Friday, December 4, 2015

After a Place in Kansas

hand bound journal, embroidered with a William  Morris style sugar skull. 

Merriam stops by looking for cash, maybe once a month, around four. She brings her nicest things. The first time I meet her, the words stretch and hang from the scab at the corner of her mouth.
She has really nice things. They're worth more than I can give, but she is in a hurry. Merriam doesn't have the time that I have. She's on her way to mass. 

Friday, May 1, 2015


a particular philosophy or view of life of an individual or group

Week one was on color, referencing Josef Albers's Interaction of Color and his theory that "colors are governed by an internal and deceptive logic". 
I provided the class with some basics on the color spectrum, theory, and subtractive mixing. Some of it held, and some of it went out the window, appropriately enough.
We used kool-aid to dye wool roving and made some amazing colors. Like a nervous dummy, I forgot to take pictures, but am hoping to get some when the class is back in session.
I wanted to start with the word weltanschauung which, in terms of Josef Albers and color theory, means a common vision. In terms of the class, it's a unifying theme, propelling the trajectory towards the final technique instilling a totemic thesis.
This was my first time teaching and I'm not a super linear person. I don't know if starting with color, and a group philosophy was an appropriate jump-off, but it felt right, and we didn't dwell on it. I hoped to create an ambience, and something to reflect upon before class two. 
The entire class was spent using the different flavors to make straight colors, mixed colors, and over dyed lengths of roving. (I bet you're really wishing to see these will happen soon). 
There's a lot more to be explored in the arena of Kraft Services Kool Aid product as a dye method, but I was emphasizing the experimental aspect, the internal deceptive order of color, and for time's sake.
My instructions come from experimenting, and following other internet people's instructions, but if you have any questions feel free to  direct them my way:
In the mean time, shauen and I will type out my instructions and reference links, below. 

Dyeing Wool Roving With Kool-Aid:
supplies: 1/3oz wool: 1 packet of sugar free kool aid, heat source, heat safe container, water, soap (synthrapol, or any other non-abrasive and unperfumed detergent)
directions: 1. empty packet of kool aid into heat safe container and add just enough water to dissolve the packet
2. add wool, add enough water to cover wool, and mix the two with a gloved hand so color spreads evenly (as possible)
3. heat container to boil (it doesn't hurt to leave it over, but keep an eye on it. it's non toxic, but you probably won't like the smell of burning wool). 
4. turn heat off, cover the heat safe container
5. let cool for 30 minutes *if the water isn't clearish, you may want to repeat the process from heating for the wool to soak it all in and allow to cool, again
6. rinse roving, starting with a warmer and similarly temperatured water, and working to cooler. add synthrapol and carefully wash it out, attempting to refrain from felting as much as possible (unless that's the desired effect)
7. hang to dry (or set on plastic bag)

To the right are samples of my initial experimenting and the colors I arrived at from the flavors I could obtain. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

I'm teaching a class at the Orlando Pottery Studio!

It's a class I designed based on Wool, and the many useful forms it can take. It's a six week, six session, 3 hour per session, class. Each class includes a new method, correlating with a concept and an artist. There will be dyeing, spinning, wet felting, needle felting, weaving, and repurposing...oh! and book making. The more it evolves, the more excited I am...keep reading in the coming weeks...
(link to Orlando Pottery Studio, and course description linked, below)

to the left is the cover of the packet for the class, with all the fathers and mothers of wools: angora, cashmere, mohair, qiviut from rabbits, camels, muskoxen, goats, llama, alpaca, sheep. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

How Are Living Things Built?

"My father stooped to my level, his eyes glad, 
My mother had names for some and could recognize them by the way they walked
Now I realized how much leaving them had cost me.
through the vast, dirty kitchen, and out the back door. As I started I saw that it must be a paradise.
easy exit.
Pigeons will nest in trees, but they don't like it. Their large sloppy nests fall out of the branches at the first good wind.
the male brings his motley collection
the female sits inside the chosen place
devoted parents care about their nesting place more than anything. And I could see that they simply watched my approach, craning their necks this way and that to get a better look at me.
'Hello,' I called softly"
I felt better than I had in a long time. I was going to like this place. "

Thursday, February 26, 2015

With Nothing Left to do....

     The Little Skeleton began as an homage to Frida Kahlo, and Dia de Los Muertos. As a woman familiar with, and brilliant at expressing loneliness and pain,  Kahlo's life and work opened my eyes to an aspect of our culture that is hugely amiss. We are uncomfortable people who don't want to talk about bad things. I envy older cultures, more mature and brave in tradition.
     I created the Little Skeleton's image and a one line explanation, hoping to evoke discomfort, but also a fondness for the character that would conquer the discomfort.
     People began to inquire about him, and that encouraged me to tell his story...
     The Little Skeleton is abandoned by life, too quickly, and left in the wrong season at a theme park. Going through the motions, without an animate friend or guardian, he is not so much trumped by rides and games without operators, as forlornly playing until he just moves on. He plays every game and rides every ride, but it's not what it's supposed to be. Then he departs.  It's not meant to depict suicide, as the little skeleton is already dead, but I guess the imagery is a bit macabre. It seems to me he was just born that way, more a sad symbol of the loneliest thing: being a child with no play mates, in a space that's usually filled with color sound and company; everything with him is just a bit off.

      The story book is hand dyed, embellished, and screen printed with my original drawings. I made eight copies and have two left, available at   The Little Skeleton