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...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

In this space...

She leads me to the gallery full of freshly hung work for the UNC Gala show that opens tomorrow. "You can get out but not back in to the room." she said. "Just turn the light off when you leave please." "Thank you so much!" I reply as the door closes behind her.

Alone in the gallery or space before a show opens is like climbing into a seed pod before it blossoms. I am surrounded by possibility, story, and process. Possibility that someone will engage with the art work. Stories told and stories perceived. Processes that have happened and will happen. I am left in the space and met with my five canvas on the cream colored carpeted wall. I open my box and pull out the skein of black perle cotton used to stitch on the canvas. There was little hesitation in that moment of time as I tie a knot to a piece of string already hanging from the fifth canvas (image to the)left and begin to unwind the skein. The yarn dances and loops around itself. It puddles on to floor just as I have imagined. Suddenly, I discover that the yarn has the ability to stick to carped wall. This variable is magic and I am drawing with yarn on the wall and floor! It bridges the space between the wall and floor, changing the overall dynamic of the pieces. The unknown has made the space full and the piece complete. Stop. Up until this minute, it was not finished.
Now it is complete
It exists for now
This work
On this wall
In this space
The ship has set sail

I will post pictures soon of the actual exhibit. Nothing beats seeing artwork in person though if you are able to do so! The University of Northern Colorado Gala is Saturday, February 12. The art show begins at 6:00 pm and is free and open to the public. The music and theatre performance is at 8:00 pm and is a ticketed event. Please visit for more information. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Weaving! (at last)

The loom is dressed and ready to go!
This is the top layer of the double weave

This is the bottom layer of the double weave

I am still in the sampling stages of this process but I am quite excited to discover what can be done with double weave!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

And we're back...

After some delay, I am back in the studio again. My head has been out of commission for the last two months between my exit portfolio for graduation, filling out graduate school applications, Christmas, and work. I spent this past Saturday milling around the studio and pulling some experimental screen prints. I am trying to find efficient ways of screen printing without a frame.

And after some technical complications with class registration and financial aid, my semester is officially underway with Weaving and Renaissance Art History (I sadly had to drop my Multi-Cultural Psychology class).

Weaving has been interesting so far because I've been helping people dress their looms and even taught one of the class sessions! I was worried that I'd forgotten how to weave but the aforementioned situations quickly refreshed my mind. I am working on a larger (much larger) loom this time, a beautiful Macomber to be exact. First project: Learning double weave. What does this mean? We will all know what it really entails (my self included) in a few weeks but the basic ideas is that two pieces of fabric can be woven at one time, one on top of the other. More to come!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Latest Series

How time slips away with the wind! Above are drawings from last semester. Thank you James and John Holden for the photographs!

The idea of phonetic spelling has launched a new series of images made up of screen prints and ghost prints with acrylic on canvas. Words such as life, death, and hate are spelled phonetically with yarn to create a resist before the print is pulled. The words are stitched with yarn and the leftover string hangs knotted at the bottom of the canvas in space. These rather serious words have lost some meaning in this culture and we are prone to using the words like “hate” or “love” so loosely. Upon suggestion from classmates, these “heavy” words are juxtaposed with “light” almost random words such as “cupcake”. There are currently nine pieces in and I plan to expand the series!