I am finally back from Pennsylvania! I had a great time, learned a lot about fibers, saw some amazing art, and met some great people. However, I am glad to be home. Cameron Anne Mason sculptural fibers workshop was fantastic. I learned a technique for creating 3-D textiles that I wish I would have had in my repertoire in undergrad. I feel lie so many more of my ideas for my senior show could have been recognized if I had had this technique in my back pocket then. Oh well.
The first day of the workshop was all about meeting Cameron, becoming familiar with the work of other fiber sculptors, and shifting our minds from 2-dimensional art to 3-dimensional forms. To do that, we first played with tag board circles: cutting slits in them and taping them back together in order to form a vessel.
When we were comfortable with that, Cameron encouraged us to draw in our sketchbooks and come up with an idea for a sculpture. Then it was time to attempt to create a pattern for that sculpture, again in paper. I went through several different flower and vase forms, but I wasn't happy with any of them. I knew that I wanted to do a square shape, since my work currently revolves around squares, but I was afraid that that shape was too basic.
With some encouragement from the table of women I was sitting with, I decided to go with my gut and this is what I made! It is a cube 8" x 8" with smaller 4" x 4" square inside. Windows were cut into the outer cube to allow for the viewer to see inside.
On the second day, it was time to shift from paper to fabric. We had to scale our designs up from the paper maquette and then cut the pieces out of a thick fusible interfacing called pelltex. After the pieces were cut out, they were basted together, by machine or by hand or both, to make sure that they fit together properly. If they didn't they could be easily tweaked. And if they did, they were cut apart and the fiber of choice was fused to both sides of the pelltex. I chose to fuse white cotton to one side and newspaper to the other, which I then painted.
Day three was construction day, and boy did I feel like I was on project runway. It was crazy fast sewing in order to get all pieces painted, stitched, and assembled. Each individual square panel was hemmed with a zig-zag stitch (this included the windows), tulle was added, and then the whole thing was pieced together by hand.
Here is the quasi-finished project! I still have to do some surface treatment to the outside. Either when I painted it or fused it together, some sort of something came through the paint on the exterior and now it is stained. So I want to splatter paint it or something to cover up the stains.
Unlike most of the other people in the class, my piece was super conceptual (thank you, graduate school). If you read my research presentation, then you know that I am working with the square as a representation of depression and the emotions inherent thereof. This piece was sculpted to represent the all consuming nature of depression. Depression causes an individual to construct a metaphorical wall of isolation and loneliness around themselves, represented here by the gray exterior structure. The normal self, the yellow interior cube in this piece, is always ever present, just covered up, unable to break free. The windows here are purely aesthetic, allowing the observer to view this juxtaposition. However, the windows are covered by a piece of tulle, which still allows the outer structure to be a solid form.