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