Archive for June, 2011

Shades of Green

One of the experiments I tried at Whidbey was using a loosely woven apple green cotton scarf I found as at a thrift store as the base for a nunofelted piece. I paired it with merino roving handpainted in shades of moss, grass and pea green by Faun at Handsandotions.

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The scarf started out 60″ long, not nearly long enough to make a long nunofelted scarf. It was wide enough to split vertically, then lay out end to end. I put down some pieces to span a deliberate gap in the middle, making the piecework a design feature.

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Note: I found this unpublished post in my draft folder. At this point, I’m not sure why I didn’t publish it. This is one of my favorite scarves, one of just a few I decided to keep for myself.

Bless This Home

A customer admired my felt flowers during the most recent artwalk. He picked up a brilliant yellow flower with a purple center attached to a headband. “Can you make this in reverse?” He was inspired to present his sister with a purple lotus as a housewarming gift. “Anything is possible,” I told him happily.

Aiming to please, I created two flowers so he could select his favorite. When he came to pick up the finished flower on Sunday, I asked him to tell me more about his sister. When she returned to the US after spending a few years working in southern India, she began a tradition of painting or making a purple lotus blossom for loved ones when they moved to a new home. According to local tradition in her community, the flower represented the cleansing of a space, offering the dwelling new breath. Finally, it was his turn to offer something for her new home.

As the school year draws to a close, I am wrapping up operations in my Etsy shop and studio. My trusty sidekick will package any kit sales that happen while I’m away. The rest of my inventory will be offline until I return. While I will have some access to email, it is nice to spend the evening in bed with a book instead of waiting for the churning of a slow connection as it trolls for a satellite signal. It may be wishful thinking, but I’m packing six books for the four weeks I’ll be away in New Hampshire. I look forward to making a valiant dent in the pile.

Experiments with Drape

A sales representative from Rimmon brought fabric samples to Seattle recently, giving me the chance to handle pieces I don’t normally see. While the prices were essentially retail, the variety was so much more than I have seen at our local fabric stores.

I experimented with a couple of bolts, buying the minimum 10 yards of something that had no label, just to see what it would do. The first fabric is a loose knit, that drapes just how I imagined it would; the fiber content is anyone’s guess. I nunofelted some basic merino with a squiggle of tencel for shimmer to see how it would react.

This started as two yards of fabric, but the felt cinched the fabric substantially, leaving me with a piece that is 38″ long, a little longer than 1 yard. My intention was to use it as a window covering for the small window in our front door, but once I draped it around the mannequin, possibilities seem to open up.

Cool Wall, Warm Space

Waiting for my appointment on Wednesday, I was struck by the contrast in structures and textures at Nola in Fremont. Located next to the Burke Gilman Trail at the corner of Stone Way and Northlake Way, the original structure was built as a depot for goods shipped to Fremont by train.

With a lot of vision, pluck and faith, Brandon and Jennifer Trimble renovated a dark, scarred premises vacant for more than a year to create a space that is both chic and warm. Exposed timbers, painted brick walls, vintage upholstered pews and classic gym lockers pull together a look that is hard to label. It was exactly the sort of place I wanted to photograph my new collection of sheepskins, pillows and wall hangings.

The wool for these pieces was all sourced from Island Fibers on Lopez Island in May. Several intrepid friends responded to my request for help wrangling the bags of raw fleece. I am deeply grateful for their enthusiasm.

Seeing is believing, but to touch these pieces is to fall in love with wool in a way you didn’t know was possible. Sink your fingers into the wool during the Ballard Artwalk this Saturday June 11 from 6-9pm at 2856 NW Market, Studio 2b. If you are too far from Seattle to visit, each of these pieces will be listed in my Etsy shop.

Thank you Jennifer, Eunice, Brandon and Chad!

Texture

Romney and cotswold locks felted to a merino base

Romney, rambouillet, blue faced leicester, mohair and tussah silk fiber on an icelandic base

Cotswold locks on a merino base

Rambouillet locks on a merino base

Many thanks to Catarina Hoekman, Kate Treseler, Kelly Rogers Flynt and Linda Kjarstad for their invaluable help laying out and felting these pieces. Thank you to Ginny Huber for the icelandic fleece.


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Cat and Erin

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