It is not uncommon in artistic circles to use prompts to get creative juices flowing. Quilting bees issue monthly challenges to innovate familiar blocks. Writers share a verb and see what words appear on the page. Mica and Noah Scalin lead 30 day Creative Sprints on the internet and results are shared online by many participants.
I belong to two local creative circles that use monthly prompts. When I am pressed by the studio work schedule, I can resent these commitments. I do not fail to use the prompts, but I do alter my approach to them. I have set time limits on the exploration of the theme. I have prepared in advance a design format to use for an entire year. This month, I put the two prompts together for one project.
Blue and tangle inspired a mosaic of fused cotton fabric on felt, which was stitched together by a tangle of lines of variegated thread.
Several days later, I cut the work into measured squares and free-cut triangles and rectangles. The free-cut pieces are stitched together and sandwiched between two layers of construction mesh. I like where this is going, but I do not where that is!
Do you use prompts to ignite your creativity? Do you let play inform your work?
The Fibergig portion of Studio Three 17 is a partnership between myself and my daughter Emily. She holds the reins on marketing, social media, and technology while managing her own work which includes working at Bella Filati, her hometown yarn shop. When she reported a creative block for a project design, I suggested that I help out, providing I could crochet, not knit.
I designed this Harvest Trivet to protect wood tables. As I photographed the near completed project, I discovered the combined textures of wood, wool, and pottery. Yarn and design for the trivet will be available at the yarn shop (bellafilati.com) in October. The bowl is a product of Center Ring Designs; see more of Diane’s work at centeringdesign.com.
Emily and I usually express our partnership through each one completing the tasks in her department. Helping each other outside of our assigned duties is an expansive cross training. Who encourages you to try new things? Who helps you with creative block?
Custom work filled many summer days at the studio this year. Completed projects are now delivered. Before I completely shift into next season’s work, my hands and mind are revisiting techniques and tools: a bit like a family reunion.
Grandma Alice showed me how to tie quilts when I was a teenager. My fingers readily repeat the old motions. I enjoy adding this simple bit of thread into textile art. Seen here, knots added to wall hanging used in the worship space of The Legacy, Staunton, VA.
One of my best creative companions is my husband Ned. He understands the studio schedule. He totes things here and there. He asks the piercing questions, such as “Is this the best use of your time?” His help and perspective keep art flowing from the studio.
When Ned retired several years ago, he began art classes at Opus Oaks, a local school for arts. With lessons, guidance, and encouragement, he has completed a handful of paintings. He has been reluctant to submit them to shows, until Shenandoah Arts Council, our local council, planned an exhibition honoring the Opus Oaks school.
With some encouragement (cajoling) and help (shopping for a frame) from me, Ned submitted his work. Later he proudly posed beside it for a photograph.
Who encourages your creativity? Whom do you encourage?
This composition is based on the petition from The Lord’s Prayer, save us from the time of trial. As a child I was taught, save us from temptation. Having lived through a life altering trial, I prefer the more contemporary version.
I selected the image for this week as Christians near the observance of Holy Week. I am also studying it more closely for how I placed the elements in the square frame.
I am sharing it online, as a reminder to us all to seek justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly. That focus may be some ease to our own trials and temptations.
My fabric career spans decades, serving clients from Hawaii to Puerto Rico. I have worked on the dining table, in a spacious bedroom, down in the basement, and from the kitchen counter. Soon I will practice in a studio made just for me!
Originally a two-part wooden door opened to the work bench / potting shed of my garage. I like the above view of layered solutions. The craftsmen who integrated the block wall were a delight to watch. Photograph below shows the new door and windows. The mammoth piece of equipment signals that soon water will be piped in and out of the space.
Each one of the spaces in which I have worked has evolved my skill and craftsmanship. Clients have evoked ever-widening artistry. It is my goal that the new studio will support larger inventory, more complex work patterns, and greater focus on increasingly authentic art.
I use different scissors for different tasks in the studio just as I use a variety of knives in the kitchen. Practice informs me which tool works best for a particular task. Experimentation increases the scope of usefulness for each tool I own.
Recently, I have begun to regard my screen images as tools. This set of little suns was designed for a custom project. Before I use it for its intended purpose, I want to know more about how it works when repeated, when worked in multiple colors, when overlapped or spaced irregularly on the background.
A morning’s play with screen and paint introduced the potential of this simple design; I think I would like it in multiple sizes.
Three 12″ square studies, part of my exploration of compostion within a square. Each of these pieces include the technique of a tulle overlay. The tulle assists with construction and creates a muted tone.
The close ups show that the tulle is not always the final layer. The grid stitching in the first selection and the diagonal lines stitched between sections of horizontal lines become essential elements in the composition. The diagonal lines of paint applied over the tulle create an unexpected depth
The conversion of garage to art studio began this week. I tiptoed upstairs to see the progress during lunch. The framing confirms that I like my plans; it assures me that the end results will work. The craftsmanship also informs … Continue reading →
10 good women braved a cold night to gather in a pottery studio to put their hands and minds to dyeing silk scarves. After I demonstrated three fold and tie patterns, each participant received a scarf to manipulate and then color. Here are their results.
I discovered anew how much a teacher learns from the students. Color and pattern are a universal delight!