Process shots from the development of the Alpine Community piece. I hand dyed the red velvet to look mottled and more natural. I've used three shades of pearl beads, DMC floss and metallic thread.
Here, I'm working out the Marine Lichen community piece with help and inspiration from Lichens Marins group working off the coast of Brittany.
Bogs are amazing habitats filled with diversity in both plant and animal species. They help retain water in dry landscapes. Bogs take millennia to establish and only a few short years to destroy. Burns Bog in Vancouver Canada was kind enough to help me learn more about these endangered habitats.
Small drinking water utilities do not have to abide by the same safety regulations as large drinking water plants and as a result, rural water often remains contaminated. Here is the USA Today with details. Here is a report by the National Institute for Health saying the same thing. Access to uncontaminated drinking water has been one of the most significant public health initiatives in human history, along with treated waste water. How can we have such different water quality standards for rural vs urban drinking water?
For my small textile sketches, I create self imposed limitations. This series of sketches was inspired by Leonardo di Vinci's sketchbook. The sketch is of explosive canon balls so I wanted to use materials in complete opposition to this. The above sketch is bead work on transparent organza. I had to plan the embroidery carefully as the back side shows through to the front side.
This one uses silk fibers, bamboo rods and beads.
I made my own springs by winding wire over a pencil.
My next project is related to water again and I'm contacting major players so stay tuned for more.
In addition to making textile sketches, I'm learning to make video sketches. Stitching videos together is similar to stitching textiles. Both require and investment of time and patience. So far, my gear is pretty low tech. I'm using my cell phone to capture sound and video.
I have been spending time thinking about natural dyes in the easierst lightest way. India Flint's book, "Eco Color" is a classic on the subject. In one of the chapters, she describes the easiest way to use natural dyes: use color water and time. If you want to make the process even easier, use protein fibers: silk or wool. The natural colors in plant dyes bond naturally with protein fibers. If you use cellulosic fibers (cotton or linen for example) you will need to use a mordant of some sort so that the color will bond.
Here are my initial experiments.
I am working on the last few pieces for my Fermilab residency and thinking about possible future projects. While I'm working away on these tasks, I'm also taking time in the studio to try out new ideas, new color combinations, new techniques I have not had time to explore. Here's one set. I'll be posting a few ideas over the next few months.
Working small allows me to be fearless in composition and techniques. These are sketches:not finished pieces so there is less pressure to create finished, show-worthy work.