Monday, November 24, 2014

Bonsai Table and Pot

Today’s post describes the making of the table and pot for the Bonsai fiber art piece shown here.
After the tree trunk, the table and pot were a snap. I cut out pattern pieces for these by placing freezer paper over my enlarged drawing and tracing the outline of each separate part.

table and pot pattern pieces

These are the table parts:
Legs, top, top edge and leg area front. I wanted a different fabric for the top to help give the impression of a horizontal surface, and to make it more interesting to look at. I used cotton browns for the table. The top and leg front was made from a large print, while the other areas were made from a subtle dark brown print.

brown fabrics for table

The pot had these parts:
Base, lip, and inside. Once again I selected fabrics based on color and value to try to give depth and highlights where needed. The lip and base were raw silk fabrics, while the inside of the pot was made with a cotton Japanese fabric.

pot fabrics

These were also needle-turn appliquéd to the back ground. This appliqué work was easy because of the straighter lines. Here is a close up of the table and pot stitched down.

The next step for this piece was making the foliage for the tree. I’ll describe that in an upcoming post. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bonsai Trunk

For today’s post I’m writing about how I made the tree trunk for the Bonsai fiber art piece that I show above. As I mentioned before, I made this from a watercolor painting I had done. My favorite part of the tree is its' trunk.  In particular, I love the twisted appearance of it, and I thought I captured that in the painting.   I wanted to make sure I got that same look in the fiber version of this, so I decided to make the trunk by painting it, the same way I did in the watercolor painting.

I used an ivory raw silk fabric for the trunk.

raw silk fabric

I cut out the trunk shape and marked the darkest areas with a Frixion pen. I wanted to start painting with my lighter values, so I mixed a pale yellow and pale mauve shade and started applying to the trunk. I used my watercolor painting as a guide for the placement of the colors. After painting the light values I put in mid-values and then dark values. I mixed the inks with aloe vera gel to give them more viscosity and prevent bleeding. After the dark values were in I came back and added some aqua blue for highlights on the trunk in a couple locations.

ink painting

watercolor painting

To set the paint I pressed the fabric. Then I hand appliquéd the trunk to the background fabric. I marked the outlines of the trunk on the orange background fabric so I would get the placement correct. I used a needle-turn appliqué technique with silk thread. I found it difficult to needle-turn the raw silk because it frays more than cotton. But I did the best I could and persevered! I had several branch openings to stitch down and some of these edges did not look great, but I knew I was going to add foliage to that area and those edges would be covered. It worked out and I was pleased with the look of it after it was done.

trunk stitched down

My next steps were adding the table and pot that the plant is in. I will describe those steps in an upcoming post. Thanks for visiting my blog!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Attend the Shades of Passion Show Artist's Reception - Virtually!

Did you miss SAQA's "Shades of Passion" show this year? If you did, you can enjoy a montage of images from the artist's reception by clicking on the link below. The video shows many of the art pieces in the show as well as artists and guests. 

Thanks to Laura and Luke Bisagna for creating this video - Shades of Passion

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mapping Out

Quilts on the Wall's "Maps" Exhibit will be on display with Ellen November's cartographic themed fiber art at the Malaga Cove Library in Palos Verdes Estates. I have a piece in this show, it is the Mission themed fiber art piece shown on the postcard below on the far left.

The artist's reception is November 8th, from 2;30 pm to 5 pm. The show runs from November 1st through 29th. Additional exhibit information is shown below. It should be a wonderful show and I hope you can see it!