Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Card weaving & more

I have wanted to make woven wall hangings since I first saw some back in the 70's... some dreams never die, they just take awhile to come true!  I recently came across a book, "Weaving Off-Loom" written in 1973, which is a great resource for weaving techniques using non-traditional methods, and I have begun the process of learning.  I completed one hanging, and I'm working on or thinking about several more.  Here is the first:
I love these because they incorporate various materials, not all fiber.  I have deadwood, beads, dyed scrim, wool roving and a variety of yarns in this piece.  There was no formal plan for how this would turn out, only inspiration from some of the photos in the book.  I made a "loom" from a piece of foam board, strung the warp using crochet floss, and just started playing... great fun, and the results convinced me I will be doing more of these!
On another topic, I have made several "Thread bowls" using scraps of sewing thread, embroidery floss, and other fiber or yarn scraps.  I was recently invited to enter one of my bowls in an upcoming exhibit at High Country Conference Center here in Flagstaff, and I had just finished a large bowl, so it will be in the exhibit:
This one measures 10 3/4" by 3 1/4"... the largest one I have made so far.  I have plans to make something a little different soon... more of a sculpture item than a bowl shape.  Love using up these thread scraps!

Coming up soon is the 21st Annual Flagstaff Open Studios Tour, August 25-26, with the Prelude Exhibit opening at Arts Connection Gallery at Flagstaff Mall on Saturday, August 4.  So I am busy preparing for both events, and look forward to another fun August!

Enjoy the rest of summer, and stay tuned... will post more soon.

Friday, June 8, 2018

What on Earth have I been doing?

It's been over a month since my last post, and I can't say I've done anything significantly different than I have been doing since... forever!  Making things for the gallery, filling a couple of custom orders, and browsing the internet, mostly facebook.  I administer a couple of groups on facebook - Cotton Rope Bowls Mats and Bags is a closed group of fiber artists who make bowls like I've been making for several years now (here's my latest)

This talented group comes from all corners of the globe, and they make incredible creations!  Very inspiring, filling me with loads of ideas.
My other group is called Mixed Media Art, and the variety of different creations that come under that heading is amazing!  I did a few pieces over the past year, and like what I was able to accomplish:

I hope to do more of these, but I confess, I have recently been drawn to a recurring area of interest.  Last weekend, my friend Cinde and I attended the Flagstaff Wool and Fiber Festival, and I met and talked to some members of the Fiber Artists of Northern Arizona.  As a result, I decided to become a member, hoping to connect with other fiber artists and grow my skill set.  Here is one thing I am hoping to try:
These are wet vessels created by wet felting, and I have never tried this technique.  Bet that changes soon!
One more thing that has captured my attention in a big way is the beautiful knotted tapestry creations of Laura Bowman, Artist.  Here is an example of her incredible work:
Her pieces are created using some basic macrame' knots, but she has taken the art form to a whole new level.  You can see more of her creations here.  Since I started researching her work, I have ordered a back issue of Fiber Arts Now with an article about her, and ordered a book written many years ago called "Weaving Off Loom", which is something I have wanted to do for a long, long time!
So if you follow me, and have wondered what I've been doing... I would say I'm preparing to take yet another huge leap out of my normal "comfort zone" into areas I have longed to explore for decades!  Excited?  Oh, yeah!  And I will try to do a better job keeping you up to date, I promise!  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Back in the gallery

Following our 16th annual Flagstaff Recycled Art Exhibit - another wonderful opportunity for members of our community to display their creativity and ingenuity - our regular Artists' Co-op will re-open tomorrow.  We have many of our regular artists returning along with some new artists, all with wonderful items available for purchase... just in time for Mother's Day, May 13th!
Here are a few shots of my booth display:

I have several mixed media pieces, along with a selection of my coiled fabric bowls and hand dyed scarves.  Not shown, a rack full of hand dyed t-shirts, rayon tunics, dresses, and some skirts.  And there are at least 28 other artists showing their art, so it's definitely worth stopping to see all the wonderful art work!  Arts Connection Gallery is located at the Flagstaff Mall, near J.C. Penney, and the gallery is open Noon - 7 pm, Monday - Saturday, and Noon - 7 pm Sunday.  If you are in Flagstaff, please stop by!   Oh, and just to whet your appetite, here is a picture of a wonderful beaded "Tree Spirit" displayed in the front window, made by my friend Cinde Dalhover, who is a very talented bead artist!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Coiled Bowl Class and "Blue Lady"

I taught my first Coiled Fabric Bowl class yesterday at our local quilt store, Odegaard's Sewing.  I had 7 lovely ladies as my students - one was a self-confessed complete novice to sewing - and they were just great!  We had a four hour class, and I took them through the whole process with some individual coaching where needed.  Here are some shots of the class, and a group shot at the end (one lady had to leave early, but all the others were either finished with their bowl or real close!)

I am teaching the class again May 5, and I hope the next group is as great to work with as these gals were.

On another note, I have been getting back into making "Spirit Dolls", something I began dabbling in about a year ago.  Here are the ones I made last year:

I loved how these came out, but I think I have taken my dolls to a new level with the one I just finished:

I call her "Blue Lady".  One of the things I like is the face, which is one of 3 I bought from Lyn Belisle.  She makes them from clay and they are fired, then painted.  The features are lovely, and the size is a little larger than the ones I made from a mold.  "Blue Lady is about 20" long and 9" wide at the arms.  
Now that I have more wood to work with, and a plethora of fabrics, yarns and other fiber and bead embellishments, I hope to have some sisters for her soon... and they will be on display at the Arts Connection Gallery in the Flagstaff Mall starting in May.  Come by and welcome the ladies!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Study in Color and Texture

That's the title of the finished fiber art/mixed media panel I mentioned at the beginning of my last post.  I finally got the stretcher bars, found fabric to mount it on... now to wire it for hanging, and it will go into the Arts Connection Gallery soon.
I think the fabric I chose to mount it on gives it a nice finished look.  This one was a real challenge for me, and more than once I thought to abandon the project.  So glad I continued to go back in, try different things, and worked past my blocks! 

Sunday, February 25, 2018

And even more Mixed Media!

I can't seem to stop!  In my last post, I mentioned wanting to do a piece that is reminiscent of work I have seen by Isobel Moore, a mixed media textile artist from the United Kingdom.  But as I worked on this next piece, I found myself veering off in my own direction. Inspired by both Isobel Moore and Carol Nelson another mixed media artist, I ended up with this:

I haven't framed or mounted it yet - it is not a standard size, so I'm planning to buy stretcher bars, stretch some fabric over them and mount the piece on the fabric.  

After finishing the above piece, I decided to try one using a piece of driftwood and some seed pods I had on hand.  I also had an unpainted canvas, some hand dyed scrim, painted corrugated cardboard, and some other items.  Here's what I came up with:
I had a vague idea of what I hoped to accomplish here, but it came out even better than I had hoped.  One bonus was that I found a piece of rust-dyed lutradur I have had forever... given to me by 
(I forget!) because (I forget!).  But it was a perfect background for the composition.  I did a color wash on the canvas to blend with the colors of the piece, cut the lutradur to fit the canvas, then used matte gel medium to attach the lutradur.  I continued affixing each layer, some with the gel medium, the 3D items with E6000 glue.  Before I glued the driftwood, I used waxed linen to tie the clay bead to it, then glued the driftwood and seed pods.  
Much as I like the first piece in this post, I think the one above is one of my best pieces of wall art in a very long time!  
I see myself spending time walking the trails to scavenge for cast off wood and other organic items, and I also plan to start visiting the junk shops looking for rusty metal things, old fabric, and probably some old books with yellowed pages, or sheet music I can use as the base layer to future compositions.  I think I have found a new obsession!  Stay tuned for more... 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

More fun with mixed media

I finished my first 3 wall hangings, using the same general pattern, but varying colors and combinations of embellishments.  The first 2 are framed and hanging at the Arts Connection Gallery at Flagstaff Mall:
This was the first one, using hand dyed fabric for the background, dyed twigs, torn art paper and painted corrugated cardboard I made last year, fabric beads, dyed cheese cloth (aka scrim), gold braid, ladder yarn, a pipe cleaner wrapped with eyelash yarn, and embroidery floss.  It's 6" by 13", and is framed in a shadow box.

This one had pretty much the same combination of materials, plus I added some washers.  So happy to be using some of the art papers at last!

Yesterday, I finished this one - 9" x 20".  It was a little more difficult, due to the larger size.  Plus, I finally figured out that it would be easier if I would wait until all the hand stitching was done before I added the twigs!
Oh, and I added a "bundle" as a focal point - a piece of dried black walnut, wrapped with scrim, yarn and a couple of beads, plus a couple of dried Coreopsis blooms.

Now that I have found my comfort zone with these, I am going to spend some time creating more embellishments  and see if I can find other ways to use these techniques for future projects.  I would also like to try and incorporate some machine stitching into my pieces, ala Isobel Moore, whose work I really admire.  Sadly, she has nothing published about her techniques, so I will just have to play and see if I can use her work as inspiration.  So the journey continues with no end in sight!  Stay tuned...