Sticks and Stones In Progress—Application of Stiffener

Applied a stiffener to the hemp sections–right, left, top, bottom. Then applied another application of the sittener to the entire piece.

The stiffener helps to keep everything in place. It also can change the color, texture, and visual feel of the piece.

Need to find a rust colored yarn to bind the three pieces together. If I can’t find what I want, I will use the last bit of rust colored wool that I have. If it is not enough, I am will use gray wool to finish the piece.

Stiffener Applied

Stiffener Applied Detail

Sticks and Stones Hemp Filler Background

Hemp BG5

HempBg Detail

The lighter colored hemp for the background is a nice contrast to the grey color of the stones.

Next comes the border. Something geometrical I should think. Most of the lose ends will be bound into the border.

Then comes binding together the sticks and stones component, the coco fiber, and the additional piece of metal mesh.

The sticks and stones component still has a bit of a bow. Might be a good idea to construct a wood frame and insert it between the coco fiber and the second piece of metal mesh.

Sticks and Stones in Progress–Application of No Wax Floor Shield Test

Before I trim off the extra nettle and hemp I need to seal it to prevent the possibility of the knots coming undone. Not likely that could happen, but sometimes even when sticks should be dry they can still dry more. The drying can cause shrinkage and even if the knot is intact the binding might be too lose for the bundle. Using a sealant of sorts can help to keep things in place.

When I am using fiber without the addition of stones I often use liquid starch. I like that the starch does not seems to cause a problem if I add other materials–wax, stain, shellac…

I read about using the no wax floor shield several years back in Carol Huber Cypher’s book, Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads: 25 Artful Designs.

Sticks and Stones Detail

Detail of a portion of Sticks and Stones.

Application of No Wax Floor Shield

Sample piece with the application of no wax floor shield. It should not change the color of the nettle and hemp while adding a little shine to the sticks and stones. Now I wait.

Sticks and Stones In Progress Content

The work started with my continued interest in words and language.

Most kids are taught the Sticks and Stones nursery rhyme.

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?

I added a question mark. Words are used every day to hurt people.

The nursery rhyme is in Morse Code with the substitution of a bundle of sticks for each dot and dash. Each bundle has three sticks and is bound with nettle. A vertical orientation is a dot, horizontal is a dash.

Code in Flash

Code for A, B, and the Question Mark.
Each letter spans 4 squares by 4 squares. I often use Flash for layout. Make a symbol for each code component, with easy peasy replace. It is a quick way to see potential problems before making a paper and pencil sketch.

In addition to the bundles for the code in each 4×4 section, there will also be a stone bound with hemp. This is a detail of some of the completed work. I wait until I am finished with all of the binding before addressing any long strings on the back.

Stones Detail

The size of the stone will be dictated by the code. Letters can have 1, 2, 3, or 4 dots/dashes. Fewer code bundles allow for larger stones. The question mark has 6 bundles for the code.

Sketch in Use

Sketch in Use. I always use paper and pencil for my working sketch. I can write on it. Mark off bits when completed.

The sketch has each square numbered. I taped and numbered the edge of the metal mesh. It makes work easier with fewer mistakes. Depending on the binding, tearing out a mistake can take longer than the actual binding time. The tape is also good for preventing possible cuts. The metal mesh can be quite sharp.

Numbered Tape

The piece will be fairly heavy. The plan is to sandwich a piece of coco fiber blanket between the code piece and an additional piece of metal mesh. Rather like the three layers of a typical quilt. If I stitched through all three layers or hand tied them together, it would be even closer to quilt making. I always wanted to make a quilt, but not keen on cutting little bits of flat fabric and then stitching them together.

Piece on Coco Fiber

Things to do–Thinking about filling some of the open space of the mesh, weaving in nettle or hemp. It probably would feel more like a piece of fabric. Still want to see the coco fiber, especially the raw edges.

There are 3 squares allotted for the border. Haven’t planned what type of binding or embroidery to use. Need to see the sticks and stones bound in before making that decision.