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"

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