Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Sheer Delight or Hubba Bubba"-Jan Girod-Ebullient

This piece has been a struggle from beginning to end. The word itself was a challenge all on its own, I searched through multiple definitions, I tried multiple color combinations and as you can see by the title I could not even choose a name for it.

When I saw phrases like "full of joy, unrestrained high spirits, effervescent bubbles" as well as a definition of "boiling", I latched on to those and began my creative meditation....this is not the same as procrastination. Mainly my work is realistic, however "ebullient" is an emotion and I could only see it as abstract, not my strong suit.

Over the last several years I have been experimenting/playing with techniques where synthetic fabrics are distorted using heat. I knew that nylon organza would give me the look I was envisioning, however I tried three different colorways before making my final decision. My dog was not thrilled, as he followed me up and down the stairs to go outside to do this technique (safety first...proper ventilation for me and the dog), he really just wanted to lay in the sunshine but you know that phrase "curiosity killed the cat", well that applies to him.

First I ripped the organza in strips of varying widths, took them outdoors and used my heat gun on them, which caused them to bubble and shrink lengthwise and a bit widthwise. After trying to weave them I realized I would need to seal the edges or all those stray threads were going to drive me crazy, so I took out the soldering iron and sealed all the edges of my strips. I choose to use the "ombre" organza because once woven I could adjust the colors back and forth, up and down to get various color combinations.
To accentuate the bubbles, a simple running stitch with metallic thread around the perimeter definitely gave me the look I was striving to achieve. Then in the "concave" bubbles I beaded circles. Try as I might I could not trim the edges straight and even, they needed to be irregular. This decision was certainly one of those times when I waited for the piece to tell me what it wanted. I think this piece represents my "ebullient" personality.
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