Thursday, December 5, 2013

Etsy Store Open for December

I've dusted off my etsy shop and added my felt and sterling silver jewelry just in time for the holidays.  Several old favorites and a few never before seen pieces are up!  It's been a fun challenge to get back to some of the jewelry designs I was working on before starting grad school 2 years ago!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Felting Fun: Mittens and Slippers at SCC

One of the things I love most about working in fibers is how versatile the medium is.  While in most of my work I use it for expressive purposes, it's also very nice to be able to make functional items, especially at this time of year.  When it starts to get chilly and I begin to make holiday gift plans I really enjoy using my skills to make cozy, one of a kind gifts for the people I care about.

This year I'm also excited to share a couple of my favorite projects with a workshop at Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh.  I'll be teaching a class December 14th called Felting Fun: Mittens and Slippers. I'll be teaching the basics of wet felting and then showing the specific techniques needed to make a custom pair warm and cozy mittens or slippers.  It's a super fun project and easy as well, everyone will leave with a completed project to keep for themselves or give as a gift.

Also, on Friday night I'll be teaching Ugly (Or Not so Ugly) Holiday Sweaters as part of SCC's first Crafts and Drafts.  Participants can bring an old sweater from home or a thrift store find and I will be demonstrating needle felting customization techniques just in time for holiday parties.  Throw in some Local Beer and cheesy music and it should be a fun time for all!

Monday, November 4, 2013


I've updated my website with images from Transient Structures.  Besides the woven work I also showed some studies for a new body of work I'm just beginning entitled Emergence, which involves embroidery on paper.  Using the long, chaotic floats and the abstracted natural imagery of my weavings as inspiration, these new pieces are more direct and immediate since they aren't restricted to the grid of the loom.  There is a lightness to this work which makes them seem as ephemeral as my weavings, even though they are constructed out of much stabler materials and will far outlast the rusted work. 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Transient Structures Now Open

Transient Structures is open!  
Noon - 6 today, tomorrow and Saturday
Reception Tomorrow Night, 5-9pm

Look, Jerry Saltz is pointing derisively, it must be good!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Transient Structures Sneak Peek

I'll be installing Transient Structures in just a few days.  Here's a sneak peak of some of the work getting prepared in the studio.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Overgrowth Final Installation Shots

I've been back in Savannah for a week now and it has taken this long just to get back into the swing of things and go through my final images of Overgrowth.  The project was designed to take 3 months and when that time was done so was the piece.  I'm sure I could have spent another 3 months making felt and covering the space, but it was nice to have that cut off date to force me to some creative decisions for engaging the space.  A few little sections of my felted "mold" on the outside of the glass case ended up being my favorite parts, like new spores breaking off and beginning to spread. The piece will remain on display in Contemporary Craft's lobby until the end of the month!

Since I won't be on hand to talk to visitors about the project and the dyes I used I left this little display with some swatches of my naturally dyed wool and a vase with some of the dried plant materials.

I'll be getting back into my studio this week and the next 2 months will be busy busy busy with finishing my thesis exhibition, which opens November 1st at Ashmore Gallery here in Savannah.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Home Stretch

I've only got a little over a week left here at Contemporary Craft, and the installation is coming along. 

It started to grow over and inside of the old refrigerated case. Bending sideways and backwards to felt inside the case wasn't so great on my back, but I'm pretty excited about how its looking.

Besides working feverishly on the installation I've been teaching a couple workshops.  On tuesday I taught a bundle dying workshop, which Contemporary Craft blogged about here. Yesterday I taught Introduction to Felt-making with a really great group, we made lots of felt and had a lot of fun!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Natural Dye Experiment: Black Beans

I've been trying lots of new plants for natural dyes for my installation.  Between the river trail and the nearby markets the Strip District of Pittsburgh provides a bounty of color.  Even so, getting a nice true strong green is very difficult.  My best chance is going to be getting a blue and over dying with yellow.  So I've been experimenting with black bean soaking water and getting good results. Below are some images of the process using a silk scarf:

First I soak black turtle beans in water over night. I use about twice as much water as black beans, and stir ever so often as I walk by. Then I scoop the now dark purple water off the beans and into a bucket to dye in.  (The beans made delicious burgers).

 I added a splash of vinegar to the dye bath, since silk as a protein fiber tends to take up color better in a slightly acidic bath.  This also has the effect of turning my dye a brighter, magenta purple.

And here is the scarf after spending the night in the cool black bean dye.  Very pretty magenta, but not the blue that I'm looking for.  To correct this I have to adjust the PH back to the other side by soaking it for a few minutes in a water and baking soda solution.  Its pretty amazing to watch actually, as the color changes right before my eyes.  Here it is after just a few seconds in the baking soda wash.

 The final color is this beautiful steel blue.

 I've got about a half a pound of wool still in the dye, since it doesn't take up color as quickly at cool temperatures as the silk.  It will spend another night in the dye, and once I take it out tomorrow I will be able to over dye the blue wool with some yellow from turmeric and hopefully get a nice range of greens for my installation.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 14th

 Sometimes it seems like I don't get very far in a day, but looking between my last post and today's images is reassuring.  I spent over a week making all the little fiddly bits in the center of the side counter, and I will probably still add a bit more.  For the time being however I've moved onto bigger (and better?) areas.  I'm starting to work my way across the front of the space.

I'm getting especially excited about the way its beginning to drip over the front side here.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

June 25th

Just a quick update on the progress of the installation at SCC.  I've been making lots of felt and dyeing lots of wool.  The bright yellows and oranges are coming from turmeric, and I've gotten a pale minty green from spinach and a blue/grey from black beans, all sourced from the markets just around the corner from SCC in the Strip District of Pittsburgh.  Its been a lot of fun exploring the city and my to-do list just keeps getting longer.