Kelli Gleiner
artist and author

thoughts and fuzzy doodles

experimenting

I've been doodling and painting what my friend called "chicken rocks" since I was in college, and have always wanted to create soft sculptures involving them. These "chicken rock" doodles mark time and have allowed me to have a language when I didn't have words. In the last few months, I've been experimenting with felting pieces, cutting into them, and manipulating the layers underneath. These little "felty rocks" were the first two pieces I played with:

Felty rock friends. Photo and art by Kelli Gleiner

Felty rock friends. Photo and art by Kelli Gleiner

What I love about these is the exposure of the insides, the way the material is felted so much that the colors are starting to rub away, like an aged worry stone. These work so well because they're small, soft, and open. 

I decided to go bigger (9 inches in a completely needlefelted orb is rather large), but this is an instance in which I think I could do more with less. 

C, image and artwork by Kelli Gleiner

C, image and artwork by Kelli Gleiner

This piece was created for exhibited at Brazee Street Studios as part of their "Fiber?" show. Inspired in part by the Cairns of artist Andy Goldsworthy, I wanted to explore the hard-soft duality through fiber. Now that the piece is back in my possession, I want to play with it more, add "doors" to it, sew and felt into it, add notions and mementos. The openings are too large to be intimate, there needs to be some closure or even pieces of the cut-out shapes put back in. I will probably wreck it and rebuild it several times. And it's mine, so that's okay. 

This is probably the best way for me to use a blog: to mark my experiments, to make notes as I explore. As much as I dread photographing pieces, I recognize that for a process blog post, an iPhone image will suffice. So, onwards and upwards. As I create, carve up, paint on, and add to these little felty rocks, I will document and share my findings, my journey, my frustrations, my successes.