This is the archive for the ‘fiber’ Category

Never Ending Story Book

March 12th, 2021

The final book in the project (from the previous post) is a “Never Ending Book” in that it can double back on itself in a circular fashion, thus “Never Ending”. Constructed like the others, only with seven sections rather than eight, the paper pages are then covered with fabric in a crazy quilt fashion using bold stitches, resulting in a very textured piece.

Image of handmade book Image of handmade book
Fabric and spines in place

Two sections have enlarged spines to accommodate extra pages (I may have enlarged mine a bit much) and the front and back covers are slightly padded. Once the stitching is finished the book is filled with the additional paper pages (not sewn in at this point) and is stuffed with leaves and/or onion skins – I added rusty objects as well, and the whole bundle is compressed between two tiles, tied and placed in a dye pot with boiling water.

Image of handmade book Image of handmade book
Before and After

I used an iron pot and added tea bags. The hardest part is leaving it alone for several days with out peeking. This morning I lifted the bundle out and removed the tiles.

Image of handmade book Image of handmade book
Unveiling

Then the unwrapping begins carefully, opening each page to remove the dye materials and setting the book and loose pages aside to dry.

Image of handmade book Image of handmade book
Drying (The dark bit in the first image is the main book structure. More pages in the second.)

All is currently pretty soggy but I’m excited with the results. Some of these pages were tests and I will now dye some additional pages and then assemble the finish project! That will take awhile and will be in a future post! This has been a very fun project with lots of fodder for future projects.

What Summer?

September 11th, 2020

Well that was June, and this is Sept. Haven’t been anywhere—3 times to a friend’s—outside— brought our own wine—and 2 normal Dr’s visits—since March!!! Hard to paint but I have done some. Images of places where I wish I was. And one lockdown portrait!

Image of Mask
Vision of 2020

I did finish the long, dyed piece with hand twisted silk cordage – added some slow seed stitching.(10.5 x71 inches)
See detail on Fiber Page.

Image of Life/Twists and Turns
Life Takes Twists and Turns

When I first did the cordage twisting, I made some using tea bag paper and got the idea of using the paper as a support for designing stamps and printing. The result is a series of 12 works called, collectively, “Tea Bag Tales” More can be seen on my Works on Paper page. This one is titled, “Beach Dreams”.

Image of Tea Bag Tales
“Beach Dreams”

Then there is always a book needing to be done and this one uses tea bag paper – some dyed, some not – and with ink. Bound with cordage made of dandelion stems and a dandelion cordage bookmark. More images of this may be seen on My Books Page.

Image of Tea Bag Book
Tea Bag Book Spread with Book Mark

I had dried the dandelions this spring and finally got around to twisting them. Some I dyed with rusty tea, some were half dyed so the twist is half dyed and half natural. Some the twist loosened a bit up as they dried, and some I weighted as they dried to try and keep their twist, and some stayed tight as they dried on their own. I love the different personalities they have.

Image of dandelion cordage
Twisted Single Dandelion Stem

I’d only picked and dried a few stems, so I’ve used my stash and can’t wait till next spring to dry more. (I’ll probably still be here locked down…)

Each project leads to another and I feel I’m ready to begin painting in earnest (if the world doesn’t get worse and spiral me into a deeper funk.) I’ve been reading a lot and enjoying the many artist interviews appearing on social media. So wonderful to see what people are doing all over the world. As I’m locked up it really helps to see others in the same situation and how they are dealing with canceled exhibitions, workshops, and lack of travel. Don’t feel quite so isolated. A life line.

Long Wool Strips

March 3rd, 2020

Started a new project with four long strips of felted wool (about 6.5’ x 2″ each) and want to apply dyes and stitches to them. I started by testing small squares with different dyes—mainly tea with iron and madder with alum. So far I’ve dyed one strip with tea and iron and it is currently drying waiting for the next step.

Image of five dye samples Image of dyed strip drying

A second strip has been left un-dyed so far and I am stitching a small area each day this month.

Image of first two days of stitching Image of of rain

The first two were mainly warm ups – getting the feel of the project—a bit of more formal embroidery followed by some straight stitching which I usually use in my work—then today it rained!

I haven’t done a daily practice like this before so it will be fun to see where it goes.

Exhibition 2020

February 17th, 2020

Well, this has been a while. Holidays over and done – all good but glad to move on.

Very excited to be having an exhibition of my work at Imperfect gallery, opening April 4th at 6:00. Titled “Places and Spaces”, I’ll be showing both paintings and stitches.

Much of my work deals with time past (a “Place” or “Space” in time as well as physical location) and I like the contrast of the haunting ancientness my landscapes with the relatively short human scale of time in my fiber work. I hope to get across this duality/contrast in this show. My paintings are representative of the awe I feel of nature, how it adapts and endures —both in subjects close to home and those from my travels. My work with fibers represents memories of family and my connection to women who made things with their hands. The fiber work I’ll be showing is mainly “slow stitch”, hand work which again references time, a slowing down and contemplation.

Of course, there are unfinished works to get ready—and paintings need time to dry as I work in oils. And then there always one more idea…So that’s where I am right now, stitching, and mounting, framing, and dyeing.

And a huge shout out to Bob who is making frames for my images! How wonderful is that!

Image of Stacked picture frames Image of Frames being sprayed
Glad for a warmish Feb day for outside spraying!

Of course, new tools were needed!

Image of picture frames being joined
Frames being joined.

Fall 2019

December 11th, 2019

It’s December and Christmas is upon us—Cards are made, lights are up and gifts sent—now to concentrate of being with and enjoying family and friends and to get back to my painting—but first I wanted to make up for not posting for a while.

While in Maine this summer I worked on sketching trees and this fall they were combined with rusty bits found in Maine and Campobello. I have lots of sketches, photos, and plein air studies to inspire work from here. These rusty studies help get me going in the morning.

Image of Maine Tree sketches
Sketches mounted

Fall was busy as it always seems to be. After our trips I came home to a painting commission that was fun to work on and can’t be shown yet as it’s to be a surprise. Also began lots of work inspired by Scotland—Orkney and the Isle of Skye. First sketches and drawings and then on to paintings. I didn’t have time during our trip to draw and absorb as I wished but I do have photos as well as the images and sensations seared into me. I want to capture the sense of power and haunting timelessness I felt. I’ve just begun this series.

Image of Mountain from Elgol Beach
Evening view from Elgol

In Oct my studio was on an artist studio/house tour—that took a good bit of cleaning up and getting my work in order. So much fun to see people enjoying my work and in discussing it with them.

Image of Painting Studio Image of Work on wall
Mostly cleaned up

And, always fiber. I had purchased small bits of fleece in Orkney and spun and wove tiny tapestries with them as well as continuing to spin fleece from Flying Fiber for use in other tapestries that are in the works. When things get overwhelming, fiber work calms me down, puts things in perspective and I’m ready to go again!

Image of Yellow Handspun Yarn Image of small tapestry
Love my Fiber

Not squares

July 17th, 2019

Last week I was invited to join my friend, Jane, at Needlers Camp—a group of women who meet to share their fiber projects, good food and good company. They meet during the year but one week in summer they meet every morning and call it camp! So many talented people, so many inspiring projects, so much skill and love of their work. I was asked to bring my “Stitches, not Words” project, “Fiber Book” and “Bridges” project for show and tell.

Image of madder stitch project
Not squares.

I wanted to take something to work on but the bridges project is solitary as I need it to speak to me for direction so I need something else. When I was finishing “Stitches not Words” I had made one base that had been dyed with madder in addition to the rust and tea that the others had been. I had grown the madder and harvested it a number of years ago.
The piece is rectangular (9.25″ x 7.5″) and assembled in triangles, not squares. I wanted to stitch on it in triangles and add some text. I have some ideas but will wait and see what it says it needs.
So that’s what I worked on while having a lovely morning chatting and nibbling away. Thank you Jane and thank you Needlers!