Friday, November 6, 2009

It’s Déjà Vu all over again!

Saturday is the big Déjà Vu show in Columbus Indiana. It celebrates recycled materials in art and features area artists that use reclaimed and recycled materials. You’ll find me there from 10-4 at the Yes Cinema at the corner of Fourth and Jackson. I even worked up the courage to call in to ‘Ask the Mayor’ on WFIU and invite Columbus Mayor Fred Armstrong to visit the show—it’s about ten minutes in on this recording. The show’s organizer, Marilyn Brackney, has done a bunch to promote the show so it should be a fun and busy event. Buy local and recycled, I say. And it’s a good excuse to come and see my new scarves and wreaths for the season!

Speaking of scarves, last December I participated in a workshop organized by Pam Kinnaman of Wee Sheep and run by Patti Hodge. They’re both winners in the 2009 Hoosier Hills Fiber arts contest and good people to know. Patti taught me to make lattice felted scarves, and of course I got into the wet felting process—it’s fun. I made a bright red scarf with black silk and hand dyed nylon fibers that I bought at the Fiber Event in Greencastle. It’s really soft and pretty and happy, and I ended up wearing it all last winter. I decided I’d like to try to make my own scarves, but sometimes it takes a while to get started on a project. I carry it around in my head and eventually it comes out! Last summer, on one of my treks to Sheep Street in Morgantown, I bought several pounds of merino wool roving in black, white, red and periwinkle. I tucked it away, but I’ve been collecting funky remnant yarns for the project, which is waaaay different than my usual yarn collection for weavings. OK, not so much. But I still have fun doing it! I finally decided that this week was the time to launch my scarf project. I got my hands on an old pool noodle and cut it to wrap the wet roving. Don’t tell my kids I cut it! Last spring I ordered a bunch of mosquito netting on-line, and even though I didn’t know I’d need it for scarves I knew I’d need it. I installed both extra leaves into the dining room table and made it the design and wet felting area. I cleared off the kitchen island and that became my wet felting studio. Then I laid out some complicated designs, applied my wet-felting knowledge from last year (and added a few tricks and shortcuts of my own, and started rolling. And rolled and rolled and rolled! I used this wonderful olive oil glycerin soap so the skin on my hands is soft and smooth. Oh, and it worked beautifully on the wool too.

To summarize my weeklong adventure, some of my designs turned out really well (come to the show!), while others were just part of the learning process. Some of the materials I experimented with didn’t felt well. I tried incorporating my felted balls (link), which didn’t stick very well, and various fabric scraps, which sometimes really enhanced the design. All in all I have nineteen new scarves. I was a little concerned about whether or not I could show them at the recycled art show, since some of the wool was new. So I asked the sheep, who assured me it was recycled.

Until next week…

Oh and one more big event coming up next weekend...the Fiber Art Show...Nov 13, 5pm - 9pm & Nov 14, 10am - 5 pm at the First United Church, 2420 E. 3rd Street Bloomington, IN. If you don't make it to Columbus, I hope to see you in Bloomington. I'm sure Mayor Kruzan will be there!

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