Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fissures, Fossils and Fragments - 1

Ten times each year we take everything out of the gallery and have a day-long jury session to jury a new show into the gallery. Most months have a theme that our artists can use for inspiration. Not everything in the gallery needs to reflect the theme but many artists do make something using the theme.

This month, our theme is “Fissures, Fossils and Fragments.” At the end of the jury day, the two jurors pick three themed items for special artist’s recognition. Here is what the jurors said about this show:

“The theme, Fissures, Fossils and Fragments was interpreted in many different ways.  Some were very realistic, others were subtle and more abstract. The theme appeared in a wide variety of media: surface design, fabric, jewelry,  and woven patterns showing the most current trends in fiber art.  First place was in laminated felt combining cotton fabric with wool roving.  A needle felted necklace spoke of fragments interpreted in earthy tones with hand stitching.  Rocks took third!  The artist wove minuscule beads into fossils and fissures that literarily cover three small stones that become a statement on the theme.”

Roz Houseknecht’s laminated felt shawl, "African Landscape" is the first place item. Here it is being modeled:


And here is what Roz has to say about her process:

“  ‘African Landscape’ was my award piece for the most recent gallery jury.  I love working with the combination of hand-dyed cotton and wool to create laminated felt.  This process allows me to create a two-sided garment.  I use strips of fabric which are joined with merino wool.  The first side has a pattern in wool laid out and then all is wet with warm, soapy water.  I flip the whole work over and apply a different pattern to the second side in the spaces between the the design on side one.  At this point the fabric and wool are rolled gently in plastic bubble wrap to get the process of attaching the wool to the cloth started.  After the fibers begin to adhere to the fabric, the project is plunged into hot water and "thrown" onto the work surface to force the fibers deeper into the cloth and begin the shrinking process.  This is what created the wonderful texture of ridges, ripples and embedded shapes.  The final step is to continue to roll the project until all the fibers are firmly attached and the fibers no longer want to separate or "pill".  I find this method of cloth making very satisfying.” 

And, finally, here it is in the gallery on one of our “ladder ladies” along with a few other beautiful pieces. Wouldn’t it look nice on you?


In the next post, I’ll talk about the second item to receive artist’s recognition in this show.

(Posted by Larry Novak)

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