Monday, January 16, 2012

Gorgeous Mobile at Latrobe High School

Decide for yourself, but I am partial in that this installation is glorious and gorgeous.  The installation of this piece took about 3 hours and we hung it from the common area at Greater Latrobe High School.  The enthusiasm and help from the class was just great.  Dan became the man on the ladder and the students carefully chose where the pieces belonged.  Several students stayed after the class ended to help finish the work.

I think the photos really explain themselves.  The final mobile boasts more than 26 batik dyed silk scarves that move independently and dependently to each other.  We used the outside light fixtures to suspend the other scarves and the final result is awesome!  Thank you for having us back, this is my favorite project in a residency in a long time.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 8 at Greater Latrobe High School

Progress on the mobile has been very good.  This class of 13 students has proven to be very creative, helpful and eager to work.  Our initial plan was to only include the silk scarves but upon further thought we may include some simple aluminum sculptures to pull the piece together.  Today and tomorrow we will finish cleaning the scarves, gluing them to the pre-drilled dowel rods and will start placing the scarves.  So far our only glitch has been in geting the paper removed from the scarves.  However, with a good soak in the water, the students have been very positive about the extra work.

With the help of our fly tying fisherman, Dan, we have used the fishing line to great advantage in order to keep the idea that the scarves are suspended magically in the air.  All of the students have helped to iron the pieces between paper so we do not ruin any of the irons from the sewing studio. This class is of a fairly short length so on Thursday I will stay later to finish up the scarves on the dowels as necessary.  Monday, Rick will help us actually install the final mobile piece in the center lobby of the school.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mobile Silk Batik at Latrobe High School 2012

I am back at Latrobe and working on a brand new large scale project.  This January we are doing silk batiks but not in the normal way with wax.  Instead, Mrs. Mack learned a quick process that involves white silk scarves, Elmer's Glue, artistic talent and silk dyes.  The students were encouraged by us to pick a theme because their works will then be displayed in a moving aluminum mobile in the center foyer of the school.  They chose the theme of birds, feathers and movement.

The first part of this process involved working out their designs on butcher paper the same size as the silk scarves.  After using marker on their designs, silk scarf is then taped over top of the design.  Using Elmer's glue, they trace over their line work with glue.  After letting the glue dry for 24 hours, they paint over the scarf with silk dyes, let this dry for 24 hours and then soak the pieces to get the glue to come out.  Our own blunder was not having the correct paper, so we had to soak the scarves and paper to remove everything without tearing the scarves.

Rick and I had Gross Brothers Welding form three circles one with a diameter of 6 feet, 4 feet and 2 feet across.  Using fine braided wire, we have three circles which will be attached but also move independently from each other.  We will use fishing line and dowel rods to attach the silk scarves and these will also move with and independently from the mobile circles.  This is a first for us in an installation of this size and caliber.  I am super excited to see the final piece!