Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Procrastinator's Work

I'll be in 4 shows this year and I'm trying to get into a fifth with an entry that is due by end of day on Tuesday. In the last week I've been desperate to get some new scarves done in order to send images to the curator of a show at Stonebridge Valley Arts Center for the showcard. See my events page for details on all the shows.

I've been experimenting with some of the new rust objects I acquired. A few of them need to weather a bit. One of the designs I got appears to have been coated with something and it's a delicate wire piece so I can't take a wire brush to it. I need to be patient.

The piece featured on this scarf rusted beautifully first time out. It's a large art deco-ish piece of iron. Not sure what it's original purpose was.  It's got a flange at the bottom center with hole for screw.  It's a beautiful piece of perfectly flat iron otherwise. I was fortunate to get a lot of variation in the print and some wonderful bleeding of the tannins.

Here's the whole scarf.  The wispy tan design and the black design at the bottom edge below the point is from a first shibori rusting on a pipe that was a partial failure. I wanted to preserve the good parts so was careful with placement of the metal objects I used.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Agony and Ecstasy

Pardon the emotional post today--sometimes I just have to shout, laugh and cry all at once. Lately everytime I pass by the patio door in the kitchen I expect to see Darcy sitting on the step waiting to be let in. But on April 26, I found her laying in the grass by my iris bed. For 19 years my little gray furball was a constant companion and a stand in daughter as I have no children. She kept me company in the outdoor studio and would pounce on fabric ruffled by the wind. She often drove me crazy at the house because like most "children", if she was in, she wanted out and if she was out, she wanted in. If I had a dollar for every time that patio door opened I'd be rich indeed.  

I never really expected her to stick around for 19 years. Experts say that outdoor cats only have half the lifespan of indoor cats. But Darcy was both an innie and outie and could take care of herself even with one eye. She had surgery to remove an eye that was infected several years ago and adapted very well without binocular vision. I never expected her to go so suddenly though. She had no wounds on her body. She looked like she was asleep. Perhaps a heart attack? She is sorely missed and as I face another season in the studio getting ready for three upcoming shows this fall, I think I'm going to be mighty lonely out there. I will have to talk to myself instead.  

On top of the agony of losing Darcy, over the last several weeks my eczema, which affects both hands and my feet has flared up big time. It's an accurate predictor of stress. Lots of new work to make and collaboration challenges! This on top of finishing the catalog for the last show, which I promise, dear readers, will be done one of these days!!!!!! Currently I have bandages on 7 of my 10 digits. Makes typing a challenge too. I was in real agony the last couple days because all ten fingertips were so raw and/or cracked I could barely touch anything. When I have flareups, either I can't touch the silk because skin is so rough it will snag the fabric, or my fingertips are numb with thick skin, or I'm bleeding (sorry to gross you out, but painful cracks appear often). The bandages make everything awkward.  

There is some good news however in all of this mess. I was ecstatic a week ago when I found this beauty at an antique festival in Maeystown, IL.  

I have wanted a silk and velvet crazy quilt like this for decades. Perfect ones are rare and very expensive, particularly if they are heavily embroidered as this one is.  I decided to buy this one despite the deterioration of some of the silks because the embroidery and beauty of the whole was just too good to pass up for the price. It is gorgeous and I considered it a bargain.  

I've been collecting doilies and lace for years. Fabienne Rey has contributed to my collection twice now (see the previous post). I found more doilies on my shopping sprees this week and last and also found a remarkable sheer cotton and lace vintage wedding dress.  It has a few holes and some minor stains but who could pass up such a dress when the price was $25!!  
I am amazed at how sheer the fabric is! 

There is nothing like Rust Ecstasy, however. And I've decided that I'm willing to pay the price to own certain hard to find pieces. After all it's the same as art supplies to me! Unlike a tube of paint, however, my rust doesn't get used up. I found several unique pieces this week and last at Maeystown and others earlier this year. Thank my lucky stars I was in the right place at the right time on Wednesday for sure. I got my hands on two huge pieces. 

It is too cruel I know, but I won't show you the rusty bits I purchased because I haven't photographed anything yet. I think I'd also rather introduce them to you through the fabrics. So stay tuned to see what magic will happen.
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