Friday, March 26, 2010

Hand Painted Mohair ~ Sneak Peek!

Tonight my studio smells like wet mohair. I think most people would wrinkle their noses and I wouldn't blame them, but I guess wet animal fiber has become a familiar smell to me. After all, it's what I do.

My dad built wooden boats and as a kid, I came to love the smell of sawdust. His boat shop was on the water and his neighbors were a crab picking business and a scalloping company. So really, it was the smell of sawdust, salty air, and seafood. That odd combination is my favorite smell in the world. It's the olfactory representation of my childhood. Sometimes I wonder if the smell of animal fibers will be a happy one for my kids.

I work with all kinds of fibers, but today was mohair day at Wind Rose Fiber Studio. I just received a shipment from Texas where I purchase scoured mohair locks and kid mohair roving. Mohair comes from the Angora goat like this handsome fellow here. I just love the curl and the shine is amazing. You might think curly fiber would be more coarse, but mohair is silky soft. Look how nice and long it is. Mohair typically has a longer staple length of around 4 to 5 inches.

Tomorrow I'll be back with nice pictures taken in natural lighting. For tonight, I have a sneak peek. This is a length of the kid mohair roving that I have hand painted in sapphire and violet. The color is lost in the light of my energy saving compact fluorescent bulbs, but you can see the curl and that awesome shine. I painted three colorways today and I also kettle dyed some of the mohair locks. They are looking very pretty and I can't wait to show them off.

My youngest son was just passing through and I asked him to go into my studio and tell me what it smells like. He said he couldn't smell anything which made me laugh. I don't know if animal fiber will be a happy, nostalgic scent for my boys later in life, but I'm sure it will be familiar.

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