Thursday, May 31, 2012

Textiles In A Tube 2 and how I packaged my piece

Textiles in a Tube 2 show announcement

I don't enter many shows, but this one spoke to my sense of wonder.
Hmmm, what if I made a smaller version of this piece and was able to roll it up so that it fit into a mailing tube. (36 inch long x 3 inch diameter)? 

Challenge on.
Of course, I needed to make it and install the piece in my upstairs hall, photograph it and then wait to hear whether I was accepted. I thought, ok if I don't get in, I don't have to think about how I'm going to roll this up.
This is the work I entered.
It is 24 inches wide x 7 feet long and is approximately 10  to 12 inches deep.

Detail, showing the layers and reflection on the wall.
I received notification from the Riverworks gallery director, Fleming Markel, that the juror, Kathleen Loomis, selected my piece to be one of 14 that will be in the show. 

Here are some images of how I worked and created the piece in my house.

I worked in the entrance hall to the second floor of my house
Yes, I do have a bit of 'red' around my house...
The great mother of all inventions is Necessity.
Owning a home that was built in 1918, previous inhabitants used all sorts of clever means to improve the house throughout its life. 
I've never liked the tiles in this entrance, but now, I think they are the best asset for staging this type of artwork!

I used the styrofoam ceiling tile as the temporary "top" of the work and taped each sewed line to the tile. 

I tried to photograph it in the hall, but it just wasn't working, 
I couldn't get far enough away from the piece.
so, I removed the ceiling tile with the artwork attached.
I used duct tape to stick it all to the ceiling in the hall on the 2nd floor in my home.

Look up, you can see the silver duct tape holding the ceiling tile up.
The tape held it all for about 10 minutes, then it fell to the floor.

I thought that if I should get into the show, I'll transfer everything to metal rods for the 'real' installation.

Well, I did get in, and I did transfer everything and make it all nice and tidy for shipping and easy (I hope) easy installation.

I also created a step-by-step document for the gallery.

Here's how I wrapped the piece.

There are 4 rods at the top of the piece, with thread lines looped over the rods.
This photo is actually the last photo before I rolled the work up to fit into the tube.
This is a picture of my floor in my living room.
I placed a piece of plastic 'tablecloth' material on the floor, then placed the first layer of the artwork onto the plastic.
Layering the work for packaging

If you look closely, you can see the 'ghost' of the previous layers below the plastic sheet.
This is the Red Tulle that hangs as one of the layers.

I decided to share these photos and write a bit about all the steps it took to create the piece, photograph it, enter it, ship it and so on.

Even when an artwork looks simple or simple-to-make, nothing is completely simple.

Thanks for your time today.

If you're near Greenville, South Carolina anytime between June 1 and July 15, 2012. Stop into the  RIVERWORKS Gallery
Greenville Technical College's downtown gallery
At Art Crossing on Riverwalk in Greenville, SC
and see the show.


  1. Oh, wow Christine! Thanks for this. It reminded me of how I temporarily glued a large wooden book together for jury photos....and how I had to coax it apart, clean the glue off and beautifully finish it after it had been accepted for the final jury! It teaches us that we can do ANYTHING we set our minds to..........Bravo!

    1. Now that's a story where you really didn't think you were going to get in! Good job!
      Yes, we can do anything we set our minds to. While I was making the piece, I stayed mindful of the size and maintained focus to make it just fit perfectly into the tube. It worked.

    2. Yes...mine was a meditation on completion.....and I was actually challenged to do it by a friend...... the rest of the story was it was not accepted into the show I believe because of it's size and weight.......that which I expected all along (it was a traveling show, without size restrictions).....and I still persisted....and actually completed two of them!

      Congratulations on being accepted into this show....your piece is wonderful.

  2. i'm in this show, too!

    i love that you shared your practical challenges with the piece and also how you packaged it. it's a great... i wish i could see it in person.

    i was afraid mine wouldn't fit in my mailing tube, but after tying and wrapping it in plastic, it finally fit, albeit, snuggly!

    1. Yeah! Congratulations Drew. This should be a nice show.

  3. Great piece! Thanks for sharing how you packaged it. WI is pretty far from NC so I'll depend on the web. :)

    1. Thank you. My next piece will be much larger and involve more of these stitches strips. I am going into my mind palace now.

  4. What a wonderful and creative piece, Christine. I really am finding myself more and more intrigued by installations that transform an area. I also can imagine the interplay of air movement on this piece. It's just beautiful!

    1. I encourage you to step towards that direction Valerie. It is a a fun process.

  5. How wonderful! Congratulations on being chosen for the show and figuring out how to roll it to ship in the tube. Love your story of the process...especially regarding the duct tape. Just too good!

    1. Jennifer, the duct tape idea was born in a moment of desperation. Thank you for commenting.

  6. Congrats!!!

    Would love to get down there and see this 'incarnation.' The tulle adds an interesting you mind sharing the evolution?
    Anyway, I loved the original and this whole concept.
    Thanks for sharing (and the packing process, too)...we have those d*mn acoustical tiles in our house, too (a 1928 bunged-up-alow) and I've always HATED them. So nice that they've made their butt-ugly little selves useful! (Hmmm...stabbing them with little nails or pushpins in the name of art...hmmm...justifiable torture...;-)
    And I love how your art's starting 'migrating' off the walls...2-D made 3-D!

    1. Hi Trena, Here's my artist statement that addresses the inclusion of the red tulle.

      My work investigates how making marks using simple tools can occupy space. The intention for Flow was to create marks with two self-imposed problems: first, to fill 3-dimensional area and second, to achieve a mental state of focus and full involvement within the process of assembling the work.

      Mark making is my response to the demands and needs of life-events that often seem uncontrollable. This discovery has been the conduit for creating a calm mind and state of relaxed awareness for me. The red transparent Rubylith masking film has been stitched together using thread. The thread becomes less noticeable as one gains distance from the work. The red strips are directly related to how marks are made on a flat surface. The soft red tulle hanging within the strips of sewn red lines acts as a secondary opacity layer where the viewer may be able to rest ones’ eyes, if even for a brief moment, before continuing to move visually from mark to mark around the sculpture.

  7. i've enjoyed this post so much, content as well as comments! am picturing the work being released at its destination, after the confinement of travel
    thinking how i might feel in a small box, wantng to kick out my legs and ruffle my hair and wave my arms about
    i wonder if Flow will feel like that...
    also liked your mention of the 'mind palace'. i go into the woods/desert/fly to the ocean in my head quite a lot.

    1. Your description of the work being released is nice. Thank you India.

  8. thanks christine for documenting the whole of this. a thoughtful extension of your process.

    1. Glad you got my intent. Sometimes, I wonder about the process behind a piece, thought I'd like to share mine.

  9. Great article Christine! You stepped up the challenge that TNT offers. I will be taking some installation shots later this week and will send some to you. Congratulations!

    1. Pictures will make me very happy. Thank you for encouraging me to push forward.

  10. Christine, that piece is just fabulous, and your packaging is brilliant! Congrats!

  11. How beautiful is that. All I can say is WOW!
    It was nice talking on the phone with you. Take care Tracy


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