Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

More Ants on Flowers

Friday, July 14th, 2017

Tadpole

Ants on a Pandorea jasminoides Flower

Noticed a few pods, so I snagged them.

Pods

Previous posts on Pandorea jasminoides pods use as an art material–

Accustomed to Being Invisible

Invisible Stitched

Changes

Changes


Casemaking Again

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

I am in the process of making a trellis for the courtyard wall. It will be similar to the trellis on the wall that wraps around the corner. I needed a piece of 1″ fence to use as a support for the vertical bamboo pieces.

Trellis

I found a piece of fence that was to have been used in a project with cotton twine. The cut bits are sharp unless they are ground down, so the edge was taped until a border was attached.

Taped Fence

When I flipped the piece of fence over, I noticed casemaking moths attached to the tape. For insects that are supposed to be particularly fond of animal fiber, they sure seem to show up on loads of surfaces.

Casemaking

Not sure if they are alive. Seeing them did remind me to try placing items that may have been exposed to casemaking moths in the trunk of the car. An entomologist that I met while hiking, mentioned exposing the casemaking moths to the heat in the car over a period of a couple of weeks. He seemed to think the exposure should kill all forms of the casemaking cycle.

I do not like killing anything, but the casemaking moths can’t seem to stay outside, away from my studio work and sweaters. Frustrating, but not the bane of my existence.


Fish Tank, Cassia and Tecoma stans Blooms

Sunday, June 25th, 2017

While visiting my brother-in-law and his very cool wife, I checked out their room divider fish tank.

Unfortunately, I only had my old iPod with me. So, photos are lacking. The colors are so vibrant and the movement was mesmerizing.

A bit like watching succulents in movement… Yep, I have succulents on my mind.

Tank

Tank

Tank

Tank

Tank

Tank

Plan to go back to take photos.

Noticed the Cassia tree is blooming.

Blooms

This is a photo I took of the same Cassia tree one evening in December, 2014. The tree is larger and the branches are full of buds and blooms that are nearly covering the bird of paradise.

Cassia Tree

Detail of beautiful pods from the Cassia tree I collected in 2014.

Cassia Tree Pods

Also noticed the Tecoma stans was in bloom.

Tecoma stans Flowers

Snagged another handful of seedpods.


Bound Bulb Leaves

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

The large draping leaves of a bulb that isn’t quite done yet, were shading some new additions to the garden. Since binding is a component of my art work, thought I would give it a go in the garden. Plan to move the bulb with the bound leaves to a different location.

Bound Bulb Leaves

This is the same type of bulb that was recently relocated from another garden space.

Bound Leaves

This is another type of bulb with braided and bound leaves.

Bound Leaves

I used jute cord for binding knowing that the leaves would eventually turn shades of golden brown.

I am liking the bound verticals in the garden. If several were together it would be more interesting. When I began converting the garden to larger drought tolerant plants, the bulb was blooming. It had numerous white flowers. Lovely flowers, so didn’t want to move it.


2017 Anniversary Piece

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Each year I make a piece for our wedding anniversary. This year marks 34 years. Crazy, where does the time go???

This year I used hardware cloth and self striping sock yarn to make 35 squares, one for each year. Each square has the same background stitch of gray yarn. The dots of the code are in orange and the dashes are in yellow.

2017 Anniversary

Left side was original design.
Right side is the stitch layout used for each square.

2017 Anniversary

Detail of 2017 square and how the piece is attached.

2017 Anniversary

Square for each year of anniversary bound together.

2017 Anniversary

Completed and framed piece.
Chalkboard paint and purple chalk application for an aged appearance.

Usually I make my own frames. This year I ran out of time so I purchased a frame. The frame is too deep for the piece. Also, it was difficult painting the frame. The glass was fixed in place and could not be removed. I taped it up, but the internal frame that holds the glass in place was white and could not be painted. And it could be seen. I used a black permanent marker on the glass. Definitely not good craftsmanship.

Making a frame with the proper depth will be necessary.

Placing pieces in frames, rather than directly on the wall changes how the pieces are view. I like the idea that you can see and touch the pieces, but a bit of protection might be in order. It has been difficult keeping pieces free of dust and in some cases insects.

Framing pieces, if done properly, just might give the feel of artifact. Need to think on it and make some frames for some of my work in progress. Live with them for a time and then decide if framing is a good for the work.


Courtyard Wallpieces

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Over the weekend I made two wallpieces for my courtyard garden. The wallpieces will break up the wall while acting as trellises for vines.

Courtyard Wallpiece

Courtyard Wallpiece

The wall has a step design that makes it difficult for spacing. I tried equal spacing between and around the wallpieces, but the edge of the right wallpiece hit a step in the wall that visually wasn’t working.

I moved the pieces to 3 feet from the corners. Still didn’t feel right.

Courtyard Wallpiece

I am leaning toward placing the wallpieces centered with the wall steps. In the center of the wall is a Cordia boissieri (Texas Wild Olive).

Cordia boissieri

It is small now, but should eventually fill the space.

Courtyard Wallpiece

The wallieces were made using simple Bargello embroidery stitches. Materials List–1 inch fence (41″ x 31″), coconut fiber rope, and sisal rope.

Courtyard Wallpiece Rope

Safety when working with fiber–wear a respirator, gloves, and a long sleeve shirt.

Coconut fiber is beautiful, but it is extremely prickly, dusty, and dirty. This is part of what I swept up.

Courtyard Wallpiece Dust


What is it?

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

Cooktop

It is not solder on metal.

Cooktop

It is burnt sugar on a glass cooktop. Burnt sugar is quite beautiful.

Cooktop

It appears that the pan had come in contact with the strawberry pie dish. Why was the bottom of the pan left unwashed???

Previous post on sugar and its possible use as an art material.

Burnt Sugar


Again With the Casemaking Moths and Possible Easy Solution

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

I am in the process of cleaning and clearing my studio in order to have enough space to begin a new project.

While cleaning my work bench I found casemaking moths.

Casemaking Moths

Casemaking moth in a small bowl of cold wax test pieces.
The casemaking moth is in the center on the penny bound with wool.

Finding the casemaking moths brought to mind a recent conversation I had with an entomologist. I specifically asked him how to address the casemaking moth problem.

He said that an easy solution was to put my work in the my car. What would that accomplish? One of the ways to kill casemaking moths is to use heat. He also recommended tossing the stuff in a plastic bin with a few moth balls. I don’t recall which moth balls he recommended, naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene. I would prefer not using chemicals.

But, it never occurred to me to use the heat in the car. That would be an easy fix, especially since most of my work will not fit in the freezer.

He mentioned that his wife had success killing an insect infestation in the wood horn of a recently purchased used saddle.

Previous Posts

It is Not a Pod…

What Happened?

Casemaking Moth Damage

Casemaking Moth Damage–Alpaca yarn embroidered on harware cloth.

Tinea pellionella

A Perfect Environment for Moths


Would the interior temperature in a car kill moths?

American Veterinary Medical Association

AVMA Temp Chart

The AVMA credits–Jan Null, CCM; Department of Geosciences, San Francisco State University,
for creating the estimated vehicle interior temperature chart.

Alternatives, A Washington Toxics Coalition Fact Sheet, Clothing Moths-Prevention and Control by Jennie Goldberg states–“High heat (in excess of 99”F for one week) will destroy all life stages of the moth.”

It appears that the interior temperature of a car will kill moths.
Need to perform some tests to find out for sure.


Dropped Leaves

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Plant

Succulent

The color of the leaves is definitely not right.
I took the photo with my iPad in my studio.
The color of the leaves should be a grey green.

Succulent

Flip side of the small leaf.
When I gathered the leaves I noticed that they felt soft and very warm.
Like a thick bunny ear.

Succulent

The leaves collect everything.
It is common for earwigs to live all cozy in the top leaves.
I give the leaves a weekly cleaning with a soft bristle brush.

Four leaves fell. I am drying two and the other two are sitting in a glycerin solution, just to see what happens.

Art material? Molds or stitching?


Living With Bunnies and Birds

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

When you share a home with bunnies and birds, you must make loads of compromises. Bunny proofing means protecting or removing anything that can be chewed that is up to approximately 3 feet high, unless the bunny likes to climb on furniture. One of our bunnies runs laps on the back of the sofa.

It is incredibly difficult to bird proof a room. Removal of plants and anything that they might want to tear and shred is a given. But don’t forget about the thin iPad/iPhone power cables. They love to chew them.

One of my See a Penny pieces has been hanging on the dining room wall since I completed it in March of 2013.

See A Penny

Completed See a Penny piece prior to hanging in dining room.

Today I found one of the pieces of mirror on the floor. When I replaced the mirror, I noticed damage–

See A Penny Damage

and certain the culprit is either The Bird or Bob.

The Bird

The Bird

Bob

Bob

They both love landing and perching on the piece, but I didn’t realize chewing was involved.

I could attempt giving the birds a misting with water as a deterrent. Probably would not be a deterrent for Bob because he frequently takes a bath in Big Baby’s water dish.

Big Baby

Big Baby

Haven’t decided if I will be moving the wallpiece to a different location. Repair will be time consuming, but doable. The squares are constructed of roofing felt, tree wrap, mirror, hardware cloth, and cotton twine.

See A Penny

See a Penny, Squares Used for Code–Spacer, Dot, Dash

Slipping in a new square of tree wrap won’t work. They squares were perforated for ease of binding with the cotton twine.

So, what is the solution to prevent Elliot from chewing my shoe laces while I am wearing the shoes?

Laces

Repaired laces with embroidery floss.

Elliot

Elliot in the studio.