The idea of a waterlily.

My time at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design is winding down. I’ve spent the last four years there: working, playing, becoming. It took me in, an emotional wreck, and spit me out a productive, contributing member of the community. Not to mention happy.

As a sort of homage, my first piece in our Graduate Studies show explores the idea of creativity. How we build it inside of us, like a little embryo. Not alone though, with lots of help from people who have practice.

A Green [Artist] Lily Pattern Design 3D Print

This piece began life as a 3D model, then was printed in plastic. To make a pattern for the full-size textile version, I covered one of the petals with masking tape to steal the form, then blew up the resulting shape.

A Green [Artist] Lily Flower Petals Pattern Sewing

The petals were all sewn up in digitally printed cotton (see Nymph for details)

A Green [Artist] Waterlily Centerpiece Cutaway Sculpture Petals

They were then attached together. When it came time to make the center, I photographed the 3D model and blew it up to the correct proportions…

A Green [Artist] Lily Petals Stamen Design

…and made a flat pattern by tracing it, adding a couple inches for shrinkage, and coating the whole thing in packing tape (my favourite).A Green [Artist] Lily Stamen Felt Flat Pattern

This protects it from the water when wet felting, so it doesn’t all fall apart before you get it sorted.

A Green [Artist] Lily Flower Felt Stamen Rain

Wet felting outside on a rainy day seemed appropriate. You end up soaked anyway. Wool was added to both sides of the flat pattern so that it acts as a resist. When finished you get this:

A Green [Artist] Stamen Felt Vessel

When the felting was finished, the resulting vessel was dyed with acid wash dyes. While it was drying I blew up a balloon in there to produce the rounded shape.

The flower itself is inspired by the water lily. Our college sits right along the river, and our culture is greatly influenced by that connection.

A Green [Artist] Waterlily Flower Idea Cutaway Centerpiece Sculpture

Inside is a tiny green Marimo moss ball in his aquatic terrarium. You may remember these guys from Nesting.

Around him are the protective and encouraging petals of my teachers and fellow students. He is the little embryo, the idea inside the lightbulb. For him this piece is named, Idea.

If you would like to meet him in person stop by the Graduate Studies show, Super Bees. It’s opening 5-7pm on Friday the 13th in The Gallery at NBCCD. Look forward to seeing you there!

Nesting

Insect Lifecycle Sculptures_1_1

Nesting
Felt, reed, river stones, fibrefill, lightbulbs, Marimo moss, water.
24″ x 24″ x 30″ © Allison Green 2013.

The fourth piece in the Time Flies Collection, this is the insect with child. Her pregnant form contains eggs filled with a spark of life.

See how it was constructed, and the other items in the series: Nascent, Nymph, and Nubile.
Exhibited with Foundation at the Saint John Arts Centre, Saint John, NB.
Pricing available upon request.

StonePlantTextile Process 3 010 Insect Lifecycle Sculptures_2_1

Physical felt.

Made some neat felt samples last week. I love felting class. It’s really a full-body art form. Your arms are so tough by the end of the day and you have so much texture to show for it!

This one was a secondary fibre sample, a variety of different wools, silks, I can’t even remember what all. It is coloured with acidwash dyes in island blue.

And so with this one. As you can see the colour is very uneven, by design. This is accomplished by putting very little water in your dye pot, stirring it not at all, and never letting it boil too robustly. Oh, and it’s best if you use a dye that is a mix of many colours, like chestnut, plum, and island blue. This causes the dye to split in the pot and you get a whole collection of colours on your felt.

This next little guy is the product of resist felting. You put down a couple layers of wool, then a bit of bubble wrap, then more wool, then more bubble wrap, until you have a nice little tumour. Then you rub rub rub until it’s nice and felty.

Then you cut open all the layers of your lovely little boil, and pull out the bubble wrap. It practically jumps out at you! The felt shrinks around it and so it gets all balled up in there : ) This one has some plastic mesh in one of the layers. Wouldn’t it look cool with a big marble in that hole?

This one has nylons felted in. Yes, nylons as in pantyhosen. It has just a tiny bit of sparkle and a bubbly monster skin effect.

This next one uses polyester organza, and has beautiful dimpling. This happens when you felt into secondary structures like porous fabrics. As you felt the barbs of the wool latch onto your cloth. Then as the felt shrinks, it gathers the cloth along with it. I dyed this piece later and was shocked that the polyester took the colour. I knew acidwash would dye nylon but not this kind of thing. Super cool.

I also biffed this silk hankie in on top of my chestnut dye pot when I was colouring the resist pieces above. While they came out brown and green, this guy ended up mustard and navy blue. Just goes to show the number of colours that go into that dye.

Our next project for that class is a scarf inspired by a photograph of a sky. I chose a nebula. Specifically this nebula (found here).

Thinking about trying to felt in some glass bits for the stars. We shall see how that works out. Little behind on the schoolwork what with finishing off the light fixture masterpiece, but c’est la vie. I have only exciting projects left so it won’t take a whole lot of motivation : )