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    DAVID   T.   ARTS    

       I came across this unconventional fluffy as well as very long yarn locally in the clearance section one day.  While still in the store I searched the web to see what other colors were offered that were not currently in stock at the store I was in.  There were two blue colors in front of me so I thought of things in the world that are lengthy and blue.  Water, waves, maybe even the sky could be represented so I bought one of each colored blue and a red huge ball of yarn.  Even though I had two shades of blue that didn't mean that they would compliment each other and be able to appear in the same art piece as the sky and ocean.  I was only positive at that time that one of these blues would represent either the water or the sky. 

      After arriving home, I opened these balls of yarn and proceeded to feel and explore the material to see if it rips easily, thickness, flexibility, texture, color under different light, weight, and a couple of other things.  I then placed a piece of each of the blues next to each other to see which resemble what as I believed this particular blue would be the sky and the other shade of blue water.  Then I switched my opinion and made them represent the opposite.  Back and forth, again and again until I obviously wasn't sure so I waited until the next day to decide.  

      I finally arrived at a confident decision so it was time to continue with the scenery design sketched on paper.  The two blues would have to differ in style for contrast so the water became wavy and the sky straight lines.  White would be clouds in the sky and the 'pastel red' would have to be the sun since there were only about 6 colors of this type of material offered.  As my projects progressed in general, year after year they became physically larger.  For this one I was thinking gigantic so I asked my friend for some studio space and was welcomed.  The piece is 23 feet long by 6 feet wide and would have been longer but I was limited to the size of the room.  

     I brought in floor mats to cover the working area, plastic sheets and one large piece of felt fabric with other application tools that I thought I would need for this massive project.  I then started opening the yarn and laying it across the 23 foot area although I still wasn't sure if what I imagined to create was physically possible or would even look nice.  From my drawn images I placed a few pieces of each color into their designated areas and took a look.  It had potential.  My initial theory of 'needle felting" the material into the felt fabric would not look visually appealing I concluded, and because of the long length it needed to be connected at many points throughout to keep it joined and in place.  As I didn't want the connection points of the yarn to the fabric underneath to be visible, I felt my only option was to sew through the middle of this thick yet fluffy material with a giant needle and strong thread.  

     I laid out part of the whole sky across the 23 feet thinking that beginning at the top and working my way down to the more complicated water would be best.  Most of this work was done lying down to become eye level with the floor in order to sew through 4 and 5 strands.  After tying a knot in the back I moved over a few feet and repeated the process.

      As I began with the clouds I had already drawn a scribble of how I wanted to shape them on paper.  I needle felted the first end of the cloud material over the sky yet still through the fabric backing below.  After that first connection I then had to shape the material and make it look like a fluffy cloud.  Although I had drawn the image on paper it did not help during this new physical technique.  I curved the yarn and then needle felted the next part of the cloud to the fabric.  Needing to form the clouds with volume outward, I added some material to the center that would be covered with yarn soon enough.  This creative technique I was doing was new to me so the cloud construction was an improvised and nervous task of whether it would be successful or not during the process. 

      I also had to take into account that although I was working on the ground, this piece would at some point be held upright and gravity would guide parts of the hanging pieces of clouds and sun downwards into different positions. This material was discontinued by the company and pictures of this unique process can be seen on my 'Process' page. 

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