Sunday, November 15, 2009

The November Whirlwind

The last two weeks have been an amazing blur of shows, scarves and weaving. I had dropped into one of those wonderful life patterns where I was discovering and developing my own wet felting style by making scarves. It’s really an exploration of a new technique for me that I’ll use in future weaving projects. ‘Creating my own canvas’ has always been a major feature of my work, and I feel like I’m enhancing my repertoire of skills that will make their way into my dimensional weavings. Bluebell (the family car) was packed with 19 new scarves, twelve new wreaths for the season, and all the new ornaments I made over the year. I made the early morning trek over to Columbus Indiana last Saturday to show everything at the Déjà vu recycled art fair. It’s always a little stressful when you put your heart and soul into some technique, then put it on display for everyone to see. Fortunately, I came home with a lighter load and a warm feeling inside. I can do this!

Success, of course, breeds new problems. I didn’t have enough scarves to show at the Spinner’s and Weaver’s guild show this weekend. So I re-converted the dining room table to Scarf Central and geared up to make some more. I had one scarf that was a whole bunch of ribbons and strings and just enough just enough felted wool to hold it all together. It reminded me of my youthful days in a bikini, but that’s another story. It was a glorious week because I got to sift through my thirty or so 20-gallon plastic tubs of yarns and pull out the most delightful colors and textures to incorporate into the scarves. I also had to scamper over to Sheep Street in Morgantown to pick up several more pounds of merino. Of course I couldn’t resist picking up a bunch of new yarns to use, including some delicious jewel tones that I knew I wanted to work with. I especially worked on layering different colors of roving to achieve the depth and color gradients I wanted. The only downside is that my shoulder and arm muscles haven’t quite forgiven me for all the rolling I did to felt the materials.

I did launch into another project on a whim recently. I had collected a bunch of wool sweaters, including some in delightful greens that I knew weren’t going to fit into the color schemes I was using in the scarves. I decided to cut them up to make Christmassy fir trees. Of course it isn’t a tree until it is trimmed, so I used the tiny red felted balls that I had created using the new secret technique I learned. I trimmed them with gold rickrack and set the whole thing on beige fabrics with different textures. I glued them on to a pretty mottled beige card stock and inserted into each a piece of white cotton rag with the texture of vellum. I think they’re fun and perfect for the holidays—check them out at the Wandering Turtle gallery in Bloomington, or stop in and see them at the Unitarian Universalist show this December.

Finally, I put away my scarf-making materials and reclaimed my basement art studio. I picked up all the yellow yarns I had out for making my Autumn Aspens commission piece. I also had to clear away the remnants of my boys’ giant art project. I can’t really describe it except to say that it involves small pieces of electronics, popsicle sticks, fabric scraps and a glue gun. I’m so proud of my creative boys! Anyway, I herded their project into a corner and blocked it off visually with a tower of easels and tools. Out came the vacuum cleaner and once again I had a functional workspace. It’s really great to be back in my weaving space, and this week I’ll finish the autumn aspens piece. After I get some sleep. I’m still recovering from two shows in two weeks. Tonight I sleep; tomorrow I weave!

Until next week…

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