Several of these works are from my solo show Beneath the Surface. I think of them as geodes, which I am drawn to because of their contrast in inner and outer form - rough stone to crystal. These pieces speak to the beauty and simultaneous strength of nature - as both a subject and medium for art.
The growth processes of geodes is also conceptually of interest to me as they inform and relate to my wet felting process. Wet felting, by hand, results in a densification of matter, which it shares with the geological process through which geodes are created –water and pressure being primary elements in each. Wet felting is very physical work, particularly on this scale, and involves the building up of layer upon layer, then felting and shrinking, then building up again. These pieces were extremely heavy when wet, not unlike stones of their size would be.
I am interested in the tension between form and freedom visually, and as a reoccurring tension in life. Here the paper represents form, the space, freedom. The thread, delicate and supple, plays between the two, carrying the qualities of both.
Kapa is the term native Hawaiians used for the barkcloth they employed for clothing, bedding and for a variety of other secular and ceremonial purposes. The most common plant used in the making of Hawaiian kapa was wauke (the paper mulberry tree/ Broussonetia papyrifera). Wauke can produce barkcloth of varied textures: from coarse to very fine and gauzelike.
Over the past four years, I’ve studied traditional Hawaiian kapa-making, and I enjoy every aspect of this labor-intensive method of processing and creating it. While I continue to honor and use traditional methods of processing and wauke, I am also interested in exploring new ways of working with this beautiful fiber and integrating it into my work. The works represented here include pieces that combine wauke with different fibers, such as thread, silk or wool. In some cases I embroider the kapa, but in all cases, I use natural plant pigments to print or dye each piece.