Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Sneak Peek! Himmeli 3-D Sculptures

Himmeli is a traditional Finnish handcraft that would be hung above the dinner table to ensure that next year’s rye crop would be plentiful.  Traditionally, Himmeli ornaments were made by threading string through dried straw and creating 3-dimensional sculptures.  Himmeli are generally rotationally symmetrical and they are hung from the top point by thin sewing thread upon the ceiling. Himmeli will spin with a slight flow of air.  The name Himmeli comes from the Germanic word Himmel (sky).

You can see the artists were so busy at work this week creating with straws and hemp twine to create their own Himmeli!! This will be a two-week project and most of the sculptures are intricate and large. 

 Instead of ensuring a prosperous grain harvest I thought these modern Himmeli would ensure that this Valentines day is rich with love! 

Natalie is making a fantastic sculpture, even hand-tying each knot! It's hard work! She took a break and visually recorded the process. The drawing shows all the cut straws and both her and her brother at work!

If you are interested in making your own Himmeli you can use the easy-to-follow instructions below! You can find red and black straws at Smart & Final or beautiful paper (decorative, patterned & color) straws at your local craft store, or online. Have fun!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pigeon Portrait

Capturing the profile, iridescence and plumage of the pigeon was the goal of our first project of the semester!

We began this project with preliminary sketches, then transferred those drawings onto vintage sheet music 
and then filled it with a thin white base coat to soften the musical notes that we were painting on. 

Next we used acrylic to put down a bright base coat and then we added layers of darker paint over it, leaving just a bit of the bright underpainting to create the illusion of iridescence. 

96 birds fledged the nest (left the studio) this week and each one was unique! Some flew away so fast I failed to get photos of them. A big thanks to Monique for suppling the vintage music sheets and for Annie letting her King Pigeon Stefani be our live model in the studio!