Joy of Making: Knots

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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.

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Who Encourages Whom

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.IMG_20160422_130128259_HDR

Who encourages your creativity?  Whom do you encourage?

 

Temptation Or Trial

 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.

Create A Space For Creating

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.

Hone: Knowing And Maintaining A Tool

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.

A Veiled Technique: Tulle Overlay

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

 

 

 

Origins Of A Crisp Finish

Gallery

This gallery contains 4 photos.

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

Staff Meeting


Solo work does not need to be lonely.  I gathered my staff of wee folk this week to reminisce over the past and to dream of the future.

Then we made a to do list.  The minions got right in to their tasks.  The Barbies went shopping. The old gal and the Santa are working on their Medicare plan. Mini-me and her color buddy are getting out the paint.

I have hit the refresh button.  Meeting over.

Playing The Counter-Melody

 

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Both of these photos appeared on our fibergig Facebook timeline in September. Viewers commented that the products were quite disparate.  Perhaps not many studios create a runway garment and a spiritual mural in the same summer. Actually, I use the same techniques to create all of my work.  Often the role of the work itself is the same.

I designed the organdy black cape and several other garments for a runway show, in which several members of my Seeking Stars Art team were featured. The garments were to showcase jewelry and to energize the movement of the models.  They played a beautiful counter-melody to the primary players.

A congregation in Texas commissioned the large mural for its fellowship space.  In the photo, the visiting bishop address the faith community about its vision for the future. Behind him, the mural is a visual reminder of the constancy of the Christian Trinity. It plays a silent counter-melody, fully supporting the message.

I learned counter-melody in high school band, when I played the euphonium.  Trombones to the left and tubas to the right blew out harmony and rhythm.  Trumpets in front tooted the melody.  But our small section, along with a few woodwinds, often had the task of enriching the sound with a secondary tune. Perhaps this is where my love of complexity began.

 

A Fresh Silk Scarf

“This feels good! What is it?”

“Raw silk.”

“But it is not slippery. It feels so soft.”

This conversation was repeated at every 2014 craft market where I sold my L-shaped wraps.  This week the light came on in the connection closet of my brain. Why am I not making scarves from raw silk? And here they are! Prototypes with colorful dye and paint and also an elegant interpretation with black paint on the neutral silk.

I use a small 1 inch fringed hem on the short ends to create a soft edge without fussiness; the long sides are double turned and stitched. They measure approximately 17 by 70″.  A raw silk scarf can become an all season star: tucked under a coat collar, tossed over shoulders as a wrap, or twirled to create a spectacular neckline.

They are not yet on the market, but will appear early in January 2016.  Look for them at Seeking Stars Art.