Opus Daily Practice – day 9

Opus Daily Practice day 9. The theme was “muted”. As much as I thought about creating a muted piece to fit the theme I am currently working on, the more the weather outside called to the theme. So after a quick snowshoe, I set about to do a quick , muted, en plein air watercolour. […]

via Opus Daily Practice – day 9 — Debra Hunter – Canadian photography, art and handmade

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Busy in the Background

Recently blogging has taken a backseat. It seems the more one has to blog about the less time there is to actually blog.

Today I will share just a few things happening in the background, some of which are on my other blogs.

Photography has been busy recently. Head shots, grads, families and babies. Many an hour past midnight has been spent on the computer editing away. ( http://www.debra-hunter.com or http://www.hunterphotographics.wordpress.com )

With the blooming of wildflowers natural dyeing is a daily event. (www.handmade-canada.com)

 

Plus I have been knitting items for Talisman Books and Gallery on Pender Island and the Bear’s paw Bakery in Jasper. In addition to these two retailers I have been completing custom orders like the hats below…….

blog custom knit hats

and making hats to be posted on the website. ( http://www.handmade-canada.com )

blog child maple leaf hats

With tree pruning there has also been spoon carving. We won’t discuss the scale of this one, it is rather ambitious!

blog spoon

Our land search has taken us to the mountains multiple times, allowing us to enjoy many hikes.

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The thing that keeps us busiest of all are our trips back and forth to the coast. After all, who can resist ocean kayaking? ( http://www.islandhomeblog.wordpress.com )

blog kayaking

I do find I am able to keep more up-to-date on Instagram. I can be found at @debramhunter , @handmadeincanada, and at @hunterphotographics ……..social media is almost a full time job!

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Projects On The Go (a W.I.P. post)

I thought today would be a good time to put up a “Works in Progress” post. 2016 seems to have given me a lot of opportunity (or possibly inspiration) to work on creative pursuits. So here it is, in a visual presentation, the current works in progress.

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Carving, wood burning and painted accents. This piece when completed will be a ring dish.

blog Photo 2016-01-26 9 31 00 PMblog Photo 2016-02-02 10 30 55 PM

Adding more Canadiana into the knit line at www.handmade-canada.com . These pieces are not on line yet but will be coming soon.

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Natural dyeing of wool…..a lot of natural dyeing.

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blog Photo 2016-01-28 10 11 50 PM

Carving spoons the perfect size for the sugar bowl. Large spoons are next on the list thanks to a brand new gouge.

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Lots of “road knitting” while working on larger pieces. This will be a Cowichan inspired pillow cover.

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Still working on the Roe Islet series of paintings both on panel and paper. The large squares measure 2 ft. by 2 ft., while the paper works are larger.

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Handmade toggles with wood burned embellishments will be decorating new knit items in the near future.

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A lot of items being worked on at the moment. Most of these images are from my Instagram accounts, it is where I post my most up to date works in progress. The accounts are @handmadeincanada and @debramhunter ; feel free to follow if you like to see quick visual posts.

What is up next? More natural dyeing, more toggles, knit cuffs, more spoons and finishing a painting in progress. Hopefully soon a few of these new pieces will be available on www.handmade-canada.com .

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More Finger Puppets

finger flyers

Tonight it is another super quick blog post as I am finishing off the last of the “have to’s” on my knitting list. The last few months all I seem to do is knit , knit , knit, dye more yarn and repeat. It also explains the lack of blogging (well that and endless weeks of preserving and jelly making). The fact that I have a shipment of 25 pounds worth of Canadian wool on its way tells you just how much knitting has been going on….of course I haven’t quite figured out where I will store it once it arrives, but I will figure it out.

Tonight I am finishing off more finger puppets. This time simplistic childlike airplanes. Perfect for popping on your finger, acting out aerobatics and making zooming noises. This first batch is a special request, but I will eventually have a few online at www.handmade-canada.com .

As of tomorrow I can start rebuilding stock for the shop online. Currently it is pretty wiped out with stock going into boutiques and galleries in Alberta and British Columbia. I have lots of new ideas that I am looking forward to trying including expanding the wearables section of the items I make. It’s a good thing I have a huge shipment of wool coming my way!

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Blue

blog indigo

Blue. Yes everyone we are back to our regular programming. Back to wool, silk and cotton. Back to art, fine craft, and handmade.

The last two weeks have been indigo intensive. It is an outside endeavour that needs to be completed before it gets too cold. This week I attacked the scrap pile, small pieces of fabric that I had been dyed colors I didn’t love, pieces of selvedge edge, and remnants that were awkward shapes and sizes. Into the vat they went and out of the vat they came in shades of blue, green and everything in between (with a little shibori thrown in for good measure!). That is except for the brown piece of silk on the left hand side.

I have yet to figure out what has happened with this piece of silk fabric. It is either dyed in cutch or arbutus and it seems to be resisting the indigo dye. It has been dyed three times more than every other piece shown here and it shows just a mere haze of indigo dyeing. I will have to test this in the future to see if it happens again or if it is one of those strange “one off” dyeing experiences.

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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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Coffee Press Sweater Order – Knitting Complete

b_knit coffee press sweaters The order is knit. The design in the center is the resort’s logo. Just a little bit of finishing to do and then the order will be off to Woods on Pender located on Pender Island (British Columbia, Canada).

To see more knit items check out www.debra-hunter.com . Knit items are available to both individuals and small scale wholesale for businesses interested in unique handmade pieces.

Also if you are a Canadian maker, grower or creative check out www.handmade-canada.com as it may be a project you are interested in joining.

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