Thursday, December 22, 2011

Transformation from the heart


Another kind of Boro, not Melanie Testa's Rock Star style but from the heart. 

Two weeks ago, a friend asked me, what could I do with clothes - those last special pieces - from his mom, to make a gift for his sister this Christmas? 

We discussed an art piece, but then I said, what about a scarf?
Something warm and full of memories? 
He was thrilled. A few days later he brought me a huge box of clothing.
Could I make one for him, too, and for his niece as well?

The clothes were lovely pastels, full of beads and detail. 

As I pieced, trimmed, and rearranged, patterns emerge

Joining pieces

Getting closer
Some features begged to be preserved. This lovely bit of handwork is now at one end of the scarf.

Hand beaded and emboidered

Other places felt plain, and I created new detail from scraps to continue the floral feel.
New stem from scraps
 The first scarf is done, a second is one its way. 
I love how work feels when it's for someone who cares.
Ready to line

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mending + Art

Indigo Boro Futon Cover, early 1900s
The internet introduced me to Japanese boro, and periodically I've browsed sites like this and this  with admiration. But  I never thought of calling my own inclinations by the name until yesterday, when I read Melanie Testa's  series on Rock Star Boro.

Holy patchwork, honey. It has a name.

My mom used to darn socks while I did my grade-school homework. 

Darning interested me more than the times tables.

Mending + Art = Time + Love

So, thank you, Melanie. Here's my latest scarf - stitched together from ten year old school knit samples, plus bits of lace, abandoned, reclaimed, over-dyed.
Not to mention scraps of Parisian velvet, linen samples and thrift-shop sweaters.

The patches started because of moth holes.
At some point functionality left off and art set in.

Toasty warm and full of memories.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Off to new homes

Four of my pieces found their owners this season, including these two.


A heartfelt Thank You to Stebbins Gallery in Harvard Square, 
and Winchester's NEXTDoor Theater,
 and its Gift of Art holiday show.

It's always exciting when a piece you love goes home with someone else. 
The circle feels complete.

Monday, December 19, 2011


I'm preparing for my January classes: art journaling and thermofax printing. 

First: let me thank the wonderful people who I've taught this year.

I love the staff and students at Carleton-Willard Village. The people there always teach me. Together we rediscover the amazement of putting paint on paper.


Thank you to the people who came to my Thermofax Printing classes in Lowell. They brought such a spirit of adventure. As usual, I forgot to take pictures because so much was happening, so here's a shot from an earlier class. (It helps to have a student who's a professional photographer!)

And finally a big shout out to the wonderful women in The Sensuous Surface, my class this fall at Arlington Center for the Arts.

They came to class, after a hard day or a long week, and turned into artists.
We had a lot of laughs, used a lot of paint,  and made a ton of good work.



Their energy and enthusiasm brought me joy.


I can't wait to do it all again next year!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

At Lowell Fiber Studio

When you visit us this weekend
You'll find

Scarves, bags.
Quilts, jewelry.
Wall art.
 Good conversation.

You won't find:

Shrink wrap.
Excess packaging.
Mass production.

Lowell Fiber Studio:
Seven Artists 
Tons of style
 Proudly participating in

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

So here they go

Here's a group shot, on my kitchen table, the night before delivery.

You can find my work this month at 
Stebbins Gallery in Harvard Square
 the Loading Dock Gallery in Lowell 

 and the first two weekends of December
in Studio 512, Western Avenue Studios, Lowell:

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

All I Wanted Was to Paint

Who said that life's what happens while you make other plans? 
Today's plan: buy a dozen cradled boards.
Sand, prime, paint, glue.
No boards at the local store, so I headed north.
On Tobin Bridge, my car took on something else from the upper deck. 
Glass shards everywhere and very nearly a couple of holes all the way through.
It looks bigger when you are peering through cracks at rush hour traffic.
The cracks are quite beautiful in the tunnels - they look like water
running across the windshield.

So instead of a peaceful afternoon doing this:

 I've drove to the State Police downtown,
and home in rush hour.

Everyone has been kind. 
I did get those cradled boards.
They need sanding.
But first, a cup of tea.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Groton show goes up

 This week started with a first for me: helping to hang a mutli-artist show.
Amazing to move the pieces about and see how they play with each other.
Juxtaposition reveals the links between traditional and contemporary.
The room grew richer as we worked. If you live near Groton, come enjoy the show.
Common Threads
 Owen Smith Shuman Gallery
Now through December 28
Reception with the Artists
Saturday, December 3, 1-2:30pm

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Art in the Heart of Winchester

This lovely show is run by the same organization that brings you Kidstock, an amazing hands-on theater program for young children. For one week, the theater's lobby becomes an exquisite gift shop. All the items for sale are made locally.

This year, each artist will work on-site for one shift. If you stop by Friday 2-4, you can come watch me make the fabric collages which become the basis for my portable art series.

What with gallery sitting and teaching I look forward to the time to work, even if it's in public!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Holiday Work

 With the arrival of November comes a slew of holiday sales. 
When I am not teaching, I am in my studio, making bags and portable art.
 The wee bags are bigger this year. 
Larger, cheerful clutch bags are happening too.


I love the upcycled mix of store-bought and hand-printed fabric.
 Here is the start of this year's Portable Art collection:
small fabric collages mounted on cradled board and glazed with medium.

For first choice, come to Western Avenue Open Studios  
this Saturday, November 5. 
But come visit me in studio 512 first, since I have to leave early.
I'll be in Studio 512 from noon to 3 PM. 

Monday November 6,  find me at the Quilter's Connection Holiday Boutique,
at the Arsenal Center for the Arts, in Watertown,  6-8:30PM. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


It is good now and then to put on student shoes and take oneself to a new place.  
Two weeks ago, I joined  Linda Germain at her Haverhill studio for a day of gelatin printing on paper. I learned that printing on paper is a whole different animal from fabric work.
Each student got a private table, with plenty of room for a large palette, a gelatin plate,  multiple brayers,  and piles of paper. We had free reign with  supplies: stencils, found objects, stamps, paints and papers, even a moldy gelatin plate.
I felt continually surprised and sometimes frustrated. Still, each print suggested another.  
I came home with an armload of attempts and a brain on fire with ideas. 
I was so tired, I went to bed at 8 but I saw gelatin prints all night in my dreams.  
So now what?  Frame? Make books? Work back into them? 
Tear them up and collage? Or print some more?