Hand spun muka from harakeke (N.Z. flax plant). This wall hanging is one of an ongoing series I am working on. The main cord of cotton strip and linen is wrapped in a thick string to create a smooth even surface to wrap the next layer of hand spun muka fibre which has been plied with cotton sewing thread. The black stripes are hand spun silk and cotton yarn.
Large shards of pounamu (N.Z. greenstone) have been lashed with a finer muka fibre. This was particularly challenging as I had never done it before, and the shape of the shards made things quite complex.
Hand made paper was made using a shaped cut out leaf frame sitting flush on top of the deckle mesh. These were covered in a plastic film on one side and sprayed with clear film varnish on the front viewed surface. This ensured the paper was protected long term from marks and stains insects may leave on the work.
Feathers were securely wrapped together with plied cotton/muka fibre and tied to the main cord.
When hung for exhibition the work came to life with the shadows giving emphasis to shape and form. Once hanging, the gallery ceiling and floor clearance space at top and bottom of the necklace was well balanced, emphasising the large proportion of the finished piece. Satisfying to know it was sold and off to live in a new inner-city apartment space.
Preliminary lay-out of work on the studio floor to assess the balance of size, shapes, spacing and placement of details. Pounamu pieces have yet to be added, however at this early stage, playing with the parts by moving them and spacing them etc. can still give an idea on how they will work with each other once final construction begins.
Sketch book ideas. It is always a good idea to capture moments of inspiration as they occur. Try to put your thoughts down on paper before you decide to go ahead with an idea you want to build an artwork on. Sometimes these can sit there for months before you actually get around to making use of them, if at all.
Sometimes I will find rough drawings, or a string of words and ideas from old sketchbooks that finally evolve into new works. Some will end up contributing to a new direction in a particular medium I have been working with for a long time. My paper making continues to inspire me, ideas for shapes made as single sheets of paper