Opus Daily Practice – day 6

Opus Daily Practice day 6. The prompt to create work was “repetition”. This is my comfort zone. Repetitive patterns and repetitive shapes in the drawing (still in progress). Repetitive movement in the re-spinning of scrap yarn (eternally in progress!). #opusdailypractice http://www.debra-hunter.com http://www.handmade-canada.com . . . . Ads belong to WordPress.

via Opus Daily Practice – day 6 — Debra Hunter – Canadian photography, art and handmade

Painting, Knitting, Busy, Busy

Photo 2015-11-19 10 37 16 AM

Just a quick post today to get the blog back on track.

The last little while has been incredibly busy with knit items being made, packaged and delivered to galleries an boutiques. Tonight is another super busy one. A great opportunity for both art and handmades popped up out on the coast, so this evening is filled with painting and knitting.

Photo 2015-11-19 9 09 28 PMThe paintings are near miniature in size while the knitting is a broad range of the items I create for Handmade in Canada. One painting left to create this evening and finger puppets to knit and I will be in good shape. The finger puppets are purely adorable; Finger Fairies and Finger Gnomes just perfect for a Christmas stocking.

blog finger puppets

Art and handmades by Debra Hunter

www.debra-hunter.com

www.handmade-canada.com

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Taking a Break With Some Beads

b_beading_7726 aThe knitting order is done. A painting has just been finished (post to come soon!). Panels have been primed with gesso. It seemed like a good time to mix things up a bit and spend some time on fibre art.

b_beading_7727 aI’ve taken a different approach to this piece compared to everything I did in 2014. First, this one is small; 10 inches by 12.5 inches or so (unmounted). Secondly, it is completely unplanned, it was a case of drawing out the image with stitch. I needed to loosen up the pieces to enjoy working on them and let them evolve and not have rules. I needed to shrink the size of the pieces as on large works the bead work was being lost in the scale. The beads worked wonderfully when viewing a piece in person (lots of “wow” factor), but on a computer screen the detail was completely lost. Unfortunately the reality now is that work needs to look better on a screen than in reality, that is how shows are chosen. So in keeping with “playing the game” I am going small with the fibre art pieces so that the beaded detail shows.

Now I am starting to flesh the image out with glass seed beads. Each bead is about 1mm in depth. Time consuming work. Last night I sat down to work on the piece, BBC documentaries playing in the background (slightly addicted to BBC docs!), and when I finally looked up at the clock it was 4:00 am. What is more, only a small portion of the area is done. Slow, slow work…and morning comes way too quickly when you work until 4:00 am or later.

b_beading_7728 aThe piece is again made of naturally dyed threads and fabrics that I have hand dyed in micro batches. The base piece is cotton dyed in marigold, the blue thread in the image above is indigo. There are also, to date, appearances of logwood, cutch, and a funky lac/madder combo (seems to be a weird personal favorite on cotton….no idea why).

I am using up bits and pieces from my stash of naturally dyed materials; making what I currently have work before I end up with an unmanageable amount of naturally dyed fabrics and threads. Next in the “stash busting” will be using some of the eco-printed fabrics, perhaps incorporating stitching and beading (of course!), and maybe going with creating functional items for a change.

Fibre art by Debra Hunter
www.debra-hunter.com
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Also check out the project I am building at
www.handmade-canada.com .

A project being built for for Canadian artists, artisans, writers, musicians and growers.

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One More Woolly Post

Just one more woolly post (I promise!) and then I will get back to more varied blogging.

hand knit itemsToday was a day of weaving in ends, choosing buttons, and sewing on buttons. The stack in the picture above was only part of what I tackled. I won’t share how long this whole process took (forever!), the only good thing is it gave me an excuse to avoid reorganizing the studio (tomorrow’s dreaded chore!). I am amazed at how long it can take to choose the “right” black button; I swear I spent over an hour matching black buttons to different projects because all black buttons are not created equal. I still have eight pieces to finish up and then I can shoot the lot in the studio…….well after I reorganize it that is…….I’m avoiding the studio as I have 180 square feet of backdrop to iron. Fun. Not.

blog feb knit spin 2As a reward for the endless weaving of ends I decided to tackle recycled spinning again. I divided up the scraps of yarn.

blog feb knit spin 3Broke it down just a little this time, and mixed up the colors.

blog feb knit spin 4And spun. This time it is spinning much faster, it is less finicky and breaking less. Now the question is, can I have a big ball of this ready to go by Saturday when I take my daughter to knitting group?

www.debra-hunter.com

Spinning Scraps

Sometimes you wonder where an idea comes from, and then you wonder why you had to try to and make it work. This is one of those stories.

blog spinning scraps 3I have a ton of wool scraps from knitting projects. Short little pieces of yarn that I saw no point in throwing out. As the pieces accumulated I started to realize I really need to find a use for them. Some how I came up with the idea of re-spinning them. Perhaps a crazy idea, but I thought it was worth a go.

blog spinning scraps 4I started by separating the scraps into single strands. My two youngest were helpers with this.

blog spinning scraps 1Not having proper carders, or willing to make an investment for such a crazy experiment, we picked up two grooming brushes from the dollar store to help break down the wool. Two dollars was the right amount of investment for the project.

My daughter loved working on the yarn; she likes helping with everything.

blog spinning scraps 2The yarn scraps started to look kind of like fleece, so we continued.

blog spinning scraps 5At first we were “carding” all the colors together, and then we thought it would be nicer to have definite colors.

Then came the tricky part, spinning. I am a newby to spinning, very unexperienced, but I gave it a try. Some of the fibers were very short creating quite the challenge. It was VERY slow going, but it did resemble something like yarn. We’ll call it “art yarn”. I am thinking that perhaps we don’t need to break down the scraps as much and it still might spin. It appears the experiment will continue, an interesting recycling project.

blog spinning scraps 6

 

( I apologize for the recent sporadic blogging, I have been slaving away creating a website out of an existing blog  at www.debra-hunter.com . If you are visiting that blog, check out all the new additions in the top header, there is a lot to see!)

Busy Hands

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Knitting and crochet today. The knit piece is naturally dyed in chamomile , lac, madder and logwood. Bolder colors and bolder patterns. By Christmas Eve I had no knit items left so I knew it was time to get busy again. My “to do” list is long and ambitious, but I am looking forward to trying some new things. Long dark nights are perfect for staying in and knitting.