Felt

Vision versus Execution

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I was actually felting the other day (squeezed that in between all the garden tasks), but unfortunately it was one of those instances where the vision of what I wanted to accomplish and the sight of what was in front of me were not lining up. Now, I’m pretty flexible and letting the piece go where it wants to go often yields something interesting; this was not one of those times ! The project was consigned to the recycle heap, and I was in a bit of a funk over the “lost” time. Being annoyed puts me in the mood for introspection (better than throwing things I guess), so I got to thinking on the topic of “vision versus execution” in art. I would like to think, that were I a professional artist (read full-time), that I would be able to master my craft and then be able to produce just what my little ol’ mind could dream up. I suspect however, that reality might be more like this quote from Einstein :

Do not worry about your problems with mathematics, I assure you mine are far greater.

That was my experience when studying Physics, and I have a feeling that always chasing a moving target/having greater expectations happens in most areas of endeavor. It could just be a personality thing too. It is a bit depressing to think that I might never be satisfied with my execution, but maybe that’s what keeps one going. Anyone out there further along the art curve want to set me straight ?

 

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Gifts of the Season

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Santa really outdid himself this year and brought us all the flu for Christmas (I literally woke up Christmas morning sick). It was an equal opportunity gift for the whole family and it kept us entertained for weeks. What more could you ask for ? My creative energies having been otherwise occupied, I didn’t get anything done other than a bit of knitting. I write this sporting a new pair of fingerless mitts to ward off the chill of our house. Sebastien has promised me a photo shoot, but it has to wait in line with his other projects. Check out the (free) pattern here.

Luckily a friend had a better present arrive, and the newest addition to her family was born at the beginning of the new year. I dusted off my felting supplies this week and managed to make these. Why are baby sized shoes so darn cute ?!!

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An Idea Flowers

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I’ve finally got a start on the felt part of my collaborative project with my son. He, of course, has his end of things well in hand.

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My first idea for the water lily was several nested layers of petals like this:

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But, for some reason I felt like I wanted something a little more abstract. Inspired by this project, I   decided to try attaching several bowls together to create more of an essence of a water lily (including a green lily pad).

Stacked and ready to roll…

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… and came to the conclusion, that this wasn’t going to work. Too many layers, and the thickness of the resists kept the pieces from attaching together. Plan B ! I’m making each bowl separately and will attach them afterwards.

I really need to get back to this, but now it’s December and that means holiday craziness. I can hope …

An Idea Takes Root

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Ok, collaborative project update. Still very much in the planing stage, but I wanted to share the process. I’m into making sculptural felt pieces, and my son is passionate about making electronics. I have in my head the idea of an interactive piece of felt. I love how tactile wool is and how much people like to touch it. With this in mind, I want to make something that responds when you pick it up. For some reason I though of a water lily set in a wooden base that you would hold. The center would be hollow glass with LEDs. The light would change based on different inputs.

I set my son on a hunt to find a micro-controller that would fit our size requirements and could be programmed with my son’s knowledge. This is what he came up with : the Lilypad Arduino.

Hey, the name even matches ! When I talked to my friend Natali about doing the glass piece for me, she mentioned she was quite into water lilies for a recent project; a very cool collaborative collection of art for producing a Tarot deck.

So everything is coming up water lilies. I think we’re on the right path!

Steal Like an Artist

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I stole that title from here. I think I can sum up the talk in a couple of phrases (but you should watch it anyway; good talk): nothing is original; not imitation, but transformation is flattery. I think I get much of my inspiration from nature, but I also love looking at all kinds of work from other artists. Not just felt artists, but all mediums. This past Thursday for Art Play Days, I was on my own, so I thought I’d try out an idea for adding surface texture to felt. I can’t remember where I saw this, and it is a simple technique. It just involves adding lightly felted balls cut in half to a layer just below the surface layer. Again, not having much time I added this to another little tea light bowl/holder. I wasn’t particularly found of how it turned out, but it’s a technique worth considering for future work. Experimenting without worrying about the final product is something I should do more of !

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A few links for inspiration :

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Wall art

Felt

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Finally, a bowl for my workshop done in under two hours !

Workshop Take 2

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Yesterday was Art Play Day, and Andrea agreed to be my guinea pig for timing my workshop project. She only ended up having about 1 1/2 hours for felting, which left her bowl unfinished. I have 2 1/2 hours for the workshop, so I think I should be able to get the participants through making a plain bowl. I really wanted to do something a little more interesting, but my second idea that I worked on while Andrea was here took me about 3 hours to complete. I really like the look, but all the holes require extra attention to felt the edges properly. Oh for a longer day of felting …

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My favourite green.

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Works for Halloween too !

Workshop Work-up

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I’m presenting a felting workshop for WomynSpirit Festival soon, so I thought I should probably do a sample and time it. This idea will have to be simplified as the handles took up too much time. I have to remember that it always takes longer to do a piece in a class setting. Tomorrow for Art Play Days, I’ll experiment on Andrea and see if she can finish in the required time. I love the creative energy of working in groups !

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10174490093_ed65a5777d_bFelt vessel with drift wood and copper wire accents.