The REAL Mr. Potato Head

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From my local CSA, Cottingham Farms. Whoever picked it, I hoped they appreciated him!

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Endings & Beginnings

Wrapped and burned Tulle, found bolts and washers, wire

Wrapped and burned Tulle, found bolts and washers, wire

After over a year spent working on the Foundations: Textiles course from OCA, I’ve realized that it isn’t taking me where I want to go. This is a mixed media art course, rather than a purely textiles course, with minimal teacher/tutor support. While this may be perfect for many students, personally I need a bit more guidance, a more hands-on, textile-based practice. I’m withdrawing from the course, though I plan to finish the last assignments independently, but without the time & expense of submission and the lengthy analytical posts. (What, you’re not sorry to be denied my artistic navel-gazing?!)

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I’ve learned a great deal this past year, been introduced to amazing artists and found some wonderful resources that I will continue to use. Understanding the important role research and sketchbook work can play is probably the most valuable thing I’ll take away from this experience. However, weaving is the area I really want to focus on, and am looking forward to Rebecca Mezoff‘s Tapestry Weaving course, starting in September!

Burnt edges

Burnt edges

Coffee or Tea?

I belong to a lovely FB page, Sketchbooks and Experiments for Textiles, full of talented artists, where there is a July challenge to post something daily. I won’t bore you (there is a you reading this somewhere, right?) with all of them (I certainly haven’t managed daily contributions!), but here are some experiments I did on making the background with tea leaves or ground coffee:

top:silver tip white lower L: blueberry black lower R: Moroccan green

top: silver tip white
lower L: blueberry black
lower R: Moroccan green

I wetted the paper, sprinkled the tea leaves, then sprayed them with water. After it dried, it looked like this:

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A whole page, ready to use:

Blueberry Black Tea-stained background

Blueberry Black Tea-stained background

Finished piece:

Stamped with weeds, dipped in watercolor

Stamped with weeds, dipped in watercolor

Same technique for the background, only using ground coffee instead, then sprayed watercolors around a stencil:

Coffee-stained paper, watercolor

Coffee-stained paper, watercolor

Next, using a piece of cotton fabric:

Coffee-stained

Coffee-stained

Fabric wrapped, soaking in wine

Fabric wrapped, soaking in wine

 

It just looks sort of old and dirty, though more interesting in real life than in the photo. Perhaps another dyeing session, Shibori-style?

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Baking

There’s been some baking going on, of course from The Book.

Back in April, we enjoyed the brilliantly modeled (by sons #2 & 4, how handsome are they?) Polish Princess:

The Polish Princess

The bottom layer is sponge cake, brushed with Tea Vodka syrup. The middle layer is a cocoa pastry buttercream (omitted the walnuts), the final layer is vanilla pastry buttercream (skipped the raisins), topped with grated bittersweet chocolate. What’s not to like? Nothing, it was amazing and very pretty!

Then in May, the fabulously named Double Damage Oblivion:

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Double Damage Oblivion

Rose describes this as “my ultimate flourless chocolate cake sandwiched between layers of my ultimate deep chocolate passion layer cake.” We opted for the jam instead of ganache to hold the layers together, seemed like there was enough chocolate already. Not that you can really have enough chocolate, can you? It doesn’t have the visual impact of the Princess, but was very, very good.

And finally, earlier this month, Chocolate Pavorati with Wicked Good Ganache (RLB is nothing, if not modest. See quote above… But she’s also right. No one bakes or writes recipes that come anywhere near hers!)

Chocolate Pavorati with Wicked Good Ganache

Chocolate Pavorati with Wicked Good Ganache

Now, what to bake for our upcoming visit from Woman of Letters (and her Mr., I’m sure she’ll share). The summery Perfect Peach Galette or the decadently chocolate Posh Pie?

Progress

About 36" woven

About 36″ woven

The warp is long enough for two 72″ scarves, so this is about halfway through the first.

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Very pleased with the 1-3 twill, it makes each side of the fabric very distinctive.

Right side detail

Right side detail

Originally planned for a balanced weave, with warp at 22 EPI, but my weft is more like 13-14 PPI. Feels right, but we’ll see how it is after blocking!

Sketchbook Work

This is my starting image, from our recent trip to Ireland:

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Collage, image cut into strips

Collage, found papers

Collage, found papers

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Collage, image cut into random shapes

Watercolor, painted and rolled on

Watercolor, painted and rolled on

I like the last one best, but the others give me more ideas to work from in the samples I’m working on for the Fabric Manipulation section of the course. Especially when they’re all viewed at once:

IMG_2916 Describing the relationship between the arches and the view, framing was the obvious choice, but also limiting, revealing/concealing, focusing, obstructing. One of the themes I’ve chosen for my samples is Stacked & Layered, and my material is tulle. How, or even if these images will inform those samples, I’m not yet sure!