In the realm of fiber, I've veered away from class assignments (only because I couldn't chase family members down for size measurements) and done a few things I've always wanted to do. Each was a new challenge that built upon my previous years of experience.
First off, I made a cat cave. Since the kitties concerned are very large, I started with a layout that was about as big as a manhole cover. Wool, of course, shrinks. I used a secret mixture (shhhh) of Merino and rough wool, composing the top layers in such a way as to keep the rough wool from taking over the definition of the design. The design was inspired by the mosaic work on beautiful felt coats by Nadin Smo, combined with my longtime fascination with making geometric square designs.
The big question was as to whether the cats would like wool or not. Turns out they do! The first thing they did was sit on top of the vessel which I had decisively made into a bulbous cocoon form, requiring much beating with a vessel tool. That's a cat for you. Turns out the kitties needed an even bigger hole, which is easily taken care of. They've shown great curiosity in entering. Patience, kitties, patience.
|The Bulbous Cat Cave - Nice and 3D|
|Initial Appreciation of Cat Cave|
Next I've worked on interchangeable covers for my NobuBag. The flap attaches by velcro and the company sells many covers, which are nifty in their own right. I have used it as an opportunity to make my own covers. The following is a nuno-felted cover made from a cotton gauze scarf (yayy, thrift store!) with skulls over purple hued Merino wools, featuring a cut-away technique. The second set is nuno-felted silk, merino and rough wool. If you've ever heard of shaving wool, this cover was a hairy beast! The silk is a combination of an Etsy find and some silk I dyed myself.
|Customized Nobu Bag Front|
|Cutomized Nobu Bag Back|
|First Customized Nobu Bag Cover|
|Wensleydale Curls - Soft and Fluffy|
|Moka Pot Joy|
|Free Thinker - Available in Yellow and Rainbow (Pride) Versions|
|Jack Karten - Commissioned Cat Portrait with Proceeds Benefitting the Animal Welfare Charity, SCAT, Inc.|
Lastly: How did I "decide I could draw"? I've always first and foremost thought of myself as a textile/fiber artist. Drawing was never something I took too seriously, and when I did put pencil to paper or brush to canvas, I definitely leaned towards abstract work. Then I could concentrate on color and let that be interpreted freely without the bias of having a specific form connected to it. Then the magical tool came along - one I had always dreamt of, but which was super unaffordable until as of late. I got a tablet computer with a drawing program. The interesting thing is, it's not that I depend on erasing. I really don't erase much. My drawing is what it always was, but I have the confidence that one stray line won't be the end of the world, letting me work more intuitively and freely. Combine that and my former propensity for working with Photoshop, getting used to layers and transparencies, well, it was a great fit. The method I have used for my cat portraits has caused me to see my models more accurately and I can finally make truly representative depictions.