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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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.

Origins Of A Crisp Finish

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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

3 Patterns, 7 Colors, and 10 Women

I led my first dyeing workshop this month.

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.

Photo Jan 20, 1 18 33 PM

I discovered anew how much a teacher learns from the students.  Color and pattern are a universal delight!

The Beginning is Not The Starting Point

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In the beginning…….God created…….In the beginning……..was the Word……

In the beginning of 2016, I stalled out. In the midst of stacks of fabrics, committed projects, commissioned work, beckoning ideas, and pots of paint, I struggled to create a plan and to write a schedule that would contain and direct all these good things.  The elements of a blessed beginning were drowning me through my own inaction.

The inner coach screamed: cut, stitch, paint. Madeleine L’Engle’s words whispered in my head, “Inspiration come in the midst of work.”   Studio action created 31 little art tags this morning.  My happy hands cut, stitched, and painted,  completing one of the elements for a presentation next week.

Cleaning picture files yesterday, I discovered the included photograph of Genesis, a privately owned piece.  I like the swirling, undulating energy in it.  The contrast of the oranges and blues creates both friction and clarity.  It was made by cutting, stitching, and painting. Beginnings are complex. A starting point is not.

 

 

A Chasuble Returns to the Studio

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Occasionally my work returns to me for an adjustment or repair. The chasubles made for the chapel at The Village at Orchard Ridge were lined in slippery fabric, so that they hang away from the pastor’s alb.

 

The Chaplin reported that they slipped backward during worship, becoming uncomfortable. We devised a solution of cotton “patches” added to the shoulder area. Future chasubles will have a yoke lining of non-slippery fabric .

It is always a joy for me to participate in dialogue that increases the effectiveness of my work. I also enjoy the opportunity to touch and see what has gone into service.
I began my professional life doing garment alterations while a college student. I am pleased to still include craftsmanship and individual attention in my toolbox of skills.image

Choose The Perspective

Today’s task: make a game for two.  This is a game of cooperation inspired by my friend and fellow artist, Diane.

Move the circular frame until you both agree on a pleasing composition within it.  Best played while drinking tea.

Hold In Reverence

“Ask a friend for help,” Creative Sprint assigns today.

We had a wonderful catching up about art and books and family and the pursuit of dreams.  I departed energized and affirmed.  I had been in the sacred space of friendship.  Today a bit of visual and verbal creativity:

Practicing creativity,

I reach the pause

before the swirl zone.

It is here, dear friend,

where I hold you in thought,

where I hold you in reverence.

Practice And Collaboration

Today marks the 2/3 point of CreativeSprint.  I agreed to try this practice because my assertive younger sister told me I needed to loosen up about sharing work that is either incomplete or just nor very good.  Ouch.  It does take the magic out of the practice of art.  It also makes me more aware of the mystery.

Today’s task is to make a pie chart or a Venn diagram.  What happens when the gray-haired girl and the red-haired sister get creative together (as we often do)?  The light and the heat show up!  Fire!

The best part of today’s activity was discovering that the daily inspirational quotation was from my sister Beth Nyland!  Here are her words: “Through daily practice, I strengthened my creative muscles. And those muscles have memory. Now I’m quicker to think of solutions to problems, new angles on writing projects, even suggestions for my children when they’re bored. I’m seldom “stuck” or at a loss for ideas. “

Guess The Recipient

CreativeSprint wants me to make a post card and send it.

I don’t want to do that.

But I did make a card I will not send and I am giving myself 5 minutes to think who could be the recipient.

I am having a good time and I am glad ________ is not here. X O