Friday, June 29, 2012

New stitches and showdown, or show down!

Today we took down the fiberarts show, and I find that I have yet another sale from it, this is most unusual, I mean, wonderful! There's always that sense of postcoital tristesse after a show's down. All the self imposed pressure of working toward it, the creating of a body of work, the anxiety about its reception, the fun of getting it shown and getting responses, always very instructive, all the energy of the reception, and then suddenly it's over!

There is a possibility that what's not sold from this show, plus other pieces I have either at home or in progress, might be offered another solo show locally. Waiting to hear about that at the moment.

Meanwhile, heatwave again, over 100 F. expected today and a couple more days, so stitching quietly, among various other things, is the order of the day. I finished my little bird in the tree, even remembered to sign it with my initials.

This is my version of blackwork, and I love how the stripes on the flowers give, in rl, that is, an optical illusion of gray, caused by their shadows. This was great fun. Just a lawn handkerchief, from the thrift store, and regular black sewing thread, number 8 needle.

The design I both adapted and did freestyle, together. The bird I adapted from a lovely Dover book on blackwork, because it was just what I was going to draw anyway, and I freehanded the flowersand twigs and tendrils and all that. Then I chose stitches that with any luck, have shown the different textures of the bird and the twigs and the petals.

I have to stretch and tack this, as a framed piece.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Papermaking, next stage, and exciting news

Experiment with some of the very transparent paper you saw here recently -- molding onto stencil shapes. I figured a very easy way to do this: just lay the completely dry paper on top of the shape you want to mold-- this is how I did those molded faces in my fiberarts exhibit works -- then spritz with clear water until the paper has gently settled down into the shapes you put under it.

Then the hard part comes -- leave it totally alone, no disturbance for however long it takes to dry. Can be up to a week at room temp in the winter, but since today we have a heat index of 105 F. and the studio is at the top of the house, right under the roof, it may be done faster.

I'll show you the results if I get any! with any luck, this will be part of the entry I'm making for a group artist show in September.

Back at the fiberarts show, we are getting national coverage on it! next week a professional photographer and a rep. of our Embroiderers' Guild of America local chapter, one of my broidery buds, will take pictures for a feature written by the bud, upcoming in Needlearts, the national mag of the EGA, yay us!

This came about with no effort on my part, just enthusiasm from embroiderers who came by to see and enjoy and it went from there. You will remember my nervousness about having "real" embroiderers looking at my work. I think I misjudged the whole thing, what a concept! and given that the bud is a professional writer, in addition to being a stitcher, I think the whole thing is in good hands.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Clouds of lovely paper!

Here's the lacy result of yesterday's papermaking adventures. I deliberately made the pulp very watery to as to get the most fragile snowflaky, cloudy results, which are a lot tougher than they look. This is part of a work I hope to show at a group artists' exhibit in September. At least that's the plan.

Click to see better.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bloomsday Papergeddon

Today being Bloomsday, the day all good lit'ry folks hie on down to their local watering hole to get into their 24 hour marathon continuous reading of "Ulysses" this artist decided to honor the day by doing something completely irrelevant, and I think Joyce would have seen the joke, too.

Being a wonderful day, slight wind, bright sun, low humidity, this was a great day for outdoor artwork. So I made a batch of cotton linters paper, usual procedure, from raw cotton linters sheets (which are processed by the paper art people to be easy for those of us who don't have a room size Hollander beater on the premises), to blender which I use to process much water and raw paper into buckets of pulp, to making the sheets, by dipping my mold into the pulp transferred to a dishpan,to slapping them off first onto pieces of interfacing, to enable you to move them, then onto handy glass surfaces such as windows and the top of the patio table.

They'll dry nicely there, and peel off obligingly when ready. They tend not to blow away in the wind, too, a added attraction. Also they will have two sides, a glassy one which was in contact with the glass, and a rough one, exposed to air. And if you like the idea, you can spray water over the pulp while still wet, to make lacy designs. If it rains, same idea, don't panic, it will improve the paper.

Factory setup

This is a post of paper, that means a batch, interleaved with interfacing, and that's the last mold still resting on the top sheet. I'll remove it before going any further. Each piece of paper has its own interfacing, and you stack and then walk about on the heap to force gallons of water out before you pick up the post to remove the individual pieces.

Paper drying on patio door, note the cunning reflection of the rest of the batch on the table.

The shadows of leaves were just Nature getting in on the act, as the paper dries on the table.

Interfacing now out to dry, likewise various molds I used, mostly handmade by me from screening materials and plastic canvas.

I have longterm plans for the paper, but as yet too unformed to talk about in actual words, usual art situation. But I thought you'd enjoy the amazingly formal and factory like precision of my process. Yeah, that'll happen. The blender part took place indoors, safer than mixing electricity and water all over the patio.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Nice presser

Nice feature on the current fiberarts exhibit in the local newspaper here

Monday, June 11, 2012

EDM, artist's book today

I used a paper I'd done block printing on, my own carved printblocks, and made it into the cover of a new artist book, which will be a gift. I did the figure eight stitching on the inner pages,to create the signature, but attached it to the cover with the ribbon you see, so that the recipient can easily replace the inner pages when she uses them up. Book size is about 10 x 8 closed.

You'll notice that the back cover is heavily decorated, but I left the front largely open, so that the recipient can put whatever she wants on there! she's a great crafter, so she'll have all kinds of great ideas. The entire inside is blank, for her ideas, plans, designs, thoughts, whatever she likes.

I love my corner punch which I use to round off all the pages and the cover. Round corners look better for much longer than angled ones, and it's fun to do the punching. In fact I go around looking for things to punch. My cats vanish when they see me coming with this thing in my hand...they don't want rounded ears.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

EveryDayMatters June 5 Hanging Basket

Hanging basket, seen from below, in pen on mulberry paper.   Accidentally patriotic: red white and blue flowers.  The white and blue were chosen, and the red petunias were a gift I added in.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Fiberarts Exhibit, June 2012

If you are in or near the Public Library of Plainsboro NJ between June 2 and June 28, you're warmly invited to come visit my solo fiberarts exhibit in the gallery there. Reception on Monday June 4 at 6 p.m., please consider yourself invited if it's possible for you to get there. There's a sign in book at the entrance, where you can also pick up your copy of the catalog and the artist statement.

view of the outside wall at the gallery entrance

side view of front wall of gallery

Same wall, other direction

Back wall of gallery

Curator Donna Senopoulos and I spent several hours unpacking, deciding and hanging the show. I took a few pix to show you the general layout and some individual pieces. I'm happy with how full the show turned out to be, after working on the pieces as individuals for so long and not seeing the whole collection together until the show was hung.

This is very normal for me, in fact, since I never have enough room to collect an entire show at home in one place. This one was stored on various walls on three floors until I managed to round them all up and transport them.

Three part handmade paper and embroidery, narrative of decision, dissolution then resolution!

Three Part Meditation, hand dyed silk with freeform embroidery

Traditional Japanese silk fabric, altered with freeform embroidery, circled fish, knitted wire

Tango, saori weaving with artist-spun yarns

Charleston with Butterflies, altered batik-style fabric and Netted Fish, knitted twine with knitted wire fish inclusions

Running Chain, hand dyed silk with freeform embroidery

Labyrinth and Heads, metallic thread and trapunto on satin, Green Fire, hand dyed cotton fabric, with freeform embroidery, and drawing, and Modern Column, knitted sisal twine with artist made paper molded head

French Curves, three part handmade paper and embroidery

Modern Japanese linen, altered fabric with freeform embroidery and drawing in silver pen

Ceres, Goddess of Grain, knitted and crocheted

Carnival, hand dyed and freeform embroidery on polyester fabric

Ancient Column, crochet thread knitted in Feather and Fan and adapted stitches, artist-made molded paper head

Fashion Victim, knitted cotton with knitted wire and pitfired clay jewelry additions.

It's always a strange feeling to hang a show, partly relief at having managed to get everything done on time, and being pleased with how it looks, and the extra space it leaves. Extra space at home and in my mind, that is.

Click to see better! and thank you, all the blogistas who have encouraged and cheered me on in this long journey, from HP's last year to my own new life. All these pieces are for sale, just contact me via email if you're interested.