Thursday, October 3, 2019

Aziraphale x Crowley Bangle

For Halloween this year Bryan thought we should be Crowley and Aziraphale from the book/Amazon show Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaimen.  Some Halloweens costume research inspires me to create new jewelry designs.  This year I've been looking at a lot of angel wings. 

I had a more traditional image in mind, wings evenly spread aligned next to each other.  The more images I looked at of Crowley and Aziraphale with their wings crossed or spread next to each other, the more the idea of showing both angel and demon wings together in one piece emerged.  

If you've been following along on Instagram, I appreciate all the likes and comments as I've been beading along!

I am so pleased as to how this piece turned out.  It also seems to go with all of the outfits I'm wearing to work right now.  It shows both black and white, the black wings lined in a matte silver and the white wings lined in a matte 24K gold bead.  

I'm also trying to post videos a bit more often.  I would say I'm no good at editing, but it's a start and I figure the more I do it, the more I'll learn (and laugh at old videos).  I think I cut the beginning of this one too much, but it shows part of my process on this bangle:

So here's a video of my slow process, showing a little bit of beading on this bangle.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Classic Cuff (Bangle)

The Classic Cuff

My day-job is being an ops manager at Talbots.  I've found my way back to retail which I really love, because I enjoy being around clothes and fabric.  We get asked a lot "What goes with this [skirt, pants, sweater...etc]?" and something that nearly always works is a white button-up shirt.  So this idea of beading a bangle in the style of the cuff of a shirt popped into my head.  

This idea has been simmering for months, maybe even a year.  One of my hang-ups for this piece was getting beads tiny enough to look like shirt-fabric.  Lo and behold, Fire Mountain Gems now carries size 15 delicas!  I was going to settle on size 15 rocailles but they weren't going to have the look I desired.  The delicas lay smooth and flat as with my other bangles, I just needed smaller.  

It was nice working with a new product.  These take much longer to finish something with how small and delicate they are.  The glass breaks easily and cannot take much stress so I have to be a bit more gentle when beading. This particular piece was also hard to keep going back to because beading one color gets boring.  I also wanted the buttons to be able to move through the button holes, which it is created with full button hole slits, but the beads are too delicate and stiff for the buttons to move through.  It still has the look that I wanted, so that's a win. 

I'm not sure what will come next of these tiny seed beads, but it will be an intricate pattern to be sure.

Monday, September 23, 2019

Paned Vines 2002

Paned Vines (like window panes) was an experiment piece that I wove in college.  I was considering how to mix double weave with plain weave in one piece and created this.  I was weaving loose, open fabrics a lot of the time back then.  The double-weave vine portions of the "panes" are woven loosely and the solid strips vertical and horizontal are the plain weave, woven tighter.  

As a lot of "experiments" wind up, I learned a lot, it's not one of my favorite pieces, but it shows parts of my development and processes as a weaver.  When I showed it for critique the double-weave portions were a jumble and almost too sheer to see the patterns.  Thus, I ended up backing this piece with black fabric to clean up the color confusion.

Currently this piece is hanging at the Haslett Library at the Bookend through the end of this month if you're local and would like to see it in person. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Art History Daydream 2002?

Art History Daydream by Jenny Schu

The title of this piece comes from the fact that the original image I worked off of was a doodle in the corner of my Chinese Art History lecture notes.  I was working a lot in Theo Moorman inlay weaving and this is one of my favorite pieces I've done in that technique.


The base layer is plain weave black rayon and the colored inlay is a mix of different chenille.  This piece measures 31.5 inches long by 33 inches wide.

My favorite response to this piece is from one of my Kinder-campers one of the years I was teaching art camp.  There was a teacher's show and I had submitted this piece.  In class he came up to me and told me that he could see dragons in my weaving.  

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Diane R. Commission Leading into a new style Earring

I just finished my most recent jewelry commission (I know I said I was going to cut back on jewelry this year, but I still take commissions on a case by case basis), which made me get the little "make a new earring design" bug.  I've been looking at Pinterest a lot.  Like every other day, which is a lot for me since I'm trying to limit my social media. There are a lot of triangle-shaped earrings on my Pinterest feed, so I decided to graph out an easy design and knock a pair out while I still had the beads out from Diane's commission.

I wore them to work to see how I feel about them and got a number of compliments, my favorite is always that the viewer thinks its metal, not beads.  So I'm going to play with making a few more of these and maybe send one pair to each gallery/event I'm doing for the holidays.

I also snagged a few photos from Diane's commission.  This art deco set is a customer favorite.  Thanks Diane for the support!  (And to Mom for showing her my artwork).

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, 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.

Aziraphale x Crowley Bangle

For Halloween this year Bryan thought we should be Crowley and Aziraphale from the book / Amazon show Good Omens by Terry Pratchett an...