My week in West Virginia was not only tons of fun, but very productive. In my last posting I showed you the first 2 pieces I had made. In this post I’ll show you the other two.
Making pieces from a set story is very challenging for me. The limits placed (real or imagined) by the story are foreign to my usual creative process. In the first piece, “the Disc” I felt constrained by the colors which were already dictated for me. The felted piece is rather ordinary; no real spark to it. I am hoping that the stitching and beading I do on it adds some pizzaz. As part of the series, with the story nearby, it makes sense and has a purpose as well as a structure into which it fits. but on its own its rather bland. Well, onto the new work.
But first I want to show you a detail of “The Creator”. The image is of his chin, a few beard hairs, his arm and shoulders.
I love this little guy. I also know that the stitching I intend to do will really pop it. Can’t wait!
The third piece is called “Four is the Magic Number”, which is almost verbatim out of the story. And this piece does feel magical to me. The colors are sublime. In each quadrant there is the numeral 4 in a different language: Gujarati, Arabic, Tibetan and Chinese. I used different colors of wool under different pieces of hand-dyed silk. And then roving and pre-felts on top to form the numerals. Some of my favorite pieces have been created with this technique.
Here is the start of the layout. The wool is down and the pieces of silk have been put on top of the wool. Some of the “4’s” are also in place.
Here is the total layout before wetdown.
Here it is fully felted.
And a detail.
My goal when i went to W. Va. was to make 3 – 5 pieces in a week. After finishing this third piece I knew I had to make one more. I just wouldn’t be satisfied with less. It was a real squeeze for me. I had several ideas I was excited about working on, but not the right materials. You know that old syndrome: I’ve got just the right piece of fabric for this, but I left it at home. So instead I chose a part of the story that I had the right materials for. It turned out to be the initial creation of earth. The creator makes earth, a small brown ball about the size of a bean. Then it gets expanded by various means. I forgot to take pictures along the way probably because I was under time pressures (created by none other than yours truly). I had to get this piece into a state where it could travel. That means laid out, wet down, massaged and rolled a bit. I got it there, and the next day while visiting my mother I finished rolling and felting it.
The fully felted piece. It is beginning to have some movement, which I like, especially since the story has different Gods kicking the earth in order to expand it. Movement in the words; movement in the felt.
This is a piece that will take on a new life when it is stitched. At this stage each enlargement of earth is also starting to bulge adding 3 dimensionality. This will become much more obvious with the addition of surface design.
Hopefully these 4 pieces will be finished within the next few weeks. I’m very excited about them! Stay tuned.