Sunday, September 29, 2013

The red flower is developing

Here's the current state of the flower.  I'm using a single ply of embroidery floss in dark red, medium red, light orange and a variegated thread running from pink to dark red, also a fine gold thread.  Beads and french knots in the center for the heart of the flower.

This is really engrossing to stitch, exactly like drawing, and trying to follow the natural contours of the petals, and observing their rounded and curving shapes.  I will use different stitches on the leaves and stem, though.  The flower is long and short stitch, split stitch and some stem here and there.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Festival of the Arts 2013 Plainsboro

Yesterday was the annual Festival of the Arts of Plainsboro, complete with visual arts displayed on clotheslines, waving in the wind!  weaving indoors on the giant Earthloom, Chinese knotting, stitching -- the Embroiderers' Guild put up a display and works in progress, and several members took care of the stitching requirements of visitors -- music of all kinds, including symphonic, chalked mandala, indoor gallery exhibit of found object art, outdoor musical instruments from found objects, food, jewelry, fingerpainting, Chinese painting and calligraphy, Indian henna handpainting,you name it, it probably was there!  all ages and species -- a couple of nice dogs being petted endlessly --  taking part happily, great atmosphere.

I got a nice Community Award, which involved flowers, pix, highly flattering descriptions, and I felt quite famous for a bit there.

Great props to library Director Carol Q, event coordinator and gallery curator Donna S, and cow-toting country girl Julie D, who in real life is the children's librarian.  They are the kind of professionals who make a huge event look like a spontaneous eruption of art and joy, while staying totally calm and on top of it all.  While paddling furiously under the water!

I'll just give you a rapid tour, and you'll see the loom in various stages. The small helpers organizing the red thread were there before opening time, and helped me cut and count the leashes you see traveling up the sides of the weaving as it progresses. Then everyone, including the Deputy Mayor, tried their hands.  I was very happy when I observed several times one youngster teaching another, and bringing their friends to join in.

The loom was mobbed all afternoon, with people working on several different areas at once, ending with the final weaver beside the almost completed weaving, at closing time.  

I need only add the top few rows of stabilizing stitches before the saori weaving, which consists of plarn -- plastic yarn created from shopping bags -- and scraps of fabric and regular yarns,  is a complete artwork ready for mounting permanently in the children's department.  It's about art and recycling!

More adventures for me in the next few months with this loom, about which more later...

Thursday, September 19, 2013

New blog for lovers of embroidery

My embroidery guild asked me to set up a blog for our chapter's doings, and if you'd like to go here:

you can be in on the ground floor with our first ever blogpost.  It's set up so you can follow by entering your email under the header and following the, pretty simple, prompts.

I'll be putting up pix of our events, works in progress, whatever's up in this dynamic group!  and we'd welcome your comments.  I've set up comment moderation but not those annoying captcha letters.

I'll still be working busily in here, with my own blog, though, not going anywhere!

Old fashioned rose under way now

The big generous rose I drew is now developing into an embroidery.  I'm using half a dozen shades of red including one which shades to pink and back.  Probably none of these will photograph true, you know how cameras are red-shy, but anyway, here's the start, on sage green linen (same color as I used before on a goldwork piece earlier), using techniques of filling in and split stitch and things I've never done before.  It's interesting. But now I need to stop and rest my eyes.

I should probably explain that I'm not trying to reproduce the drawing in stitches.  I'm doing what the threads want to do, which is different from what the pen wanted.  It's the same subject, but a different approach.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The World of Textiles, Cleveland style

I was a guest at the Princeton Rug Society meeting this afternoon, for a power point presentation of images from the textile collection of the Cleveland (Ohio, that is) Museum of Art, created by the member who was just there and spent the day seeking out textiles from the galleries of the museum.  They are interspersed with other artworks, so it was a lot of footwork for her.  Not very practical to take pix of her images, since the flash would be disturbing to the other people, so I'll just aim you here  and suggest you browse a while.  

Great collection, and though a lot of the textiles don't have images, those that do will enlarge if you click, and bring up information about the materials, size, provenance of the piece.

Then the members present had a show and tell of their own pieces, with great expertise on what they are, and generosity in letting people handle items such as a Quebecois child's coat, 19th century, another Canadian piece, a fingerwoven sash made by monks with  amazing fineness of detail, batiks, goldworked and silk woven pieces,

and a section of Asian embroidery for use in women's clothes, an export to the west.  The round piece is backed with Russian trade goods fabric, so you see it back and front.

Although the society is officially about rugs, in fact the membership is interested and knowledgeable in many textile forms, and they collect a wide range of them. As a goldwork embroiderer, if a learner, I was interested in the goldwork on some of the slides and in person, and noticed that there was reverse couching on one goldworked piece, very finely done. 

Great afternoon for textile lovers, and, since the meeting was in the same library as the needlework exhibit I'm taking part in, I happily referred them to that on their way out.   I took pix of our Guild's needlework show, and will be setting them up in then inaugural blogpost of Princeton Embroiderers Guild, our new blog for guild news.  I'll give you a link when that's up and running.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Pairs Project goes on!

I found some promising drawings for transformation into needlework while I was looking out art to display at next week's Festival of the Arts, serendipitous finds, and picked one, which had great significance at the time I drew it in a journal.  

The page, trimmed out but keeping the wording as well as the flower drawing, is one of the pair,and I translated it across to a blocked out image on sage green linen for a bit more goldwork and other things, too.

Art is bustin' out all over, what with the stitchery exhibit I am taking part in and which I'll pic for the embroiderers' blog (and give a link in Art the Beautiful, if I like my results, so you can see what our entire group is up to), and the Festival, at which I'm seeing to the earth loom using plarn, and being a presence there with the embroiderers, as well as having a clothesline exhibit of art outside,along with other artists from our association,from tree to tree!  and there's a ceremony in the middle of it all, in the middle of which I have to be.

Meanwhile, back in a calmer space, here's the current pair.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Embroiderers strut their stuff

The monthly general meeting of the embroiderers' guild was all about show and tell, with projects completed, projects under way and a lot of sharing about how they were done and why -- a lot of family history is involved in stitching.

The artworks covered two full tables -- and this was in addition to those which are already out in an exhibit, pix of that soon, and a number of us came away with new ideas for yet more projects.  Yeah!  I'm now all about adding to the goldwork and dyed silk with another refinement on that, which I'll get into and show you if any results happen to emerge!  for the source of my excitement, scroll down to the picture of Ginny holding an exquisitge painting/stitching of iris.

Some lovely works under glass didn't make it into this post, likewise a beautiful white on white monogram display, and the white Mountmellick piece you see above is off color in here, in my attempts to make it visible at all! the lighting was a bit indoorish!  but you get the gist.  It was wonderful.  What a talented group, if I may say so...

This may be the last time the embroiderers are covered in Art the Beautiful Metaphor, since I'm on the brink of creating a new blog just for the EGA chapter, and when it's open, I'll let you all know where to find it!  It will be largely pictures of us at work and play and us on our exhibits and trips. Watch this space!

Art the Beautiful will resume its usual headlong dash through my own work, though, so don't go away, folks, there's more in here, too.

Cherry Ripe! and the beads go on..

I was given some seed beads recently, perfect timing, that were exactly what I needed for the cherry motifs in this piece, so I had a lot of fun, with the assistance of two cats, transferring these minute glass items from a pop-open container (label says open with care, well, yeah) into a little bag, for easier pickup with my needle. Once again I found some of them with my bare feet on the wood floor.

Anyway, the fruiting of the tree is under way, and I love the way beads literally add weight to the piece.  Liking this a lot, and I'll be sorry when it's done.

Monday, September 2, 2013

It looks as if a wild cherry tree is trying to emerge

As I started work on the piece, the shapes began to emerge more clearly and it looks as if a wild cherry tree wants to appear here. So I've couched the trunk and a couple of branches in goldwork, and I'll do more of the fruit and leaves you see here, as I go. 

This is definitely a design as you go piece,and I like very much the gnarled effect I got by crossing the gold thread here and there, instead of having it parallel like a flow of water,not right for this context.

I've been studying embroidery on my Kindle, and now fancy a bit of vining around the trunk,maybe in a green, we'll see.  All kinds of ideas are coming at me.