Saturday, September 12, 2015


'bOrt the unloved.  'bOrt the unwanted.  'bOrt the embryonic clown.  Would have been the son of Scooch.  'bOrt preserved for the sake of science, in a jar.  Dead tissue speaks in a scaly whisper, a mandala of meat under the microscope: does evil begin in the womb?  "Out damn'd spot." cries Lady Macbeth.  And Macduff, "I from my mother's womb wast untimely ripped!"  The modern mantras of affluent power. 

All matter has consciousness, all matter vibrates. Preserved for eternity, 'bOrt is the  knower and keeper of secrets.  Look at his eyes.  No mere dead clump of hair to be blithely flushed down the toilet, he is animated with the mirthful knowledge of everything you want to hide from the world. 

They generally always deviate from the sketch.

Excerpt from the 'bOrt video w/Merzbow soundtrack.

Freshly squeezed 'bOrt.


Fashion forward spine-revealing back-straps on jacket.

Soaked and sealed, arms open for the hug that will never come. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015


Scooch:  If you don't shit your pants, he'll shit them for you.
In an ongoing theme, I can only say this year hasn't been about procrastinating the felting projects, it's just been a year filled with travel, and teaching and studying yoga.  It's taken nearly all my time.  And it's been SO VERY GOOD.

In the meantime, before I resume where I left off with the Rust, Wood, and Wool projects, I first have to get a couple crazy clowns out of my system. 

Meet Scooch.  People that know Scooch best say he's so scary . . . that,  "If you don't shit your pants, he'll shit them for you."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Chakra Yantras: Collaborating With My Amazing Wife

Muladhara, Root Chakra

 I've just gotten back from an epic month studying yoga, culture, and history in Nepal, so the felting project has again been on hiatus.  In the meantime, I'd like to share a project my wife and I collaborated on prior to the Nepal trip.

Svadhisthana, Sacral Chakra

My wife, Annou Davi, over the last few years, has been painting some beautiful pieces of flowing, energetic patterns inspired by nebulas and other astronomical phenomenon, combined with sacred geometry.  And over the last few years, I have worked a lot with the tantric Chakra system as at first a student and then more recently as a yoga teacher and yoga therapist.  And so, it occurred to me to ask Annou to collaborate on a series of paintings for each of the chakra yantras.  (Each chakra has a specific geometric symbol associated with it.)

Manipura, Solar Plexus Chakra
The idea was to spend a week practicing specific types of asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation, visualization, etc, as well as studying the correspondences and psychological implications of each chakra, and then using that as the inspiration for the energetic flows in each piece.

To provide an example of chakra correspondences--without going exhaustively into all seven chakras--Muladhara, the root chakra, is associated with:  The color red, early childhood development, the element earth, the base of the spine, saturn, pentacles in tarot, the elephant, survival and grounding, cedar, and rubies. . .and that's just for starters.  It is also associated with a number of specific health ailments.

Anahata, Heart Chakra
These paintings were designed to be used as object-meditation pieces specifically for focusing the mind and balancing the chakras, and in the time I've spent meditating with each of these paintings, I've found them to be very effective.  And simply an aesthetic pleasure as well. 

Vishuddha, Throat Chakra

My input was teaching and guiding our yoga practices through the process, providing some conceptual framework and editing advice, but the paintings, vision, and hard work are ALL Annou.  I love these pieces, and it was really fun and romantic to work on a spiritual and artistic endeavor together.

Anja, the Third Eye

 These paintings are done on 12"x12" canvas with acrylic, and the yantras (symbols) are gold oil paint for that medium's dynamic, reflective quality. 

Sahasrara, the Crown Chakra

Girlfriend with Drill, very sexy!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Solve et Coagula

Merino wool, rusty barbed wire, pyrography, wood.  17"x24"

Solve et Coagula is the Latin alchemical phrase associated with turning base metals into gold.  "Solve" means solution, or something broken down to its component parts.  "Coagula" or coagulation, is the assembly of those components into a greater whole.  In this piece that idea is being explored through wool, with the individual locks representing Solve, and the felted piece on the right, having undergone transmutation through heat and friction, representing Coagula.

While the idea of turning lead into gold holds no literal merit, the concept is generally considered a metaphor for the great work of elevating human consciousness from a base to illuminated state. 

From a fiber art/aesthetic perspective, I enjoy the simplicity of the wool itself, and this was a fun way to display a before/after view of the locks as they were, and what they become when felted.

Close up, raw merino locks.  "Solve."

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Don't Touch Me."

 Continuing to explore the intersection and material juxtaposition of  rusty metal, wool, and wood with this piece of wire embedded in fine, white merino. 

It was challenging to felt for a few reasons.  One, wool shrinks, and barbed wire obviously doesn't.  Since it was embedded in the layout, it was a challenge to get the wool to shrink around the wire in a way that still left the shape I was creating. 

Second, the fulling process is generally done by rolling the material in a bamboo mat, and by throwing the piece, neither of which I could do here.  I basically had to get the wool to transform into completed felt by the slow tedious process of massaging the entire piece with my fingertips, being careful not to stab myself with the rusty wire. 

I am really enjoying the process of refining this aesthetic and the use of these materials in both abstract and figurative pieces.  It's very tactile, and the soft wool is inviting to the fingertips,  yet says "Don't touch me" with the dangerous, sharp barbs breaking through the surface.
                                    --PJ Church 2015

Rusty barbed wire, merino wool, wood.  18" x 5"

Rusty barbed wire, merino wool, wood.  18" x 5"

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Raw, Unprocessed Wool

I just got some new fleeces to work with.  They look so pretty is this raw, unprocessed ,unwashed state. . .right off the sheep!

Coated Merino Fleece

Merino Close Up
Black Corriedale

Icelandic Ewe

Icelandic  Ewe Closeup

Teeswater Locks

Leicester Fleece

Friday, January 9, 2015

Got Goat? (Part II)

Baphomet Evocation, 17", Tea stained wood, wool, rusty barbed wire, pyrography.

Continuing the exploration of the barnyard aesthetic using wood, wool and barbed wire.  Specifically rusty barbed wire.  Also continuing the theme of "From Sheep, Goats" juxtaposing the image of individuality, freedom, and unity consciousness arising from materials derived from the animal that has traditionally symbolized weakness, obedience, and subservience-of-self to the dictates of the herd.

Barbed wire is used to circle the tops of prisons, and to restrict the free movement of animals upon the earth. 

Rusting, the barbed wire is in a state of decay, as we observe the old stale power structures in the world beginning to weaken, stagnate,and crumble, losing the power to restrict humanity from reaching its full potential. 

In this particular piece the barbed wire is being absorbed into the goat itself, that internal alchemy of transmuting base metal into gold. 

For all the menace that some people seem to associate with this particular classic rendering of the five pointed goat, it's ears are so soft and cuddly, it's nose wanting to nuzzle playfully, a smile hinting at the hidden mirth of Baphomet's roots as Pan, that horny hybrid of animal, man and god. 

One of the seed pieces that preceded this was Baphomet Invocation, started and completed December 25, 2013.  There, the goat is not yet formed in three dimensions, but is instead sigilized through pyrography on a bit of board scavenged from construction trash, with raw locks of wool impaled on rusty barbed wire, and beneath, a representation of those same locks transformed into felt.

Baphomet Invocation

Traditionally, in images of Baphomet's full body, we see the word "Solve" tattooed on he/she's right arm, and "Coagula" on the left.  "Solve" represents the component ingredients, and "Coagula" is the synthesizing of those components into a new coherent substance.  This has long been how I have viewed working with wool, the component locks, chosen, selected, manipulated, and put through the transformational process of "Tapas"  (heat, discomfort) to become "felt."  Or Gold.  Or "True Will."  In Baphomet Invocation we can see Solve in the locks, and Coagula in the felt nailed to the bottom of the board.

I feel it has to be addressed, because unsurprisingly this comes up sometimes:  "What's up, is this stuff satanic?"

No.  It is not.  For fun and curiosity, I'll look at the historic and symbolic components of Baphomet in  a future post, along with modern implications.

As an afterthought, a bit of relevant trivia: according to the Chinese Zodiac, we are about to enter the Year of the Goat.  Additionally, the Chinese Zodiac contains a five element aspect.  This is the year of the "Wooden Goat" which occurs once every sixty years. 

And:  some funny goat noises.