Tuesday, August 13, 2019

There and Back Again, 2006


There and Back Again.  This weaving is my very first tapestry (aside from a tiny purple flames piece I didn't know was tapestry I wove in high school).  I had watched other students weave tapestry in college and decided it looked like it took too long.  I laugh now at that because everything I did and that I currently create takes a really really long time anyway.   


When I moved from Colorado to Wisconsin there was a feeling of homecoming.  Colorado wasn't quite for me and moving back to the Midwest was a breath of fresh air. One of the things I missed most living in Colorado was the fall. There was a lack of crispness to the air and little or no leaf color change in Colorado.  It was a really strange feeling when we jumped right from summer to snow in Colorado, so I enjoyed every second Fall in Wisconsin.  I needed to make a piece about my little jaunt to go chase the mountains, but then ending back in the Midwest.  


I worked on this piece in my tiny studio apartment in Madison.  It took me almost the whole year I was there to weave this.  I used as many different types and textures of yarn I saw fit and played with striping along the way. There and Back Again is one of my larger pieces measuring 45.5 inches long by 28 inches wide.


It is currently on display at the Haslett Library resale book shop, The Bookend, through the end of September 2019.


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Snowfall 2004


Snowfall 2004 was a piece done for my Fiber Art class in my 4th year of Art School at the University of Michigan.  I had taken a bunch of photos while going on a walk in the woods after a fresh snowfall. I recall it took me a long time in a dark room with the projector blowing up the size of the image and having to hand-draw this image on paper for my cartoon (resizing and printing off a computer program has really helped speed this part of the design process along, it's still long and tedious, but not as far as the hand-drawing drawing portion).

Detail of Snowfall 2004

I hand dyed the rayon for the brown striped part of the design and I believe I had to bleach out the rayon from its original color to get the white (or some sort of color removal).

Detail of Snowfall 2004

As I revisit these older weavings I notice just how terrible I was at the finishing process.  Which is perfect for me to be going back through since I am giving a seminar next year at Convergence called "Finish That Piece"  discussing how to hang and finish fiber art works. I am going back and fixing some of them, others I'm just fixing the dowel rod situation.  This particular piece I had hanging on a plain wood colored rod that was about 3 inches too long for it!  I'm so embarrassed by these details now, but I was happy to just get the piece done back then.  I finished weaving and said "OK done!" and slapped it up on the wall.  

Detail of Snowfall 2004

Just a reminder that this and other older works of mine can be seen soon!   "Awkward Phase" will be at the Haslett Library's bookshop called Bookends August 8th through the end of September.

The reception for this show is Saturday August 10th from 2-4. There will be an end of summer family party going on at the library on this day too (so come early and bring the kids!). Parking will probably be tight and new information is that the Haslett Middle School lot is under construction but there are some other options and the summer family celebration is supposed to be over by 2 so people will be clearing out.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Scent of Lilies


I'm preparing a small show of my older, rarely viewed, work and I decided it would be a good opportunity to get good photos and document these pieces online.  Scent of Lilies (small version) was a sample for a commission piece, but I'm not great at sampling so it came out as a smaller version of the large piece.  


The technique used here is Theo Moorman Inlay weaving, a style which the design lays on top of the base woven fabric.  The base read weaving is a heavy linen and the lily design is a variety of yarns I picked from my stash. 


The measurement on Scent of Lilies (small) is 24.5 inches long by 13.5 inches wide.

The show is going to be called "Awkward Phase" and it'll be at the Haslett Library's bookshop called Bookends August 8th through the end of September.

The reception for this show is Saturday August 10th from 2-4.  There will be an end of summer family party going on at the library on this day too (so come early and bring the kids!).  Parking will probably be tight, but you can park in the Haslett Middle School lot close by.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Leaf Me Alone 2


I finished Leaf Me Alone 2 just in time for the Michigan League of Handweaver's Conference and entered it into the Fiber Art exhibit.  It received an honorable mention.   I was fortunate enough to be the scribe for Cameron Taylor-Brown as she went through each piece critique-style.  She said that both of my Leaf Me Alone series weavings looked like maquetes (I appreciated her use of this word). Which they kind-of are.  I have one more small piece to weave and then I'll be warping my loom for the original idea, a large version of Leaf Me Alone. 


I wanted to play more with the way I'm using my words in my pieces, so I wove this one on an angle.  Cameron thought (and I agree) it's a bit more playful, almost like something from a comic book.  (Another prompt for a new piece concept to boot.)


As usual, this piece has the beaded edging which is becoming a bit of a signature of mine.  The smaller pieces turn out a little wonky with the beads because it's not as heavy as the larger pieces.  Something to work on still.


I struggle to get absolute true-colors in my images sometimes and I'm seeing a lot of different lighting for this pieces does different things.  I originally thought the above and below photos were too dark, but I think these also give a good idea of what this piece is. 


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Hope Flows Bangle 1 and Earrings


After spending nearly 6 months of looking at the images of River Terrace Church's stained glass windows and the drafts, fabrics and working on the Hope Flows installation, I needed to do something in beads. I took my original tiny drafts of one of the panels and dropped it into peyote stitch graph paper.  


I didn't have the bangle done by the reception for Hope Flows, but I did stay up late the night before making a pair of of earrings to match.  I'm really happy to get it done (I thought I could finish it for the MLH Conference but I just can't bead as fast as I'd like), and am extra pleased to have made a large statement bangle.  


This pattern doesn't repeat (hence one of the reasons it takes so long to make), so I ended up taking a ton of photos this morning from all sides of it. 


This bangle ended up being 2 1/2 inches in length.  I hope you enjoy all the photos!













Sunday, June 2, 2019

Michigan League of Handweavers Conference 2019


Michigan League of Handweavers 2019 Conference is officially behind me.  I've had artwork sitting in a corner of my dining room for a bit too long (trying to keep the cats away) and to be honest I enjoy hanging this show, but the intake and pickup process has to be less on the point person making a ton of special arrangements.  I had to be pretty stern with some people towards the end and frankly, I'm exhausted from that.  The show itself turned out great, I think the quality of artwork increases every year.  I enjoyed taking notes for Cameron Taylor-Brown as she juried the show and I always appreciate conversation and critiques on my own work as part of the process. 


All of the awards will eventually be listed at MLHguild.org, I didn't feel that I had my strongest two pieces (but I got Leaf Me Alone 2 done finally!) so I'm pleased to have received an honorable mention.  MLH and being around all the weavers I now there always inspires me to get back to my loom as quikcly as possible.


I have to set up the exhibit in a classroom, and with all the pieces that needed hanging I was quite grateful for the framed works and sculptural pieces.


I spent a lot of time in Room 203, Graves Hall.

I failed to get photos, but I had also entered two bangles in the Fashion Accessories Exhibit.  Klingon Light and Ginkgo Leaf Bangle.  The fashion show was fun as always.  We have so many creative weavers and artists in this guild.  Everyone is so inspiring.

Fashion Show Finale


I did something new this year.  I have somehow been involved in MLH since 2009...I know it was 10 years ago because it was the 50 year anniversary and Karen East had recruited my help to work on and set up the Lansing Guild Exhibit.  I had heard there was a beach in Holland but never took the time or had the time to go.  So Friday was my shopping, catching up with friends and "relaxed" day.  I I went and found the beach.  I'm not a big beach person, but it was a nice sunny day to walk the pier.  I was also relieved that I had gotten my State Park tab again with my licence registration because there was no line for heading in to Holland State Park Beach.


We had two presentations Friday night.  Marta put together a short history of MLH's beginnings which was really wonderful. There is a ton of history with this Guild and she said that she barely touched on it with this showing.


Cameron Taylor-Brown also brought a fresh perspective to the presentations with her talk on "How String Changed the World."  It was definitely a different sort of keynote talk than we're used to seeing and I really enjoyed it.


It's always wonderful to get back to Hope College for a few days to reconnect with fellow weavers and our passion for fiber art. Thank you to everyone who works so hard putting this on.  It is a LOT of work.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

River Terrace Installation Reception with Jenny Schu


This is the finale for me.  When I finished this installation, it felt great, but there was a sense of something missing.  Usually when an artist finishes a body of work, we had an exhibit, showing or reception for the public.  So this is mine, it's coming up in a few days, but then I'll feel done!

Come ask me questions, see the work in person, check out this really beautiful church (and the stained glass this was inspired from).

Thursday, May 23, 2019
5:00pm to 8:00pm

River Terrace Church
1509 River Terrace Drive
East Lansing, MI 48823


The public Facebook Event can be viewed here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2808992972475158/

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Long thin Wrap Necklace/Bracelet for CCFF 2019


I always have a jewelry piece that I'm working on.  Sometimes I get them done quickly because I can't put them down, sometimes I slog through a little bit at a time between other projects.  this one I slogged through because when I wasn't at work, I was focused on the River Terrace Church Installation.  This piece wraps to be a long, medium or short necklace, or wraps multiple times to be a bracelet.


This inspiration for this piece was a new dress I picked up at Grace Boutique in Old Town.  I decided it was perfect for one of the weddings I have to go to this summer, but also I wanted to wear it to the Capital City Film Festival Red Carpet event.  When I started this piece, I pulled all the different colors of beads that would match the dress is 15's, 13's and 11's.  My initial thought was to create this necklace in the St. Petersburg Chain Stitch (see below), but that was quickly scrapped.  It had too much going on, the stitch needed to be smaller and simpler.


Simple stitching is not my forte, but with all the color options I could still give this piece a complex feel.  5 feet, 9 inches later with a vintage clasp from my grandma's old costume jewelry I came up with a smooth multicolored blend of seed beads with little leaf and pearl accents.  This piece is very lightweight with a nice hang, almost like a very light rope.



You can barely see it in the above photo, but you can see the dress and how it didn't need a lot of extra pizazz with it's jewelry.  Honestly, the cut of the dress on my is just ok, but I absolutely fell in love with the fabric and print of it, it's very pretty and comfortable.


I chose this length so that I could wrap it 2, 3 or 4 times and wear it from a choker to all different lengths.  When it gets bothersome at work and I'm worried I'm going to snag it on something, I wrap it up to a choker or around my wrist.


Little Leaf Detail


Bracelet Pile



I'm just posting this now as a breather from finishing the huge River Terrace Installation and getting ready to lecture and teach at the Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan next week to a sold-out workshop.  I can't believe I got everything done the week of Film Fest between floorset at work (rearranging the entire clothing sales floor for the new month and new clothes), volunteering at the Film Fest and finishing and hanging the River Terrace piece. What a whirlwind!  

Group Photo from CCFF. Film fest is always one of my favorite Lansing events,
this photo honors the pre-digital camera age where, due to Bryan's height, 
his head always got cut off in photos.



There and Back Again, 2006

There and Back Again .  This weaving is my very first tapestry (aside from a tiny purple flames piece I didn't know was tapestry I ...