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?

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Practice and Left Overs

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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.

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,?

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.

Traveling in Spirals: Completed Circles

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I completed the play with circle shapes on a silk scarf.  After the Color Magnet prints were dry, I dyed the white scarf with blues and purples.  The photograph above shows the finished product.

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This is the starting point from several weeks ago.  When I travel in spirals I get to revisit starting points from a new perspective.

Shibori Scarves: Working in a Series

Explore shibori in 2014.  I wrote that in my goals last January.  This week five silk scarves became a series, as part of that exploration.  I stitched in designs.stitches

I pulled up the stitches and tied them tight.

shibori 002 Black dye and then the big reveal. Now for input from viewers and readers: is this the finish point or do I add color?shibori 007

A Year of Listening: Week 27

Only in the present do things happen. –Jorge Luis Borges

 

Joe came to the studio to help make things happen.  He painted bags and fans.

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 Then he unleashed his creativity onto scarves.  He is invited back next month.

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Good help maximizes the present.

 

What Makes a Good Apron?

aprons in kitchen 013 Do you choose a full apron made of a cheerful print with good pockets?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do you prefer this half apron made of upcycled fabric, with extra long ties and good pockets?

 

 

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Do you want an apron like mine, an apron much-loved through use?

 

 

 

 

 

Do you need an apron that is just right for you? Bill wants a full apron with good pockets and extra long ties that go around and meet in the middle. He does not like to tie an apron behind him. Bill is a baker; he needs a serviceable apron. He asked me if I would make one for him. I am.
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Aprons are available at fibergig; click the icon to see the shop. Please convo us about custom orders.

The party’s over; the work’s done.

Empty wine glasses. Three cashews in a bowl.  An abandoned sweater.  When the guests have departed, I remember bits of conversation as I load the dishwasher.  The owner of the sweater will need to claim it; I don’t know whose it is.

blog and arboretum 002Stencils on the table.  Fabric tossed in a bin.  Invoice filed.  When I deliver the large commissioned work, I am at a loss.  I want to play with color and texture on my own terms.  Just for a day.

I make sketchbook covers.

What do you do when the party is over, when the work is done?