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Monday, September 03, 2018

Fiber: Out of the Box

NO, THIS DOESN'T REFER TO CEREAL!'s a show I'm participating in that challenges the artists to stretch themselves beyond their usual techniques, materials, concepts, and imagination.  Initially I was idea-less... and both awed and intimidated by the talent and creativity of my show-mates.

We were limited to three pieces, and wearables were discouraged.  I couldn't imagine even one piece, but suddenly the opportunity arose - quite by chance.  As a consummate repurposer/upcycler, I was determined to create something(s) that made use of "stuff" that I had already made for some other intention.

The Leaf-Fish began as a mystery knit-along from my long-time muse, Jane Thornley, renowned knitter, designer, novelist, and fellow Scrabble player!  I have never done a knit-along.  And for those who are not familiar with the term, it's a knitting project with clues released periodically with the resulting product unknown to the knitter until much later.  The first clue had us creating what appeared to be a leaf, but HUGE!  As I knitted endlessly for nights on end, I began to realize I was not terribly pleased with my results.  When I learned that a second leaf was to be created, I balked!  It actually was to be a front and then a back of a garment. I NEVER knit or crochet two of a kind of ANYTHING!  That means NO sleeves, NO socks, NO mittens or gloves, NOTHING that requires two identical parts.  And definitely NO identical fronts and backs!

Not wanting to have wasted my time, it suddenly occurred to me that this thing...this leaf....this knitted thing resembled a fish.  Could I possibly create a piece of "art" for the out-of-the-box show using this piece of whatever as the body of a fish?  How could I then take it beyond?

I was in the throes of a 4th amazing online felting class with the fabulous Fiona Duthie! From those classes, I produced a prodigious number of sample pieces which I have been determined to use somehow.  I have made a number of thee-felt bags, needle felting the samples onto the flaps of the knitted and machine-washed felted bags.  I made journal covers with others.  But I still had many hanging around, and a few even had colors and edgings that lent themselves to my fish.

I added crochet on some of the edges and sample pieces from Fiona's recent classes for fins and eye parts, a beaded eye, ribbon-stitched a piece of colorful wet-felted scarf to create a tail, wired and modpodged as necessary, mounted it (first on a rectangular piece of plywood and finally on a corrugated piece of science-fair board) and velcro-ed it in place.  This leaf-fish has endured a number of iterations, but the final creation is the one at the top.  It will be mounted from the wall but projected out about 2 inches.  It is done, I think.

Two other pieces have emerged as well.  But I'll save them for other days!

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