I’m always looking for ways to shake up my process of art-making–ways to encourage spontaneity, experimentation, and fun. Creating assignments, using prompts, timing drawing sessions, and using new tools all help me to loosen up and distract my inner critic for a bit, and allow me to surprise myself. 3 dimensional work and work with textiles has provided one way for me to do this lately, and this coil basket is an example of that. I saw a large basket that looked like this years ago at an Anthropologie store (the artists who create the store displays there are so talented!) and have always thought it would be fun to make something similar. It looked to me like a thick rope wrapped in scraps of fabric. I wasn’t quite sure how to build this, and initially collected a thick gauge wire to create an armature–but as i started working i realized that the rope was stiff enough to hold it’s shape on it’s own, and after wrapping the rope in fabric all i needed to do was stitch the levels together to build the structure. I ended up using waxed linen thread and an upholstery needle to bind each level together, which worked nicely. I hope to make a mismatched collection of these.
I also recently built a small shadow box and made a miniature version of the felted nests that I worked on several months ago for a project at the Torpedo Project in Alexandria with a team from Pyramid Atlantic. I really enjoyed felting again, collecting fallen branches in my neighborhood, and doing some simple construction–looking back at the photos of the crochet coral reef I’m inspired to push this idea further to create clusters of vessels, similar to swallows nests–that’ll come next!
Finally, the screenprint I’ve included comes from an idea unborn for several years-capturing the wildness and passion of a pack of wolves running. Every time I tried to draw these in the past they came out looking all wrong, and I left the project frustrated many times. This time, I did reach a similar level of frustration, but was distracted by the background pattern, and a trip to Georgia for the funeral of my husband’s granny. Her house is over a hundred years old, surrounded by 50 acres of fertile land that supports pomegranates, figs, persimmons, pecans, and once sustained animals and people alike. The stories that she would tell us about her growing up there and the deep connection that she had to that place made me think of myths and fairy tales, and I always found the plants there to be quite magical. I tried to capture some of this in the pattern that the wolves are running though–an organized way of showing how abundant that place is, and the true, wild self that the wolves have always represented for me.