Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Eight new "Window" pieces!

(Above:  Eight Windows ... ready for framing.  Top row, left to right:  Window LXIII, Window LXIX, Window LXX, Window LXXI.  Bottom row, left to right:  Window LXXII, Window LXXIII, Window LXXIV and Window LXXV.  Click on any image in this post to enlarge.)

Last weekend I worked "assembly line style" on eight window series pieces.  I don't really mean to suggest that this isn't a creative approach or that I'm working in some sort of "production mode".  I'm not.  In truth, I'm trying not to totally trash my studio.  By doing one step at a time, I can tidy up a bit before moving on.  This system is working.  So ... here it is:

(Above:  My polyester velvet palette!)

First I lay out my palette of polyester stretch velvets.  Each piece already has WonderUnder (Bond-a-Web) ironed onto the reverse.  I stood on my studio table and looked down at my floor for the photo above.  Isn't it pretty?  I am indebted to my new studio assistant for having so much of my stash ready to go!

(Above:  Eight windows.  Step one.)

The black acrylic felt background used to be the packaging material for a kayak or canoe being shipped from a North Carolina manufacturer to River Runner, my local outdoors shop.  Guy Jones, the owner, has been giving me this recycled felt for year.  I use it for EVERYTHING ... even in place of batting for my art quilts.

In the photo above, step one, I've cut pieces of polyester stretch velvet into the basic design for a piece measuring roughly 12" x 10".  Each piece is ironed in place.

(Above:  Eight Window series pieces.  Step Two.)

Next, each piece is covered with previously painted WonderUnder ... just a very watery mixture of acrylic paints and inks ... like "a wash" of faint color.  I iron the WonderUnder over the polyester velvet and add metallic foiling ... heat activated metallic foiling.  I get it from The Thread Studio ... which is also my source for the sheerest chiffon scarves in a multitude of colors.  

(Above:  Eight Window series pieces. Step Three.)

Polyester velvet shapes are cut and ironed onto the designs ... breaking up the surfaces into smaller patterns and geometric designs.

(Above:  Eight Window series pieces.  Step Four.)

I add more WonderUnder over the top ... iron it in place ... and then add roughly cut pieces of chiffon scarves over the entire surface.  I love the way the colors shift and change the rather garish polyester velvet.

(Above:  Eight Window series pieces.  Step Five.)

The layer of chiffon scarves is important.  It covers all the plastic/sticky WonderUnder and allows my Bernina's free-motion foot to glide over the surface.  I stitch with only 100% cotton thread ... black.  Why cotton?  Well, the next step is the melting!  Each piece is stapled to a stretcher bar.  I have two sizes of soldering irons and melt holes through the polyester stretch velvet and acrylic felt.  Finally, I use a heat gun (the type from a hardware store for stripping paint) to melt the work.  The thinnest layer (where there is not polyester velvet ... just the felt ... between the shaped show on step one) melts out quickly.  The shapes are held together, however, because cotton thread doesn't melt!  That leaves me with eight new Window Series pieces ... ready to frame!

(Above:  In Box CIX.)

The process of making one of these "windows" is a variation on my "In Box Series".  My last post included four small "In Box" pieces and two of the three larger ones I made last week.  I forgot to include In Box CIX at that time.  So, here it is now ... as well as a link to a step-by-step tutorial I wrote in 2007 called "How to Make an In Box".  Of course, I'm making bunches of this work now because I have two great upcoming opportunities:  The Washington Craft Show (Nov. 1 - 3) and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show (Nov. 7 - 10.)  There will be more coming!

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site to share fiber artworks.


chinagirl said...

I love your work!

Sandy said...

Thanks for talking about the process!
Sandy in the UK

Margaret said...

Thanks for sharing the process; I need to take notes and digest. I love your results!

Margherita said...

wow they look great and thank you for the process... it looks like fun (and hard work)

Margherita said...

wow they look great and thank you for the process... it looks like fun (and hard work)

Wanda said...

Great step-by-step Pictures. I can't decide which one I like the best. Maybe I'm not actually supposed to have a 'best'. Looking Forward to Hearing about the opening for Under The Canopy!

Sylvia said...

Thanks for sharing your technique! I am always finding a lot of inspiration in your posts!

Regina B Dunn said...

So intricate, subtle, yet intense, too. Love them.

Margarita Korioth said...


Deborah OHare said...

Such a wonderful process, and you are very generous for sharing.

Lisa said...

I really love your window pieces! Thanks so much for walking us through your process. It's great that you are able to upcycle something that might otherwise be tossed.

Amy said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing your processes. Far from being non-creative assembly line work, I think it's marvelous to see ways we can be more 'productive' and make more work.