Friday, November 30, 2012

What I do while cooking, or how to find time...

I‘ve been making lace since about a month and this is my forth lace project coming to the end.  And the first one that doesn't look like a sample anymore. I‘ve recently read that making lace has some sort of therapeutical effect.  Yes, it has, but I like it for other reasons. Firstly that I can jump in and out at any moment, even for just a couple of minutes waiting for my little girl putting her shoes on, or porridge/dinner to cook – it‘s all made like this, all the lace since I've started at the end of october, unremarkably, one inch here, two inches there – filling in those time gaps that occur so many times during the day and being too small to squeeze in any other project.

And this is why I‘m writing today, it‘s less about lace itself, and more about random thoughts on time.

And I‘m not that scrupulous about that, I‘m not into mad planning and To Do lists, I'm workaholic, and irredeemable dreamer, working A LOT a night before deadline. Wishing I could have just another 24 hours to get my project prefect. Right at the moment it seems to me I‘m starting feeling that balance between what I wish I‘d do and what I‘m doing. 

I need time for doing, and I need time for ideas, and there‘s a a thin balance inbetween, so that I do not day dream to much (and get frustrated because I do not have any more time for making stuff) and neither plunge into mass production of some of my items (and get bored feeling hemmed in, because of no fresh air). It‘s just about the right proportion. Doing. Dreaming, sketching and researching. Doing faster and working on multiple projects, of multiple nature.  And still dreaming and not feeling guilty because of "wasted time", because dreaming is important. And doing. And this balance means that dreams are finally starting come true.

Generating the ideas may take time - sometimes I may have a dozen of ideas within five minutes and another time I spend much more time to only figure out some vague guidelines what to start next. Some ideas come along easily, while working, another are maturing in my mind for as long as months, if not even longer. So I need to be flexible and busy. 

And here comes the lace making – hands are busy and mind is free, and yet a beautiful product like handmade lace comes out. And I do not need any extra time frame for planning this, it‘s all about making use of little time fractions that otherwise would get wasted.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New monochrome textile collages - work in progress

Last weekend I‘ve made some new quick thumbnail drawings, while we were driving. Some basic landscape views, just as much detailed as it was possible from a car moving at 80 km/h. Tricky, but time was enough to catch the essential peeks, and the constant changing of scenes made me re-ajust and add some other details, so those sketches were composed of a couple elements seen here and there during our drive.

I needed some new pictural ideas for my monochromes, yes, I'm still addicted to that colorway and fabric mix – that was the reason behind this drawing session.

And here they are – appr. about 17 x 22 cm each. The next step would be turning them into pillows or pouches, well maybe tote bags as well. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Another decorative angel in mixed technique

Last days I‘ve spent making and re-making those dolls. It‘s quite normal and it happens sometimes that the very first item in a serie reveals some technical problems, that I solve in a suboptimal way – for the first time. That‘s what stimulates me to continue and seek another way out, and this is what I like so much about the realisation itself. As pasionate as I am about developping new ideas, it‘s always challenging to find the way from a sketch to the end product, and there‘re ALWAYS surprises along the way. Otherwise, I think I might get bored by simply following my own drafts. And that‘s why I still stick to the hand work itself – because it‘s another way of being creative and generate new ideas  – turning the obstacles along the way into opportunities to get to new ideas. And it lets me still be focused having my draft in mind/on paper and spontaneous to explore all the possible sideways during the process.

This piece is on the way of becoming another decorative angel.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Making teddy bears..

Remember, I was once talking about teddy bears? I‘ve made that prototype of plasticine initially and wanted to make a pattern, my own pattern, pattern where all the proportions, curves, volumes were at the right place, where I wanted them to be without adjusting magazines‘ patterns. And I wanted make a small teddy, like about 15 cm.

Well it took me longer, and though making a pattern was not a big deal, but all the fitting and checking and re-fitting – that was time consuming. By the end of last week I‘ve finally got into sewing, still doubtful about the results, but ready to risk and gain new experience - a positive or a negative one. 

Now here we are – hand sewn of mohair, filled with sheep wool, glass eyes, fully jointed and needle-felted muzzle. And it looks like a bit chubby as planned, and it's fine, even if my model of plasticine was somehow skinnier.

And I‘m still thinking about maybe applying some paint here and there to give more depth and visual interest, about making some loose stitches here and there, about, well, other dozens of tricks that another teddy artists use to reveal and emphasise the character. I think, I gonna give it a try with the next one.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

New arrival at "The monochromes"

And here‘s another one from „The monochromes“. Well, it‘s not that monochromatic, with golden embroidery, but it belongs to the serie nontheless. And now I‘m challenging myself with surface design adding embroidery and crocheting.

It has been like a VERY long time, since I‘ve played around with some sketches, inspired from our trip to Hungary this spring, where I discovered the rich embroideries of floral and bird motifs and wanted to make use of'em. It  has spent lot of time spinning around in my head with no particular visual expresion in fabric since then. 

The hungarian embroideries are very present on a surface, being outstanding and way too striking to cooperate with any other elements, they so to say simply steal the show. And that bothered me, because I wanted more interaction and variation within a single project.

And that‘s it – I have made a sketch before I started this project, and changed everything around it except of bird – I added  some abstract elements, crocheted daisies, hand quilted a lot and let go the machine free stitching and application – all this not being part of the initial plan. And I like it much more this way as if I would have followed the sketch. This is the way I will from now on incorporate the embroidery in my work, it gives some modern touch that I appreciate, without having somehow that old-fashioned look, that may certainly be interesting in another projects, but not worthwhile for my work. So now we have a new fancy pillow case here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fall letters - a new upcoming serie

And I‘m still making collages and here‘re another three ones. I'm actually thinking about exploring this direction while still doing monochromes - it might become a serie of "Fall letters". 

Well, it‘s quite a simple and effective way of starting the day that lets me try out lots of different possibilities fast and easy. And be more spontaneous during the process. By the end of the week they gonna find their way in my fabric mixed media projects. I‘ll keep you posted.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Composition studies

Actually I was going to only post the sketches that I've done this morning, and spent then almost whole afternoon cutting, collaging, stamping and punching. 

Here‘s a couple of results – I‘m playing around with new composition drafts and extending my monochromatic theme a bit further taking in the broken olive greens and some greyish browns. It was done in a very old-fashioned way - simply arranging and scanning - because I like feeling the touch of materials that I use and I'm not that much into digital painting/stamping and probably would never become.

It has been a while since I have last time painted/stenciled on fabric, so now this work may be a push towards that messy action I‘ve been neglecting since sommer has gone. I have no idea what those sketches are good for right now, it was just about having some fun, making the background drafts, writing some affirmations about what is important for me to say right at the moment.... Stay tuned, I'm gonna share more of them in the next days.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

And here's the finished wall hanging in mixed technique

Here‘s the result – I‘ve added hands and wings, re-adjusted a couple of things, and actually spent more time thinking than doing, well, that‘s pretty normal while making something for the first time. And I like the way how it all works together – scuplted elements, golden paint, some patina, free motion quilted details and mixed knitting, and linen. Now I think I gonna make a couple more to refine the technique. 

It was made to decorate the children room but I‘d love to have one for my studio as well – I like the way it‘s shimmering gently and capturing the finnish pale winter twilight.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pouch for lace bobbins

Since a while I‘ve been making lace. And that means having LOTS of bobbins around. And that means that they are disappearing faster as I look around, because my little girl is ALSO making lace. HER lace. With MY bobbins. Being sure they are HERS. Though she DOES have a couple, exactly the same as me, and they are, well, somewhere... LOST. And she REALLY needs to make lace exactly at the time when I‘m making it with my bobbins. And she looks for hers with no result. And takes the mines. A couple here, a couple there. That's the story. 

So I made a pouch – for MY bobbins. Monochrome and some gold – I seem to be favoriting this combination recently. With some free motion stitching, hand embroidery, knitting (of course), and fabric mix.  I just maybe add something here and there, or try another version in this colourway.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gold, linen, knitting and virgin wool - new upcoming project

And today is about the doll, not actually a doll, but sort of angel – knitted, sewn and gold-painted. Next I‘m gonna work out some details and wings to finish it. 

It‘s been a while since I‘ve been thinking about introducing some golden elements in my work, and it has been rather a vague intention for nothing particular for a long time. I‘ve waited and gathered materials, untill I've suddenly stumbled upon and bought that golden synthetic yarn in deep sparkling reddish old gold, almost bronze, last Saturday. From that moment on the puzzle of golden elements has got together and I got into action, and this project finally moved forward. 

And I‘m slowly getting it the way I‘ve wanted it look like – being knitted, sewn, with linen, sculpting. A couple of another techniques/materials would possibly be applied to details/wings. I woudn‘t say I‘m gonna make dolls, but elements like sculpted faces and hands has always fascinated me and I‘m happy I have them finally involved in my work - angel being a perfect opportunity only to use those (the face and hands) - exactly what I'm interested in right now.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Birch studies in textile/monochromes

Another monochrome, waiting to become a next tote bag. Another one with a knitted piece. Featuring another winter motif  - the birches' trunks. Maybe I‘m gonna add some details tomorrow like handquilting or embroidery, I do not know yet. Here's a peek preview and I‘ll keep you posted.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New serie - Winter monochromes

Here‘s the serie I‘ve started at the beginning of the week – „Winter greys and knitting“. It‘ll be about winter the next time – greys, greyish browns, greyish greens – all those typical colours of natural unbleached linen  - yes, still my favorite, and I do not think it‘d ever change.

This time I‘m introducing knitted elements. I used to become a passionate knitter as the days got shorter and colder, and even more passionate collector of yarns – linen yarns, wool, bamboo, cotton, mohair, silk – in maybe TONS of different colour gradations. And besides of knitting itself, I like making samples – trying different patterns, and recently mixing different qualities of yarns. 

The idea was to make useful those experimental pieces  from pattern-learning, and  to introduce some more interesting haptic and visual texture as what I‘ve been already doing with different sorts of fabrics.

This new tote (another one for going to the library with my little girl) – is made of linen, heavy linen. It has been lined and a bit padded on the front side. Padding was actually meant to make some handquilting possible on the bottom piece of linen, but I stopped after having made some lines – it was just the right amount and seemed enough.

If the monochromes are appealing to you, stay tuned, because I adore them and gonna make more of them this week.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Peek into new projects

A small peek inside my studio – new faces for new dolls – waiting for paint. They gonna get that angel-like look with long decorated dresses and wings – to become decorative pieces to be hung in the kid‘s room. After having tried some other possibilities of making faces, I‘ve chosen that way – some wire to get the basic shape, papier maché and then air-drying modelling clay. 

And yes, I‘ve got those somehow distinctive and prominent features, though actually I wanted more smoothness, abstractness. Despite of that they make me think now of some sort of fusion from what I‘ve seen in Paris in the Musée des arts premiers du quai Branly – the wooden masks from the civilisations of Africa and also with some influence from the russian icons.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

About pivotal moments....

I‘ve been thinking and doing lots of different things lately. Making new sketches. Throwing them to the waste paper basket. Working and destroying, and starting over again. Thinking. Walking. Making another sketches. And trying to make some sort of synthesis or finding some structure within everything I‘ve learned and seen, and establish a new balance.

It‘s always a challenge – feeling the change approaching and facing it. It demands to take risk, to let something go, to loosen a bit the expectations and so having enough freedom in mind and hands to get into it. It demands to take time and get ready for all the possible failures and that it may not work out as expected. It demands some excessive stubborness to keep digging despite of  thoughts like „Do you really believe it‘s worth your time and efforts“. Well,  I wouldn‘t have started this blog at all, if I were not stubborn that much and sort of "mentally" deaf to all the sceptical thoughts like above, and somehow persuaded, that I should go for it.

I keep telling to myself that the opportunities may be somehow hidden and not easy to get that bare-handed. I‘d like to derive something more systematical and revealing for myself from everything I‘ve recently tried and done. So now I‘m getting it all together and making my own rules, rules that will guide me.

Now I‘m feeling I‘ve got to some pivotal point, or maybe the first essential pivotal point being only one of them, and that‘s why I‘m talking about change. I‘ve already wrote a whole lot of words about opportunities, changes, risks before, and yes, the work flow at thoses times was somehow meandering, but going forward. Now I‘m more hopping back and forth, and fast. And this is sort of movement without clear focus, that‘s why I‘m talking about finding new structure and balance – to be able to move forward.

I‘ve had that will to focus on more learning instead of more doing, to get some fresh idea sources, to explore different corners of applied arts, to learn more about principles, to take my time and build some sort of system within. And I still have that will, though now I feel more incentive towards practical doing. 

There‘ll be a whole bunch of projects to share – like new dolls, new pouch designs, new sketches, and I wait till I feel that they are ready to get to this blog, till the established direction feels right, till I‘ve got that balance. I work with papier-maché, with modelling clay, I use all the ornamental techniques I‘ve recently learned, I work with more linen and wool (winter‘s approaching, I need to get my hands on something more warming and cuddly), and yes, of course, there‘s a lot of fabrics involved. 

In the meantime I learn making lace – thanks to that fabulous opportunity to get straight into the course for advanced lace makers.

No photos today – I‘ve forced myself to hold off, but they‘ll be coming soon.
Have a great week!