Archive for the ‘Fiber’ Category

Memorial Bowl

Sunday, April 11th, 2021

Every year on April 11th, I do something to acknowledge my nephew’s date of birth. When my nephew was 17 he had a major surgery. He survived the surgery, but died later that day.

This year feeling a bit done in, perhaps it is partially to do with the past year and the daily COVID news. I recently was fortunate to receive my first Pfizer jab. It is a bit of a relief that I am in the system.

The piece evolved from a celebration to a memorial piece for the loss of nephew, dad, sister, and mother.

Memorial Bowl Photo–Mom, Dad, Kathy

Memorial Bowl Photo–Kathy

Memorial Bowl Photo–Rick

Code
The code on the bowl has my nephew’s, dad’s, sister’s, and mom’s DOB and DOD.

Memorial Bowl Detail Code

Memorial Bowl Placed on Box Filled With Family Keepsakes
Memorial Bowl New Home

Materials List
Wool, Safety Pins, Roofing Felt, Photos Printed on Paper, Fabric Stiffener (Corn Starch and Water)


Dolorous Time Piece

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021

My mother’s name was Dolores, not exactly pronounced the same as Dolorous, but I like that the definition is great sorrow.

April 8th is 3 years since we found my mother after the first of her strokes. She died on May 15th. I have been having a difficult time with grief this year. Decided to try to work it out in the studio. I recently worked on a software project, needed images of watch/clock faces for time. When I went through my mother’s things I found two identical watches and one similar. She must have really liked that style of watch.

Dolorous Time Piece

The first watch has code for my brother and his birthdate, the center for me, and the right one for my sister. The watch used for my brother and sister have a date function, they are set at 15. The sections of the band were bound with black waxed linen for birthdates. The knotted fobs have code for names.

The black code above the watches–Great Loss Stops Time. Doesn’t really, but it should.

The woven section has the code–Vertical strands are my mother’s date of birth, the horizontal her date of death.

Dolorous Time Piece

Dolorous Time Piece

The knotted piece on the right has the code for–grandson, husband, daughter. The great losses during her life.

Dolorous Time Piece

I was relieved to complete the piece, forgot to document it. I have it hung in her room. Unfortunately not much light. I used museum wax to make sure it doesn’t move about making it difficult to remove from the wall to take photos.

It was challenging to make the piece. When Michaels was moving to a new location, I bought a bunch of birch panels and frames for cheap. I used stain, paint, vinegar steel wool/salt, oil sticks baking soda attempting to age the wood. I was very close to burying the frame in the garden. After sanding it the umpteenth time, I applied a matte black spray paint. Seems okay with the black linen cord and the silver of the watches.

The tacks should have been easy peasy to attach the parts. Loads of resistance. What was really cheap delayed completing the piece at least a week. The challenge was welcome and was distracting.


Memory Bowl Tests

Friday, March 26th, 2021

Gone back to working on my knitted Memory Bowls. Ran into a problem with the bowls not being sturdy enough. Put them on hold.

The bowls are fiber with some negative spaces within the patterns, a stiffener is in order. In the past I used sugar, shellac, corn starch, liquid starch, floor wax, microcrystalline wax, salt, and miscellaneous other stuff in the past. Wanted to spend some time thinking about how to finish the bowls.

Serendipity?

I have been following Maria Amélia Mendes’ YouTube channel. Her concrete tutorials are easy to follow, with loads of good tips. I really want to make some concrete pieces. Recently she posted a video–How to make baskets with wood sawdust. Thought I would test out her glue formula on a couple of knitted pieces.

The glue was combined with wood shavings and pressed into a form. After the pieces dried and hardened she added an application of her Finishing Glue. It is the same formula as her glue, with the addition of 100 ml of PVA.

Maria Amélia Mendes’ Homemade glue recipe:
1 liter of water
1 cup of cornstarch
50 ml of white vinegar

I made the Finishing Glue for my test pieces. I had forgotten that heated corn starch and water solution can suddenly become thick. Applied the glue to the test pieces. The thickness made it a tad challenging. If the pieces had been fragile, wouldn’t have been able to apply the glue. I refrigerated the left over glue. May try diluting it a bit if/when I use it in the future.

The first bowl is linen with a little plant fiber.

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Test Bowl 1

Because the glue was a bit thick, after I applied the glue I gave it a rinse with the kitchen faucet spray function. The bowl was placed over a form to dry.

The second bowl is cotton with plant fiber.

Test Bowl 2

Test Bowl 2

Test Bowl 2

Test Bowl 2

The bowls were placed over forms and left in the sun to dry.

Test Bowls Drying

Both bowls are firm and the appearance of fiber hasn’t been altered too much.

Bowls China Cabinet

My next test will be with wool. Wool can be tricky. My first test using molten wax on wool changed its appearance to a plastic-like surface. Definitely ugly.

Check out Maria Amélia Mendes’ Youtube channel and her excellent concrete videos.


Casemaking Moth on Ceramic Vessel

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Last night I turned on the light over my work bench and found on oddity.

This little vessel has been hanging in my studio for decades. I fired the piece multiple times. Before the last firing, I bound it with wire and applied low fire lead glazes.

Casemaking moth on ceramic vessel

The oddity is a casemaking moth. What is it eating? Clearly not the glaze because typically the case that the casemaking moth construction will be the color of whatever it has eaten.

Casemaking moth on ceramic vessel

Recently looked through my stash of wood objects to use as an addition to a piece. The boxes were wrapped in plastic and stored in a wood bench. When I opened the drawer I found a green casemaking moth.

Green casemaking moth inside drawer

How did it even get inside? No clue.

Green casemaking moth inside drawer

I have cleaned my studio numerous times to remove the niches the moths like–undisturbed dark areas with fiber and plant material.

I have been forced to keep my stored completed work, work in progress and fiber materials in plastic. But, I can still find casemaking moths. It is frustrating, especially when I find that they have damaged something of value.

I use two methods for treating pieces and materials–place them in the freezer or someplace that becomes quite hot, like the trunk of a car.

The freezer shelf that is set aside for materials and work.
Freezer shelf for work and materials

Recently found a casemaking moth on a wool I-cord that had been an embellishment for a rooster lamp that has been sitting on the china cabinet for nearly 15 years.

Rooster lamp

He looks lost without it.

I washed the I-cord in warm soapy water. Gave it a rinse, popped it in a plastic bag, and placed it in the freezer.

Wet frozen I-cord


Photo Illusion

Saturday, December 19th, 2020

I made some macrame ornament gifts for our niece who recently moved to New Zealand.

Macrame Gifts

I used yarn from her grandmother’s stash to make the tree. Even the large green bead was from her grandmother’s craft stash. Her grandmother died in 2011. I thought it would be a nice connection.

I documented the ornaments on a piece of canvas. When I shot detail images of the snowflake an odd thing happened.

Snowflake 1

This is the same image rotated 180º.

Snowflake 1


Converted Egyptian Paste Piece

Sunday, November 29th, 2020

While reorganizing my garage studio space I found one of my Egyptian Paste test pieces had apparently been used as a hotel for mice.

Egyptian Paste Box

The mice managed to get in the garage and found all of the dried and drying plant materials sustaining.

Mouse

When I was cleaning the space after the mice were relocated, it didn’t occur to me that I should look through the boxes of pieces stored in the space.

The box was constructed of hardware cloth and Egyptian paste. After firing the box, it was lined with black nylon and bound closed with strips of the same fabric. The fabric was dipped in diluted wood glue and hit with a heat gun, for a shrink wrap effect. I like that nylon can look like a skin, exposing the structure under it.

I have posted about this piece in the past. Pleased that the pieces have not developed a light coating of sodium.

Egyptian Paste Vessel

The pieces were constructed of hardware cloth, some had the addition of nails.

Egyptian Paste Vessel Nail Detail

The Egyptian paste was used like spackle and the lot fired to cone 015.

What to do with the mouse house? I am leaning toward popping it someplace, out of the way, in the garden.


Completed–Be Yourself

Friday, September 11th, 2020

Quote Used–Be Yourself; everyone else is already taken.
On a bazillion sites the quote is attributed to Oscar Wilde. According to Wilde folks, he did not write it or say it.

Code

Top Portion–Be Yourself;>
I layout out the code multiple ways to make sure that I really want to use it. I often use an old version of Flash to layout my projects. I like Flash because I make symbols and it is easy peasy to replace them.

The code is based on Morse Code.
Morse Code

Morse Code

Left to Right–Dot, Spacer, Dash

Wikipedia–MorseCode

Top

Center Section is Bargello Embroidery
Center

Bottom Portion–Everyone else is already taken.
Bottom

Completed Piece
Be Yourself

Border in rust yarn is based on tap code. The code is–Not an Oscar Wilde Quote

Tap code is a 5 x 5 code with k and c the same code.

Tap Code

Be Yourself Border and Hanger

The hanger is not a rod it is a piece of tubing that showed up after my husband did an annual on his Cessna. I believe is used for the brake lines.

Be Yourself Border and Hanger
I stitched on a layer of grey felt to the back of the piece to prevent seeing the wall through, but also to add a sleeve for the hanger (based on quilt hangers), and to add a pocket. The pocket is for notes on the piece. It is common for me to forget the quote used in a piece. Find myself needing to read the code to figure out the quote. The plan is to pop the information on the code and decisions made into the pocket.


Work In Progress–Regret

Sunday, September 6th, 2020

Quote from Return to Montauk

“There are only two things that matter…There’s the thing you did that you regret; the thing that cannot be undone. And then there is the thing that you did not do, that you should have done that you regret too. But it is too late now.”

I condensed it to–The thing you did that cannot be undone. The thing you did not do, that you should have done. And the word, Regret.

Layout

Layout

Body Blocks

Body Blocks

Body Dash Block

Body Dash Block

Materials
Tree wrap (1.25″ x 1.75″), bamboo (1″ x 1.25″), fiber, and safety pin.

Regret Blocks

Regret is an act of perseveration. If left unchecked, it can alter and erode a life. It can become a darkness.

Regret Blocks

Regret Dash Block

Regret Dash Block

Materials
Tree wrap (1.25″ x 1.75″), roofing felt (1″ x 1.25″), fiber, and safety pin.


Ideas for Birthday Greeting

Saturday, August 15th, 2020

Bargello Embroidery

Bargello Design 1

Too Busy and Cannot See the Bargello Stitch
Bargello Design 2

Bargello with Birthdates in Code

Thought adding coded birthdays to Bargello design would be fun. It is too busy. Difficult to read the code and the Bargello design.

Bargello with Dates

First Version Lucky Penny

There is a piece of tree wrap stitched to the back.
The piece is too small for the card.

Luck Penny Version 1

Completed Greeting–Lucky Penny

Completed Greeting

Detail of Lucky Penny Code
Dark Brown is used for dots, tan for dashes, cream is used for spacers. The code it stitched in vertically–first column is L, second U…

Detail of Lucky Penny Code

Detail of 1960 Lucky Penny

Detail of 1960 Penny

Card Interior Label

Lucky Penny Label

Greeting Ready for Shipping

A piece of foam is tucked inside to support the weight of the embroidered piece.

Foam Piece Inside Card

The card is wrapped with two layers covering the embroidered piece with the penny.

Wrapped Card for Shipping


Morning Glories

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

The Morning Glories were grown from harvested seed.

Morning Glories

The Morning Glories needed more space for growth.

Morning Glories

Knew the cotton and jute Icords would come in handy, some day.
Morning Glories

A patch of volunteer Morning Glories.

Morning Glories