Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Thoughts, Words… In Progress

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Today I cut 330 plus pieces of hardware cloth for my Thoughts/Words… piece. The extra pieces are to replace blocks that are not quite right. Sometimes when trimming a block it is possible to break the joint. A broken joint can result in shredded fiber and make it difficult to bind the block. Also, the wire is sharp and can cause wounds.

Hardware Cloth

My gloves don’t appear too damaged.

Gloves

This is how I had my hand taped. I kept adding tape when areas felt a bit stingy. The clear plastic tape on my palm is a horrible product. It gets sticky and leaves a sticky residue after it is removed.

Hand Taped

The tools that I use to cut the hardware cloth and the removed tape.

Removed Tape

And a few blisters.

Hand Blisters

My palm tonight after a day working, making dinner, and washing dishes.

Hand This Evening

Not as annoying as a month after hand surgery. Apparently, when you are told to work as much as you feel up to, they really mean an hour a day, not 6-8 hours per day.

Blue Hand

The result was the inability to work for nearly two months. And certain activities are still challenging. Last week I had a steroid injection to break up the scar tissue. After the bruise and sting went away, my hand is behaving more like a healthy hand.

I really should have spread out the repetitive cutting of hardware. Funny how when you get in the zone, you just keep working.

So, tomorrow I will spend part of the day cutting and perforating 330 pieces of roofing felt. Maybe begin assembling the blocks.


2019 Anniversary Piece

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

Each year I make an anniversary piece, somewhat of a 3-D greeting card.

2019 Anniversary Piece

2″ x 5.25″ x .75″
1/4″ Hardware Cloth, Wool, Metal Washers, Pennies

2019 Anniversary Code Blocks

Hardware Cloth .25″ X 1.5″ x .25″
Undyed Wool–Brown Dots, Tan Dashes, Cream Spacers.

The background pieces make the code 0527.

0 is 5 Dashes; 5 is 5 Dots; 2 is 2 Dots and 3 Dashes; and 7 is 2 Dashes and 3 Dots.
3 Spacers are placed between each component of the date. Two vertical lengths of cream yarn were inserted through the blocks and bound into the frame.

This is the first time that I stacked code pieces. I really like the result. What if instead of a piece that can be held in your hand, the scale is 5 or 6 feet? Could use my stash of rope in place of yarn. Something to think about.

1983 Penny

2019 Penny


Work in Progress–Thoughts, Words, Habits, Character

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

Thoughts become words. Words become actions. Actions become habits. Habits become character.

330 blocks–129 Dots, 97 Dashes, 104 Spacers

Thoughts Words

Debated whether to use blocks of 10 squares or 9 squares.

Thoughts Words

Dot, Dash, Spacer
Thoughts Words

Quarter inch hardware cloth, 9×9 squares, 2.25″ square blocks, with 1.75″ square of roofing felt, cream wool stitches.

Fifteen blocks per row 15 x 2.25 = 33.75″
Twenty-two rows 22 x 2.25 = 49.5″

The finished piece will be larger because the hardware cloth borders for each block will be bound with cream wool. Then the pieces will be bound together. A previous piece had 18 blocks that were 1.75″ squares. 18×1.75=31.5″ When stitched together and the addition of a couched border, the finished piece was 33.25″.

Blocks Made in Flash
A symbol for each block was made, then a symbol for each row.

Thoughts Words Blocks

Row 1 of 22
Thoughts Words Row 1

Layout Pattern
Thoughts Words Layout

The Use Count in the Flash Library is another way to verify correct layout.

Thoughts Words Use Count


Watch Yourself and Salt Residue

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

I was rearranging my studio and ran across a beautiful salt residue from a patina used on metal bits.

Salt

Salt

Salt

I used the salt solution on metal bits from a broken veg steamer that I planned to use in the piece Watch Yourself.

Watch Yourself Parts

Why Watch Yourself? Steamers in use are too hot to touch, so be careful. Also the addition of mirror gives the viewer a peek at what they are doing.

The code on used in the piece is based on a combination of Morse and Celtic Tree Code that I used in a previous piece.

Watch Yourself Code

A salt solution was used to add some rust.

Watch Yourself Patina

Watch Yourself Patina

Watch Yourself Patina

Watch Yourself Patina

The other materials in the piece are mirror, linen, and jump rings.

Watch Yourself Patina

To Complete–application of wax, build a cedar box, nail the assembled piece inside the box using existing steamer holes.


Mistake to Neglect Testing Before Using a New Material

Wednesday, April 24th, 2019

I ordered some truly beautiful safety pins from Amazon. This is the description–Household Mall 3/4-Inch Safety Pins, Bronze (1440 Pieces).

Read through the product information and not once did it state that the safety pins were not actually bronze.

Bronze Safety Pins

I was using the second type of safety pins to suspend Who is Left on a bronze welding rod.

Bronze Safety Pins

These were not bronze because the product description states–Firefly 1000 pcs Bronze Metal Gourd Pin/Calabash Pin/Safety Pins/Bulb Pin/Bead Needle Pins/Clothing Tag Pins DIY Home Accessories.

Material: Made of metal of good quality, hard and durable, not easy to break.

So, bronze colored, not bronze.

How did I find the bronze safety pins were not actually bronze? I used them to assemble the Who is Left. After an application of a patina solution, bronze would have developed a nice blue-green patina.

Who Is Left

The bronze welding rod has developed the start of a nice blue-green patina, but not the safety pins.

Instead the result was basic rust. That would have been totally fine if the description of the safety pins had been steel. I would have anticipated the rust result.

In my excitement to use the new safety pins, I did not test the metal. Not all mistakes are a bad thing. The results can be informative and be perfect for a future project.

Who Is Left

Who Is Left

Since I am determined to add the blue-green patina staining and weeping down the piece, I removed the safety pins, row by row, and replaced them with copper wire.

That would be the copper wire I removed and saved from my hand mixer that caught fire.

Mixer Parts with Copper Wire

I assembled the blocks of each row with a twining technique. Cut a length of wire a longer than double the width of the piece. Folded the wire in half. Slipped the first wool block of the row into the folded wire, with the fold on the left side. One half of the wire was on the back of the wool block, the other half on the front. The wire was inserted through the middle of the block, back through to the front, front through to the back, then given a twist on the right side of the block.

Who Is Left

The process was repeated for the remaining 8 blocks in the row, and for the other 15 rows.

Who Is Left

Next I will twine together the verticals. I suspect that task will be a tad challenging. Then patina.

So what about the existing rust staining on the wool blocks?

Who Is Left

If, as I hope, the blue-green patina stains and weeps, the rust staining will add another layer of age to the piece.

The used safety pins will be used for a future project.

Who Is Left


Progress 04/26/19

The back wire comes through the center of the wool block to the front.

Who Is Left

The back wire comes through the center of the block to the front; the front wire goes through the front of the wool block to the back.

Who Is Left

All safety pins removed and replaced with two thicknesses of coppoer wire.

Who Is Left

Who Is Left

Next comes patina.


Who is left to connect me… Patina

Thursday, April 11th, 2019

I decided to assemble Who Is Left… and then patina the bronze safety pins and welding rod. I am hoping for the addition of a weeping green, but the wool limits what I can use.

The patina is a solution of dissolved kosher salt in white vinegar.

I folded and rolled the piece in the solution. Then hung it to drip dry.

Who Is Left Vinegar and Salt Patina

Who Is Left Vinegar and Salt Patina

Who Is Left Vinegar and Salt Patina

Who Is Left Vinegar and Salt Patina

Bronze Dagger, Vinegar and Salt Patina Used on Upper Portion


This is a fun little piece that has been on the wall of my studio for several years. It is part of my Cleanse Your Palate series.

Soap Cup

The series is based on negative words and the punishment of washing out your mouth with soap.

I made cups of dried plant materials and fiber. Made silicone molds of the cups.

A clove glycerin soap cup was pulled from each mold.

The wood used for the shelf is from an old garden swing. I carried the wood around for a decade before it found a home in the cup series. The oxidized wire was found in my dad’s shop. Perhaps I learned to save everything, just in case, for some day, from my dad.

A few pieces from the series can be seen on my website, Girl Artist.


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.


Anni Albers on Weaving Text

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

I was looking for the text, Anni Albers on Weaving at Archive.org, but it wasn’t available on that site.

I googled the title and followed a link to Monoskop. Information from their About page, “Monoskop is a wiki for collaborative studies of the arts, media and humanities.”

I found loads of interesting information and a pdf of Anni Albers on Weaving text. It is not the expanded edition that is currently available for purchase online.

I searched for Anni Albers on the Monoskop site and found a link to a 1968 oral history interview. Followed the link to Smithsonian Archives of American Art.

Image of the text from the The Josef & Anni Albers Foundation site.

Anni Albers on Weaving Text Image

Added the Anni Albers on Weaving Expanded Edition to my Amazon wishlist.


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.


Work in Progress–Mom Penny Memorial

Friday, September 14th, 2018

The memorial piece will have a penny dated for each year of my mother’s life.

I have a stash of pennies, but did not have one for each year from 1930 to 2018. Found a coin shop in town that had reasonably priced pennies to complete the piece.

Stacks of pennies

Interesting that 1943 is a steel penny.

1943 Steel Penny

Memorial

Loom Knitting Pleated Pattern with Undyed Wool

Memorial

Today will have completed 35 rows of 89 rows for the pennies. Will need to knit a bit more for overlap.

When the loom knitting is done, the pennies attached, and important years indicated, a box will be made of cedar as a home for the memorial piece.

Previous Penny Project Post

Tim 50th Birthday

Normally I would work all day to complete a project. But I have to limit my (repetitive) working time to five rows per day. I had surgery on my hand in June, with some working too much too soon complications. Developed scar tissue with extreme sensitivity. Still working to gain back finger strength and manual dexterity.

Dash enjoyed helping with my favorite desensitizing therapy.

Desensitizing Therapy