The favorite spice of fiber artists
Even when I worked with fiber and encaustic, I bounced back and forth between letting the wax glow unimpeded versus adding waxed linen and wire to create surface texture (see example of Plumage 6 and 7 above). Now that I am creating feathers by screen-printing on fused plastic bags I have started to feel the tidal pull towards adding texture again.
Since I am working on a larger scale, I wanted to test drive some texture options on smaller pieces. In a new circular black piece, I tied in black plastic zip ties and painted the tips. Although the texture alludes to nesting material, the plastic speaks to ecological threats to birds and the drastic reduction of nesting habitat that they are facing.
I’ve also tried tying in waxed linen and wire thread. I love working with these materials because they have a mind of their own and curl in wild and unpredictable ways. Texture enlivens the surface of the feathers and evokes the threads that birds use to feather their nests in nature.
There’s a time and a place for using texture and I anticipate adding it when I want more visual excitement and forgoing it when I prefer a more tranquil surface. Let me know if you have a favorite texture.