Monday, June 05, 2017

Installation-in-progress ... Week Four: Comet Dust

 (Above:  Week for of my installation-in-progress, detail.)

Last week after adding more orbs to my installation-in-progress, I stood back and decided that it needed "comet dust" ... little circles with glitter attached to nails of various lengths.  So ... that's what I made this week.  It was lots of fun because heretofore I'd never really approved of glitter as a "fine art" supply.  Until this installation, I also frowned on the use of "hot glue" ... but ... I grew up hearing an old adage:  Moderation in all things.

(Above:  Detail of the installation-in-progress.  Please note the small circles.  These are my "comet dust".)

I thought it was said by Saint Benedict but it wasn't. (Benedictine asceticism is known for its moderation, and there are lots of quotes by the saint himself ... just not this one!)  Apparently, the adage is as old as the Greeks ... as in Aeschylus ... but is better known because it is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oscar Wilde, and Mark Twain.  So ... moderation ... even with glitter and hot glue!

(Above:  Nearly fifty little circles ... comet dust!)

Below is how I made "comet dust"!

(Above:  Comet dust in progress.  The foundation circles here are approximately 3" in width.)

I cut foundation circles of polyester stretch velvet previously backed with Wonder Under (a heat-activated adhesive) and ironed them onto a piece of recycled, black industrial felt, a synthetic fabric.  I ironed more Wonder Under over the top and applied glitter ... lots of glitter ... copper, silver, purple, red, gold, and even white.  I already owned it.  It's part of my teaching supplies.  Until now, I've just never used it myself.  I added two more, smaller circles of polyester stretch velvet on top of the 3" ones.

(Above:  Comet dust in progress.  The foundation circles here are approximately 2" to 2 1/2" in width.)

More Wonder Under was ironed on top.  Then, I applied strips of very sheer chiffon scarves.  Next came the free-motion machine stitching with 100% black cotton thread.

(Above:  The two pieces of felt with polyester velvet circles stapled to stretcher bars.)

At this point, I went to the garage, stapled the two pieces of felt to stretcher bars, and started melting holes through all the synthetic material.

(Above:  The two pieces after holes have been melted in the circles.)

I use three sizes of soldering irons to melt these holes.  Please note, I did NOT melt a hole in the very center.  Finally, I cut/melt the individual circles away from the felt with the smallest soldering iron.

(Above:  Detail of the comet dust.)

Like last week, I backed each fabric circle with either a gold or silver piece of highly reflective, 2-ply mat board.  Last of all, I hammered a nail through the center of each circle ... which is why I didn't melt a hole there!  I covered the head of each nail with even smaller circles of polyester stretch velvet.

(Above:  Detail of the installation-in-process.)

So ... where did the hot glue come in?  Well, after hammering the nail in place, I squeezed a glob of hot glue to the reverse.  It is a most effective way for the fiber circle to stay at the end of the nail.  Hurrah for hot glue!

(Above:  Detail of the installation-in-progress, seen from the side.)

Today I went to CMFA (Columbia Music Festival Association) at 914 Pulaski Street and put the comet dust onto the wall.  The shadows are great!  I like how the installation is progressing.

(Above:  The installation-in-progress with Carolina Ballet's summer program lunch table)

I also like the fact that lots of people are seeing my work.  Every week there are exciting things happening at CMFA.  This week and next is Carolina Ballet's summer dance program.  Dozens and dozens of young dancers and their mothers were enjoying lunch with my circles.  The program runs for three weeks.  How wonderful!  CMFA is open to the public weekdays from 10 - 6.  If you're in the area, stop in!

I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts. 


Yael said...

Wow, it starts to fill up. It is so colorful and wonderfully textured. The different size all add to the final design. I wish I could see it in reality! :-)

Shirlee Fassell said...