Over the holidays, the studio welcomed its newest tool, a plotter (cutter). There are many on the market, each having their own pros and cons, but after having done some research, I found the one for me. I have always had a love for words.. quotes and sayings… and being a font addict with a reasonable handle on graphic design and a love for Adobe Illustrator, the possibilities with this machine are endless! It cuts so much more than vinyl… cardstock, fabric, stencils for glass etching and fabric stenciling, heat transfer for clothing.. and I have even sourced reflective heat transfer for clothing. That may sound crazy to most of the world, but living in Norway, the dark season makes wearing reflects mandatory. My son has decided he wants to start a business selling his own reflects designs.. and he is only 8! Time to make space in the studio. Yesterday I made my first wall piece from vinyl. Well beyond the standard size of the plotter (the wording is just over a meter high), …
A while back, I blogged about the raw wool felted laptop bag (see post) that I created for myself, and I thought I would show how the handles were made. Store bought handles of all shapes, sizes and colours are available in most craft stores (or online), but in my opinion, nothing beats a good quality, handmade, adjustable thick leather strap with solid brass fittings. I have not used a pattern for doing this.. I simply gauge the size based on the bag and what feels comfortable. The only factor to consider is the width of your buckle. I cut five pieces of leather, one for the strap, and two shorter pieces that are doubled over and secured to the felt itself using chicago screws (leather bond optional), and two narrower pieces that are looped to keep the strap from flailing about. The side pieces are very simple.. an oval hole in the middle for the buckle to pivot, and in this case two holes matched up on each side. Punch matched holes in your …
Lately I have had been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding shibori, the japanese art of creating texture and colour on cloth. There are an incredible variety of styles and techniques that are encompassed in the Shibori classification. Here are some photos (and a quick tutorial) of a piece I made using the bomaki shibori technique.
Another productive day in the studio (and it is not even noon!). FeltUnited as many of you know is fast approaching (at least for Elis and I). There are a series of projects ongoing in the studio (well mostly in my head for now) that require some preplanning .. ie dyeing fibre.
It has been a while since I have “played” in the studio… sometimes life gets too busy. Today, after a good talk with a friend far away, I feel that my head is starting to clear and the time to play is approaching… that … and spring is in the air!
When I work with text or drawings (either hand-drawn or computer generated), I need to go through a variety of steps to move them from the 2 dimensional world on my computer or piece of paper, to a 3 dimensional format that I can use to create the mold the the jewelry I create. One of these techniques is using photopolymers.
I took at look at my stats today, and just wanted to say thanks for reading. When I started my blog this summer, I had no idea that it would be read by so many people. I would love to hear what you would like to see more of (take this anonymous poll – choose 2 options) : by the way, if you want to subscribe use the RSS feeder links on the top right then bookmark it.
Since that trip, I have been obsessed with trying to new wools. Specifically Norwegian heritage sheep, but also other breeds to get a better understanding of wool and how it felts.
A few moments from the studio today. Made using a mix of Norwegian C1 and pelsull with a touch of silk throwers waste for accent. Here is a glimpse of the process: UPDATE: This photo will give you an idea as to how much it shrunk in the felting process. Norwegian C1 is fantastic wool! ohhh.. and a link from Siki in Canada.. I absolutely love this, turn your music on and enjoy.
This was entry for the Cheongju Craft Biennial in Korea: suffice it to say I did not win ;( The theme for the competition was: (you can skip this part if you want.. a little long winded!) The theme for the 2009 Biennale, Outside the Box, proposes that craft be considered or approached as a composite whole, rather than as a series of fragmentary and contending disciplines. To think outside the box, as the phrase goes in the West, is to transcend spurious divisions through the human faculty of imagination. In newly-merged artistic and managerial discourses, ‘outside the box’ is where the indispensably ‘innovative’ is to be found. But it is also where a state of integration becomes attainable; where meetings become possible. As what is devised as a necessary means to an end, craft and innovation have ever been one and the same. By the same definition craft is integration; with nature, with others, with its collective self. It therefore has the power to unite and represent all human values, in the here and now. …
and then the important part.. see that hammock in the garden, grab a good “how to book” lay back with a cup of coffee and learn something new while relaxing to the rhythmic sounds of your tumbler.
Another ring in the works… This is a photo of my next piece in the kiln. The ring is sitting on a bed of vermiculite and some fibre blanket for support. I make plugs out of investment (powder that is mixed with water and then set – here is the brand I use) in the correct size such that the ring will be a specific size once I am done. This one is made size 8 1/2 (American sizing – to convert click here) I own a Paragon Xpress E-14A it is such a fantastic piece of equipment. I did a ton of research before choosing my kiln and this one will allow me to move on in other forms and media including glass fusing/slumping, ceramics (I do silkscreening and have a serious set of custom dishware patterns in my head), enameling as well as lampwork beads (I chose the option of a beaddoor) because I know myself… It is just a matter of time! I am reasonably well versed in all of these techniques, …
As you roll the ball, you will feel it start to felt. Resist the urge to squeeze it, as the secret to getting a perfect pearl is going slow and gentle.
Some artists prefer to see their work take on a life of its own, only knowing at the end what the final product will be. I have a hard time working that way.
I am working on a line of silver and felt jewelry. I am sculpting fine silver “egg shells” which will be turned into earrings set with a “felt pearl”.