The Solution

Sometimes creating art is easy.  It flows smoothly and emerges beautifully and before you know it, there it is, finished and lovely.  And sometimes creating  grinds away at your soul, abrasive like sandpaper, wearing down the edges until you’re left with a little pile of shavings and dust and you wonder if it was all worth it.  When I have days like this, I set it aside until I have the strength of spirit to revisit my monster and sand it down some more.  Or sometimes I persevere, doggedly determined to win the fight.

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose, but either way you gave it your all.  And funny thing, whether you loved the end result or not,  I find that there is usually someone out there who loves the monster you hated.  And often as not, there is someone who hates the darling you love.  Art is so subjective.  As much as I would like it if other people loved my darlings and hated my monsters right along with me, years ago I gave up on controlling my audience.  Once it leaves my hands, it’s out of my hands.

The Winged Chair project is still unfolding, but with my cement failure grinding away at me, I had to find another way to win.  So I turned to the tool that has come to my rescue on countless craft projects.

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Thank you Arrow products!

Ah, the lowly glue gun.  How I turned mine eyes from thy trigger and hot sticky messiness!  You rescued my project from the depths of failure and have redeemed yourself as the maker of high art.  As I turned towards my trusty side-kick, the project took off again.  Speed is of the utmost when using hot glue and I had to develop some new skills rather fast when it came to smoothing out the feathers of fabric.  The glue oozes out in thick wads and cools so fast, the only way to flatten was to run the brayer over the fabric in short bits… often gumming up the roller, necessitating the scraping of glue bits off before moving on to the next part.  I figured it out though and was able to concentrate on my work as the cement fumes were no longer an issue.

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Art, like building, is sometimes  an exercise in problem solving.  When I figured out that building a house was just a series of problems to solve any intimidation I had thinking that a woman couldn’t do the same thing melted away.  Women are excellent builders.  The only thing stopping us is us.  Ok, some good upper body strength comes in handy, but there are ways around that too if you think and… problem solve!

So, next problem on the table was the brocade. Such a picky fabric.  First it didn’t take to the cement.  Then it unravelled mercilessly.  I stopped that nonsense with a judicial application of Gorilla Tape to the back, a good deep press with the brayer and voila!  Clipped those wings right out.

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The backside of brocade sheathed in Gorilla Tape. Good stuff!

The hot glue didn’t bind the edges of the fabric as well as the cement, but I remembered a little crafting secret and used a match to sizzle off loose threads.  Ok, there are too many threads.  Hmmm… what do I have that could melt the fabric edges?

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Caution: tool gets HOT.

Why my wood burner soldering tool should do the trick.  Not only that, it began to crisp up the edges and remelt any scraps of glue.  Aha!!  I liked that effect so I began to draw on some of the fabric with the burner.

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Just starting to darken (by melting) the tips of these feathers.

A flurry of feather shading began at this point.  I used the burner and permanent markers to define some of the edges.  I added some embellishments… maybe more to follow, I’ll have to stand back and ponder that for a bit.  I want to get both wings together before the final touches.

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Getting there!

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Scout takes a snooze through most of this. It’s been raining like crazy so she’d rather nap.

Next post will probably be the finished product, so it may be a few days.  This project has really gotten into my skin… hopefully not with any toxic chemicals!  Still, I find myself thinking about it and wondering what the next one will look like.  This morning I even had a few moments where I wondered how I’d feel sitting in a chair like that.  Would I hear better?  The wings will probably bounce some sound around.  Would I feel like an Angel?  A Queen?  A Fool?  A Genius?

I like that last part.  I’m going with that.