Archive for the ‘Processes’ Category

Work in Progress–Who Is Left…

Monday, June 17th, 2019

Who is Left… is a piece that has felted wool blocks stitched together with copper wire. The copper wire was removed from a mixer that caught fire.

Who Is Left

The wire replaced safety pins that I had hoped would patina green.

Who Is Left

That didn’t happen, because they weren’t bronze. They became a lovely textural brown.

Who Is Left Brown Safety Oins

Not the result I wanted, but the safety pins will find their way into a future piece.

Solution to patina pennies green
2.0 parts white vinegar
.5 parts salt (non iodized)
1.5 parts clear detergent (free of ammonia)

Solution Instructions
Spray on solution and allow to set for 1 hour. Reapply.
Allow patina to dry to green powdery finish
Patina will set permanently
Allow to set overnight.

I used Sea Salt and All Clear Free. The solution became thick and white, not a sprayable solution. I dipped the piece in the thick solution and squeezed it through the blocks.

Who Is Left

The piece was hung to drain over a plastic bin. Sprayed it multiple times with water. The detergent made a bit of foam. Suspect I will soak the piece in the morning to remove excess detergent.

Who Is Left Water Application

I wrapped the piece in plastic for the night.

Who Is Left in Plastic

Also wrapped the bin with excess solution in plastic to keep it clean for possible application tomorrow.

Now I wait.


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


Who Is Left to Connect Me… In Progress

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Who Is Left

Safety Pins Used–263 small, 9 gourd. The knitted brown pieces are much thinner than the cream and tan pieces. Next time I should use the same stitch for all.

Who Is Left

Cut a length of bronze welding rod for hanging the piece inside box. Current Dimensions–10″ x 20″.

Next–Patina the metal and build a cedar box.

Who Is Left

As stated in a previous post, the quote is from Henning Mankell’s, Firewall.


Who Is Left to Connect Me to My Earlier Life?

Sunday, April 7th, 2019

The quote is from Firewall, part of the Wallander series written by Henning Mankell.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of my mother’s ischemic stroke. An event that changed everything.

Last year was a challenging year. My younger sister survived her third surgery for oral cancer, but while in recovery had an ischemic stroke. She did not survive.

Two months later my mother had an ischemic stroke. For a few weeks the prognosis was positive-negative, hopeful-no hope. Before summer I lost the two most important women in my life. The women who knew me when I was a child. We grew and changed together.

I am working on a memorial series. Typically I my series have 11 pieces. Several pieces are in progress but not quite completed. Partly the delay in completing work is the result of recovering from hand surgery. Still do not have my fine motor skill and manual dexterity in my dominant hand.

I using fiber to embroider on hardware cloth for my code blocks. Holding a needle for extended periods of time still causes hand and finger pain. Needed to figure out alternative ways for making things. Since I can loom knit, decided to give that a go. This will also be the first piece in a long time that does not have hardware cloth. It is a good thing to break a dependence on a material.

Who is Left…, will still have a metal component. The plan is to use safety pins to assemble the blocks. The safety pins will also add the possibility of green patina running down the piece.

Blocks
There are three colors of wool blocks: 41 tan for dashes, 51 dark brown for dots, and 52 cream for spacers. The 144 blocks will be laid out on a 9 x 16 grid.

Layout

Knit Pattern–Dash 41 Tan Wool Blocks

Cast On E-wrap
Knit E-wrap

R1 Skip, K5, Flat Knit
R2 Skip, K, S, K, S, K, Flat Knit
R3 Skip, K5, Flat Knit
R4 Skip, S, K, S, K, S, Flat Knit

Pattern rolls.

Knit Pattern–Dot 51 Dark Brown Wool Blocks

Cast On E-wrap
Knit E-wrap

R1 Skip, K, P, K, P, K, Flat Knit
R2 Skip, P, K, P, K, K, Flat Knit
R3 Skip, P, K, P, K, K, Flat Knit
R4 Skip, K, P, K, P, K, Flat Knit

Knit Pattern–Spacers 52 Cream Wool Blocks

Cast On E-wrap
Knit E-wrap
Only Knit Purl Stitches
R1 Skip, K, P, K, P, K, Flat Knit
R2 Skip, P, K, P, K, K, Flat Knit
R3 Skip, K, P, K, P, K, Flat Knit
R4 Skip, P, K, P, K, K, Flat Knit

Swatches

Knitted Swatches with Cotton Cord Separating Blocks After First Fulling

Blocks

Blocks for Code

Scraps

The scraps are random sizes, might be fun to stitch together to make letters in a different code piece.
Been thinking about learning to use my mother’s sewing machine.

Scraps

The blocks were fulled, not felted. Loops for pegs still visible.

Safety Pins
I ordered two types of bronze 3/4″ safety pins from amazon:

Household Mall 3/4-Inch Safety Pins, Bronze (1440 Pieces)

Firefly Bronze Metal Gourd Pin (1000 Pieces)

Received the Household Bronze pins. They are beautiful!

Safety Pins

Safety Pin Detail

Waiting to assemble the piece until I see the Bronze Gourd Pins.

10 April They Arrived…

Gourd Pin

Gourd Pin

The extra space in the curve of the pin might work better with the thickness of the wool blocks.

The safety pins would be lovely for use in the i-cord bowl series I am planning to make. The title is Collected Memories. Got the idea when going through my parents’ collections found in random drawers.

A few years ago I dinked around with the idea of i-cord bowls. Wasn’t the time to develop the work. Maybe I was waiting for bronze safety pins.

Brown Bowl with Safety Pins

Cream Bowl with Safety Pins

According to the email I received from amazon, I may not receive the gourd safety pins until April 12th. So, I patiently wait for the order to arrive.


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 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.


Spring Planting and Folded Paper Pots for Seed Starting

Monday, March 19th, 2018

I recently read through all of the seed planting recommendations for plants that I plan to add to my gardens.

Most of the seed will be planted in Plantel Plant Trays from Peaceful Valley Farm Supply.

Plantel Plant Trays

It is recommended that some of the seed be planted in biodegradable pots, to prevent disturbing the roots of the seedlings.

Rather than purchasing peat or coconut fiber pots, I decided to use the Yellow Pages that have been piling up in my studio. Does anyone actually use printed paper phone books?

I viewed several, how to fold paper pot tutorials. DIY: Newspaper Pots for Seed Starting/Cuttings on Youtube is the best tutorial I found. The instructions are clear and easy peasy. Before beginning to fold a sheet from the Yellow Pages, I removed a strip from the side to alter the proportions.

Tadpole

The pages were torn to 4.25″ x 8.5″

The strips will saved for use when working in clay.

Folded Paper Pot

The finished folded pot is 1″x1″x1″.

Whenever I learn a new skill or technique, I always think about how it can be used in the studio.

I have made loads of boxes in the past, but rarely a square. This is a square box, roughly 3.5″, that I never quite completed. It is tree wrap with some dried plant bits and twine.

Not Quite Completed

Paper Pots

49 Paper Pots Ready to Use


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