Saturday, March 26, 2016


"Mother Nature and Child",  14 1/4" X 10" X 6 3/4"   Lori LaBerge  2016

Working with industrial felt has been proving to be both a joy and a challenge.  I am loving that I can expand the use of metal that has been employed in my rug hooked work.  

Here are a few challenges I ran into working on "Mother Nature and Child":

1.  Flexibility is the key component of most fiber work.  It allows for manipulation.  The weight and thickness of the felt determines how much flexibility will be allowed.  I used an F15 felt that is 3/8" thick.

The work from another angle.  Lori LaBerge  2016

2.  The addition of metal to the work affected the movement of the felt.  Metal has weight which pushes down on the felt.  I let this happen in this work as I was intrigued by the shape it was taking.  A decision will have to be made with future work as to whether to continue allowing the fiber to fall naturally or to add a support system to force it into a particular shape.  This would depend on the design of each piece.

Looking down into the work,  Lori LaBerge  2016

3.  The closer I brought the top screws to each other, the more height could be added to the piece.  How the metal is attached greatly affects shape.

4.  The felt could easily be cut with an exacto knife.  This gave a clean cut, though care had to be taken.  Due to thickness two swipes of the knife were needed.  If the second cut did not meet the first cut, a ridge was left on the edge of the felt.

Bent spade point needle

5.  Solid, sharp needles were needed to bring the thicker yarns through the felt.  I used industrial steel needles.  A bent or straight spade point with wide eyes worked though effort was needed to pull the needle through the felt.  Felt can also be cut with a laser or waterjet.  

6.  I am looking into leather cutting tools and punches to work with shapes in the future.

This piece was planned to include a rug hooked bottom.  I decided this would just be too busy if it was included.  The next work will be tapered down, allowing for a rug hooked section to be attached.

Knowing what not to include is as important as what to include in a piece.  Try editing ideas, perhaps bringing those ideas into two separate works rather than trying to fit them all into one work and have a great day. 

Saturday, March 19, 2016


"Sway" ,  34 3/4" X 13 1/4"  Lori LaBerge  2016

"Sway" was juried into the Handweaver's Guild of America's "Mixed Bag: All Media Art Exhibit".  This is an international juried exhibit featuring high quality, contemporary works created in any material using any fiber technique.  The juror was Beverly Gordon, a retired professor in the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of the book below. 

The exhibit corresponds with the HGA annual "Convergence" conference.  The conference will include exhibits, workshops and  textile tours.  This year's conference will be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 30-August 6.  Karen Donde and Catherine Ellis, two well known artists in the Asheville area will be holding workshops this year.

Here is what is in progress this week:

Smaller section of "Mother Nature and Child",  5 1/2" X 4" X 4" , 2016.  This will be attached to the larger section.

Larger section of "Mother Nature and Child" being stitched.  24" X 8" flat (the piece will be rounded for the completed work)

Next week, I will go over what I am learning working with industrial felt and why certain decisions are being made as work progresses.

Attend a class or show, experiment with new media and have a great day.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


It's the Yellow Building, Can't Miss It", 10" X 13",  Lori LaBerge  2016

Yellow is a color I don't often use in landscape pieces.  It's a difficult color to dye to a specific shade and stands out in a piece.  Though this building found in the woods is gray in reality, it had small spots of yellow.  I decided to make one whole section of the building yellow.  

The work started as a drawing on linen on site in Black Mountain, NC.  I left out quite a bit of shrubbery and branches and simplified the wooded area on the left from how it looked in reality.   All of the branches would have driven attention away from the building and the windows, where I wanted the main focus.  The piece was brought home and hooked in the studio.

I started planning out the next sculptural landscape work for exhibit.  This piece will contain a miniature rug hooked runner using upholstery fabric which the felted work will sit upon.  

Starting to get supplies and tools in order.  I drilled holes in the edges of the felt where metal rods will be placed.  There will be two sections with one inside of the other. 

I also updated my website at this morning.  I added an exhibition page with photos to give a bit of history and deleted anything distracting on the site.  This means plain photos of artwork with no text unless photo is clicked on and a larger photo on the home page.  I'll take a well deserved day off tomorrow, technology exhausts me!

Look at colors you would not usually use, try using them liberally, have fun and have a great day.

Saturday, March 5, 2016


"Fault Line" in progress, 13 1/2" X 9", Lori LaBerge  2016

A new power adapter for my computer arrived late Thursday.  It was a full 8 day withdrawal with no way to get power to the laptop, which is about 7 years old.  I see a new computer in the near future.  Though some paperwork suffered, I was still able to hook.  In the above photo, the placement of metal parts is being worked on. 

The original plan had been for a red line through the piece.  Even though the red was quite bright it seemed expected and was a bit boring.  Yellow fit the bill with its contrast to both the grays and browns. 

The close-up shows horizontal lines, a diagonal line and vertical lines.  The yellow fault line breaks the two brown sections with the variance in direction relating to that break.

In this first version, above, I noticed when looking at the brown sections my peripheral vision led my eyes away toward the washer in the bottom corner.  

In comparison, the final design at the top of this post shows the white lines added to the light gray section. Since the white and the washer draw the eye equally, they balance each other out.  The eye now flows around the piece through a simple change in line placement.

"Across the Field"   Lori LaBerge  2016

Everything is on schedule for the landscape show.  "Across the Field" was finished early in the week and awaits framing.

View some artwork, notice the importance of line and have a great day.