Monday, January 25, 2016

Fiber Fusion Update

I am continuing to work on my bowls - which I am hoping to enter in the Fiber Fusion travelling exhibition... which is being produced by the Washington State Surface Design Association.  

In the mean time, I was asked to help test their online entry system (which was a nice honor!).  It's working great!! AND the call is now open, so if you are interested in participating in the Fiber Fusion show, you have until March 20th, 2016 to enter (you do HAVE to be an SDA member to get that done first!). 

Here's my latest photo shoot for one of the bowls.  Trying to figure out which background etc, I like best.  So far I've taken about 200 pictures - trying different angles, backgrounds, and ephemera.  I'll show you the one I end up using later.  :)   I may even use it to apply to the SPIN image contest for their 2016 festival!  Wish me luck!

I like the button necklace -it demonstrates how
see-through the bowl really is

I like that the bowl is the "after" and the silk
chiffon to the right of it is the "before"

I like the silks in the background
better than the others.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Finally Back At Work (on artwork!)

My first resin & silk bowl
still a work in progress
The holidays got crazy... did it get crazy for you?  I have to believe that you too, probably had a LOT of things going on.  I had some good (craft fairs, high tea, lots of family), and some not-so-good (beloved grams died, car issues, furnace issues, and lots of family).  But even though there were lows mixed in with my highs, I'm still more than a bit sorry to have the holidays end.

The 1st bowl, upright
can you tell it is see-through?
HOWEVER, I am happy to be able to focus on my art again!!  Last post, I showed some of the lovely birds that I'm hoping will become models for future art pieces.  But right now, I'm working on something I toyed with a bit before the holiday craziness began... and that's making silk fabric (which I've painted) into bowls using resin.

My first piece provided a good amount of education for me.  I'm still working with it and thus, still learning.  But so far here's what I've learned.

  1. When you apply resin to fabric, if it's meshy (or loosely woven), even though you've thoroughly applied a layer of resin and let it dry... it will still have some minute/microscopic if you apply a 2nd layer, the resin will seep through to the other side leaving odd puddles with sharp edges (unless you apply it to the fabric while it's flat - which I did not).  Hmmm.
  2. The meshy types of silk (in this case, a silk gauze or chiffon) will turn translucent when encased in resin (which gives a fabulous glass-like look).  I am guessing that thinner habotai will also respond this way.
  3. Pouring resin into a bezel gives you a thick layer of resin which hardens and becomes very stiff and strong.  Rubbing resin through fabric (really, I scrapped it into the fabric using an old gift card), and then letting it dry...leaves a plasticy-looking fabric with a lot of flexibility - then... 4..
  4. Painting resin onto fabric builds very slowly.  In other words, Several coats of resin and I still have a semi-flexible shape! (because I am using thing layers of it doesn't drip and puddle in places I don't want it to). 
  5. Doing it this way takes time... and I am guessing it will take me probably 4-6 layers of resin (or more?) to get the thickness and rigidity that I am looking for. 
My 2nd silk & resin bowl
in the shape I hope it will stay
after I add a few more layers
of resin to it.
I am excited to see how this new bowl turns out...and I'm hoping that I can enter it into the SDA-WA Fiber Fusion call.  But first... it's got to actually hold it's shape.  Right now it's too floppy/flexible. 

This silk now has 2 layers of resin and still I can open it
and move the silk out of it's bowl shape.
OH, I am excited about this... the 2nd bowl is made from twice-recycled silk!  How can that be twice recycled you ask?  Well first, it came from a shirt I found in a thrift store.  I used the silk to paint a quarter-panel of a sunflower.. and while I liked how the individual panels turned out, I didn't like them when I put them together into a whole composition.  SO I got mad at it (I know, temper temper!), and literally tore it off the canvas (it was adhered with acrylic matte medium so this was no easy task, and in fact little bits of gesso from the canvas came with it).  After I tore it off the canvas, I held on to it thinking I'd experiment with it - which I am doing so...and now in it's 2nd new life, it will be a bowl!  SO twice-recycled!  I kinda dig that!  

Oh, and if you're wondering what kind of resin I'm using - you can see it in a couple of the pictures - it's Ice Resin... which I like a lot.  It's lower toxicity (and lower fumes!) than other types, plus it has the added bonus of NOT being flammable!  Which means when pouring thicker pieces like bezels for pendants.. if bubbles appear, you can simply use a butane match or other high-heat source to bring the bubbles to the surface and to pop those bubbles (can't do that with other resins!).  Nifty stuff, but more than a bit pricey!

I'll post a final picture of the bowl(s) when they're done.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Happy New Year - Time To Focus!

Steller Jay (with gorgeous
light  blue eyebrows!)
Happy New Year to all my friends, family, and readers!  I hope your holiday was fabulous!!

A very shy, Spotted Towhee
Mine was spent watching snow fall but then it melted away (boohoo!).  Actually, mine was really spent watching all the little birdies scrabbling around my feeders.  That was a LOT of fun!

And I have been thinking about my focus for this year - which is to try and paint as much as possible... so the birds fit in perfectly!!  I literally focused on them!  LOL

This lovely-but-shy lady is
an Evening Grosbeak!
So here are a few pics of some of the VERY shy birds who were hopping around my feeders on New Years.  I am hoping to turn some (or all?!) of them into paintings!
Varied Thrush (female)

 I got pictures (not great as far as pictures go, but acceptable for bird-studies!) of Varied Thrushes, Evening Grosbeaks (my personal favorites!), Downy Woodpeckers, Steller Jays, and 
Spotted Towhees

A Downy Woodpecker

And I also saw (but didn't get pictures of): Nuthatches, Black-capped Chickadees, Flickers, House-Sparrows, Robins, and House Finches.  LOTS of birdy activity available if you want to put out a bit of food.  All of these birds were seen on or near my feeders (although not all will eat the food I put out).  FYI - I use sunflower seeds in my seed-feeders and I buy various suet-feeders as well.