By spotogspindel | May 23, 2013
I am so excited! My friend and colleague Katrine taught me how to raku-fire pottery today. It´s something I´ve been wanting to learn for ages. And finally we found a day when we could get it done. Lucky for me, Katrine also took some photos, so now I can show you at least part of the process. First thing´s first. The pottery I actually made months ago, and Katrine did the first raw-fire quite a while back too. So today started with putting glaze on the pieces. This clay is a very rough clay, half of it is sand (chamotte), which makes it very sturdy. Something it needs to survive the quick temperature-changes. We also use a special glaze for the rake-clay. And finally we are ready to go:
This would be the before-picure
Katrine checking the oven. which can be made relatively easy from an old water-tank…
The oven is heated with propane, and it takes only about half an hour. There´s a peaking-hole in the lid, and when you can see that the glaze is starting to melt, it´s time to turn off the gas, remove the lid, and take the pieces out.
First stop is a pile of sawdust. By leaving the piece in the air, the glaze cracks up. The longer you leave it, the more cracks. But you don´t want to leave it too long either, before burying it. The heat of the pottery ignites the sawdust, and you wrap it around the piece. This way you´ll choke the flames, and the sawdust will charcoal right into the pottery and make it black.
After a while, say 10 minutes, I dig the pieces out again, and put them into water.
I can´t believe nothing cracked! It goes directly from 960 degrees in the oven to 15 degrees in the air.
Into the water. Making it almost boil….
The color doesn´t look like much. Dusty pink. But just you wait and see
Scraping off the charcoal outside before taking it all inside again to give it a thorough round with a brush.
And voilá! Aren´t they cute?! The quick temperature-changes makes the glaze all metallic.
By spotogspindel | May 21, 2013
Saturday is the opening of my exhibition “HEIM”. Today I brought all the pictures down to the exhibition-space and unpacked.
9 hours later, I think most of it is in place. It´s such fun to get the last months´ production out of the house and up on the walls!
Yes, that is a real rock wall. Cool, huh!?!
By spotogspindel | May 20, 2013
I live in place where the summer is so rare, that when it comes, you just have to drop whatever you are doing and run outside! We´ve had 25 degrees the past couple of days. The sun has been smiling, everyone is a bit sunburned, the trees have gone from small buds to fully sprung leaves. The wild flowers are covering any grassy spot where the lambs haven´t been dancing. The magnificent smell of nature! You can almost hear the plants growing!
Even though things are busy, I choose to spend my two days doing the most important thing I can do: spend my time with my little nephew. At 15 months, not able to walk yet, it´s his first first-hand discovery of the outdoors. He´s been outdoor before of course, but always being carried or in a stroller. Now he´s been crawling around on my sister´s big terrace, and I took him to a grassy spot so he could feel the grass under his feet. He is truly discovering! His eyes are big and looking around, almost like a camera, just taking everything in. He is listening to the sounds, the birds, the sheep, the traffic, people. And if he wants to share he points and says “there!”
What a treasure to be there with him, seeing how he´s learning, taking it all in, how he uses all his senses, and how excited he is about it all. I almost feel like I´ve discovered my surroundings all over again, through him.
And that is my point today. How often do we remember to slow down, change our perspective, and re-discover our surroundings. Not often enough I´m afraid. But how much joy and inspiration just waiting for us, if we take the time!
Have a nice day!
By spotogspindel | May 18, 2013
These summer-colored pillows are all one-of-a-kind. With my silkscreen I have worked with different color-combinations, letting one color overlap the other where the sea is.
Outside the sun is shining, it´s summer-warm and it makes me happy beyond words!
By spotogspindel | May 17, 2013
Third day of the workshop and I´m ecstatic to learn a technique I´ve wondered about for over 20 years. I know it doesn´t look like much in the pictures, but you can truly make astounding pieces of art this way. It´s all about knowing a bit about the qualities or qualifications of the different fabrics and a bit about chemistry!
First I used a special binder to glue together two pieces of fabric, one cellulose-based, the other animal-based (well, silk, really, wool doesn´t do too well here). When they are fused together, I put the fabric in a metal bowl of quite strong alkali, and after only a few minutes the cellulose-based fabric starts to shrink. Ten minutes I leave it in the bath, before wringing it out, and start rinsing it. To help speed the process of neutralizing it, I put a little strong vinegar in the rinsing water, and repeated 4-5 times, before I checked the ph-value to see if it was ok. Sending it through a rinse program in the washing machine, to get the last remnants out, and then ruble-drying it till it was almost dry.
As you can see, the cotton/rayon behind the silk has shrunk, and the silk is still it´s original size. Where the fabric is not glued together, the silk bulges freely. Where they´re glued together, it´s firm. I bet you can´t see it, but I used my naked-rock silkscreen frame for this test; here it looks almost abstract! You can make the most amazing things depending on the gluing-pattern and the use of colors as well. I only had time for a white-on-white-test. So, so cool! I want to do A LOT more of this. And talking of wants, I want to learn more chemistry! It´s so interesting! Anyone can recommend a book? (Chemistry for Dummies, perhaps )
And Happy National day to all Norwegians today!
By spotogspindel | May 15, 2013
One of the absolutely coolest fabric colors, is the thermo-crome-colors. The name gives a hint These colors are magical! See below: I´ve made a fern-herat print in neon-pink. Over this I´ve printed with magenta thermo-crome. (Both samples on different stretch-materials)
After it´s dry, I fixate it in this big heat-press. (Guess what I want for Christmas?!? )
You can see the pink heart under the pink paint under my hand.
But watch what happens when I remove my hand!:
Wow! A handprint!
But seriously, isn´t this fascinating?! There is a lot of chemistry involved in the process. This binder is simply made to react at a certain temperature, just around the body temperature, so it changes colors. Uber-cool, of you ask me!
By spotogspindel | May 14, 2013
I´m a student again! Only for four days, but wow! you can learn a lot in four days! I´m back at the Art college in Bergen, attending another workshop in fabric painting and – printing. This time it´s all about pigment-colors. I´ve worked a bit with them before, but only with ready-made paint form the stores.
This time we get to make the paint ourselves! So cool! (100.02 grams… well, that´s close enough!) A range of colors, all inter-mixable. First we made a rainbow of color-samples of the pure colors…
And printed it onto a cotton fabris. You can see I ran out of paint half way down. The good thing about experimenting is that there is no wrong experiment. Now we know to put more paint on the screen
But the really fun part is all the different binders you can mix all the colors with. At least 8-10 different binders with different purposes and functions. Above is the “normal” one, used in ordinary printing. Below is one of the more funky ones: a sticky glue-ish binder that will make metal-foil stick! (And just about anything else too. More about this later)
This is the result of my silkscreened turquoise metal foil fern-heart.
Did you know that almost 50% of all the fabric being produced and used in the world is cotton?! And that almost everything with a printed pattern is made with pigment color? Including clothes, bed-sheets and outdoor textiles.
Tomorrow I´ll show you more of the really cool binders!
By spotogspindel | May 11, 2013
I really like the naked-rock-faces-silkscreen I made when I was in Bergen attending the fabric-printing and silkscreen-class. I tried out different materials and mixing colors when I was there, I´ve continued to experiment when I got home.
Above is a print on matte, brushed aluminum. The paint is actually fabric-paint, but mixed 50/50 with a binder specialized for metal. The rock-pattern might be a bit pale here that has to do with the color I mixed. Since fabric-paint mainly is translucent, you can see the metal through the paint.
Unlike the reactive fabric paint used here on heavy, sand washed crepe de chine-silk. I made this in Bergen, ad it was nerve-wrecking to see the process. This fabric is SO expensive, I didn´t want to waste a gram of it! Luckily it turned out pretty nice
By spotogspindel | May 10, 2013
I just made this poster for some musical friends of mine. Their music is all made by two of them with locally related themes. They named their group Siggjosong, after the biggest mountain on the island.
I went with a theme loosely related to our maritime heritage and their songs, and to be honest, I think it´s one of the prettiest posters I´ve made! I will most probably be making some more related art around the same theme.
By spotogspindel | May 8, 2013
I made this is a class with Susan Lenart Kazmer. Originally meant to be a big pendant for a necklace, it is a booklet, with pages to flip. In between are pictures of my grandfather, and his work-collegues at the factory where he was working.
It´s a bit big for me to actually wear it as a necklace, but I like it way too much to leave it in a drawer, so I decided to put it up on my living-room wall instead. So now he hangs by my great grandmother and my cousin´s daughter. Maybe a bit untraditional “ancestral” collection, but I like using different techniques, different materials, different expressions.