Archive for the ‘Processes’ Category

Loom Knitting Pages for a Book

Friday, January 8th, 2016

I am attempting to knit pages for a book on a sock loom. The yarn is Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool. The color is natural.

Knitting on Sock Loom

Row 1 U wrap knit
Row 2 U wrap knit, Slip;… U wrap knit
Row 3 U wrap knit
Row 4 2 U wrap knit, Slip; end with Slip, and 2 U wrap knit stitches

Slip Stitch–start a purl stitch and slip the new loop over the peg, rather than pulling the existing loop off of the peg and replacing with the new loop.

Sock Loom Knit Front

Sock Loom Knit Front

Sock Loom Knit Back

Sock Loom Knit Back

A similar stitch pattern on a larger loom with two strands of LB Fishermen’s wool. I didn’t want to felt the piece because I wanted a bit of the stitch to show.

Chinese Waves Stitch

Row 1 Knit
Row 2 K, Slip…, K
Row 3 K
Row 4 K, K, Slip… S, K, K

U wrap Knit
Slip–remove loop from loom, lay working yarn on peg (to the inside of the loom), replace loop.

When fulled, the piece was too thick.

Chinese Waves Stitch Fulled


Loom Knitting Help

Knitting on the Net

Great Tuteate YouTube Loom Knitting Videos

Slat Book and the Bead Loom

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Last night I was looking through some work in progress and saw a bead loom. It was a gift that I never used, but thought it might come in handy for something, some day.

Bead Loom

A bead loom is basically springs attached to a wood frame. In my limited use of springs, it makes sense that a larger spring would work when weaving thicker fiber.

Something that did occur to me when removing the piece from the loom, it would be a good idea to place a rod next to the spring and wrap the fiber around the rod before placing in the spring.

Bead Loom With Rod

After quickly trying my idea, I found that there was a need for clamps to the hold the rod in place.

Back to the weaving experiment: I strung the bead loom with some nettle and started weaving. I used cream wool, nettle, and Tecoma pods.

Bead Loom Result

The result is exciting because it might be the solution to my slat book problem. I plan to use Pandorea jasminoides parts, stitched with a letter in code.

Plant Bits

Slat books typically use regular shaped pieces for each of the slats. The Pandorea jasminoides parts are a variety of widths and lengths. I really like them because they bring to mind shields.

If I were to use a similar weaving process, I think it just might work. I plan to try using three strand of nettle on each side leaving the central section of the Pandorea jasminoides parts open for easy reading of the code. Well, maybe not actually easy reading. It will be code.

Slat Book with information about the plant materials and code posted on September 17th, 2015

Slat Book with information about glycerin and code posted on October 11th, 2015


Serendipitous events can result in great ideas.
Or, discovery makes making art so much fun.


Glycerin Test Results

Monday, October 12th, 2015

I removed the plant parts from the water and glycerin solution after 4 hours.

Test Water Glycerin

The next morning after they dried, I noticed they were definitely more pliable.

Test Water Glycerin Bend

Not easy taking a photo with an iPad of your own hand while holding something.

I removed a test from the denatured alcohol and glycerin solution after 16 hours. It was inflexible and snapped.

Test Alcohol Glycerin

I suspect the alcohol solution would be better for preserving the plant parts, rather than for my purposes. The jar does not take up much space so I will check them daily for improvement.


Sticks and Stones

Monday, October 12th, 2015

Yesterday I hung Sticks and Stones, but immediately realized two things: the piece is far too small for the space, and the lower right corner tends to bow out a bit.

Sticks and Stones

It is nice having something in that space. Need to start planning a larger piece.

How to fix the bow?

The piece is constructed of two pieces of hardware cloth bound together.

Sticks and Stones Back

Sticks and Stones Front

Bending should be an easy fix for the bowed out corner, but when I gave it a go, it did not change how it hung.

It really should be bent a bit toward the center, but I do not want to risk breaking the sticks that make up the code.

Sticks and Stones Code Detail

The plan is to let it hang until I figure out the bow problem.


A Nice Surprise–Bird of Paradise Seeds

Monday, September 14th, 2015

I have two studio spaces: one in the house for fairly clean work, and one in the garage for messy work. I keep most of my plant cuttings in the garage.

Recently, I took some cuttings from a giant bird of paradise. I thought it would be fun to remove all of the interior bits and do some stitch work on the remaining vessel.

Bird of Paradise Cuttings

They have been drying for nearly a month. Today I found the seed pods dried, open, and gorgeous seeds were visible.

Bird of Paradise Seeds

Nature has many colorful surprises. The orange covering on the seeds feels a bit spongy.

I was curious if I could have success planting the seeds. I read several articles and it seems easy peasy. Pop the seeds in water for two to three days. Change water daily. Then drain, remove all of the orange fiber, dry, and scar the seeds. Pop them in some soil and keep moist. Maybe in a month of so there might be seedlings.

So, I removed all of the seeds and placed them in a jar.

Bird of Paradise Seeds

Empty Seed Pods

The empty seeds pods are lovely.

Seeds in Water

Seeds in water day one.


Eroded Contours

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Some 20 plus years back I made a series titled, Eroded Contours. It was a process oriented series. The pieces were meant to be hung on the wall, but one of the pieces found a home in my garden.

Eroded Contours

The Process–

1. Made a plaster mold of a large philodendron leaf. Used it dry as a press mold for a mid-range stoneware body. Pulled several pieces. Fired them in a high bisque, cone 5. Broke them into pieces.

2. Used the same plaster mold wet to pull waxes.

3. Inserted some of the broken ceramic pieces into the waxes keeping in mind that the ceramic pieces could shift when the wax burns out.

4. Gated, then invested the lot.

5. Sent the investments through the burnout.

Potential problems–
1. Would there be a shift in the position of the ceramic pieces as the wax burned out?
2. What would happen to the ceramic pieces when hit with molten bronze?
3. What would happen when the bronze and ceramic pieces cool?
4. What would happen to the ceramic pieces embedded in bronze during the breakout?

Everything went quite well. Better than anticipated. Some of the fired ceramic pieces did fracture. A few bits were lost in the process.

When the fracture was more than I wanted, I mixed up a batch of Egyptian Paste to use as a filer. The plan was to glaze and fire the lot, so the addition of a cone 016 paste was compatible with the glaze temperature.

This is how the piece looked when removed from the garden. The pieces are long and quite narrow so a bit difficult to get a decent image.

Eroded Contours

The majority of the piece is bronze. The whitish areas stained with rust from the oxidized wire. I had forgotten that some of the pieces also had wire. The wire was bound on prior to the glaze fire. Firing the wire made it a bit fragile and after years in the garden, some of the wire was broken and missing.

I was curious if the rust stain was permanent, so I washed the piece with a solution of water and epsom salt.

Washed Piece

Washed Detail 1

Washed Detail 2

Some of the wire has vanished, but left its mark.

Washed Detail 3

This is how the piece looks after it dried overnight.

Dried

This is the detail of another piece in the series–

Blue Piece Detail


This bronze vessel has been moved around in my garden several times. Can’t quite figure out where to put it. It was constructed of palm cuttings and jute twine. Waxed the twine, then gated and invested the piece.

Bronze Vessel

There is always the possibility when doing a direct burn-out that some of the material will not burn-out completely or some ash will remain and prevent a good pour.

After the pour and break-out, a low-fire glaze was applied. Then the piece was fired to cone 015.


These are a few of the photos that I took the day of the Eroded Contours pour and break-out. A chain was used to pull the investments from the pit. And a fork lift was used to remove them from the foundry.

The length of the largest piece was 4.5′.

Investments

Investments

Break-out

Break-out

Break-out

Break-out


Sticks and Stones Finally Done

Monday, August 10th, 2015

I spent several months deciding how to complete this piece. Attempted several borders, finally decided to make a coco fiber border. Coco fiber is pretty, but it is sharp and prickly.

Text

The piece has bundles of bound twigs used in place of Morse Code. The dots are bound to the hardware cloth vertically, and the dashes are bound horizontally. Each 4×4 square block represents one letter. And each block has a stone.

The message in the piece is: Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?

Yep, it does have a question mark in the code.

Sketch

The piece has two layers of hardware cloth and a layer of coco fiber between.

I have included an image of the back of the piece. Even though the back can’t be seen, it still exists. Also the back piece of hardware cloth has ready made hangers.

Text

Detail of sketch showing the code and a detail of the front of the piece.

Sketch Detail

Front Detail

The finished piece is 32.5″ x 16.75″ x 2″.
Materials List: hardware cloth, stones, coco fiber, cotton fabric, wool, hemp, stones, and starch.

I am seriously considering including the materials and code layout in a small cotton pouch attached to the back for easy access.

As for signing the piece, I will use some type of stitch work. Here are some examples of previous signatures.

Signature

I have also used stitched perforated discs. The code starts from the left and spirals in. The code is in brown and tan. The rest is spacers and fillers.

Signature

They are rather nice because they are about the size of a quarter. There are a few patterns that can be used. This attempt was to be a bit willy nilly.

Back to Sticks and Stones–I need to sign it and hang it.

Miscellaneous information–the twigs are from a birch tree. Some believe that birch represents health, wisdom, and safety.

I select materials for what they bring to the work visually, but also culturally. Sometimes a material is selected because it has a connection to my personal history.

Does anyone need to know that when viewing the work? Probably not. Will knowing all of my reasons for making a work and selecting materials change how a work is viewed? Maybe…


Wool Bowl–Update on Rust Promoter Test

Monday, July 27th, 2015

The test piece is still a bit damp and continues to change.

This is how the test appeared yesterday–

Test 1

This is an image of how the test looks today. The piece next to it shows the original color of the cream wool yarn and the safety pins.

Test 1 Day 3


Don’t Piece in Progress

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

I started the Don’t piece after watching Blink one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who. The episode introduces the Weeping Angels, sculpture that isn’t really sculpture. When you blink or look away the Weeping Angels move. When they move they are dangerous.

In the episode Weeping Angels also known as the Lonely Assasins are explained:

“You die in the past, and in the present, they consume the energy of all of the days you might have had-and your stolen moments. They live off potential energy.”

What if you approached viewing art in the same way? Well, not with the fear that you might be sent back in time to die, but to really look. To see what is there, you must look. Not give the art work a passing glance, but really look at it. What about being a version of the Weeping Angels by snagging some of the energy put into the work by the artist…

I started a piece that has coded into it, “Don’t turn your back, Don’t look away, Don’t blink” some of the warnings in the episode.

Dont

I used color for the dots and dashes of Morse Code–rust yarn for dots, gray for dashes, and cream for spacers.

I cut the squares of mirror in half because after wrapping the hardware cloth with cream wool they were too large. And I like the idea of sharp edges.

Dont Code Detail

The frame will be bound to the coded piece. Actually the frame has code as well. The frame has the repeated word, see.

Dont Frame

The plan is to age and wax the coded piece and the frame. Then bind the two pieces together and the binding.

Dont With Frame


Wool and Safety Pins

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

What happens when you find a stash of safety pins? What do you do with them?

Safety Pins

Had just make a rope and wool yarn bowl for a birthday present.

Birthday Bowl

I enjoyed making the bowl. A nice break from making wall pieces. I wrapped rope with cream wool yarn so the cotton rope would not peek through.

Formed the bowl by binding it with cream wool. Added additional binding in cream, gray, and brown. It is code for the person’s name and their date of birth.

Back to the safety pins–I decided to make I-cords, full them, and then pin them together to make a bowl. I pinned the cream wool I-cord together and took it apart 3 times. Just couldn’t get it quite right.

Cream Bowl

While I was working on putting the cream bowl together and taking it apart, I made two smaller pieces.

The I-cord is made of gray and cream wool yarn.

Gray Bowl

The exterior of the bowl.

Gray Bowl

Then I flipped it inside out.

Gray Bowl

I tried the same process using two kinds of brown wool yarn.

Brown Bowl

Exterior of the bowl.

Brown Bowl

Flipped inside out.

Brown Bowl

Flipping the bowl inside out was the solution. After finishing the pinning of the cream bowl, I flipped it inside out.

Cream Bowl

Once the bowl is aged and then stiffened I think it will be done.


How to age the bowls?

Test 1 Rust Promoter
4.0 parts white vinegar
1.0 part peroxide
.5 part salt

Test 1

Test 2
1 Tablespoon epsom salt in boiling water. Submerged the piece. Then added another tablespoon of epsom salt.

Test 2

This really did not work. It seems to have cleaned the oxidation off of the safety pins. The result brought to mind the ugly surface of silicon bronze when it is sandblasted.

Test 2

Rust and bleeding onto the wool is definitely necessary.

When I finish adding some age to the bowls, I will most likely add an application of faux beeswax. Adding an all over application tends to help integrate the materials.

After the wax is applied a heat gun can be used. With some wax a hair dryer can be hot enough. It takes longer but, it is worth it to keep the integrity of the wool. I have found that microcrystalline wax requires a higher temperature and the wool can appear plastic.

I have attempted making cold wax, but still need to heat the piece to smooth out thick areas.


Rust Promoter Formula

It occurred to me that I did not give credit to the person who posted the rust promoter formula. I found the formula several years ago. I looked through my notes and sketchbooks, but I could not find reference to the formula or the fellow’s name. He made beautiful bells and used the rust promoter to give the appearance of age.

While writing this post, I googled bells and rust promoter, but did not find his site. When I find it, I will post a link.