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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Loving Creating Wall Art

I haven't played with my Embellisher for a while now - of course felting is my first love; I get excited working with color and texture.  I always have to learn new things so I took a break and became obsessed with polymer clay and found I love making faces and fairies.  On top of that I have been trying many things - printing and painting on fabric, and stitching.  

I had so much fun creating "A Birds' Eye View' (see post below) that I've decided to create more mixed media wall art using some of the recent painting and stitching on fabric I've become enamored with.

This is a rose piece traced on fabric, painted with Inktense and free-motion stitched.  I am going to felt some surrounds using lots of silk and some velvet to create another wall piece of art.  I'd better get it done as I'm taking an encaustic art workshop and plan to spend next week experimenting!  I hope to incorporate some of my other work with wax!!!

I decided to try my hand at wall work and I entered a piece in a Bluffton, SC, show - the gallery, SOBA is such a busy place for tourists and locals as well and is located in the heart of Bluffton, close to restaurants and other shops so it is a good place to be so I decided it was time to join and be a part of that art community.  

The theme was 'on the street where we live' and I thought long and hard about how I could approach the theme and how I could make felting work.  On the street where we live in Habersham so many ideas came to mind, but a lot of artists already create art of trees, marsh, birds, dock,, etc.  I had a piece of white heavily textured nuno felt that I'd had for a while and wondered if I could somehow use that; I left it out for a while and studied it from time to time before I realized that one of the textured pieces running all the way down could very well be a river if it were blue so that started the juices flowing and I decided to use the felt much the way teach making my vests by cutting and moving sections, and creating other elements to use where they were needed. First I had to paint it so I did using acid dyes; I knew I wanted soft colors that would blend well together.  Then I used my Babylock Embellisher in some areas and added some free motion stitching along the river to give it more texture. I moved all of the scattered roses into one area to make a grouping and created a small shibori pleated piece (using the technique for one corner (could be sun rays but they are at the bottom - should have planned that better but that is where I needed it to be).  After all of that I mounted it on a blue silk hand dyed fabric covered canvas and named it 'Bird's Eye View of the Habersham Marsh'.  I was very honored when Jenni and I went to the reception that it won an Honorable Mention!  Not bad out of a hundred works!  Thanks to Jennifer for taking this picture as I forgot to take a head on picture of the piece, but next time I am there, I will because I want to remember the detail of the river and the marsh.  

Monday, January 09, 2017


Once I began playing with the clay, it began to speak to me - I became quite enamored with the work of Barbara McGuire's work - especially her faces.  I just fell in love with them and found an old book written by Barbara with a tutorial in the back for her face canes.  They are not easy to create and take quite a bit of clay, practice and effort.  Much like an artist learns by copying the masters at first before going on to make their own mark, I began studying Barbara's work.  Fairies have always spoken to me, in fact, they are here in my studio clamoring to be 'next' in line.  I'm sharing these because hopefully, one day, I will look back and see just how much I have improved!

Here are my first attempts and although they are far from perfect, I can't stop - there are others just waiting in the wings for their turn :-)  Honestly, I go to put it all away to felt and I come up with  one more idea and there goes another 7 or 8 hours.  Very good to keep ones mind occupied.

. . . . . and here are the first attempts - not a pretty sight!


As much as felting is my first passion, I love learning new things and have become quite obsessed with polymer clay.  The interest began with coming up with some sort of closure for the collars knitted with curls as I sat with Mom in the Kline Hospice House.  I could see that felted buttons would be lost and regular buttons would be blah - they needed something that made a statement and then my friend Pat Smith told me about a polymer clay technique named Mokume Gane.  When I get a new interest, it is full speed ahead and I read everything I could get my hands on, purchased books, viewed a myriad of videos on youtube and bought some as well.   Even with all that, next comes the hands on learning with quite a few disappointments as well as some quite thrilling results after a while.  I just loved that I could tailor the colors of the clay to complement the curls.

This is the first pendant that I made - I want to incorporate my felt with the clay and I was so pleased with the Pebeo paint I found.