I’ve been working on a silk sculpture for my June show in the Elizabeth Denison Hatch Gallery at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. It’s coming along. I’m planning to show this with a new large diptych oil painting.
I thought I’d show you what goes into making this piece. I start with silk organza and nuno felt it with off white wool. Here I’m laying out the wool.
Here I’m drizzling warm soaping water over it until it’s soaked.
It’s a little hard to see white on white so I also photographed the same process with turquoise wool.
Next I cover it with another layer of bubble wrap and roll it up.
I wrap it in a towel and roll it back and forth.
Then I unroll it and rub my hands over the back of the silk further working the wool fibers through the silk. In this part of the process I can actually see the wool fibers coming through to the back of the silk.
After that comes the fun part, I rinse the soap out and throw it on the table with force at least 200 times. It’s called felling and it shrinks and compacts the wool which in turn makes the silk crinkle.
It’s time to dye it in a puddle of dye and let it dry untouched for a few days. Here it is dry.
I have to steam it before I cut out the pieces.
Here’s a stack of the pieces ready to be sewn together.
I’ve sewn them together, put wire in the seams and hung them up in my studio.
I’m working on color and composition issues but in 3 dimensions, instead of 2 which is a whole different ballgame. I’m trying to find the balance between too much, and too little. Then, there’s the whole logistical issue of how to hang it.
Here I played around with adding the bubble silk to it. I’m going to make some pieces with smaller bubbles in a lighter color. I have a lot of work left to do! If you’re in the Wilmington area I’ll have my studio open this Friday from 5-9 pm at the DCCA.