Monday, February 29, 2016

Hand sculptures

I had been struggling with how to accomplish the art I wanted to make, using a hand shape as the focus.  I was thinking I would do some on fabric and some of paper, but I wanted them to be at least slightly three dimensional. First I though I would make a hand outline out of metal wire and then attach the fabric or paper to it. My first wire hand shape was too stiff and wouldn't make the curves correctly. The 2nd one was too flimsy and would not hold it's shape.  I did try try cutting a hand shape out of matboard. It was tough on my hands and it took a long time to cut just one.  I felt very stuck for weeks and then had this hand-smack-forehead moment, when I figured out that I could make it even more three dimensional if I did it the same way I made my cat sculpture.

Here is my cat sculpture. I made it a few years ago and had planned to make more, but then moved on to other projects. (I just realized I never posted this on my blog previously. I was going to submit it to a craft magazine, but never did).

I only wanted a basic hand shape so it could be two pieces of fabric. I had a hand shape I had been using for the wire, so I just used that for my first try. And here is the lovely claw hand that is my first attempt.

Surprisingly, attempt two was almost perfect. I decided I didn't like the machine stitching to make the fingers, so I did hand stitching for my new ones.

I meant to take a picture of these final ones when they were still white, but I forgot. So here is an unfinished one in blue, just to show the shape.

Here is the first finished piece. I have ideas for a bunch of these, including some with free-motion stitching, some with 3D items attached.  I plan to make some stamped fabrics, and use some hand-dyed fabrics, some felt, etc for some of the others as well. The hand shape turned out very nice, although there are a few things I will tweak in the next set.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Snow dyed fabrics

We had a big snow storm a few weeks ago, so that meant a bit of snow dyeing was in order.

I did not iron these prior to photographing them.

This was folded in half and put on a PVC pole and scrunched, like for shibori. Then I laid the pipe flat on my rack, for snow, then sprinkled powdered Procion dye.

I used hotel key cards clamped to either side of a folded piece of fabric.

I used empty yogurt cups and rubberbanded the fabric on them. I was hoping the circles would be more distinct.

The rest were just scrunched and layered "parfait" style with snow and powdered dyes in big buckets.

There were quite a few more small ones. I bought a bunch of linen and cotton napkins at the thrift store a while ago, so threw a bunch of them in as well.

I am working on some new mixed media pieces and hope to have at least one finished so I can post pictures next week.