Monday, 7 March 2011

March Has Arrived

I hadn't realised this blog was so neglected.I could have sworn I wrote something between January and now, but alas no. Shame on me.

So, my experiments since last time have mostly focussed on felt. I have fallen deeply in love with this medium and I shall continue to play with it every time I get the chance. I started off making phone cases and progressed to flower corsages via a roundabout route, mainly because this is the next project for the craft group in Liverpool. As usual I needed to make a few samples, and again, as always, I've created lots. Last count was 29 "flowers", which are currently sitting on my coffee table looking most decorative.

Researching and experimenting with felt and fibres has also taken me down the wet and dry felting path (I can't say that without thinking of wet and dry sandpaper- what's that about?). I acquired felting needles and sponge, plus many colours of Merino and Corriedale wool fibre and watched tutorials for a few days. My first attempt was a 3D plushie type thing of a Cthulhu monster, who turned out really well. I think I have my experience in scultpure to thank for that particular little win. Most people haven't a clue what a Cthulhu is, so as far as the world is concerned he's just a little green thing with tentacles and wings. Fair enough. I made a few more monster things of various sorts and then moved on to wet felting. I like both methods very much and it's interesting to combine the two (I made spikey brooches this way).

The down side to using felting fibres is that they're not exactly cheap. I want to make larger items, such as hats, which can be amazingly scupltural, but that takes heaps of wool. I'll work on that in the near future after I've sourced a decent supplier. Jay has refused my idea of keeping an alpaca in the back yard for the purpose of harvesting its wool. Tsk. Sourcing of materials seem to be taking up an inordinate amount of my time lately!

I'm doing my recycling thing all the time of course, and seeking woollen jumpers at charity shops to turn into felted things, but they're pretty scarce so far. I'm desperate to make a felt bag of some sort and using old sweaters is a brilliant way of ensuring durability, as well as being eco friendly, which I love.

I've spent the last few weeks hunched over my desk sewing. It's really reminded me of why I went into constructed textiles for my degree. I absolutely adore it. The time simply flies by and I find myself still in the same position at 6pm that I adopted at 7.30am that morning; hungry, thirsty and with a growing stash of creations surrounding me. Not very healthy of course, so it's fortunate that Tascha and Jay ferry me cups of tea when they're home and ring me at lunchtime to remind me to grab a snack. I've lost weight (which I can well afford to do by the way) because I'm no longer sitting in front of spreadsheets, bored out of my skull all day and nibbling on bad-for-me delights. An apple will do for lunch as I dash past the fruit bowl, but I do eat in the evening with the family, so don't start sending an ambulance round just yet.

I have a class in Liverpool this Thursday and another next week in Widnes. I'm holding a small monthly workshop in the local community centre after discovering that people are asking for craft groups on a fairly regular basis. There are other arty things going on, but no general "make things" group, so we'll see how that pans out. It's not going to be a money maker for me, but between the three or four classes each month and my helping out on a friend's catering van some Saturdays I am managing to eke out a small part time wage. I am also intending to get myself organised enough to start selling some of the samples I'm making. I've registered with Etsy, so I shall give that a go shortly.

I need to write a timetable for my work schedule. I very much tend toward obsessive behaviour and working in one medium really intensively for a given timescale. Felt is king right now of course, but I haven't done any drawing or painting (apart from the occasional venture into Photoshop to make a quick poster or somesuch) for weeks. I promised myself that I would draw every day, even if it's only for a few minutes, and I've let that slip. This needs to be remedied. I'm kind of counting on the weather inproving so I can take myself out to draw down by the river or somewhere each day. I'd love a progressive series of studies of umbels as they bud and bloom during the year. I reckon I can base a gazillion pieces of work on something like that.

I'm a little surprised at the girly stuff I'm enjoying. The flower theme is inspiring, and the umbels call. I've just Ebayed some florist wire and tape so I can make little bouquets out of the felt blooms. Am I turning into a pwincess? Perish the thought. I must balance things out by making some zombie stuff asap. Brainzzzzz brainzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

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