(Above: Detail of a garland made of free-motion/melted felt leaves and autumn colored artificial flowers collected from cemetery dumpsters. The garland is part of my installation/shrine to a dead Northern Flicker. This installation will be part of my upcoming solo exhibit at Anastasia & Friends gallery opening during February's "First Thursday" on Main Street. Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)
I keep telling myself that I need to blog MORE OFTEN instead of waiting until a week has past! But, I did it again. I let the last six days over run me. This blog post is long ... because this has been a busy, busy week! So ... what am I doing? I'm gearing up for the ACC (American Craft Council) shows in Baltimore (Feb. 19 - 21) and Atlanta (March 11 - 13) by making lots of new work. I just finished the installation/shrine to a dead Northern Flicker and delivered all the work to Anastasia & Friends Gallery. That solo show opens on Thursday. I went to the Columbia Museum of Art for a great lecture by chief preparer/installation expert Michael Dwyer and I had John Sherrer and his associate from Historic Columbia pay me a visit. So ... please scroll down. It's all here!
First up! Five new "Windows" were created this past week. The first step is to lay down a foundation design on the recycled, black acrylic felt. (For a free tutorial on my original technique, CLICK HERE.)
Next, I iron previously painted, heat activated adhesive (Wonder Under/Bond-a-Web) over the foundation.
Then, I add heat-activated metallic foiling.
Additional shapes of polyester stretch velvet are ironed in additional layers. (I was running out of studio time ... and finished only the first three ... returning later in the week to finish the other two!)
More previously painted Wonder Under is added over the additional shapes in order to apply strips of colorful chiffon scarves.
Here are the first three ... stitched! To see all five new "Windows", just scroll down! Please notice, I'm in the process of moving my rental studio back to my home/business, Mouse House. By the end of February, I'll have the job completed. Right now, however, I'm constructing new work in the rental space. My sewing machine is currently in my home, 3D assemblage studio on the ground floor. It might stay there. It might move to the new, upstairs space. Time will tell!
(Above: In Box CCV. Unframed: 27" x 15". Framed: 34" x 22". Inventory # 3623. $550 plus tax and shipping.)
Last week wasn't just about making "Windows". I was also deep into making new "In Box" series pieces too! In fact, three large ones and five small ones were completed. Scroll down to see them too!
(Above: John Sherrer and his associate from Historic Columbia looking at my Grid of Photos. Click this link for an additional blog post with plenty of photos.)
It took a while, but John Sherrer finally came to Mouse House to pick up a small stack of letters, photos, and other ephemera I wished to donate to Historic Columbia. I bought the box because I was collecting the raw material for my Grid of Photos. It is strange to sort through the remains of another family's lives. It is even stranger when some of the photos are labeled to reveal the name George Marguardt and the fact that he was a German immigrant stone sculptor and monument builder who once had his business less than four blocks from my home, right at the entrance to Elmwood Cemetery, a place where I've made dozens and dozens of grave rubbings ... maybe from stones he carved.
(Above: The Grid of Photos.)
What's more? One of the photos showed his prototype for the 1927 lamp posts that grace the Gervais Street bridge ... a bridge less than a mile from my house, over which I've driven thousands and thousands of times. It seemed to me that I was holding a portion of a man's artistic life work, and it was up to me to help keep his memory alive. Finally, I got to hand over the stack. Of course, I had used many of the other family photos in my Grid of Photos. John and his associate wanted to see if they could pick the images out. They could! (This family has at least one image in my Wall of Ancestors too!) It felt very good and very appropriate to help preserve this artist's memory!
Columbia is full of resources. One of them is undoubtedly the Columbia Museum of Art. This past week I attended a lecture by chief preparer/installer Michael Dwyer. It was very informative.
Because I hope to have many more opportunities to have installation in other, high profile venues, it was great to hear how the receiving staff prefers to work, communicate, and do their jobs. Definitely this was a good way for me to spend an hour!
I really enjoy working to convert a space into a temporary, site-specific presentation that alters the way the public feels in the space. That's an installation! This coming Thursday, I'm hoping that the manner of showing a fiber vessel, a framed art quilt, a photo, and this garland will transform a gallery wall into a "shrine", a place to reflect on a dead Northern Flicker and how nature is both beautiful and fierce. To that end, I spent time in the evening stitching autumn colored artificial leaves collected from cemetery dumpsters and stitched/melted leaves onto gold upholstery cord attached to a wreathe of barbed wire.
The felt leaves were made several years ago. I've used them in other installations. The other leaves were collected from cemetery dumpsters ... and I've used them in even more installations.
I really like how this idea is coming along. I'll blog how the rest of the "shrine" turns out after Monday when it is installed at Anastasia & Friends Gallery.
(Above: Window CXV. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed: 17" x 15". Inventory # 3633. $265 plus tax and shipping.)
So ... now ... just scroll down for the new work completed this week!
(Above: Window CXVI. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed: 17" x 15". Inventory # 3634. $265 plus tax and shipping.)
(Above: Window CXVII. Unframed: 12 1/2" x 10 1/2". Framed: 17" x 15". Inventory # 3635. $265 plus tax and shipping.)
I am linking this blog post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts.