Monday, February 19, 2007

Artist Studios

Curious about what other artist studios look like? The journal, Fiberarts, sponsored a Studio Contest, asking fiber artists to send images of their studios. All 43 entrants have been posted on the site. In addition to the images, each artist has provided a story about their studios.

Viewers were invited to vote for their favorites in the following categories (results to be posted in March): Best Storage/Organization, Best Stash, Best Use of Space, Best Setting, Most Inspiring Display.

Photo: David Chatt Studio

Monday, February 12, 2007

Embroidered Grids & Guides

Xavier University Art Gallery
My creative process is purposefully simple. After hand painting squares of silk, I sew lines with multiple colors of thread on my machine without a predetermined design, using only the sewing foot as a guide. After a grid is complete, I sew random angled lines. As I begin to hand embroider a row, these angles interrupt the path, causing me to ‘turn the corner’ so to speak. The process is akin to playing a highly strategic game. Colors weave up and over each other while linear paths wander wherever the ‘road’ takes them. I work with several colors simultaneously and I have to predetermine where a color might end in order to balance theory with reality. At each stage of the process, my underlying goal is to reconcile the old with the new, making historical references while creating new situations.

Title: Wraparound
Size: 14" X 10.5"

Title: Crossways
Size: 19" X 15.5

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Competition: art of the STITCH 2008

On January 12, 1906, the Society of Certificated Embroideresses was founded by 16 graduates of the Royal School of Art Needlework with the aim "to deal entirely with embroidery and with the first object of keeping up a high standard of work and design." Today. the Embroiderers' Guild has over 25,000 Members and subscribers throughout the UK and abroad, 238 Branches and 95 Young Embroiderers Groups.

Watch their site for information and entry forms for the international open biennial exhibition, art of the STITCH 2008, which will be available mid-February.

photo, Royal West of England Academy, West End, art of the STITCH 2006

Saturday, February 3, 2007

FIG Meeting: Buttons & Potluck

A pretty well-attended meeting, about a dozen of us. Before the actual sharing began, we sat down to a pot luck lunch, after which, Pat S., our host, invited us to see her quilt making studio. After years of having her studio outside her home, she decided to set it up in her basement. To make the space habitable for the fabric she was going to store there, she had to fix a leak, rip out the old floor tile and scrape the glue off the concrete floor (which, incidentally, left a beautiful pattern that makes it appear that the floor is set with stone), and install some lighting. Everyone was impressed with the size and neatness of the space, and her inventory of fabrics, organized by color.

The theme for the meeting was buttons, specifically old ones. Arnelle D. brought her grandmother's sewing box which she said still smelled like her grandmother. Of course, we all had to sniff the box and we were all reminded of our grandmothers. It smelled of talcum powder with a hint of spice. The buttons were fabulous and ranged from the tiniest, a quarter-inch or less (I didn't measure), to very large. I especially liked the doggie button in the photo below.

A few members shared recent work. Sally M. brought a quilt that had recently been in an exhibit. Pat S. showed her quilt in progress, a patchwork of some of her daughter's favorite t-shirts. The two completed panels will be put together, back to back, to make a completely reversible

Mary B. (below left) donated the lamp she brought to Pat S. for her grandson's school auction. It was made out of paper parasols attached to a lamp shade, and accented with glow-in-the-dark paint. The spokes made a pretty pattern. Margaret R. (below right) brought a mosaic memory jar she made which included buttons.

Arnelle D. told us about two current exhibits we should see that feature textiles, one at Xavier University Art Gallery featuring Kelly Frigard, Feltmaker and Bette Uscott-Woolsey, Mixed-Media Fibers (January 26 – February 16, 2007). There are no images on the Xavier site but you can download a schedule of exhibits. Several upcoming shows feature fiber. The other show to see is at the Contemporary Art Center, New Media/ New Materials: Highlights In Contemporary Art From The Fabric Workshop And Museum (February 02, 2007 - April 15, 2007).