Saturday, August 13, 2016

Phoenix Travel Trash Necklace

A few years ago while I was on vacation, I noticed some interesting looking garbage lying on the ground outside my hotel. Every time I walked past it, I thought to myself that it would make an interesting piece of art. After several days, I couldn't resist any more and I picked it up off the ground. When I got home, I made this:

Since then, I've accumulated a small collection of baggies of stuff that I find lying around on trips. A few of the baggies have even been turned into art.

When I was at the ARTzona 2015 retreat in Phoenix, I found some "distressed" bits of metal and plastic, some torn up pieces of paper a little wrench and a lanyard. They seemed to want to be a necklace, so this is what I made:

You can see more of my Travel Trash series here. Just scroll down the page until you see it. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to put tags on the page so that I can link directly to things, but for now, I'd rather make art.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The white blanket evolves

Some time ago my daughter made an all white blanket for herself. It was her second weaving ever and because she wanted it to be "really big" it was quite an undertaking. I was quite impressed that she stuck it out and the results were beautiful, don't you think?
Well, the other day she decided to wash it, in the washing machine, and when you wash (and dry) a textile made of many different types of fibre, this is what happens:

It's much smaller than it used to be, but fortunately she still loves it. I agree that it is stunning, and now I want to go out and shrink everything that I've woven. I can't stop taking pictures of it. It looks like some sort of fabulous rock formations. I suggested that she might call it the "White Cliffs of Dover", but she scoffed and said that a blanket doesn't need a name, even though she has named her trumpet (Garth), her computer (Miranda) and her ficus plant (Lloyd).

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Indigo Workshop

I have wanted to learn how to dye using indigo for a very long time, but, until yesterday I just never quite got around to it. I thoroughly enjoyed the The Craft Lab's indigo workshop. These are the samples that I made using different techniques. Unfortunately there are no process pictures because I forgot to take my camera. (This is the part where one or another of my friends usually points out that this wouldn't happen if I had a smart phone.)

I was surprised to find out that you need to repeatedly dip the fabric into the dye bath and take it out to oxidize between dips in order for the colour to develop. The more times you dip, the deeper the colour.

Here's a written run down of what I did:
Top row from left to right:
1. Two wavy lines drawn lightly in pencil and clamped using bulldog paper clamps.
2. Accordion folded and then folded back and forth into a triangle - clamped together with a weird clamp. After several dips, unfolded and accordion folded in the opposite direction, clamped together over tongue depressors (you can see the outlines in the middle of the piece).
3. Folded in half and then beads wrapped with elastics at regular intervals. You can see the placement dots I made with a blue sharpie marker on the right half.
4. Wrapped around  a pvc pole and then scrunched up.
5. Accordion folded in both directions and then clamped between two squares of wood. After severa dips, unfolded and then accordion folded in one direction only. Clamped together with narrow strips of wood (mini popsicle sticks) and redyed.
6. Folded in half and three concentric hearts stitched and pulled tightly. Unfortunately it ripped when I was overenthusiastic in removing the stitching lines. This will let me do some boro style visible mending.

I also came home with the contents of one of the dye vats. That's how I had time to refold some of the pieces. I have it set up in the sink in my TV room and the whole basement smells like brown sugar. Good thing it isn't one of the stinky vats.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Clay and fibre

I've been experimenting with making woven jewelry recently and I thought I'd see what would happen if I mixed pottery with weaving.

This is the first finished piece. In typical SAORI style, I had no idea how it would turn out. I just made decisions as I went along, First I made the clay shape with the holes along one edge. Later I chose the glaze colours. When I sat down to weave, I picked some matching yarn colours that were sitting on my work table. Even as I started weaving, I didn't know how the shape was going to emerge. I remained open to what was happening with the weaving and instead of feeling that the piece was somehow "wrong" because it was pulling in as I wove, I just went with it and made it a "feature". I'm really happy with the end result.

I'm looking forward to having the next pottery bits come out of the kiln so that I can play some more.

I've also made lots of pendants strung on sari silk ribbons. I think these will become gifts.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

52 books - week 22 - Press clean up

More bits and bobs that I picked up at my art retreat. The pages are made from sheets of blotting paper that are used to clean a printing press. They become so gorgeously saturated with ink - and they smell amazing too - if you get excited by the smell of paper and ink like I do. Images from the "free table" at the retreat and my own stash. I've started to add some doodles to the pages, so this is still a work in progress.

52 books - week 21 - Read this

I love this book. I made the cover from a box that a tube of toothpaste came in. What is the point of the box if the toothpaste is already in a tube? There was a stack of magazines with gorgeous images at my art retreat. I put them to good use.

52 books - week 20 - Purple lightening sizzles

Leftover gelli printed scraps and found poetry from a couple of pages ripped out of a National Geographic magazine - magic.