Archive for the ‘Materials’ Category

Mom Penny Memorial In Progress

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

I put the memorial penny piece for my mother on hold. Just wasn’t in a place to work on it.

Mom Memorial Knit Piece

I needed to full the piece, stitch the pennies into the triangles, and add coded dates to years that had special events.

Mom Memorial Stacks of Pennies

The silver colored penny is from 1943 and steel.

This morning I fulled the knitted piece, now waiting for it to dry.

Also ordered a box to house the piece. I have been looking for a box and last week found this one.

The images are from the Etsy shop Superior Vintage Goods.

The patina and hardware wowed me.

Box Closed

Box Clasp

Box Hinges

I love the dovetail joints.

Box Open

The interior looks really clean. Relieved I will not need to line the interior. I like the idea of the knitted piece resting next to the wood.

Wool, wood, and pennies are lovely together.

The box should arrive next week. Hope to get all of the stitchwork done before it arrives. My parents’ wedding anniversary is the 11th. It would be great to complete the piece for one of Mom’s special days.


Bitterest Tears Work in Progress

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Decided to change the orientation of the blocks from horizontal to vertical.
Moved the brown border with the code (Loss and Regret) to the left side and the 2 columns of star stitched brown blocks to the right side.

Bitterest Tears

In the process of stitching 3 columns together to make a strip, which will result in 7 strips. When the task is completed, I will stitch the 7 strips together. Four strips done, 3 to complete.

Working with batches of 3 is easier and more manageable than stitching the entire piece together 1 column to the next.

Bitterest Tears Tan Yarn

It took approximately 18″ of beige yarn to stitch the blocks together. Or roughly 1″ of yarn for each square of each block.

Should be able to start stitching the strips together later this week.

Need to decide how best to attach tree wrap to back of the piece. Leaning toward using a tie technique similar to the one my grandmother used when she made quilts.

The piece will have three layers of material: the stitched roofing felt, hardware cloth, and tree wrap, so reference to quilting.

October 17 Progress
Completed stitching together 7 strips of 3 columns.

Bitterest Tears

October 23 Progress
Piece completely stitched together and wrapped the edge with tan yarn.

Bitterest Tears

October 24 Progress, the Border
Originally thought I would loom knit an i-cord for the border, but after several attempts I didn’t like the results. The two that follow are the best of the rejected results.

Border

Cream Border
R1 KKP, R2 KPP, R3 KKP, R4 K

Border

Tan Border
R1 E Wrap Knit, R2 Flat Knit

The loom knitted borders are too bulky and fussy. I suspect the solution will be to use a strand of wire and wrap it with tan yarn.

While I am thinking about the border, thought I would attempt using a sewing machine to stitch together strips of tree wrap. The tree wrap will be tied to the back of the piece, similar to how quilt layers are tied together. Rather than having the knot on the front of the piece, the knots will be on back, the tree wrap side. The result should be a simple and clean cross stitch at each block connection.

Wait, what did I just write? A knot at each block connection. How many knots will I tie? There will be 15 for each column, 20 for each row, or 300 for the body of the piece. There will also be 17 for each side and 20 for top, 20 for the bottom, or 74 to tie the border.

That is all before I get to the really fun part of apply a salt solution with the hope of adding crystals to the pieces.


Bitterest Tears Project in Progress

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Sunday I spent the bulk of the day in the studio working on the Bitterest Tears piece. Saturday decided to add a border to the piece, notion of how blankets have a binding at top.

Bitterest Tears

Didn’t visually feel right, so I opted for 2 rows at the top and 3 on bottom.

Bitterest Tears

Bitterest Tears Final Layout

Bitterest Tears

The 2nd brown row at top has the word, loss in code.
The bottom 2nd and 3rd rows have the code for the words, and regret.

Bitterest Tears

Row 1 Stitch for Dots, Row 2 and 3 Dash and Spacer, Row 4 Decorative Row

Used the same dot, dash, spacer stitches for the code for entire piece. There is an addition of a row of a decorative star stitch that frames the body in cream.

Odd that I am on the flip side of regret after doing so many pieces in the past with no regret and forgive yourself in code.

No Regrets

No Regrets code is wrapped around the circle.

Forgive Yourself

Forgive Yourself code is knotted for use as prayer beads.

Regret and Grief
I suspect it has a bit to do with the loss of my sister and mother this year. Even when you intellectually know death will soon end a life, it is still a shock to the system. It changes everything. Every day I wish I could have had more time with the two most important women in my life. Grief is my constant companion. Perhaps I should give it a name.

My hope is that when I complete the penny memorial for my mother and the Bitterest Tears piece I will have worked through some of my grief.

Harriet Beecher Stowe Quote Used
The Harriet Beecher Stowe quote used for the body of the piece–the bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

The quote is from Little Foxes: Or, the Insignificant Little Habits Which Mar Domestic Happiness. Been carrying the quote around for quite some time, so decided I should read the book.

Found the book as a free read on archive.org.

Perhaps the first pages explains the title–

…the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

… those unsuspected, unwatched, insignificant little causes, that nibble away domestic happiness, and make home less than so noble an institution should be.

Project Description
There are 16 blocks horizontally and 21 blocks vertically. Each block is a 9×5 (2.25” x 1.25”) piece of ¼” hardware cloth. The piece of brown material stitched onto each block is roofing felt. I love roofing felt–its color, texture, and fragrance.

I used a rust promoter solution on the hardware cloth that may have weakened the metal. Some of the blocks became crazy red. Decided not to use those in this piece because I wanted to limit the palette to brown, cream, and grey.

Bitterest Tears Blocks

Planning to stitch the blocks together with the brown wool yarn used for the top and bottom borders. Then apply a salt solution to the entire piece. It should integrate, age, and perhaps even visually bring to mind the salt of tears.

Pretty sure the piece will need a frame/box. Not sure if the frame/box will be part of the piece or act as a frame for an artifact.

Anzen

Anzen is part of my Tools for Rent Series.

When I cast the bronze daggers I debated how best to display them. Some of my thoughts–weapons are often beautiful, weapons are designed to cause damage, the use of a weapon is violent. But if the daggers are bound into the interior of the box, potential violence could be controlled. I decided to bind each dagger into their own box.

The boxes were constructed of raw cedar fence. Cedar has a lovely fragrance. It also brings to mind the numerous times I opened my mother’s cedar-lined hope chest. I chose cedar because of the arbitrary value placed on a woman based on the contents of a wedding chest. Not unlike the arbitrary value placed on works of art.


Bob, Nest, 3 Eggs, 4!

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Bob Tea Box

Bob is so light weight she can sit on the edge of a soon to be destructed Lipton Green Tea Box. She is so busy, quick, and aggressive, it is difficult to get a photo of her while at work.

Bob Tea Box

This is the largest nest she has ever made! She was using junk mail, but now she prefers food boxes.

Bob Nest

Bob lays an egg every couple of days. According to her schedule, she will probably lay another egg today.
Bob Eggs

She is such a cheerful little one.

Update 2018 08 30

As of Last Night, Now There Are 4!

Bob Eggs

Quick Look Bob Sitting in Nest, Didn’t Want to Disturb Her

Bob Nest


The Bird Sitting on My Knee and Singing While I Was Updating Post
The Bird


After the Rain

Sunday, March 11th, 2018

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

Iron Bunny with New Aloe

New Cactus

New Cactus

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive?

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina 5 February 2018

Memorial Code

Bunny Memorial Patina Today


Patina Gone Crazy

Monday, February 5th, 2018

Patina

Patina

Patina

After a short time this occurred–

Patina

Patina

Patina

What was the patina used for? I strung together 3 kinds of shiny steel washers in code for a 3-bunny gravemarker.

Memorial Piece

This is what the washers looked like when they were removed from the solution.

Memorial Piece

And now as part of the grave marker–

Memorial Piece

Memorial Piece

Eventually the piece should become rustier, more aged, a bit more similar to the oxidized bunny marker.

This is another memorial for a bunny burial space.

Mr Smith Memorial Piece

Used the same washers to make the coded memorial piece. I suspect that they have oxidized because the area of the garden gets watered frequently and the little inlaid ceramic cup does not have a drainage hole.

How many bunnies do I have buried in my courtyard? Eight. That sounds like a lot of bunnies. Eight bunnies have lived with me during the past 25 years. My oldest bunny lived a long, but not long enough 13 years.

The simple rust promoter formula found online.

Patina Formula


Amazingly Beautiful Naturally Occurring Bronze Patina

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Now I know how to achieve gorgeous textural surfaces on bronze. You must submerge the piece in the ocean for centuries!

Bronze Antikythera Shipwreck Arm

When I saw the images of the bronze arm found during the archaeological expedition of the Antikythera Shipwreck, it reminded me of my research to create thick textural surfaces on bronze.

Detail

Antikythera Shipwreck Expedition, Detail of the Hand

I buried my bronze pieces with sodium mixtures and chemicals. I applied chemicals to my pieces and then set them on fire. I saturated burlap with chemicals, wrapped it around my pieces, then enclosed work in a plastic container. I applied low-fire ceramic glazes to bronze pieces and then fired them. And I did a combination.

Bronze Bowl Detail

This is a detail of a little bronze bowl that was bound with wire.
I applied Egyptian paste, low-fire glazes, and the lot was fired hot enough for
paste and glaze to mature, but not hot enough for the bronze and steel wire to become molten.

Egyptian paste is a self-glazing clay body. I have used it in a variety of ways, even as a self-glazing spackle when something needs to be filled.

Egyptian Past Vessel

Hardware cloth formed into a vessel and held in place with nails. Egyptian paste was applied and the lot was fired. The pink color is the result of the addition of red iron oxide added to the paste dry batch.


Post of Eroded Contours
My series that combined ceramic and bronze processes.



Antikythera Shipwreck Excavation

It appears that the Antikythera Shipwreck excavation photos I used in my post were taken by Brett Seymour/EUA/ARGO.

Found: A Giant Bronze Arm From the Antikythera Shipwreck

Antikythera shipwreck yields statue pieces and mystery bronze disc

Greece Ministry of Culture and Sports


Not a Contemporary Tablet

Sunday, September 24th, 2017

Last night I took a look at the book, Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist, and Turn. I bought it several years back when the nieces and nephews were young.

There was a single dog-eared page with the header, A 3300-Year-Old Time Capsule. According to the text, in the 1980s George Bass and a team of archeologists excavated the site of the Uluburun ship wreck off the coast of Turkey. The 3300 time capsule was a diptych.

Curious, so I googled George Bass and Uluburun ship wreck. I found additional, more complete information on the diptych in a Johns Hopkins Magazine article from 1997.

Sifting through mud that had filled a huge storage vessel, Cemal Pulak, then one of George Bass’ grad students, found fragments of wood and pieces of ivory. He pieced them together and discovered that they formed a diptych, a sort of ancient writing tablet that consisted of two wooden leaves hinged together with ivory. The leaves would have been coated with beeswax that then could be inscribed with a stylus. No one had ever before found a diptych so old.

After reading about the diptych, I then searched online for an image. This image was found on a page associated with Dr. Deborah Carlson and Jose Luis Casaban’s Introduction to Nautical Archaeology at Texas A & M University.

Uluburun diptych

Not keen of the ivory bits, but liked the idea of scratching through a surface. It is a lovely piece.

I did not continue the search to find the method used to assemble the pieces, but would have been amazing to do something similar to the staples used in some restoration.

Past Imperfect

This is an image from Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect has images of beautifully repaired objects. I am particularly fond of the glass and ceramic pieces that have been creatively repaired with the addition of a metal component.

When I made this piece as part of myTools for Rent (bronze dagger) series, I wanted to use the piece of wood for the front panel, but it was cracked. I drilled holes and wired the panel together.

Tools for Rent

The majority of my work is meant to appear to be artifact, to have had a previous life. After seeing the image of the diptych it occurred to me that in the future, I just might want to “age” the objects that I make to near the point of destruction. Then reassemble them.


Cemal Pulak, Associate Professor
Frederick R. Mayer Faculty Professor of Nautical Archaeology

George F. Bass, Professor Emeritus
Texas A&M University

Nautical Archaeology Program

Gwen Diehn, author
Making Books That Fly, Fold, Wrap, Hide, Pop Up, Twist & Turn: Books for Kids to Make


Restacked Mantel Wood

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017

Our neighbor gave me a pair of columns that she had been using as part of a table. Each column is 29″ x 8.5″ x 9″ and solid concrete.

Columns

Columns on Hand Truck

Before placing them in the garden I made a couple of decisions. The first…the bottom should be the top.

Columns

Left Side Was How The Columns Had Been Used
The Right Side is the Proper Orientation

The thin section at the bottom will not be visible. So, the only thing that bothers me is the tulip-like doodad. Just too fussy.

Column Doodad

When I began converting the courtyard form exotic plants to drought tolerant plants, one of the first decisions was to remove the wallpieces and to paint the walls grey. It is difficult to tell from the photos taken in my studio, but the columns were too stark, too bright even in the shade.

Column

The Whiteness of the Columns is Emphasized When Placed Next to the Grey Wall

Originally I wanted to break off some hunks before aging them, but thought I would wait to see how they looked with a found wood mantel. I snagged some ash from a friend’s actual fireplace to use, if I decide to fix the columns up a bit more.

Column Fixed Up

For 4 days, I had 3 pieces of wood stacked on top of the columns to help me decide if three boards had enough visual weight to work with the top of the columns.

Mantel Wood

The boards are not quite as wide as the columns. And they could not sit against the wall because of the wallpiece/trellises. Each layer will have two pieces of wood to make the proper width, with a 2″ overhang in the front.

Planning to strap the wood together with metal…aluminum or copper shim. I can patina copper, but the current appearance of the materials is a bit too clean for my typical gritty surface work. The width of the metal will probably be two thirds of the section at the now top of the columns.

When I was making my morning cocoa, thought I would take one last look before cutting the wood.

This is what I found–

Mantel Wood

The wood is nicely stacked in the opposite order it had been stacked on the columns. Lucky that the stack did not break plants or the stone defining the space for the hearth.

I phoned my husband to inquire if he had moved the wood. He had not. He seems to believe that an animal could have been responsible for the restacking. His best guess–opossum. We did catch a couple opossums over the years in our humane trap when we were attempting to catch squirrels.

This was the most recent captured opossum.

Opossum in Trap

And after it was released–

Released Opossum in Trap

Opussum

Opossum After Release Stayed in the Wisteria for Several Hours

I restacked the wood on the columns and attempted to reproduce what I found this morning. Every time resulted in a messy stack.

Mantel Wood

So what did happen? Did an animal (opossum) drop down from the oak tree and cause the restacking?

Curious…

Mullein

The reddish brown stalk is from a volunteer that I think is a variety of mullein. It is nearly ready to harvest.

I have been fond of mullein since I used it in my Greta piece, part of my MFA exhibition.


An additional note…the garden was sloping when I began planning for the faux fireplace. I leveled it by adding soil that I removed from the now rock/succulent garden. I also added gravel under each of the columns. I had to build up the right side with nearly 4″ of gravel more than uncer the left column.

I leveled the garden area, each column, and the columns together. Then I placed a single piece of wood on the columns and leveled the lot. Pretty sure the faux fireplace will appear level and straight when it is completed.

Can’t wait to see it with snake plant (Sansevieria) inside for faux flames. I have wanted to use snake plant for flames ever since I viewed Blue Velvet.

Blue Velvet Snake Plants

A Quick Screenshot From the Film Blue Velvet

My plan is to plant the snake plant directly in the garden inside the faux fireplace. The weather is so mild, for the most part, on the California Central Coast. And since they will be protected, they should thrive.


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