Sunday, November 26, 2006

Installation shot at the Phipps

From left to right:
The Next Question

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Entrance to Phipps Exhibit

This piece is For Lillian Elliot. I created this piece after reading that Lillian Elliot had died. In a way, she was a mentor of mine, although we never met. I followed her work closely as she moved from card weaving to baskets. I was thrilled to see some of her work in exhibits at SOFA two weeks ago.
I shared her love of making structures with skeletons and skins. She collaborated with Pat Hickman and used gut skin over her lashed reed structures. In this piece, I lashed branches to form the skeleton. For the skin, I dipped felted flax fibers into clay slip. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Winter LandsCape

Winter LandsCape, 50”W x 11”H x 9”D

This is a better photo than one previously published. Jutting out from the wall, I constructed this shelf-like piece in wattle and daub fashion. First I lashed willow twigs into a rough plane with the curve I was seeking. I was thinking about the shape of a heroine's cape billowing behind her as she flies through the air. Over this willow structure, I applied a white clay/fiber mixture. Next, I pressed on a thick layer of brown clay/fiber. At one point, the entire piece became very heavy. Although it would be lighter when dry, I still worried it would be too heavy to hang on the wall. So I started to pull fibers out of the center. The outside of the form had dried enough to retain it's shape. As I pulled out the goopy and gooey center fibers, I intuitively formed holes in the side. Unconsciously, I was thinking about sparrow holes in the sandstone cliff next the falls at Willow River State Park. One hot summer day, I had made a mental note to include those holes in a sculpture. The bottom layer of this piece is a recycled piece of ramie fibers dyed blue for a different sculpture. Ramie fibers are white, fine, and shiny.
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Silent Suspect

Silent Suspect, 42”W x 38”H x 4”D

This is the second piece in the LandsCape Series. Here I pounded the clay and fibers to a thinner layer than in Meridian. The black surface resulted from alternately applying and scraping off graphite.

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Meridian, detail view.

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Work from the Textile Center, Vision and Focus, Exhibit

I finally had my images from this fall's exhibit digitized.

This is Meridian, 38”W x 39”H x 5”D. It is made from fibers, clay, and wax. The clay and fibers form a clay plaster. The plasters used in natural home building incorporate straw as the fiber. Builders apply the plaster over clay/straw, adobe, cob, or straw bale walls. For this piece, I mixed papermaking fibers with red clay slip. I formed a first layer over a plaster mold. Then I added a second layer of fibers mixed with white clay slip. The plaster is stiff and durable.

Packing the fibers around inserted candles created the spaces for holes. Pounding and paddling helped to interlock the fibers and create texture. As a final finish, I applied a wax medium. Fibers show through the wax and clay.

Next, I'll post a detail.
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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

EcoNest Photos

Here we are packing the clay straw mixture into wooden forms, creating the walls for the Ebersole's home. Stomping and tamping packs the mixture. There are more pictures on their site.

When this finished wall dries, coats of earthen plaster will provide a warm color and finish.