Tuesday, January 15, 2008

2008 Weekly Mixed Media Project

Week three - part one

I had an idea about what I wanted to do when I started this piece, but it quickly became apparent that it wasn't going to turn out like I thought. I thought I was going to have a very pale piece of tie-dyed wool felt as the main element and then I'd add two grey and one tan wool stripe and felt them down before I added some white/grey/black tie-dyed ribbon that's about 3/8" wide. Well. I did the first steps, with some black fish net-like fabric on it and that's went my heart began to sink. The netting was really a strong presence, and the grey and tan stripes were not showing up because they were too light. Then I added some light green wool on the back and felted it to the front, thinking it would help with the stripes. That didn't help at all. OK. Now what?! I added a 4" wide layer of monoprinted silk organza, of a orange construction fence, and felted that in. Boring!

I have to note that I was doing all of this Sunday night, in my badly lit sewing area at night. Really bad idea. I had to run in to my bathroom to see how it looked every few minutes, because they light is much better in there. I kept telling myself to wait until the next day to save it. I was feeling really uncomfortable because I have this rule not to throw anything away, but I was too impatient to wait until I had daylight.

I remembered that with other mixed media pieces, I've had success with doing a lot of stitching back and forth to create a new texture, so I decided to do that. Much better!

After all of that, I cut it down to the 6" x 6" size, and it looked OK but still needed something. That's when I decided to add four lines of a really cool black and white cotton "yarn" I got in New York City a number of years ago at Habu (a really really nice yarn store). I think that was a good addition, but the jury was still out until I had natural light the next day.

Please note that the image up top is the front side in progress, and the image below is the back side in progress. I'm documenting both sides.

I forgot from my seven year experience of making a quilt a week, that when you're making quantities of objects on a regular basis, until you have a dozen or so completed, it feels really important that they are all somewhat successful. The fact that I have no idea what I'm doing with my felting machine has adding some stress to this project. (Another cause of stress is breaking needles on the felting machine. They're expensive to replace, if you have to do it often.) I know that this is a perfect learning situation, but I can't wait until the first dozen or so are made. Maybe then I can relax.

I will post part two of this entry tomorrow.

You can read about my process/progress so far this year here on my blog.