Friday, May 23, 2014

Urban Grunge

To live in the Los Angeles metropolitan area is to live in a megalopolis. I live just 20 miles south of LA in Long Beach and the grit, grime and grunge of city living becomes a tapestry of every day urban life. On my daily dog walks I hustle along sidewalks that are cracked and covered with words, with arrows telling me where to turn, lines showing where to park, and stenciled numbers indicated the not to exceed speed limit. Vivid colors abound in the form of orange cones, purple recycled bins, yellow street signs, graffiti inked walls and chalked sidewalks.  These colorful and stimulating streets sights are a part of my life and inspired me to create an urban grunge nuno felted shawl.  Modeled by my local coffee house server, Sammi wears it oh so well.

 I started the shawl by laying down various pieces of silk, some hand dyed and some from vintage saris. I added a layer of gray merino roving. And then the playing started as I got into my grunge mode. I applied some prefelts creating the yellow parking lines, colors and textures. I applied some painter's tape so I could later cut into it creating the cracked sidewalks. I added spikes and craters and nuno inclusions of things found on the sidewalk like stones, beads, coins and bullet casings (really though I have never seen bullet casings on the sidewalk so that was my artistic license). I added cut up modeled prefelts to look like worn out gum and dirt. And other things were thrown in like Habu's paper yarn,silk hankies and words and numbers printed on silk.