I can’t believe it’s been 3 weeks since I last posted. Not an indication of down time in the studio at all. Thus, this will be a long post, since I’ve really done quite a bit and want to report on it all.
I’ve been working on framing Maze 1 – and ran into a few difficulties. Back on track today. I’ve also been stitching a bit on my landscape. That may take forever to finish.
As I was going through photos I realized I hadn’t written anything about my last felt-a-thon. Friend Robyn came out the third weekend in March. She had a big piece to work on and also wanted to try out my rolling machine. (We had technical difficulties with the machine, so she didn’t get to do that. 😦 ). But here she is working on her piece.
I worked on a new rug that weekend. Here it is, layed out and ready to be wet down.
It turned out to be something of a disaster. Everything that could have gone wrong did. My biggest problem were the red areas. I had carved into the white batt, creating a kind of a well. Into that well I put a red prefelt, then red fiber, then topped it off with another prefelt. I was trying to prevent “bleed through” of the white and get a nice pure red area. Well, somehow those red areas were much, much thicker than the surrounding white areas. When I rolled the felt I couldn’t get to the surrounding areas and they stayed soft and unfelted, while everything else hardened up. In a desperate move I pulled off the top layer of prefelt. It helped a bit, but not enough. So I just rolled the piece forever. And now I must admit, it’s just sitting in the studio, cast aside, until I can get up the energy to see what I can do to save it. I haven’t checked it to see what state it’s in. I was too disheartened. The good news is I spoke to Rod in Finland and found out how to prevent that in the future.
Feeling somewhat subdued by my rug failure I moved on to an assignment for my yoga/meditation course. Our “Pine Forest Recognitions” are due at the retreat at the end of April. I’ve decided to do mine in felt instead of using the written word. Here is the first one, entitled “The Starting Point”. Unfortunately the stitching and beading gets lost in my lousy photo. Those are the elements that bring it all together. Oh well. I am quite pleased with it.
I’ve also almost finished the second in this series called, “The First Year”. I have just a bit of beading to do.
I’m really enjoying the dimensions that the stitching adds. It is very time intensive, but worth it. Now, if I could just stop holding my breath while I’m sewing!
Last week I got the spring cleaning bug and attacked my studio. I emptied out the main room, getting rid of some stuff I no longer wanted as I went. I am having a smaller table modified for myself. Since I am no longer making yardage I don’t need that huge 5 ft X 14 ft. thing. The new one will feature a cool drain so when I make rugs I won’t spend half my time with the wet/dry vac. After cleaning, I re-arranged, bringing my dye table in (closer to the water source and on the waterproof flooring — what a concept!) and leaving space for my new felt table. I also have created a nice seating area so I can comfortably entertain. So, for a week my studio was my canvas. It looks great, feels great and is so much more funcitonal. I’m on a roll so soon I’ll move on to the back room, then the storage area, doing the same thing to each of them.
This week I went back to making art. I got this idea for a second maze piece. I laid it out thus:
And though I intend to do some complicated thread painting on it, it seemed a bit boring as it was. Then I found some scraps of one of the fabrics around and they were pretty cool so first I added one:
And then I added the second:
So now it is layered upon layers, with merino wool glue-ing it all together. It’s quite different from what I thought I was going to do. I’m not at all sure of how it will look when felted, but I’m eager to find out! It may not need the threadpainting as I originally imagined. I may need to try again with something more simple for the thread painting. We shall see. Stay tuned…..
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