Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wool and Metal

                                                                    Ascend Pendant, 2007
                                                             silver, felt, citrine
                                                       photography by Larry Sanders

This is part of my first group of dimensional felt pieces. I began with three wads of wool roving, which I wet felted into balls. Then I needle felted them together and proceeded to fill in the form and added detail to the color. The colors can be blended. When I need large amounts I use hand carding tools, but mostly I just use my hands for smaller quantities. 

This piece lends itself to varied interpretations. First I sketched various mountain-like forms, grouped together. Then this pendant emerged from a subconscious level of creativity as another sketch. I can only ascribe meaning to it in retrospect. I didn't decide to make an object to represent a particular narrative. I think this is why people respond to it so differently.

                                              Solitary One (homage to Rufino Tamayo), 2008
                                                         silver, felt, enamel, 24k
                                                   photography by Larry Sanders

The genesis of this brooch is entirely different. I have a beautiful book about the Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo. His work has abstracted human forms, rendered with great texture. I saw his piece "El Solidario" and immediately wondered how I could capture the feel of it. 

The felt form was made using pre-felts ( lightly felted not fulled or harden) cut and needle felted to a pre-felt backing, enhanced with additional color.  Thin layers of wool were added to the backs and then they were lightly wet felted together. This way three separate sections: the background, the figure, and the stripped center, were created. Next, I cut these into the precise shapes to fit inside each other, needle felted them again to another pre-felt backing, added additional roving to the back again and wet felted once more, this time fully hardening it with many rolls of my bamboo mat (quite a work out). This inlay method allows for sharp, clearer designs, the process is more like making a collage. 

The felt was set into the oxidized silver frame and secured with epoxy resin. 

No comments: