vessels

felt vessels group from side landscape

I’ve been playing about with the wool felt I use and some of my collagraph plates.  I’ve also been playing with some 3D forms.  I often have a desire to work more 3 dimensionally and I know this is partly satisfied by making book forms.  This time the forms are vessels and I’ve been intrigued to watch people see them for the first time and assume they’re ceramic, until they touch them.

Alice Fox printed felt vessel #20a

They work well as a group and I’ve enjoyed building up a line of them and seeing how they interact with one another.  There are some for sale here in case you know of a shelf that would look good with a few residing on it!

printed felt vessels line

>framed

>

I collected some work from the framer today, ready to take to the Headingley Arts Trail next week.  I’m really pleased with how they’ve come out.  

I’ve framed some of the thick felt pieces that were part of my degree final work.  They originally made up one large work with 25 separate squares arranged together.  Now, in their own box frames they have become separate works.
 

I didn’t want them to be behind glass, so they just have a simple wooden frame with space between the subtly painted wood and the felt so that you can see the depth of the felt.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how they will look on the walls of 6 Harrowby Road….

>flitting and fiddling

>It feels like I’ve been flitting between lots of different things all week.  I have a number of projects at the planning stage and, while I wait to be in a position to get stuck into any of them, I fiddle about in a slightly disjointed way. 

I finished off the warp I’d had on my loom since January, when I wove scarves for late Christmas presents.  I had hoped that there would be enough left to weave one more scarf, but I came to the end sooner than I thought.  It has made a (very) short scarf length.  I was then eager to get another warp on the loom.  I wanted to see how some British wool yarn I have would fare as a warp.  In my impatience I decided to try and make my warp using the old chairs-upside-down-on-on-the-table method.  

Things didn’t go quite to plan and I regretted my haste.  The warp was a nightmare from here on in and I now know that this wool yarn is not really suited to being a warp, as I had suspected.  

I’ve also been fiddling about with some of the leftover bits of printed felt I have from my degree project. 

>stitches

>
I sat and stitched in between sales at the Makers Fair last weekend. I played about with some of my rust/seaweed dyed silk and found that little seeding stitches helped to keep the crumpled structure that the silk has and which I want to retain.


The wool felt I have left from my degree project makes a lovely base to stitch into and I find that I keep coming back to the square units that I used through out my final project, derived from ideas in architecture. There is something so pleasing about the square format.


I started off with a larger piece of felt and an even larger piece of silk and played about, but without direction. As soon as I cut off small squares I was happier with what I was doing, finding ways to vary the repetition subtly.


I’ve also been experimenting with ideas for a commission I have. I’m hoping that I can use some of the leftover materials from my degree work, as well as some left over ideas.


>undone

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I’ve finally unwrapped the bundles I made at the old fishing station, shaking out the dried up seaweed, stow-away sand and rusty bits and pieces.


The most successful marks were from the bundle containing seaweed and rusty screws. The seaweed colours are fairly subtle but some of the marks from the screws are great.


Unwrapping it like this and allowing the wrinkles and creases to keep some of their shape leaves a lovely 3D sculptural feel to the silk, even where there isn’t much colour.


This bundle just had various rusty objects and no seaweed:


This was a piece of wool felt that I wrapped round some limpet shells and bound tightly. I wanted to see how much the shell would emboss its texture into the felt. It has taken the shape of the shells but there is only a little of the surface texture.


The felt bundle that had seaweed in didn’t take much colour, but I do love the marks you get on the outside from where the threads were wound round.

>unwrapping

>

I took a couple of my ‘old fishing station’ bundles back there towards the end of the week to unwrap them and see what results I would get from the experiments I’d set up. They had definitely developed over the few days they’d sat on the veranda, colour seeping through in various places. The top one of the bunch had just sea weed in it, wrapped in silk. It seemed right to return the seaweed to where I’d found it. The others I wanted to bring home to give them longer to develop.



I was intrigued to see what would have happened to my rust prints that I’d left in the hut. When I got there the one on the shelf was just as I’d left it with some nice marks transferred from the rusty bits and pieces onto my paper.



The cows had been into the hut over night (probably to get out of the rain the previous day) and crashed about a bit. They had left their mark in various places amongst the ropes and ‘stuff’ on the floor. They’d also knocked my other paper off the box I’d left it on. There were marks on it from the rusty nails but also the odd foot print!



I unwrapped the thread that was binding my bundle tight then unrolled the silk, shaking out the bits of weed that I’d wrapped up a few days earlier.



The different types of weed left different marks and colours, some with quite distinct patterns from the veins and fronds.



As the silk unwound it flew in the breeze like a flag. I carried it to the edge of the water to rinse out the last bits of weed.



The silk dried quickly in the warm breeze and sunshine. I wet another small piece of wool felt and wrapped it around a big limpet shell, binding with linen thread. This one was to go home with me, along with a jar of sea water with a few of the rusty nails I’d found for future use.


>return

>

A couple of days after exploring the inside of the old fishing station I returned and started a few experiments. Having read in India Flint’s Second Skin about the value of dipping fabric in seawater before other dyeing processes I popped a few bits and pieces into the waves and gave them a good soaking. Some were left to dry on the pebbles.



I gathered up bits of sea weed from the receding water and wrapped them in the wet silk.



I did the same for some salty wet wool felt.



I took a few rusty nails from inside the hut and added these to one of the seaweed bundles to see what difference it would make to the potential colours. This bit felt very scientific – some with and some without as a control!



I wrapped one piece of silk round various rusty metal objects without any weed in there but with plenty of salty wetness! I then put some pieces of paper from my sketchbook into the waves to thoroughly wet them (this is the point when anyone else on the beach might have started to wonder what the hell I was doing, but these Scottish beaches are so un-crowded that the nearest people were probably totally oblivious to my odd potterings). I then placed my wet paper underneath some of the rusty stuff in the hut to see if I might get some interesting rust prints.



The paper seemed to start to dry pretty quickly with the breeze and the fact it was a fairly nice day so I poured a bit more sea water on to these little setups a few more times through the day to keep them damp for as long as possible.



I then left them to it with the intention of returning a few days later, taking my bundles with me to sit and develop with time. What might I find when I returned? Would my paper be removed by a fisherman wondering what on earth people had been doing in his hut?

A few more beach treasures…



and this lovely little chap, later to be identified as a masked crab carapace. I’m always amazed how such a delicate thing like this can find its way from the waves onto the beach and remain intact.



There were various different sea urchins on this beach, including a number of little sea potatoes (or heart urchins – sounds a bit more romantic!), the smallest of which was about the size of my thumb nail. That one was too fragile though, and as I went to pick it up it crumbled in my fingers.