Saturday, March 3, 2012

felted cuffs with metal 'buckles'

These are a limited edition series of felted cuffs using wool roving and buckle embellishments that I found at SCRAP.  That's why they're limited edition, because I'm limited to the number of buckles SCRAP had available.  This can be a challenging aspect of creative can't just run to your local craft store an pickup more supplies.  On the flip side, it keeps my work fresh and experimental.  Once I run out of a certain material, I am forced to find an alternative or move to a completely different type of project.

Beginning tomorrow, these cuffs will be available at a cute, new little shop located in my neighborhood called Montavilla here in Portland, OR.  Maven is located at 7819 SE Stark St. and features a wide variety of second hand and hand-crafted clothing, accessories, and goodies for your home.  Stop by, say 'Hi', and maybe purchase a cuff. $34 each. Limited edition of 11 available.

Many thanks! 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Found Metal Objects with Fiber Embellishment

One of my favorite daily rituals is to walk through the store at SCRAP for inspiration and to scrounge random metal and wood objects to use as the foundation for my work.  Full disclosure, I work as Program Development Manager at SCRAP, but began my tenure there as a faithful shopper and volunteer back in 2007 because I love their mission and the stuff they have.  Now I'm lucky enough to spend most of my days on site, helping them to grow and succeed.

Last spring, I walked past the Metal section and found this amazing metal mesh bowl that had been previously used as a candle holder.  Unfortunately, it was caked in white wax, but I could still see that it had great potential.  So, I bought it for $1 and brought it to my home studio.  There it sat for a few months while I pondered and imagined.  Thanks to a dear friend who invited me over for a craft day, I was forced to come up with a project that was mobile.  Equipped with a skein of hand dyed, hand spun yarn that had been given to me, the metal bowl, and a large needle, I set off more my craft date.  I really didn't have a vision at first, but just started weaving the yarn in and out of the mesh structure.

What began to transpire were these amazing organic lines that resemble something like sea flora or mossy branches. I finished the piece off with some wooden beads, also found at SCRAP, and a circle of chartreuse wool felt to line the bottom.  While I clearly didn't have a plan at the onset, I did end up with an amazing centerpiece that I now use for a fruit bowl.

I find that it's so important in the creative process that if I feel stuck, to just start doing something.  I don't attach anything permanently until I'm sure, but I just start weaving, or cutting, laying out the materials I'm working with and seeing how it goes.  Working with primarily fibers and in 3-D, I'm a very tactile person and therefore like let the materials speak to me.

Here's another example of a found metal piece with fiber embellishment.  This is a metal ceiling tile sample with precut slits.  I think the thing that attracted me most to it is the faux wood pattern that covers the metal.  It's so very kitschy, but attractive.  Similarly to the process I just described, I overcame the initial hurdle by just starting to cut strips of the darker orange ribbon to length and then weaving them in. The icing on the cake is the fantastic key I had laying around.  A little hot glue and voila!  I call this piece "Aha!".

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more about my work and the fantastic possibilities of creative reuse.