Furoshiki, Table Cloth, Sewist Stash

Inspired by the bounty of garden produce in August and September, I created a stack of dyed and printed fabric on warm sunny days.  On rainy days, I trimmed select fabric into squares and finished the edges. I call them furoshiki (Japanese cloths for wrapping and carrying objects).

The squares debut this weekend at Oak Hart Farms Holiday Market.  If you received a bottle of wine wrapped in art fabric, would you spread the cloth over a table and have a celebration?  And would my sewing friends stash it away for a delightful new project on a snowy day?

4 furoshiki

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Practice and Left Overs

derivative work

Creating requires practice and it produces left overs.  We are a studio mindful of good economy and careful stewardship.  Practice prints of trees for a chasuble are reserved for other secular art work.  Paint and dye techniques practiced on silk dyes reappear on clergy stoles and women’s apparel.

I learned the lessons of practice and left overs growing up on a farm.  The practice jacket for a 4-H project was not made from muslin, but rather an inexpensive cotton that was serviceable.  The batches of practice brownies made the month before the county fair were snacks for farm workers.  Grandma Alice’s midweek menu often included a “mess” of something, which was usually a tasty medley of this and that. Of course, patch work quilts were the destiny of fabric left from cutting clothing.

These work habits are now labeled generative and derivative work.  I add time to production schedules of major projects to include intentional production of cloth that will generate new art work.  I organize work space to facilitate quick cuttings of small gift items derived from both the ideas and materials of large projects.  I hope to work with greater focus, continued expertise, and deeper expression.

Imperfection Welcomes the Worshiper

Lutheran congregations use red paraments and vestments on Passion Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, Reformation Sunday, and services that celebrate the life of a particular saint.  Today these vibrant wall hangings were delivered to Shepherd of the Hills in Haymarket VA.Hanging SOTH red

Members of the congregation contributed the fabric and cut all the small crosses attached to the wall hangings.  They have stories that connect them to the cloth used in this work.

I explained to newly-installed Pastor Percy that my work is not about perfection.  Instead I use imperfection to help create a welcoming place for worshipers.  While I strive for excellence in my craftsmanship, imperfection leaves space for worshipers to find themselves welcome just as they are. I believe that the church today is in greater need of community than of reverence expressed in finery.

This congregation was hesitant about adding hangings to the wood columns, but they trusted my design.  They have sets for each liturgical season, which are an integral part of weekly worship.   The cloth and color create a welcoming and comforting environment.

Soth red construction

Design for a Specific Space

Creating art work for a specific environment can offer the opportunity to use new sizes and proportions.  The client wanted pulpit frontals that picked up colors in the stained glass, that did not obscure the cross in the pulpit, and that complemented the chapel furnishings.

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dedication of chapel paraments

The results include bold cross designs in fresh proportions and hemmed with a curve that echoes the art over the altar. During regular worship services, only one frontal is used.  The frontals are crafted from easy care cottons that can be washed or dry-cleaned. It is always my hope that worshippers will feel free to touch the tactile expressions of faith.

 

Hooking Yarn

Hooking yarn

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?

 

 

Three Jersey Jackets

Autumn arrives. Brisk days call for a layer of warmth and comfort;  welcome a rayon jersey jacket to your wardrobe.

In this dye session, I used subtle stenciled pattern to add artistic interest. Clients remark that they like the flattering placement of pattern in my clothing.

Do you like interest at the yoke and collar,  the quiet comfort of an all over texture, or a jazzy bit over the hips,?

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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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.

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

 

 

 

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.