Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Three more days

 Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be making inventory 4 days before Christmas. This year, though, I was invited to join the Stebbins Gallery in Harvard Square, and under the able direction of Laurie Gaines we are a  hit. 

Nestled just off Church Street, under the First Parish Church, the Stebbins is easy to miss. But this time of year, the huge, lovely Holiday Fair, in the church's basement, brings steady traffic.

The response has been wonderful. So I'm back in to the studio to make more wee bags and mount a few more fabric post cards. Looks like I'll be wrapping presents with the elves on Christmas eve.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Those spinning plates

Back in the dawn of television, a frequent act you saw was the guy who spun  plates on top of  long sticks. Music played while he rushed between his forest of sticks, giving the lagging plates a push, catching ones that fell, starting them up again. That's how this week feels to me.

  The good news is that the purses are a big hit.  The corresponding news is two galleries are asking for more. Where are my little mice ("more twist!") to sew for me at night?

The scarves look great. I'm itching to add gold to some.

My Fabulous Fabrics class meets for the last time on Thursday. After a whirlwind tour of techniques, the students took off like falcons last week, working large, working in layers. One student gave me this piece. I think it is so beautiful.

 I hope to get pics from the last class to share. They've done amazing work.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ready set go

This weekend my bags, scarves and art will be up in three places:

Lowell Fiber Studio, Saturday and Sunday, noon-5
Weston Arts and Crafts Society's Holiday Show, Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon
The Stebbins Gallery, Harvard Square, Saturday 10-7 and Sunday 12-6

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thrown Backwards

The hard drive is gone: All the data, all the pictures, all the files. For reasons best not discussed, everything got overwritten last weekend. Well well. Take the disk in for repair ($$$)? Or take it as a heavenly gift to start fresh? Having just a weekend without the internet was a trip to the past. After a day of itchy withdrawal, a feeling of calm and focus descended. I rather like that.

Today I drop off work for a pop-up artist's gallery in Concord, MA, then teach. Hope I don't get caught in the tsunami of folks going from HERE to THERE on Thanksgiving eve. Also a bunch of scarves are waiting to be washed out, for the holiday shows coming the next three weekends. I'm so glad my sister-in-law handles Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pushing off from the dock

Finally this piece is mounted, painted, done. I love it so much, the message and the image.  

When I learned to swim, it felt HUGE to let go of the edge of the dock. Now it feels huge to let go of the literal, and the written word. But what a thrill.  A series of four pieces emerged this week, from the very last of the bird fabric I printed last summer. Here's what one looked like at first:

Here is a second, in progress. You'll notice the main bird already partly obscured by vertical stripes:
And here's the final results, several layers of paint later:

Monday, November 15, 2010

My bearings are changing. After years of stitching product to sell, I have begun to give fabric away. Collected, treasured, never used, each piece has potential. When it leaves my studio, oxygen pours in: room to breathe. 

So, a reminder:

On Becoming the Poet You Were Meant to Become

Many poets are not poets
for the same reason that
many religious men are not saints:
they never succeed in being themselves.
They never get around to being the particular poet
or the particular monk they are intended to be by God.
They never become the man or the artist who is called
for by all the circumstances of their individual lives.

They waste their years in vain efforts
to be some other poet, some other saint…

They wear out their minds and bodies in a hopeless endeavor
to have somebody else's experiences or write somebody else's poems.

There is intense egoism in following everybody else.
People are in a hurry to magnify themselves
by imitating what is popular—
too lazy to think of anything better.

~Thomas Merton

Thanks to Leslie Avon Miller for sharing this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Clear the decks

My favorite bag so far. Large enough to hold  sketchbook supplies or make up, but so elegant The fabric is unbelievably soft. It goes to Etsy today.

This morning I CLEANED UP. The windows are now caulked, the laundry's hung to dry, the kitchen is clean (briefly) and the hall is full of bags headed out. Tomorrow I'll deliver clothes to Salvation army, fabrics to fellow artists, laundry to dry cleaner, and supplies to the studio, where I hope to print and paint, at last.

Two dozen scarves lie puddled on the dining room table. I painted them last week. Now I need to decide whether to over print, and if so, on which ones.

The colors are subtle. The markings remind me of outer space.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New crop of bags

I have finished some more bags. This is a favorite, made with the last of some cool polka-dot linen samples I found last year. The sun peeked out long enough for a photo shoot on my grandmother's table:

It's up in my Etsy store.   

More bags coming soon. But right now I must go teach.

Monday, November 8, 2010

New Cards

Four of my most popular images are back on Etsy as cards.  A card's still a great thing to send and receive.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Holiday Open Studios

Wonderful days brewing: cold, crisp. I've got new scarves and purses in the works. Double-open studios the first two weekend in December, Saturday and Sunday, December 4,5,11, and 12, noon-5. Find me in the spacious, colorful Studio 512, along with 6 other wonderful textile artists.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Concord Show Saturday

 Saturday I have my first craft show, at the lovely First Parish Church in Concord, MA.  Always a wonderful event. A couple of dozen scarves tagged and ready to go.

New bags, new shapes. Once I admitted I cannot, cannot, do the same thing twice, it's like flying. Several incorporate bird prints from last year. This one has an outer pocket:

 This one is a print of my Winter Deer, overlaid with textures during a class demo on printing. I like its asymmetry.
 Meanwhile, teaching stirs up the urge to explore. One "reject" scarf became the subject for stenciling with iridescent paint. Now it's so elegant I'm going to keep it.
 The same stencil and paints (Never wash off what's left on the brush) transformed this multi-printed piece into a finished sample. I think it becomes a bag today.

Meanwhile this gelatin print got a layer of embroidery and embroidery-like dots of paint, and one pear is auditioning with another fabric. 
These beg to be mounted, don't they?


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mad Scientist

 Sunday I spent the afternoon in the studio, dyeing the first lot of scarves.
 My husband has discovered that Sundays in the studio are a wonderful way to read the paper. So he was there, and took photos. I can never remember to take photos once the colors get my heart racing.

I had to re-learn that the first color that "strikes" is it for the first round: You can paint on top of that and change what you see, but if the fiber is full of dye, the added layers just run down the drain. These yellows had all sorts of colors on them, but now look like the sun, making for boring scarves, tho, I admit, a beautiful photo. Doesn't this look like a sunrise?

Today I ironed the ones that passed on the first draft. They look like abstract expressionist paintings.

 The rest got in line for a second round of color. I am going for autumn leaves without printing. Tomorrow, I'll wash and see how I did.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Evolution of an idea

I keep telling my students to look carefully at things that interest them. So, when I found myself alone in a quiet moment, with my sketchbook and a pear, I decided to follow my own advice.
The colored crayons came out next. (Thank you to the teacher who said "Carry art supplies so you don't feel naked.")
I decided to make a stamp. The supplies have been on the "get to this" pile for months. Carving turns out to be a great at-the-kitchen-table activity: meditative and productive at the same time. 

Next day, printing. Suddenly, pears are everywhere:
Some little bottles of paint with nozzles turned out to be great fun for adding movement. When the marks felt too heavy (it was "puff" paint after all) I grabbed another piece of cloth and made a print. The results: a series that goes from zen to rock-and-roll. Here's a half-dozen. Believe me, there's more.
One pear came out extra fat, with an odd stem. A few minutes later, a cat:
Now I have pears all over the studio.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


 I had a hey-old time in the studio today.  This week my class is doing speed-shibori: quick and improvisational. Sunday I set up some samples:
Today I got to undo them and iron the results. Always such a glorious surprise. Did you know that wine bottles work just fine for shibori poles? Here's one sample overpdying silk with CDs as resists:
 And another done on rough linen/synthetic blend with the folded technique (it's the dull-looking bundle in the group above):
Then I made thermofax screens from some new images I rustled up this morning before I walked the dog:
The results are full of potential. Doorways, shadows, grids. Can't wait to get back and work with them further.