Detail from collage sketch

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Studio Stuff

Wall of Scribbles

I am learning to felt and making a hat! It is 1.5 times larger than it needs to be to fit my head in order to account for the shrinkage of the merino wool.

Sea of acid dyed wool!

This is the first layer of wool for the hat.

Did I metion it's going to be "wounded" hat?

Upon unpaking, I discovered I have over 20 filled journals and sketchbooks from the last ten years. This is most of them.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Rock Chalk Jayhawk Baby (‘Cause I have a feelin’ We’re Not In Greeley Anymore!)

Please consider the following a retro- post. I wrote it a the beginning of just hasn't made it on to the blog until now.

I feel a narrative coming on so I figured I should start typing. It is hard to believe that I have been in Lawrence, Kansas for almost two weeks now! Three weeks ago I was sitting on the edge of Santa Elena in Venice by the water watching the vaporettos (water buses) pass by and gazing at the twinkling lights on the island of Lido. So between traveling, packing, cleaning, and then physically moving to a new state, I was in a haze for several day. Not to mention, I was pretty exhausted and I started a new job two days after arriving in Lawrence. In retrospect, coming out here two weeks early was advantageous. I am beginning to feel a little more grounded even though my studio looks more settled than my apartment. It will probably remain in this state until I cough up the money for actual furniture ( supplies or a bookshelf?) Classes officially begin next week but I have been in and out of the studio tinkering with some sample pieces.I am making it a goal to write some every other week or at least once a month about studio happenings! In closing, your daily does of randomness (but even random is a pattern): I now live off of 19th Street instead of 18th Street. I decided any parking system that comes with a pamphlet titled “Campus Parking 101”and a PDF with 4 pages of rules (or something like that), is entirely too complicated. I will walk or take the bus thank you very much. I no longer live next to a railroad track but rather a fire department. I have discovered there are 2 apple trees in my “front yard” and a pear tree in front of the art building. I still live a a building that once had lead in the paint so I once again signed a waiver form saying I understand the risk. Lawrence is hot and humid and I am excited for autumn to arrive. Wells Fargo exists in many places all over the US...except Lawrence. Downtown Lawrence is a fabulous place to be and KU has a lovely campus! When requesting a large scanner, only a secretary for an art and design school will ask, “How large? One that you can make a body scan on?”

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I was about ready to
toss out an old pillow. It
sat in my living room a few days prior to attempted disposal next to a printer with no ink. The pillow out of its usual context became something other than a soft thing on which we sleep. I was overcome with the urge to tear into it with a sharp object. The intrigue continued as I cut, stitch, and melted that polyester pillow.And thus began this entire musing about pillows and thinking about the meaning and metaphor behind these objects. Some collage sketches accompany this post.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sheds and Things

Shed...why can't I find a photo online of a weaving shed? 10 p.m. on Sunday night I was looking for an image of a shed, which is created by harnesses on a loom lifting a certain set of warp threads. The photo was needed for an art history paper that was due the following day. The only photo I could find was on Wikipedia . The teacher had warned the class (in true Chip fashion) if he saw Wikipedia listed as a source for our papers, he'd shred the report before reading it. I decided to not press my luck, even though this was just a photo. I ended up using a drawn diagram of a shed. To the left is a photo of a shed I took case some poor art student out there finds him/herself in a similar predicament. You never know who needs a shed photo at 10 p.m!
The end of the my last semester at UNC draws closer and I am cramming for a final test and weaving (and enjoying the latter far more). I am quite content to end this semeseter within the same studio I began. I recall sitting in the fiber's studio two and a half years ago in a surface design class exchanging glances with the looms. They stared right back at me. A few may have even blinked! Ahh!...I hope we're not weaving! I thought to myself. Now look who's sitting at a loom!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thread of Light

Those "three hard core days" of weaving over spring break entailed winding my warp onto the loom. I was in the studio alone in the sunny room as my phone rang and an unfamiliar number flashed across the screen. "Hello?" I asked. The inquisitive tone was genuine. "Hi, is this Raychelle?" "Yes." "This is ____ from The University of Kansas." "Hi." I said as the "H" got caught in the back of my throat. " I am sitting here looking at your portfolio and we're interested in having you join our program. Have you received other offers from any schools..." I can't quite recall everything he said after that because I thought I was dreaming! But I wasn't asleep nor was I dreaming. Last week I visited the beautiful KU campus and met some of the art department's amazing students and professors! All the art disciplines are in one building and the fibers rooms are on the 5th floor. Such a lovely view out the windows! I came back with new crackle recipes, some double weave patterns, a simplified method for ikat, and most importantly a renewed enthusiasm for the remainder of this semester. Studio 206 in Crabbe Hall will always be home to me but I know my time there is quickly slipping away and fading into a new chapter. Dare I say not just a new chapter but a new volume on the 5th floor.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Yarn dyed!

I am thrilled with the color of my painted warp! It took nearly two hours but I finally got all the dye rinsed out of my yarn. Hopefully it will be dry so I can start dressing the loom tomorrow! I am trying to squeeze in three days of hard-core weaving on spring break before leaving town (in addition to some reading and researching for a paper...)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hot off the loom

I am now quite excited that this idea might just work! I pulled my weaving off of the loom on Thursday and I was so incredibly tired from a whirlwind trip to Seattle that I really didn't care. What you are looking at are two pieces of material joined together on the loom to make a tube structure (kind of like a pillowcase).

In between the two layers of fabric are segments of chicken wire that have been trimmed and sanded on a grinder to smooth out the edges as much as possible. The fabric now bends with the wire and holds its shape! I am not thoroughly thrilled with the combination of golden yellow and navy blue but the turquoise faux weft (I added most off the loom by hand) is improving the situation.
The next step is weaving a much larger piece using the same technique. Time for some math! One layer will be dark blue and the other layer will be dyed with some bright and juicy colors. I am not so sure what I will be using for the weft material though...I should have though that through when
I drove to Ft. Collins to purchase yarn! Sigh.
Hello afterthought! I'll figure something out. This will be done in time for submission to the student show in two weeks. I am determined! We know where I will be spending most of my spring break...