Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Bahdeebahdu, is a working studio for design and the development of art, sculpture and furnishings at 1522 N. American St. in Philadelphia, PA. I don't know the story behind the name but I know I like it. The website makes it look like an interesting place so I put it on my list when my sister and I set out to gallery hop in Philly. I didn't just like the space, I loved it. We were there on a rainy day in April and it was the highlight of our trip. One of the owners RJ, was very welcoming and let me take pictures.

The reception desk is covered with toys mostly painted white.


Here's a close up. Wow!


Beautiful art, beautiful furnishings, and amazing trash to treasure light fixtures and sculptures. This is excerpted from their website "Warren Muller’s sculptures radiate more than just light when displayed in the context of a home, office, restaurant or retail space. Infused with meaning, they convey a sense of excitement and delight to both our clients and their guests alike. With his partner, Interior Designer RJ Thornburg, Warren has collaborated on projects that include the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History, Digitas Healthcare and the Westin Hotel in Philadelphia."




Here's a picture of the shop in the back with shelves of cool stuff. This place is truly a hoarder's delight.


This hangs outside above the door.


The doors themselves are super cool, obviously salvaged. I had to photograph them from both sides.



I hope to make one of their openings which are held on second Thursdays of the month.

I think they inspired this little installation which my sister helped me hang in my dining room window the same week. I was also inspired by my friend Delainey Barclay, whose installation I wrote about here.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Silk Sculpture Progress

I've been working on a silk sculpture for my June show in the Elizabeth Denison Hatch Gallery at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, DE. It's coming along. I'm planning to show this with a new large diptych oil painting.

I thought I'd show you what goes into making this piece. I start with silk organza and nuno felt it with off white wool. Here I'm laying out the wool.

Here I'm drizzling warm soaping water over it until it's soaked.


It's a little hard to see white on white so I also photographed the same process with turquoise wool.


Next I cover it with another layer of bubble wrap and roll it up.


I wrap it in a towel and roll it back and forth.

Then I unroll it and rub my hands over the back of the silk further working the wool fibers through the silk. In this part of the process I can actually see the wool fibers coming through to the back of the silk.


After that comes the fun part, I rinse the soap out and throw it on the table with force at least 200 times. It's called felling and it shrinks and compacts the wool which in turn makes the silk crinkle.



It's time to dye it in a puddle of dye and let it dry untouched for a few days. Here it is dry.


I have to steam it before I cut out the pieces.



Here's a stack of the pieces ready to be sewn together.


I've sewn them together, put wire in the seams and hung them up in my studio.

I'm working on color and composition issues but in 3 dimensions, instead of 2 which is a whole different ballgame. I'm trying to find the balance between too much, and too little. Then, there's the whole logistical issue of how to hang it.

Here I played around with adding the bubble silk to it. I'm going to make some pieces with smaller bubbles in a lighter color. I have a lot of work left to do! If you're in the Wilmington area I'll have my studio open this Friday from 5-9 pm at the DCCA.