Thursday, September 30, 2010

Home Again on Mitkof Island

I got home Sunday to find the maple bush had burst into a flame of color outside our back door.

Outside the front door are these guys. 
Deadly poison, but beautiful.

My commute on Monday morning to the Mighty Mighty Day Job was graced with rainbows across the Wrangell Narrows on Kupreanof Island.

 I am off to the studio right now.  It's great to be HOME!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Silk Fibers from Fancy Tiger

My mom and I drove up Broadway toward downtown Denver to find a little gem of a yarn shop called Fancy Tiger.  I was able to purchase two types of silk fibers for my silk paper projects.  The Tiger also has a nice line of unusual cotton fabrics, cool notions, wool roving and a deep array of yarns in drool-producing colors to mention just a few treasures.

Silk noil is very short, fine silk fibers that are a byproduct of silk thread production.  I bought 2 ounces, which is quite a bit of volume.

Tussah silk is produced by allowing the wild silk moth (Bombyx mori) to mature and emerge from its cocoon prior to harvesting.  This silk is caramel color and not as quite as smooth as mulberry silk, which is pure white.  2 ounces of tussah silk roving is pictured here.

Thank you, Fancy Tiger!  See you next time I am in Denver.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What I am Reading

I am enjoying beautiful Colorado afternoons reading my mother’s substantial library of craft books and magazines out on the back deck, glass of ice water and sketchbook at hand.  My own library grew with my recent purchase of Sarah Lawrence’s excellent book, Silk Paper.

My interest in working with silk has been growing since I first put some in a dye bath.  Recently, I have been inspired by my jelly fish sculptures to work with silk paper techniques.  Sarah Lawrence’s book is a great guide for a rank beginner like myself.  She provides concise descriptions of the many different types of silk fibers and clear directions on how to prepare them for art-making uses.

The book also describes how to make silk paper using three distinct methods.  Step-by-step illustrations are abundant and easy to follow.


I don’t like “project” books, preferring authors that give lots of details on processes.  ‘Silk Paper’ is definitely a “process” book, but is enhanced with plenty of photos of Sarah’s beautiful work to provide inspiration for projects of my own.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The end of the summer is quite dry here in Denver, but I appreciate all the sunshine!  A walk around the neighborhood gave me these shots. 

The apple trees are just loaded.

I saw a bee.

Now that is YELLOW!

I don't know what type of flowers these are, but I like their round shapes and variegated petals.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Face is Waiting

I am traveling this week - visiting my family in Denver.  I left this little guy behind on my studio work table, the beginning of a new project to come home to.  Picked him up on the side of the street a few weeks ago.

Last evening I was walking with my daughter to my friend's apartment on First Hill (Seattle), a gorgeous early fall evening.  The trees were all a-rustle above the street.

Today I was airborne for a couple of hours, always very inspiring when I can see the marks on the land below.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What's New

What a busy week, finishing a big project!  Here was the morning sun striking Kupreanof Island across the Wrangell Narrows from our house when I got home from my morning walk at 6:20am.

I got right off to the studio, and by noon time, had all my 'personal use' jelly fish sculptures completed after many many intense hours over the last three weeks.

 'Green Jelly Fish'; 6" diameter at top, 24" long plus tentacles, hand painted silk organza and fibers
'Green Jelly', detail

 'Red Jelly Fish'; 4.5" diameter at top, 24" long plus tentacles, hand painted silk organza and fibers
'Red Jelly Fish', detail

 'Blue Jelly Fish'; 3" diameter at top, 24" long plus tentacles, hand painted silk organza and fibers
 'Blue Jelly Fish', detail
 Here they are all together, wafting in the wind over my studio table.

After all that hard work, a lovely late afternoon walk...

and a splendid sunset over Petersburg harbor.  Rest well, gentle reader - my dog and I certainly will!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cloudy with a Chance of Color

The walk yesterday afternoon through misty cool woods yielded these glimpses of autumn returning to our island.
Ohmer Creek Trail vista across the muskeg

Up close the gray falls away

Water hemlock in the beaver dam water meadow

The sound of moving water makes this place especially enchanting

Crab apple trees

A creative day to you!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tongass Rain Forest Festival Art Show

The well-attended opening was Friday night at the Clausen Museum here in Petersburg.  I helped Annabelle hang the 60 plus pieces the day before, and set the lights myself Friday afternoon.  I was pleased with the response to my work, shown here in situ.
I used one of the window niches to display three of my pieces, from left to right: 'Artifact'; 'Lichen Angel'; 'Mosquito Town'. 

'Artifact' is the muslin figure which I buried in my woods July 15 and exhumed on September 2.  I plan to re-bury this piece after the show comes down and re-exhume her for next year's Rain Forest exhibit.

Here is a detail of her face, which utilizes an interestingly perfect piece of rust from the side of the road, found on my afternoon walk the day I made her.

The little 'Deer Woman' got to be displayed by herself.  She was proud (and nervous) to be the first piece inside the entrance to the gallery.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Silk Organza for New Jellies

I am very pleased with my start on the next series of jelly fish sculptures, which I washed out yesterday after allowing to cure since painting last week.

The squares range in size from 23" to 17".  I used procion with citric acid following Anne Johnston's methods.  I thicken some dye while some was left very thin.

Today I will continue trimming these with Angelina fibers, a time consuming and rather nerve wracking process which yields beautiful results (or I wouldn't be doing it)!

Yesterday I also the muslin figure I buried late July.  I will post her tomorrow, along with pix of the Rain Forest Art Exhibit.


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