Saturday, October 31, 2009

Minimal Embellishments

When I make felted vessels, I'm so tempted to deck them out with all sorts of embellishments. But sometimes less is a good thing. This is one of my recent vessels that I planned on embellishing. I even had the seed beads all picked out for the rim. After I added my lampwork disk beads to the vessel I decided to stop. It took a bit to hold me back - the seed beads were the perfect color for the vessel - but after a lengthy conversation with myself, I handed the vessel over to be photographed. It's now in my Etsy shop - no turning back! :-)

Today I was going to spend the whole day on the torch, but I decided to do some felting instead. It's the last day of the "Shibori Autumn" challenge on the Working With Felt online community, so shibori felt is it. I've never done this before so who knows what will come out of my machine. I'm just hoping that it will be suitable for the project I have in mind. Stay tuned...

Now go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Friday, October 30, 2009

More Wooly Mixed Media Wearables

Continuing on in my exploration of work with fiber, I created another mixed media piece. I still haven't decided how I will complete these pieces - pin, necklace, or attachment to some other felted work. This piece has a split personality. The face is a raku bead that has two sides - one side is glazed, the other black. Day and Night? Happy and Sad? You decide! I've assembled this piece so that you can turn the face to whichever side suits your mood.

So here's number 2 in my latest collection...

Once I determine a permanent use for them, I'll have some "real" pictures taken. The colors are much nicer up close and personal.

Now go have yourselves a happy and creative day! I'm off to the torch...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wooly Wearables

Not too long ago I blogged that I had "Made Something On a Whim". I got a bit wild with that piece of felt and it's now a cuff that I call Sprout. I adorned it with a button by Lisa Peters, then added some organic-feeling froufrou. Here are a few pix of the almost-finished piece. I say "almost" because I still have to put a lining on it and then add the closure. I planned on waiting until someone wanted to purchase it before I put the closure on so that I could make it a customized length. It seems that before I could even put it into my Etsy shop, a Facebook friend claimed it for her own. I guess I'd better hurry up and line this piece - yikes!

A couple of nights ago I took a book to bed with me that I hadn't looked at in awhile. I usually do a bit of reading before I turn out my light for the night and this particular night I just wanted to look at inspiring pictures. As I paged through the book, which has nothing to do with felt, some ideas popped into my head and I was off in dream land. Yesterday I created the felt piece and last night I started to embellish it. Here's the piece in its current state.

I just need to turn it into whatever it's going to end up being. An embellishment for a bag? A pin? A necklace? Not sure yet, but I think I'll be creating more of these. I already have the fibers and embellishments picked out for the next one. And there will definitely be wearables in this collection!

But now I have to get ready to go teach my bead making class. So go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Glass Blowing Demo, Quilt Show, And Another Vessel

I've been busy in the wet lab lately, preparing for the upcoming holiday show/sale at Olive Hyde Art Gallery in Fremont, CA. Here's the latest vessel that I finished - I just put the collar and faceted lemon quartz on it the night before last. The collar is a spiral rope, and the vessel is also adorned with peridot chips.

I have three more vessels that are ready for embellishments - all I need is time, yep. But alas, tonight and tomorrow night I'm teaching bead making classes so my vessels will have to wait until Friday night.

Over the last two weekends I've hauled mom along with me to a couple of events - here are some pictures that I took.

The first event we attended was a glass blowing demo at BAGI, where I teach glass bead making classes. I had the pleasure of watching Marc Petrovic create a blown glass fish, with assistance from Treg Silkwood, who teaches glass blowing classes at BAGI. I was sitting a bit far from the action, so my pix aren't the best - but you'll get the idea.

When Marc initially blew the piece, the mouth end of the fish was attached to the blow pipe. After Marc shaped the tail, he attached a punty to the rear side of the fish and removed the fish from the blow pipe. In this picture, Treg is holding the punty steady while Marc shapes the mouth of the fish.

Here's Marc giving the fish a good heating with the torch.

After Marc has applied some fins, he uses the torch to heat the fish while he does more shaping.

And here, Marc is applying hot glass to make another fin, with assists from Treg and Jon Scally.

And now for something completely different...

The second event was the annual Pacific International Quilt Festival. I think that show gets bigger and bigger every year! We were there for 6 hours on Saturday and didn't get to see any of the wearable art or vendors. I was going to go back on Sunday, but there's just too much to do here in my "labs". I'm glad I didn't wait until Sunday to take pix of some of my faves. Unfortunately, I didn't get the artists' names who made them. Here are pix of my absolute favorites in the show. And go figure... most of them involve trees and/or leaves. :-)

These are definitely not your grandma's "just throw it on the bed" quilts...

And now I have to get ready to go teach my bead making class. It's a special topic class - we're going to be making hearts! I'll be bringing some of my own purple glass so I can donate purple hearts to the Beads of Courage program. Each child receives a purple heart bead at the end of his or her treatment.

Now go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

One More Finished Vessel

Last night I finished embellishing one of my vessels, and I decided to keep it simple. I adorned the vessel with one of my leaf beads and not much else. I used two different colors of pineapple fiber to attach the leaf to the vessel. Here's my "Valley" vessel - both the "A" side and the "B" side.

When I was up in Chinook, Washington over Labor Day weekend I conducted 2 felting workshops in which we made small wall hangings. Each session had 4 people in it, and I made a felted piece along with each group to show them each step in the process. Some of the folks in the second session wanted to add pre-felted objects to their pieces, so I demonstrated how to make a pre-felt, then cut objects out of it to use on the main felted piece. I didn't quite finish that piece when I was up there. After I got home I rolled it a few hundred more times to really compact the fibers and a few nights ago I finished needle felting some additional "stuff" onto it. The bird is the object that I cut out of the pre-felt, I added the tree by needle felting it on, and I enhanced the sun with some needle felting. This piece is about 10 inches wide by 13 inches tall, and was great fun to make!

And now I'm off to work on embellishing another one of those vessels that I showed you in my prior post. Rather than giving it one of my glass beads, I'm going to put some stones on it. In fact, I made the vessel to go with the stones - some peridot chips and a nice big faceted lemon quartz bead. I'm hoping to have it finished and photographed in the next few days - stay tuned!

Now go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preparing For Show Season

Here we are, sliding into the holiday season ever so quickly, and I'm involved in more activities than I have been for quite some time.

I'm still teaching bead making classes at the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI), and I'm also teaching them at the Art Glass Center of San Jose. Classes keep me busy 3 nights a week and a couple of Saturdays a month. Along with my association with the Art Glass Center of San Jose came an opportunity to display/sell individual works in the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. Here is my first piece that will be for sale there - a felted vessel I call "Morning Light".

On November 14 and 15, I will be selling my wares at the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza in Oakland, CA. I've been doing this bead show for several years now - and right now my inventory is rather low. I have GOT to get back on the torch pronto! I also plan on having some other items for sale that are new for me. I'll be hand-dying some silk cords that will coordinate with my leaf beads (that I haven't made yet - yikes!).

Early this year my friend Nanette (Scorpio Beads) and I had a booth at the Stitches West show, which is a show for folks who work with fiber. We were selling our beads, jewelry, hand-painted silk scarves and felted objects. The woman who is the artist coordinator for the Olive Hyde Art Guild's annual Holiday Show came by our booth, looked at our products, and asked us if we would be interested in having our work screened for the show. I responded with an enthusiastic "yes!". The Olive Hyde Art Center and Gallery is located in my home town of Fremont, California. The screening took place the Saturday after I returned from my trip to Portland and Chinook, Washington. Shortly thereafter, I was informed that my work was accepted into the show and was given a list containing the type of item and maximum number of items I can submit of each type. When I looked at the numbers, I gulped. Wow... must get busy, must get busy NOW! So I have been focused on creating new felted objects for this show.

Currently, I have 3 new vessels ready for embellishments. These pictures are awful - I didn't have decent lighting when I took them, but maybe it will give you a vague idea of what I'm working on. I've started embellishing the third one - that's why there's a thread hanging off the side of it (work in progress...).

I've dyed some silk chiffon for some new nuno felted scarves and I still have to dye more silk - I'd love to have 5 scarves in the show - but I also must make new jewelry. We'll see how much I can get done by show time.

And to top all of that off, I decided to take a short-term contract job back in my old field of software development. I'll be writing business requirements and possibly some functional requirements for software I haven't been involved with in 16 years. Holy cow! Looks like I'll be starting that next week.

Needless to say, my presence here in the blogosphere has declined a bit. I'm hoping to do a better job of giving you a glimpse into my little world of glass and fiber art. In the mean time, I'm off to work on embellishing those vessels.

Have yourselves a happy and creative day!
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