This week's blog was written by fiber artist Ammi Brooks of Ammi's Art.
Today I started my felting day with a beautiful piece of cotton from a recycled skirt.
I have it laid out on rubber matting (for grip purposes), bubble wrap and a layer of thin plastic. I used fine black Merino wool roving to cover the cotton. I wanted to make it wider so I added an extra six inches of wool. I use one layer of wool tuft on the cotton and two layers in a crisscross pattern on the extra six inches.
I use wool and nylon yarn for the fringe. The wool yarn sticks to the wool tufts but the nylon needs to be covered with a little wool to make sure it sticks.
My shawl is ready to decorate with pieces of recycled cotton skirts, raw silk and wool yarn.
I spray down the whole shawl.
I rolled up two dampened hand towels (they need to be heavy) and rolled them in the plastic.
After the wet down I cover with bubble wrap, add soap with my hands and rub down for 10 minutes to settle the design in place, then roll up.
At this time I could roll this back and forth up to 500-800 times. I chose to put it in the dryer (on air) for 10 minutes. I unroll it once to put the towels on the other end. Thump thump thump...I unroll and put the wet towels on the other end and do it again. This procedure is to push the fibers through the cotton.
After I determine that the fibers are pushed through the cotton want to shrink the whole scarf, this is called fulling.I can do this by dropping the scarf onto my table many many times. I do this for a while then I rub it continuously and vigorously until it is the size I want.
Check out the links below!
A good tool!
If you noticed I added more fringe when I was done!
Felting is fun. Youtube has so many great free tutorials!
This week's blog was written by painter, Jennie O'Connor. Jennie interviewed ceramic artist, Denise Krueger.
How long have you been a part of Artistic Portland, and what appealed to you about joining the co-op? I joined in January of 2013. When I saw the post on the Portland Etsy Team, I was intrigued but couldn’t make the first meeting. Well, actually, it was at someone’s house that I didn’t know and I was kind of nervous and freaked out to take the bus over there but I really wanted to be part of it, so I took the bus over for the next meeting.
Since I began to work in clay, I’ve had this dream that I wanted a studio with a retail space in front, where I could sell my work and the work of other people. Being part of Artistic Portland is one way I can realize this dream, and now I get to come to Artistic Portland and sell everyone’s art!
What’s your background? My work background is generally customer service. I’ve worked at Taco Bell, Toys R Us, a mail distribution company- shipping and filling orders, and as an office assistant at a CPA firm. I’ve been a self-employed artist for the last two years!
Artistically, I am inspired by my mother. She is a naturalist, a musician, and draws and paints nature with oils, water colors and acrylics. Her subjects are birds and nature. She plays several instruments; guitar, mandolin and most recently, concertina. She has encouraged all her children to play music and be arty. We get together to paint occasionally with my sister, and we have participated in the 6 X 6 Wild Arts project. Someday, we hope to get together to play music again.
She also taught me to knit and sew when I was about five. We frequently sewed our own clothes. I miss designing and sewing clothing. I mostly knitted for my art fix until my late thirties, when I got back into clay. It’s portable and a great way to get to play with color.
I first got into clay when I took a class at the Portland Children’s Art Museum when I was eight. I also took a year of ceramics as a senior at Tigard High School. It was twenty years later, when I finally had my own space and could afford a kiln and a wheel that I got back into pottery. I made wheel-thrown cups, bowls and plates. I started making my pods in 2002, after I took a hand-building class at Georgies. I took ceramic classes at Portland Community College 2008 2010.
Why do you do what you do? I wish I knew! I love my medium? Maybe it’s just the way I process my feelings, but I’m compelled to do it! If I don’t make a pod now and then, I get pretty frustrated and kind of depressed.
Describe yourself in one word. Why that word? Insane! I keep saying yes to cool art projects and not finding enough time to get it all done. There’s so much going on in Portland now. I think it’s great to try new, different things and connect with other humans, but it’s a fine balance to get studio time to recharge.
Where do you create? I have a studio in my home, in one of the bedrooms. My kiln, wheel, and slab roller are out in the garage. My studio has great morning light, but I have a hard time getting into the studio in the mornings because of chores. If it’s a nice day, I sometimes get to work on the patio.
What motivates/inspires your work? Colors! Nature! Insanity! And, also some really wonderful patrons/customers.
One of the reasons I create is because I love color. It gives me joy to put colors together and the different mediums I’ve tried throughout my life all start with color, except for clay. Color is problematic with ceramics, as I often forget what color I intend when I began the piece since it takes time to dry and bisque fire. I feel like that’s also a reason I create so much, because I have to try all the colors on all the pieces.
Another reason I make art is to get into the mind space of “flow.” I try to get there to process daily stimulation by making repetitive designs by hand. It’s relaxing and natural forms instinctively come from a place inside me. And another inspiration is collaboration. I have some pretty fabulous customers with amazing ideas of pods they would like me to make for them.
What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have? I struggle with routines. I often run late and hurry. I’m easily distracted and I live in the city, where there’s always so much happening, in my house and outside. My best creative time is in the evening, after the dinner dishes are done and I have time to relax. Embarrassingly, most of my work is made while sitting with my family in the living room in front of the TV. I’m lucky they are accepting of my behavior. I would love to have a studio apart from my house, where I could go every day like a real job and sculpt in natural light.
What’s your favorite piece you’ve ever created? I made two large pumpkin shaped pods in 2009 for an installation at Ceramic Showcase. I sold one, but the other cracked while drying and that piece, unfired, is still lurking in my garage. It can never be finished, but I like it as it is; flawed, raw, and too big for the kiln.
If you could wake up tomorrow with a new artistic skill, what would it be?Composition! And sewing! I’d like to paint, make wearable art and soft wall hangings.
What do you like to do when you’re not creating? I like to laugh. My friends and family are smart, witty, and share my twisted sense of humor. I also like to take walks, eat, and hang out with our hilarious, sweet old cats.
This week's blog was written by Fiber Artist, Karin Kaufmann of Nadelwerk.
Hi my name is Paul, and I am the youngest of three cats in my household. My first advice is that this should be read out aloud to your cat due to limited access to computers for us cats, (even though the best spot is on top of the keyboard)!
Dear Fellow Cat,
You should know that you need to be well prepared in order to take full advantage of your human. Let us start with a well prepared morning routine.
Waking up. Waking time is one of the most important moments and a perfect time to bond with your human. And the best time to wake them up is before the sun rises, while the stars are still visible and only early birds are starting to sing. If that moment is missed, you might fall asleep again and would miss their full attention. And that, my friend, would lead to a drastic decrease in your food supplies, severe lack of petting and loss of interest. Humans tend to have a bit of a short attention span when it comes to morning routines. So do your best not to miss out here!
Breakfast. Breakfast should be served immediately after getting up! We all know the most important meal is breakfast, isn’t it?! And cats need a lot of breakfasts during a day! At least after every nap; not sure if my human understands the importance and connection of napping and breakfast though.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my human, she is fun to be around, very creative (you should see her fiber art!) and a fantastic sidekick. She never gets upset, even if I have to use force to let her know what I need. For a human she is quite smart but you know sometimes she needs that extra bit of nudging. I mean I ‘talk’ to her a lot but can’t fully comprehend why she seems to ignore most of it. Well, in order to let her know that “I need food now” I have to make a point! And that needs careful planning, because biting too hard can cause her skin to break. We never want that to happen! Although I can’t understand why human skin is so delicate. But not biting hard enough does not get the message through. So, do some practicing to get the ‘right’ bite, eventually you’ll find it the best way to get what you want.
Play time. Never underestimate playtime since that’s when we learn and every once in a while can get away with ‘rough’ play. Also a great way to conceal your aggressions as you always can pretend that you just got carried away.
Just recently I wanted to inquire what those colorful fuzzy little snips of ‘mouse-tail’ are. They taste like hair with a faint hint of ungulate… whatever that means. So here I am, focused on some chewing and tossing that ‘mouse-tail’ thing, as my human all of a sudden grabs it and pulls it out of my mouth! It was already half swallowed and her pulling on that thing made me gag. How rude! But I’m no cat that would give up so easily! The ‘mouse-tail’ has a life of its own! It is moving and therefore it is to be hunted! To my relief I was well rested and full of energy to chase after it.
What happened after is mostly a blur or maybe it was all a dream. I’m not quite sure what exactly happened, but later on I awoke from my well deserved nap and was focused on getting breakfast…
If you’ve enjoyed my little advice, let me know and I might fill you in on the secrets of getting some catnip
Stop by Artistic Portland to see the fiber art that Paul's human (Karin) creates! You won't be disappointed! Store hours are Monday through Saturday 10-6PM and Sunday from noon until 5PM!