Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Time for another update...

I've been slack in writing again, and again it's avoidance because I haven't actually achieved anything lately (and if I write I might actually have to admit that fact, so avoid the blog, to avoid the fact that I haven't done anything - make sense??)

Actually it's not really that bad (me trying to convice myself here!!). No really, I have been doing things, just not finishing anything.

The wrap dolls (figures) are coming along nicely. They now all have heads and boobs (after consulation with my TAFE group as to whether or not they were necessary - they all said "absolutely necessary! They are female aren't they?!!"). Still need to do bit of surgery on one.. her boobs are a DD (or more) and she thinks that they are a bit much, especially since she is to be bending down she reckons that the weight may become a bit of a strain. I had to agree with her as they got in the way when I tried to pose her so I've scheduled her surgery for tonight. That done I will take some pics and upload - I promise this time!

Once the basic figures are finished I'm going to work on a way of transferring a small bit of colour from the previous figure (as they stand in line) onto the next one, to unify them a bit. I know that doesn't make much sense but trust me. I only want a touch of colour, for example the back foot of the black figure (ashes) might have a touch of red wrapped around it as though it were still burning, and the green (regrowth) figure might have a touch of black somewhere, and the red will have a touch of green (around the top). I'll have to test this out as I'm not sure if I'll do it with the fine threads, or with some wrapped wire (stumpwork style embroidery). I'll give that a go.

I still haven't figured out the base - might try painted/dyed fabric as I've been experimenting with that lately.

I also haven't resolved anything with the ball of trees yet either. I think that felting might be a goer but I still need to do some sampling and it will still take a fair bit of time. I'm thinking that if I wrap some wool around lengths of wire and felt them, joining to create branches as I go, that I might get the look that I want. The thing is that I'll loose some of the colour that I had with the sheer fabrics in the original plan.

My other thought is to step a bit further away and do something a little less 'real' and a bit more 'abstract'. why do the trees have to look exactly like trees?? Why can't I create a cobweb type felt around a spherical object (ball) that has a fairly full base, with elongated holes (as though looking between trunks) around the lower half and lots of smaller holes (creating a branching effect) over the upper and top apex of the sphere??

There are 2 problems that I see with this...
1) I tried felting over a ball on the weekend. To make it strong enough I will need to put a lot more layers of fibre onto it to get it to stand up (we ahd a talk from a felter at school last week who had made a few vessels - one had fabric stiffener which is an option, and the other had 20 layers of wool to make it thick enough) The question that I haven't got the answer for yet is, can I felt 20 layers onto the ball without having access to the inside??
2) How do I get the ball out - this isn't really a problem I guess. The ball only cost about $6 so I could probably just cut it away (given that I want holes in the felt and would have direct access to it anyway). The catch is, I need to get it right (and be sure that it will be strong enough to hold) before I cut the ball away... otherwise it's back to square one.

Not being an experienced felter, I really am not sure about this idea - I may just be wasting my time...

I have also moved onto another project, or at least am in the planning stages of it. I'm thinking of an art quilt/walhanging. I have drawn up one sketch that I like, but am still searching for ideas. I'd like to dye the fabrics, and perhaps paint onto them as well as stitch. So far I seem to have stuck to one or two methods and usually steer clear of painting/stamping/etc onto the fabric, instead using the machine to do the job. So I'd like to get my hands dirty and paint - just don't really know how. I did some watercolour/acrylic samples on paper yesterday, and feel that I have some ideas brewing - just need to sit down and capture them. Again the theme is the trees and the silhouette style of image, and have done some dye samples to try out some dark colours (black/brown/olive/greys) and might get something from that.

I also feel that I'd like to do a piece on the journey that this course has been for me, considering that for me this was a big change in my life - don't really have any ideas for that yet, but it's in the back of my mind...

I'd also like to do something that reflects where I am from (perhaps this thought can be integrated into one or more of the other project), specifically, Queensland, rural areas, the bush, an environmental background, etc... - again I don't really know how this will be achieved but I'll keep it in the back of my mind when planning out my projects.

One last concept that I would like to bring into my peices is the artist book, using fabric... I'm thinking that this may be a good medium for the journey idea, but really won't know until I sit down and plan it (the journey would also be a good one for an art quilt too)

I know I sound ambitious... and I really do need to knuckle down and get something finished... but it's coming along.

Gees, I've just looked at how long this is - it's a marathon!!


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