Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Progress

Images are out of order, but...above shows various layers of merino and karakul
first layer (merino)

All the layers will be topped with the pre-felted addition (which I made- not commercial prefelt- that is shown on my blog before the cape) This piece prior to folding, using a resist technique I call my 'channel' technique, was 16 feet long, if you can believe. It is now 4.5 feet. The rest will remain secret. I will photograph it when it is done and will post final images when it hangs in New Mexico in October. Then I will share...the same goes for the set of 3 sculptures I will be making. I will keep you posted on the progress.

Wetting this out will have to wait until I can work for a long stretch. Once wet out, I will hand rub this until it is all stable and don't want to stop before then. I am in Toronto tomorrow for the Ontario Crafts Council AGM, Thursday I am taking my mother's pooch to the groomers (which, with a short work day already, felting will not fit in) and Friday I have planning for an out of town soccer tournament and putting another child on the train for an academic competition. So much to cram in at the end of a school year. Well, the layout is all ready and waiting!

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Friday, May 27, 2011


You may, or may not, recall a few posts back (pre-cape) that I was working on components for a large piece I was invited to submit in the form of a proposal. Welllll.....it was accepted and will be completed for the show along with a second piece (actually a series of 3 sculptures), which was accepted as well. These will travel all the way to New Mexico.

The show, titles SEEDS 3, is a theme near and dear to me. No shock if you know my work. We must respect and protect our food sources and the exhibit has an educational aspect that makes me very happy to be invited as a participant. This is one of those exhibits that will cost me more than I could hope to make, but was top of the list of choices. You can view the blog about the show here SEEDS

There is a bit of history and information on the inspiration for the show and images of past work. I have the first piece planned out and in progress, the second collection is in sketch form and will be my reward for all the work. I will show a few images of the "in progress", but the final pieces will be posted once the show hangs!

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Ready to pass on to Tracy. Ribbon and label attached.

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Monday, May 23, 2011

Forest Fashion

back view...

front view (ignore bulldog clip) fat satin ribbon tie at neck will be added.

Fulling...heavy, cumbersome. Must be careful.

stitching the 2 large semi circles together (and the hood) while at the soft felt stage before adding a little more fibre, hand felting a bit before fulling.

This will be part of a collaboration with photographer, Tracy Olan. For those who may recall, Tracy is the one that took the "harvest" images of me with the chickens and the strange bright "potatoes". Tracy has an idea cooking and whenever she envisioned this particular component, all she could see was red felt, so then I came in, and here it is. Just a part of the puzzle from which she can play. In exchange, Tracy will allow me to have some shots to use.

The design of a cape seems very simple, but there were some interesting challenges. I hate to sew and make patterns, so deciding which way to turn the pieces and making the hood was one.

I did a small sample to test colour layering, but other than that, I just went for it. I could have felted both sides together with a resist, but was concerned about rolling it and the resist shifting ( I like a thick resist). I do a lot of hand rubbing, but knew right away that was crazy talk for this.

I opted to make 2 large semi circles (about 7 x 4 feet each) and stitch, then felt, them together once at the soft felt stage...also adding the hood in the same manner.One issue evident after layout of the second side was I was certain I had laid out a little heavier for the second side. This is a risk if you are not doing both sides together. Ideally, and I often do this, you weigh out the wool for each side so you can be consistent. Of course, having no clue how much wool the cape would take (and having little interest in measuring and weighing a proper sample) I just went for it. The difference in amount of fibre, of course effects the shrinkage rates, so one side fulled down smaller than the other. Certainly not an "error" and actually beneficial in the overall asymmetric look of the piece. Subtleties, that had I not mentioned it, would likely go unnoticed!

It is now drying on the dress form (that I just bought for $40- thanks, Hilary!) and I will post images once Tracy does her magic. I hope they pick a cool day too shoot!

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

What's up

Hmmm, what is it going to be? You will have to wait. This layout (one third of the final layout) took 4 hours. I will felt this until stable only and then layout the second part, felt until stable, layout the third part until (you guessed it) stable....and then, if all goes as soon-to-be-planned, I will put it all together!

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Time Flies

Gosh. Has it been a week since I have blogged? Not sure what black hole I temporarily disappeared into, but I better get back in the game. My parents have had a sick pooch (who is doing much better, thankfully) so nothing really seemed to take precedence. Toss in too many soccer pratices/games, an out of town field trip, dentist, my last show (ever!) for the retail business I own with my mom, a lunch/art meeting and, voila, another week into the abyss.

I enter this week in the hopes that I will spend less time spinning wheels and more time getting some things done:
- I will begin on a collaboration project I have going on with a photographer, Tracy Olan. This is a large-ish project with some things to figure and plan. That starts tomorrow. Deadline exists.
-The other large-ish piece I showed you before has been temporarily laid aside, but will be next in the cue
-Those raw fleece still beckon, but the weather has been fridgid...much to cold for a delicate flower like myself to felt in the out of doors.
There is then the other work that must be done
-planning the teaching year ahead
-thinking how I need/want to change my arts/teaching practice.

Never short of things to do! While the collaboration will largely be under wraps until the project is fully complete, I will keep you posted....

Visit my site www.andrea-graham.com

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Holding Pattern

So much going on in our busy lives, but I am currently in a bit of a "holding pattern" and am required to make some decisions on whether to leave town or not tomorrow. I have an event to attend and will be doing some pick up/drop off there. If I do not go, I need to make other arrangements for these things and impose on others (which I really, really hate to do). On the other hand, waiting until last minute makes the imposition greater.

With a sick canine at my parents place and so much going on, I know the right decision. I am just waiting for clearance to land from my conscience.

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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Finally Warm Enough

Detail: Icelandic (luster!)

The beast!

Like a big Chunk out of the bag!

Tunis (sheered all nice in one piece! :o))


All winter I have had a stash of raw fleece in the gargage, a.) because it may have beasties in it b.) it has dirt in it, and c.) It stinks. I must felt these outdoors but I am still being a whimp and will felt them in the garage. Last time I tried to do this in my studio, I had poopy water all over my floor. Not so nice. However, the fleece are lovely. The "white", which is far from white at this point, is a local Tunis fleece. I have another whole Tunis that I had processed into a batt to make a base to lay the raw Tunis on top for a rug.

The other black "blob" came out of the bag like it was molded to it. It is an old fleece from a prized flock of Icelandic sheep decendant from the first Icelandics to come to North America, bought right from the original source. It is BIG, and lusterous, and matted, so will need some TLC and carefull separation of locks to create a lovely rug. I just need to decide what base to make for this baby. I could do Karakul, but it is so "grabby", I would loose my hanging locks. Romney is too stubborn for such a large piece (even though, I must admit, this would make a sturdy perfect base, If I was willing) I have a big grey batt of "mixed breed" that is fairly course and, now that I think of it, will use it and layer in some merino to assist in the wet-out and getting the layers friendly :o).

Decisions made and all the hard work (and fun!) to follow!

Happy Mother's Day

My best girl friend....

Visit my site www.andrea-graham.com

Monday, May 2, 2011

FiberArt International- Memorial Art Gallery

My piece "Liberatio Captivus" is in the prestigious international show (over 1600 entries for 85 spots!) Now in Rochester until July 3rd and will go on to the San Francisco Museum of Art and Design.

The opening of the show in Rochester at the Memorial Art Gallery...the line up of hundreds remained most of the night! Photographs were strictly prohibited, but Mom managed to get a shot of part of the line!


The gallery...also home to Renoir, Rembrandt, Monet, Matisse, Picasso (which I viewed to the sounds of a live choir!) Tops my list of one of my best openings yet.

Large banner :o)

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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus