Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Experiments With Textures in Mini-Compositions

I have finished the texture samples demonstrated by or suggested by Pam MacGregor during her Texture Techniques Book class at Opulent Fibers in Portland.  I still need to make covers for the books but I do like the format of the book she taught us to use.  That is why I took her workshop in the first place, and I am so happy that I did.

I also have started books of my own texture ideas.  So far I have one book's worth.  The three are shown below.  The one on the left contains the samples I developed and the two on the right are the samples influenced by Pam's class.

Here is one of my favorite samples of the ones I've figured out-sort of a 3-D bulls-eye.

I have started to put some of my experimental textures into small compositions with the idea that I will be making larger compositions.

Here is one I'm calling "Prairie".  I had made some telescoping pockets as I described in my last post and I had one left over that I hadn't attached to anything.  I kept looking at it and thinking that it looked like a sun, or the center of a wheel.  I had also been working with the texture I call "cracked mud".  The various types of grid lines I was using in my samples suggested the lines of a windmill of the type used by settlers on the prairies to bring water up from their wells.   I was thinking about the drought we are experiencing in Northern California and Southern Oregon and the cracked earth that happens during a drought.  So all of these thoughts came together for this piece.  BTW, I had no reason to make the top area black, it was just the fabric and fiber I had available to me at that moment.  Although I do like the dramatic affect.

"Prairie" by Pat Spark copyright 2014 

Detail of black area with felt half ball inclusions and scrunched up silk gauze to make a texture.

Detail of telescoping circle and black area.  There is an inclusion of a black felt ball (cut in half), partially hidden under a couple wool fiber layers in the lower left corner. 

 The second mini composition I did was based on experiments with various ways to make floral attachments, ruffles and scrunched surfaces.  A couple months ago, I orders some printed silk scarves on Ebay from India (pure silk long scarf stoles- wholesale lot silk scarves).  I was interested in seeing what weight of silk the scarves were since they didn't really say what mm (mommee) they were in the description.  ("Momme is defined as the weight in pounds of a 45 inches by 100 yard piece of silk." See this site: Know Your Mommee)  I like to felt with silk habatoi in the 3-5 mm range which is pretty light.  I will sometimes go as heavy as 8 mm. 

When the scarves came, they were very light weight and wonderful.  I'm super happy with their felting ability.  None of the color ran in the first scarf that I used, so hopefully that means all of the dyes are good.

I call this piece "Fall Garden", just because the browns and rusts look like a garden as it starts to get ready for the winter's sleep.  In this mini-composition, there are felt ruffles and silk pleats (made from the silk scarf).  I used prefelt circles and half felt ball inclusions, both under a piece of cotton gauze (cheese cloth) and under a fine layer of wool. The flower was made with the silk scarf.

"Fall Garden" by Pat Spark copyright 2014

Detail of wool ruffles, pre-felt circle and half ball inclusions, and scrunched silk scarf. 

Detail of silk scarf ruffles (pleats) and flower.  Also shows some pre-felt circle inclusions, under a piece of black cotton gauze (cheese cloth).