Thursday, March 28, 2024

Golden Boundary Bangle [nope.]

It's interesting, a couple weeks ago at the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild meeting I was asked if I was still making jewelry and the short answer is "not really." Then as I was driving home from the meeting I had an idea that spiraled into like 3 different pieces. A large weaving, small weavings and this bangle, which, I think may become a series of bangles. I've been reading, journaling and talking a lot about boundaries and staying away from people who are dramatic, chaotic, demanding and needy.

There was a point in my life where I didn't know what boundaries were and I felt like I had no control over who was at my house or in my business, it seemed like there were always people over, I was having to stop what I wanted to do with my time to entertain. I was miserable and I hated my life. I tried to be social and a good hostess but I couldn't wait until I had the place to myself to be creative and work on my artwork alone. 

I finally have that, I never thought I could have that calm unless I lived alone, but Bryan is so good at giving me the space I need and would never have anyone over without asking me if it's ok, and visa versa, we do not force socializing on each other and it is glorious. For the first time I feel safe at home and like my time and space is safe from being taken up and taken over by anyone else. It turns out I was just faking being social and now that I'm cozy I can be the introvert that I was always meant to be. Being pushed into an uncomfortable situation? nope. Someone trying to pop over to my house without advance plans? nope. Being guilted into doing something I've already declined? nope. 

I know I'm not alone, and I've already been asked if this bangle is for sale. This specific one is not since it had a 24K gold seed bead in it that I can't find anywhere anymore, and I have plans to exhibit it. I am happy to make it again, and in different colors. Give me some time and I think there will be more options with other fonts and styles, because boundaries are important. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Yes, And: Second Sample and Checker Colors

Before I got going on the full-sized weaving for "Yes, And" I tried a second sample warp with a little bit of color in the black warp. I was curious as to how it might read. I didn't want to be weaving that idea later and think "oh man, this would have been great in Stacey's weaving." I got 6 inches of it done before my meeting with the church to take as a sample to pass around. 

Ultimately I think the color in the black warp is a little too distracting.  The color portions came out as dotted lines in the twill weave structure and I feel like it takes away from the design overall. I am glad I tried it out just to see what it did and so I could confirm that it wouldn't work how I wanted it to with curving text. 

Now this...

I had warp left over to just play and weave fabric. I decided to see how I might want the color to move in and out of each other for the final commission piece.  To keep things simple, a little quicker and not mess with another paper cartoon I went with my favorite pattern: checkers. I really love how this fabric turned out and it confirmed that the way I want to move the colors through the 48 inch long weaving; bright to dark to bright again...I don't want it to look like a rainbow but I still really want to use as many colors as I think will look good without being stripey feeling.   

With the checker pattern I don't feel like the dotted lines of color in the the black warp are as distracting. I suspect its because because the design is straight lines so the dotted lines of colors just sort of fit in. I really love this fabric and I'm torn between finishing it to make it into a little wall hanging or washing it to use as part of a clothing accent piece. One of the things I enjoy about being a fiber artist is I sometimes get to wear my work. 

I had created a smaller checker sample at the end of the warp for "Playing with Fire" so I could see how it washed up. I usually don't wash this fabric as it ends up as wall-hangings so, even though I know weaving has shrinkage, it definitely shrank more than I realized it would. 1 1/8 inches to be exact. The twill allows the fabric to get a little squishy with some stretch.  It washed up really nice though, which is what I was hoping for.

Monday, March 11, 2024

Playing with Fire (Small Weaving)

I doodled these matches back in 2015. I had gotten divorced, I was out a lot and "playing with fire" was feeling like the best description for me and my life at the time. I was either lighting a fire or burning everything to the ground. I liked the look of this small sketch that I had drawn one night and set it aside. I didn't forget about it like I usually do when I doodle, it resonated with me.

Fast forward to now, my life is rather calm and I no longer have to manage drama and chaos. No more "playing with fire" in the figurative sense, it's a reminder of what that part of my life was like. 

So here we are now, I started sampling for a new commission and it seemed to be the perfect warp setup for this image that's been hanging around in the back of my mind and in my computer files for 9 years. I blew it up and started weaving. I don't feel like I have had a ton of success with my hand drawn designs but this is making me think that maybe I'd been trying too hard. Maybe I simply need to doodle and then blow up the design.

Black side detail

I'm referring to the side with more color as the "front" and the black based side as the "back" on this work. I'm quite taken with both sides. Just when I think I like the black based side better, the stark "sketchy" black lines of the colored side rope me back in. 

Colored side detail

This is woven from rayon that I dyed myself, the colored warp is plain weave and the black is a 2-2 twill. The finished piece measures 8.75 in x 16 in.  

Weaving and Life Update

I'm close to the end of my "Yes And" weaving commission. I can see the end of the cartoon and the warp. I was on a roll weavin...