Sorry for the hiatus, but it’s been a pretty busy couple of weeks. I’ve finished my class for the Project Management Professional certification, and am trying to get registered for the exam…it’s extremely popular right now so I’m not sure I can even get a date in August. But we’ll see.
Craft-wise, I’ve borrowed an 8-harness table loom from a friend, and have been messing around with it…I did some plainweave and some tapestry weave with two harnesses, and have graduated up to four harnesses. I’ve also discovered virtually all the WRONG ways to warp your loom, including winding on in the wrong direction, snapping threads, misthreading heddles, etc. (LOTS of etc.) If this weren’t a borrowed loom it might well be kindling by now, but I’ve been persevering. I figure eventually it’s GOT to sort itself out, and meanwhile, I’m learning a lot about how to fix mistakes. Fortunately I made another beginner’s error early on, and wound on a colossally long 4-yard warp, meaning that even after messing up, tangling, re-re-re-winding, etc. the warp and cutting off the mangled bits, I still have plenty to play with.
I am considering (considering, mind you) borrowing a 4-harness floor loom from a friend, to play with for awhile. I don’t really have room for it, but it would probably be easier than fighting with a table loom. There’s more space to work with on a floor loom.
I have also gotten back into eggwork! I have nearly finished up with my career coach, who has really been more of a life coach the last few months. I feel like I’m basically back on my feet, and I want to give him something. So I am doing an egg: red/gold phoenix rising up against a black background, with a diamond and five rubies set above the phoenix’s head and Celtic knotwork around the border.
So far I’ve applied all the dyes, so I have a red-orange phoenix rising against black, and red knotwork around the border. Now I need to apply the fine touches in gold leaf. I plan to detail the feathers and tail of the phoenix, as well as the Celtic knotwork, in gold leaf. Then I can set the stones. The idea is to show a phoenix rising up towards the sun and stars.
For applying the gold leaf, I’m using a Rapidoliner .18mm pen with the ink removed from the cartridge and replaced with thinned-down size. It works pretty well as long as you keep the tip of the pen wet (if you don’t, it clogs and you have to buy a new one). I apply the size with the pen, then put a small piece of 23K gold leaf on the size and dab it down/brush it away with a soft brush. Repeat as necessary until all the relevant parts are gilded.
I estimate that it takes me twenty to thirty hours to complete an egg, including both the finished and the “rough draft” egg where I screw up anything I’m likely to screw up.
I actually bought six more duck eggs today, so i may wind up making a few more eggs. Dunno though–they tend to be presents for people, symbolic magic, rather than an artsy thing. (Do I mean that literally about the magic? I dunno. Think of it as a good-luck wish worked around something appropriate to the individual.)
In this case, it’s simultaneously a thank-you note from me (the phoenix rising from its ashes), a wish for similar rebirth for him (he’s still looking for something in his life–I hope he finds it), and a wish for prosperity. The Celtic knotwork is appropriate, since he’s Irish, and one of the knots is a witch’s knot, which is good luck for (or from) Wiccans.) Lots of stuff packed into a single egg.
I have also finished a new set of dye samples, this time with Washfast magenta, Sabraset (royal) blue, and Sabraset mustard (which I consider more “gold”), and on wool yarn. So now I have another 1.5 lbs of yarn in lots of different colors, that I don’t know what to do with. That brings me up to 4 lbs of little skeins of yarn that I don’t know what to do with. If anyone has suggestions, let me know. I know I could do tapestry or entrelac or any of a number of things with them, but they’re all about the same value (darkness) so it’s hard to get good light-dark contrast. I also don’t particularly *enjoy* tapestry, etc., so I’m pretty much at a loss.