Title: Deep Forest
Size: 4″ x 48″ x 2″
Deep Forest was made using yarn, twine, leather, and buttons mounted on a wood board.
Deep Forest was created out of necessity just before the start of Artomatic 2015. The day after I finished installing my work, I received an email from another artist. Her daughter had fallen in love with a piece I had on display, Sublime. Her daughter’s birthday was just a few weeks away and Artomatic hadn’t started yet. While the artist told me she understood that the piece had to hang through the end of the show, I realized that if I could make something quickly enough, I could give her Sublime in time for her daughter’s birthday. Thus Deep Forest was born.
When I went into my studio, my primary concern was finding something that was long & narrow like Sublime. In what can only be described as synchronicity, I happened to have a long, narrow piece of poplar. I had bought it years earlier to use as a shelf in my basement but I never used it so it just sat in my studio.
I decided to wrap this in various types of twine & yarn because I had just finished Vintage, which is a canvas wrapped in twine. Before I began to wrap, I had to first paint the board green & attach the hanging hardware (a lesson learned the hard way). Then I started wrapping.
I had no clear idea of what I was going to do, I just started wrapping. I had recently bought green twine so that’s what I started with. Then I moved on to various other things like yarn and hemp. I used a single material until I felt I needed to use a different one. Wrapping a piece this long takes several hours. You have to keep a constant tension on the twine (or related material) which is hard on your fingers. Using finger protectors is helpful to reduce the rope-burn effect but they have a tendency to make wrapping harder overall so I only used them when my fingers really started to hurt. By the time I was done, I realized the beige yarn (that had hints of color randomly scattered on it) looked something like really abstracted birch trees. That gave me the inspiration for the title but I felt like it needed something more. The yarn alone just wasn’t enough.
I had some leather cord lying around thought they would make interesting abstract plant stems. Then I was faced with a bigger problem, finding something to put on them to make that abstraction a bit less, um, abstract. I have a lot of random materials in my studio but after an hour of trying everything I could think of, I was at a loss. It was late at night & I was running out of time. I needed to finish this piece ASAP if I was going to be able to switch out Sublime before the installation period ended. So I went to the one store open at 11pm: Wal-Mart. I found these little resin buttons that look like crocheted flowers that were perfect.
Before gluing the buttons on, I took a bit of off-white twine and tied it through the buttonholes. I think it makes the buttons look a bit more like abstract flowers and a bit less like buttons. Then I glued the buttons on. I signed the piece and was done with one day left in the installation period! I drove over the next day & switched Deep Forest for Sublime. One little girl got her new favorite piece of art and I made my first sale of the show.