Today’s jet lagged post will be a bit haphazard so just sit back and enjoy the eclectic pacing of my latest adventures:
Everything is still moving forward for me to begin my Artist Residency with Tanks Arts Centre in Cairns, Australia next month! The butterfly research and design work I have been doing for these past months have been to fulfill a 5 year effort to build a wire crochet butterfly art installation.
Photo by Lori Ono
The biggest surprise came through a job transition from Japan to Hawaii. Inside a large dishpack moving box went all the materials I need to create my installation. Thankfully it is warm in both Hawaii and Cairns so a basic carry-on can hold all my clothes necessary. The box weighed almost 22KG!! No extra charge for my “luggage -in-a-box” Phew!
In the hotel in Japan, in the hotel in Hawaii, in the new apartment devoid of furniture, I work each day making steady progress:
Hot Metal Coloured Copper Wire Crochet work in Hawaiian sun. This is the start of the Evodia Tree.
Special thanks to SpamKNITsubi for the lovely welcome to Hawaii. Through her I was able to meet other fiber artists here in Hawaii and help HotXTea with his installation for Pow!Wow!Hawaii!
Rug Hooking the rainforest floor using a Locker hook:
A tree grows in a hotel room:
This is where it goes!
Details: Hey, SnB Ladies! Remember that fun green yarn I bought at Classe yarn shop in Daikanyama? It works exactly as I had hoped. The most non-arty person recently said to me, “Hey, that looks like grass!” :)
Time for me to get back to work! You can watch my day to day progress on Instagram at StudioDeanna
– Hibiscus here in Hawaii -
Great progress has been made on various designs and the size of other pieces:
Pink Flowered Evodia Tree base
12″of 22 Gauge Green Colored Copper Wire
The original plan I had in mind to create the pink poofs of flowers for the pink flowered evodia, the preferred tree of the Ulysses Butterfly, was not the best idea for this art installation. Finding a much better yarn immediately brought a great fun design to include in the work. A base of lime green wire crochet with poofy fun yarn is the perfect feel I want to for this piece.
The fruit for the China Pine are done! YAY!!
Slowly growing the Spur Mahogany tree and it’s up to 40cm in diameter!
To watch my day to day progress follow me on Instagram: StudioDeanna
“Learn to Knit” was on my on 2014 New Year’s Resolution list, staring at me all year long. In 2015 that goal is now a stern glare. Or is that a look of jealousy as I play faithfully each day with my crochet hooks?
The beautiful, wood knitting needles that were given to me have sat in a perfectly sized, zip bag that held my Uniqlo Room Shoes, keeping company with the instruction book, lavender yarn, and a small scarf pattern I’d like to try as a first project.
My self-organized “Learn to Knit” Kit:
Otherwise, it has a been a very successful year for me. Many of my resolutions have come to fruition; saving money, applying to artist calls, completing various art projects such as the Electric Butterflies installation, and an artist residency.
Some items have been such a spectacular success that I no longer have time to complete others. My dream to create a wire crocheted immersive butterfly garden art installation is finally happening and consumes most every hour of each day. In Mar/Apr I am to be an Artist Residence in Australia to do research on the Rainforest Butterflies and their preferred fauna in Far North Queensland!
Some resolutions came out differently than expected. For the Tokyo Art Book Fair I had originally planned to put together the cookbook I had been working on but then I came up with a completely different idea using a maps and embroidery work. Love the end results but alas, my plans to put together that cookbook has been set aside for now and I have no idea when I might get to it.
Maybe in 2015…
Friday, Jan 9, 2015 – I made my first knitting stitches!! My lovely friend Ellen took pity on me after seeing my knitting fail post in Instagram and thought me how to knit! I can now cast on and do the garter stitch. I’ve already been asked to knit a pair of socks. Maybe in 2016…
Each design I create is as unique as each flower, fruit, leaf and butterfly is different than any other I can find a pattern for. Thankfully, I do not need to completely reinvent the wheel. From my first days of learning to crochet, Lesley Stanfield’s 100 Flowers to Knit & Crochet has been by my side.
Heavily modifying Lesley Stansfield’s Fig pattern, I’m able to recreate Polyalthia Michaelii near it’s life size and color. A Far North Queensland plant that is a favorite of both the Green Spotted Triangle Butterfly caterpillar and the fruit is eaten by the Casawary. Continuing the same process as I have been working, using the grid patterned paper in my Evernote Moleskine.
I was gifted Lesley Stanfield’s 75 Birds, Butterflies & little beasts to knit and crochet and it has been the perfect addition. I’ve picked up a couple other crochet design books but I consistently return to Lesley Stanfield’s books.
To follow my day to day progress via Instagram: Studio Deanna
This week I’ll be exploring the various textile techniques in yarns and metals that I’m utilizing to create the Rainforest Butterflies art installation. There’s great fun for me in building this immersive piece, I love the multiple aspects; the different materials, all the different parts and all the different pieces that make it possible to build. It provides the possibility to take a break from one area and move to another when I get stuck. I get time to think through a design problem in one area while still moving forward in another.
The Rainforest installation needs a comfortable forest floor for us to sit and I found a surprising option; Rug Hooking! Using a Locker Hook style crochet hook, about 6″ long and about US$4 to purchase, it’s an easy tool to obtain and an easy technique to jump right in. I’ve started the area that will be under the Spur Mahogany tree.
The white rug canvas doesn’t look very nice so I wanted to dye it a darker forest floor color. Unfortunately the rug canvas is 50/50 cotton/polyester so a basic dye bath wouldn’t provide good coloring. I remembered a big, fat, brown permanent marker I bought from the local 100yen store and it has provided the dark look I wanted.
As the rug will be seen through the wire crocheted Spur Mahogany trunk, I am creating a simple tree ring design using only a couple of different yarns. One skein of a boucle and one ball of deep fall colored stash yarn.
Thought it would be a great idea to start in the middle and work my way around and around and out towards the edges. No, this was a very bad idea. The rug canvas area is so large it is very cumbersome to work with at 36″ x 60″ (92cm x 153).
In the center of the above photo, wire crochet work done large in 16 and 20 gauge brown colored copper wire. A big start to a Spur Mahogany to show the initial effects of the forest floor and the wire crochet work.
My next post will explore patten designing necessary for yarn details such as the Polyalthia michaelii…
To see my day to day progress, follow me on Instagram: Studio Deanna
16 Gauge Colored Copper Wire moving into 20 Gauge. Heavy Metal start to the Spur Mahogany tree trunk. Using a USK/10.5 crochet hook, 6.5MM.
Wire Crochet Tip #1 – Take several breaks as you work the wire to reduce the chance of stress injuries!