Tuesday, January 22, 2013

More about my Tiffany window felt piece.

     I said in my last post that I would talk about my solutions to my problems with my Tiffany stained glass piece. Problem number one was that the dye ran...mostly the blues. So all that fussing I did with trying to find just the right color seemed to be for naught. My white 'magnolia' flowers were now a pale blue and blended into the sky which was no longer the deep blue I wanted to go with my yellow that was now much more green...insert scream here....! I had rinsed the 'specially dyed for this project' silk till the water seemed clear but I guess I was too impatient with both my steaming time and my rinsing time. Sigh. But I could live with that as I have learned a few tricks to tweak the color of a finished piece.
     The next problem made me so discouraged that I wanted to just throw the whole mess in the trash. That is something I have never thought of doing with my felt-work, although I have done it with other artwork. I was so worried about getting all the little silk pieces to felt in and since the project was so big, I decided to start the felting by using the sander. I have done this successfully at my friend Joei's house. What I forgot was that when I had tried it before at home using my own sander it caused the fibers to felt before going through the silk. After rolling the piece for a while I could tell that there was no way all those little pieces would get attached. Thankfully I held my feelings of hopelessness in check and put the project aside for a bit. This gave me time to problem solve. That is one of the parts I enjoy about making art, it engages aspects of the brain; emotion, creativity, and problem solving all come into play at some point in the course of completing a piece.
     I decided to stitch the pieces down and have the stitching be part of the design and not hidden. I had been planing to add black pencil roving to look like the leading of the glass anyway so I couched that in while I was sewing the silk pieces. I really like the way it all worked out even though it is not the way I wanted the piece to look. Here are photos of the 'fix' in progress.

I did a lot of the stitching sitting in our sunny den; which was good for my spirits and made it easier to sit still. Here are photos of how the piece looks now. I still have to do the mounting.

Beside working on this big piece I also put the trim on the men's hat I made. I gave it to my brother. Here he is modeling his new hat.

I also got back to a project I had started years ago. I had started a series of small nuno collage pieces of the four seasons. I had had such trouble making a spring scene that I liked that the project got put aside. I tried to do 'spring' again last week, but with not much luck. I have now done four pieces and am still don't have one I like as much as 'fall' and 'winter'. The first 'spring' got turned into a case for my cell phone, the second I formed into a small case for change or business cards.
I decided to put the fourth up on the wall and will move on to 'summer' and then decide if I want to try again. I don't mind making more since I like turning them into little cases.

And last but not least I finally got to felt my shoes with that Icelandic fleece. I like how they came out and I want to put real soles on them, but first I have to see if I can stretch them a bit. They felted down a bit more than the pair I made with a mix of Merino, Pelsul, and Gotland wools.

I made them at my friend Joei's house this weekend. She is the one who first showed me how to make collage nuno felts and if you look at her (out of date) blog you can see how beautiful her work is. Visiting her gave me just the boost I needed. While I was making shoes she was working on a piece for her office wall. She is doing two mythical beasts. Here is the first; she will further embellish it with more embroidery.
She started a dragon piece while I was there. She starts with a simple drawing on craft paper.
Then she chooses the colors of silk...I love that she was as messy as I am during this stage of the project. And the fact that though she has four or more tables in her nice spacious studio she wound up using the floor for sorting colors. No matter what there is never enough room for creating!

She then used the drawing as a pattern for cutting the pieces. She is much more precise with her work than I am. Maybe someday I will learn patience.

I didn't get a photo of the piece as it looked when I left. 
I had time before I left to finish both the small business card holder and another small purse I had started.

It was such a fun and productive weekend! And just what my spirits needed.