New Look

January 30, 2011

Bits and Pieces

I did little felting this weekend.  I think the snow has started to put me into hibernation. 

I read quite a bit and did lots of household chores.  But after my test, that DH states looks like a slab of bacon, I decided white was not the background color.
I needed to go for the gold with greens, oranges and a punch of red.  So I made the background and some smaller pieces for the designs. 
A red, more maroon, for some of the circles. 
The deep indigo, this one I wasn't sure at first because it was so dark with the black wool. 
And a green.  I've been having trouble with yellow washing out of green so thought I would use gold with lots of yellow in the wool. 
This is probably the 'parchment' or the main body of the page.  A bit more red than I really wanted, but they seem to work together. 
The red in the center is much richer.  So from here I will probably make a few more bits of color then start putting it together.  All of these are only partially felted.  Very soft.  I hoping to felt them as a total piece....but we shall see.

January 23, 2011

Testing Testing

So much figuring out and testing before the actual felting on nuno pieces.  Because I actually want it to look like something, I draw out an idea.
Then I work an actual true to size "pattern"
Not sure about the b in verbum.  I've tried 3 different ways.  Still looking at Celtic and other fonts.  This is one I've done myself and I think it will work.  
Then I tried a paint program to see what kind of colors I liked.  This was a Big Waste of Time for me.  I'm not well versed in the paint program and the time it took for me to chose colors was way to much of a learning curve this weekend.  
I then decided to just try for the background.
The one of the left is a 'parchment color with colored silks.  The left is more hopeful.  Five strips of silk with four different mixed of wool behind.  I am much happier with this.  Sorry the picture is so awful.  It was taken in unnatural light.  
Sure doesn't look like I did much this weekend!  HA!  
Next weekend I may make more satisfying progress.

January 17, 2011

In The Beginning

Yesterday was spent doing lots of research.  Our Guild is doing a show with the theme Creation Stories or Myths.  I have always wanted to do a piece of illuminated manuscript. The Book of Kells is one of the most beautiful examples of this.  So I have been immersing myself in the pictures and stories of this book.  It is said to be so wondrous that it must have been created by Angels. There are Celtic Knots that have 158 turns within a single square inch.  I don't plan or aspire to that kind of detail.  But only wish to give that impression. 
Here is my first idea.  
The page is from the Gospel of John and literally says (in Latin) 
In principio erat verbum
So after the sketch I did some dyeing.  Rust, eucalyptus and iron w/ oak galls.  I was looking for the yellowed vellum color and a rich but muted gold. 
I think I have found it. 
Today I am off to the studio for sample making.  Silk, wool, locks, thread and although the Book of Kells has no actual gold or metallics, I am tempted.  It is my interpretation after all.

January 9, 2011

A Weekend of Felt

I was off  this weekend to Diane's for some serious fun and felt.  I got my usual room at the D&D B&B.  
(I just *love* this bedroom)
It is a lovely old ranch house that offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for invited guests only.  There is a fabulous felting table and my most wonderful friend who is an excellent felter that lives there. 
I have been hankering over doing some landscape felting with Diane's Art Expertise to help me understand the magic of light she manages in her work.  
I started with a picture of the swamp behind my house. 
Diane talked about ways to look a picture that I've never thought about before.  Lights and darks foreground and background were discussed.  Then she tempted me with tubs of color....Oh My!  How do you choose?
But I chose neutrals and greens.  Lots of greens and some blues actually.  

 And on it went for a whole day.  Until I had this:
But the swamp is twiggy...with lots of branches....and more darks.
This is after wet felting and before the final touches. 
More shadows and dark on the water were added after this.  Then after 2 nights of wine and staying up until after midnight I had to head home.  
Thanks Diane.  I had the most wonderful time and came home with a gorgeous piece to hang in my living room.  I learned wonderful things that will help me look at scenery a whole new way. 

January 2, 2011

Welcome 2011

It is now a New Year, by someones calendar.  I lived through Christmas, phew.  I cooked, hosted and worked.  But today (and yesterday) I felted.  A good sign for the New Year.  
I am going to be in a show at Davey Jones Gallery, in Albany, New York.  This is a result of the Hyuck Preserve Retreat I did in August. We hiked, took photographs, listen to lectures by mycologists and made felt.  It was a wonderful experience.  I made small pieces of mushrooms. When I came home, still under the influence of the Retreat, I made more sketches, researched more mushrooms, looked more closely at fungi than I had previously. I felted more pieces of mushrooms and the heron.  Here are my latest.
These are before felting. 
We shall see what happens after I finish.  
I now have several ideas about Creation Stories.  This is a show my Guild is doing this year.  I hope to do a piece entitled: In The Beginning Was The Word. 
I have wanted for some time to do something with illuminated manuscripts.  They are so beautiful and the Book of Kells inspires me. I'll need to do some serious research to tackle this. 
 And so on into the New Year.