Art Piece 106 is the eleventh polyester stretch velvet project to have it’s debut on my blog. Links to the other members of the series can be found here. In May, 2019 I was a student in the Susan Lenz class at Woodland Ridge Retreat. I’ve had the privilege of attending a number of classes at the facility and this one was by far the most unusual.
Melting polyester stretch velvet was never on my bucket list of experiences to encounter. However, the teaser images used to gain my attention intrigued my curiosity. Most often when I complete one of Woodland Ridge Retreat’s classes I find myself returning home with multiple art pieces. For Susan Lenz’s class I carried with me fourteen different specimens. The item I am sharing today has been named It’s Melting, Art Piece 106.
Art Piece 106, just like the other ten, was created using a process of fusing and melting polyester stretch velvet. Stacks of polyester stretch velvet were adhered to a surface of black felt. Rows of free-motion stitching, with cotton thread, were added both for design and to connect the individual components together. The entire piece was then subjected to high heat using a heat gun as well as a wood burning tool.
The heat caused two things to happen: most of the felt melted away and the stacks of polyester stretch velvet fused together. As you will notice the black cotton thread remained intact. Cotton thread was used because it does not melt like polyester. If it had I would have ended up with twelve small sections rather than one finished piece. It’s Melting, Art Piece # 106 is similar in size to its other family members.
Perhaps someday you too will experiment with polyester stretch velvet and its melting properties. If you do I hope your adventures will produce amazing results.
Thank you for sharing in my passion for fiber art.
Known as Hide the Yellow, Art Piece 105, it measures 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. The base of this item is a blue floral cotton fabric. Cotton is used because it doesn’t melt when the polyester is exposed to extreme heat. Several layers of polyester shapes were fused on top of the cotton. They were then treated to a warm zap by a wood burning tool. Even if you look closely I don’t think you can tell where the melting occurred since I tried very hard to camouflaged it.
The process of creating art with polyester stretch velvet was a huge experiment. While I was truly impressed with the items my instructor, Susan Lenz, had achieved, my outcomes were not quite so stellar. In this instance I had used a very bright yellow polyester for one of my layers. I am fond of bright and bold colors but for this project it turned out to be a bad idea; the obnoxious yellow took the attention away from the other elements.
To tone down the blazing yellow I fused a layer of webbing over the entire surface. Strategically placed teal and gold polyester shapes were adhered to the webbing. To distract the eye even further I embellished this specimen with hand and machine quilting as well as black and gold colored beads. All of this trickery inspired me to title this project Hide the Yellow.
Each time I begin a new project the outcome is a mystery. Sometimes I have happy endings and other times not so much. Thankfully my odds seem to fall on the positive side. While Hide the Yellow is a bit odd I have added this one to the successful column.
Time once again to add another finished item to my portfolio! This fiber art piece is the ninth in my series of 14 polyester stretch velvet creations. Links to the other members can be found here. Measuring 7 3/4” x 9 3/4” it was assembled from both polyester and cotton fabrics. To add interest rows of hand stitching was incorporated.
The layer of fabric directly beneath the teal velvet was the inspiration for Art Piece 104’s name. Although it would be nearly impossible to tell, the reverse side of the material was printed with a rather ugly floral image. To camouflage the disturbing design I decided to flip the fabric over and use the underside instead. This change in orientation inspired me to name my piece Hide the Flowers. Hide the Flowers is currently for sale at Raven’s Wish in Janesville, Wisconsin.