Fiber Pockets

The further adventures of Pocket, The Kid!

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My friend Nadia K. taught me how to paint silk.

Let’s rephrase: my friend Nadia GOT ME ADDICTED TO SILK PAINTING!

Seriously, it’s really fun and she’s to blame! I’ve known Nadia for a while now and she’s an absolute delight to be around. We’ve had several silk painting adventures; at one point, teaching the techniques to some students at a therapeutic day school.  She is also responsible for a holiday dinner that she and a few of my fiber friends have every year. It has quickly become one of our most looked-forward to events!

I wanted her pocket to reflect the sensual quality of painted silk, but just doing a flat, embellished piece didn’t seem to work, so I chose to create texture with one of my favorite techniques – furrowing.  It’s a relatively simple technique of hand gathering a large amount of fabric into a small space, but this time, I furrowed through a layer of light weight, low loft polyester batting. I did this because the silk is so light that, even with the gathering, didn’t have a lot of body.

For the fabric, I used an older piece of painted silk from when I first learned how to use the paints. I like the idea of using a piece that held fond memories of when I first met Nadia. The embellishments are simple seed and short bugle beads and the outer edge is outlined in iridescent, fresh water pearls.

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 Another technique pusher I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for a few years now is my good friend Barbara Kile. Barbara got me hooked on felting (In all fairness, Barbara has gotten me hooked on several different techniques, but that’s another post altogether!). We used to teach at Houston Community College together, during my academic days (She is the current millinery teacher there) and she is constantly inspiring new students to work in the fiber arts, either through millinery or felting.

A funny thing happens when Barbara and I go out to lunch or just shop-hopping, for some reason people will turn to us and ask something along the lines of, “Are you guys designers/artists?” I’m not kidding; it’s happened to us on more than one occasion. We never prompt anyone, people just assume it. It’s weird! I guess we have that look when we’re together.

Since I would be working with a garment, I used Nuno felting to create the textile for the pocket. The foundation fabric is a navy blue silk chiffon and I used a various hues of blue and violet roving to achieve the mottled look. The white streaks are Wensleydale locks. I love them because they curl when they get felted. The upper, outer edge is trimmed in kumihimo braid I made from yarn that matches the color story. I didn’t want too much embellishment on this because I wanted the texture of the felt to shine, so I just used a few scattered sequins, bugles, seeds and iridescent facets to highlight the shape.

OK, More to come!

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