Here we are again, it is summer and time for the county fair. I have been entering competition every year for a while now, in both faux finishing and fiber art. Each year I do pretty well too, my awards have run the gamut from 3rd place to Best of Show.
Here is the thing, I only ever tell my family about my success. This year I was made to promise, by a concerned citizen amongst my comrades, that I would toot my own horn, honk my own goose, and speak of these triumphs to a wider audience. In fact it was not just a promise, but more like a voodoo curse….
Those amongst you who are friends know how difficult I find it to sign my work (I often feel like it mars the painting). Patrons and family practically have to beat me into doing it. I usually hide my initials somewhere hard to find, like the back or underside; sometimes I even disguise it. I have been properly chided for that too, as one business minded acquaintance lovingly said to me, “At least the people who hang your work will get to know you painted it.”
Enough said. HONK!
This year I put in only four entries, all fiber arts. I entered two skeins of obsessively made yarn, they both won first place. The beaded yarn is supercoil and it is made by winding a single ply around a core yarn. I bead thread and then spin that in at the same time, shooting random beads of specific colors down, down, down the line. It is a slow process, requires a lot of back spinning on the core yarn so that it remains balanced. It is a four handed operation and I can only process a few yards a day. It is expensive stuff, the coiling eats up hundreds and hundreds of yards of single ply just to make one 100 yard skein. It makes lovely, delicate cowls and möbius strip shrugs.
The other is a mix of plied and core spun bamboo rayon. Given that the dying of it was an experiment gone wrong, it was wonderful to have all the colors work so beautifully together; one of those happy mistakes. I like spinning bamboo, the yarn is soft, super shiny, and cool to wear. I think it is environmentally friendly too, although I plan to research that a little more.
The next two pieces I entered this year were my newly-minted, nuno-felted, silk and mixed fiber scarves. I say mixed because I blend silk, alpaca, merino, bamboo, and Shetland into a myriad of combinations for felting. Nuno-felting takes hours and hours to make, just like the supercoil. Again, every part of the process is done by hand: the dying, the carding and mixing, the felting, the cutting, the RE-felting, and so on. It is delicious torture, but I digress.
The competition categories were a little vague for the felting, I was competing against felted jewelry as well as felted purses, but both scarves won second place and special awards. Not bad for a woman who started felting only about four months ago.
Well, that’s it, the curse is broken, the promise is fulfilled and now I need an afternoon cocktail, which is good because I haven’t sipped enough boutique colas to finish writing the previously promised blog post. So, while I go look for a lime, please stay tuned for- I Had to Drink A Lot to Get This Craftsy!