Monday, January 21, 2013

New Year- New Work- New Me

One of my many New Year's resolutions was to update my blog on a regular basis.  Well......better late than never!
I decided this year was going to be the year I created more fiber art. I have spent so much time making jewelry over the past few years that I haven't allowed myself playtime with fiber or mixed media in my studio. With that in mind, I accepted an invitation to join an art group which is still in it's infancy. We are deciding on a name as well as what we hope to accomplish through our group.  It is a collection of artists who work in different mediums but I feel like the connection with these talented women will help me focus on the direction that I would like to go this year.
Another opportunity came up with a friend where we each decided to create a visual journal. We figured doing it together would keep each other accountable. The plan is to have a general idea for each month but we can create whatever type of art we want. It's pretty freeing to only have a main theme. Then we can make a list of techniques we might want to try or new products or supplies we want to play with. We haven't met to view each other's work yet but we plan to do so.  Can't wait to see all the work she's done!
For January the theme was CIRCLES.  

Week One Sample: Wet felted using flat back marbles wrapped in wool fibers sandwiched between the fibers. When almost fully felted I cut small circles over the marbles  to expose them. When the felt was dry I added embroidered shisha mirrors, shell buttons and small vintage sequins. I also added a metal face charm and beaded around it. Then I added running stitches around some of the circles that I had created as well as some french knots.

 Above and below are close-ups of the sample. My plan was to learn more about embedding items in the fibers before felting so that I could cut circles into the felt. I want to continue working with this idea.

Week Two Sample:

I spent so many hours on my week one sample that I wanted week two to be simpler and quicker!
I wanted to try creating LOTS of circles using free motion machine embroidery over a water soluble stabilizer.  This piece took what seemed like FOREVER and it's only about 5 x 5. When I was done embroidering it BEFORE I dissolved the stabilizer it was approximately 7 x 7. I was trying to keep my samples roughly the same size.  The felted piece is about 7 x 7.  Once the stabilizer was dissolved the embroidery shrunk.  I used polyester thread but it still decreased in size once it didn't have the stablizer to keep it in shape.  Also learned that if you want to make this to use for lace that you should go over the circle shape numerous times to help it hold it's shape.  As you can see, there are many circles that really aren't circular anymore! But as this is a learning process and these are all samples it's OKAY.
I'm keeping notes on the process and if there are any problems or suggestions for future pieces.

Week Three Sample:
I had so much fun felting and embroidering in week one that I decided to return to the process for week three. I wasn't done with my circlular embroidery and I hadn't tried out peyote stitching in the first sample. This was wet felting but instead of putting flat back marbles in betweent the fibers before felting I used flat pieces of plastic as a resist. I placed three different sizes in between the layers of wool fibers and was trying to be very careful when I first started felting so the plastic wouldn't slip. Once the wool was almost fully felted I cut circles over the plastic, pulled the plastic out and then I had little craters in the wool. It really adds dimension to the piece. After it dried I glued a ceramic face to the felt and attempted peyote stitching around the head to further secure it and create a bezel. I obviously need
more practice with peyote but it's pretty cool! I added more of the vintage sequins, french knots and the running stitches around my circles.

Above and below are close-ups of Week Three Sample

I am now working on Week Four's sample. It is all about peyote bead stitching. I'm determined to master it. Will photograph and post it when I'm done.
I'm really enjoying the process of making these sample works.
Hopefully by the end of the year I will have a nice big book full of processes and techniques that I will have become very good at!
Promise to keep this blog updated more frequently now that I have work each week to show off.
Until then.........
live your life creatively~


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