday I will be weaving.

Photos: warping the loom and little bundles of weft ready to be woven.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2 week weaving continued again

I've started warping the loom last night -- still on schedule to get my project done for next week. These are the dyeing photos from the weekend. The top one is a small part of the warp dyed, this it the "letting in the light" part, Hopefully it will line up where I need it to when it's woven.

This is the top half of the warp dyed, this is what got done on Saturday. You may notice some plastic type pieces tied around the warp, this was to prevent the dye from spreading to far in that part; sort of like tie-dye.

When the warp was completely dyed it got hung up outside in front of the garage so all the neighbors could look at it. It also hangs outside until it stops dripping so it could come inside the nice warm house to dry.

The bottom photo is the weft dyed. For this project I wound four strands of yarn around large pvc pipe so I can dip it in the dye and get one long gradation for each strand of yarn. This should create the gradations of the "blinds" that I'm trying to incorporate. I really like how these came out, they may not work out as planned for this project, but they sure have me thinking about doing something with this idea for the next one.