Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sneak Peek: Holiday Jewelry for Lansing Art Gallery

Leafy Clasp Bracelet $85
I think I'm moving a million miles an hour this morning.  Laundry in, repaired shoes picked up, photos of all black/gunmetal jewelry taken, edited and uploaded to blog, pack things to work on at the Gallery today including, but not limited to: making invites, winding the next warp, blog update (check), make more leaves.... and it's only 12:30 in the afternoon.
I also had a lovely conversation on the phone with Liz who has been perusing my website for gifts and ideas.

Leafy Clasp Bracelet (closed)
The photos today are for a grouping that I have been working on for the Lansing Art Gallery for the upcoming holiday season.  I know we haven't hit Halloween yet (another thing on my to-do list, make my costume!), but I have a few shows coming up that I need to have stock for, on top of stock for both Grove and Lansing Art Gallery.

Three Leaf Hairclip $60

(back of hairclip)
I decided with Sara at LAG that my base for the Lansing Art Gallery will be black/gunmetal pieces.  I'm planning on accenting these with some blues and greens.  Currently, I'm about done looking at just the black gunmetal palette, so I need to switch gears and beads that I carry around with me.

Netting Bracelet with Glass Pear Accents $75.00

Cluster Earrings $75.00
Look for these pieces at the Lansing Art Gallery in late October/November!!

Daphne variation with dripping chandelier centerpiece $150.00
2 Leaf Pendant $45.00
2 Leaf Pendant (other side)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tapestry Workshop with Rebecca Mezoff (Michigan League of Handweavers Workshops 2012)

Thursday evening, August 9th through Sunday, August 12th I spent in Holland, MI at Hope College's campus with some of my favorite people: Weavers and Fiber Artists!

I had chosen to take Rebecca Mezoff's "Color Gradation Techniques for Tapestry."  I was dropping something off at Millie Danielson's house and she brought up that I should look into taking this workshop.  I'm not a "workshop junkie" (a term I learned this weekend and liked) because I have so many things that I have to get done with my artwork that I hate to distract myself with ideas and new techniques. However, I do want to support MLH and the learning opportunities that they have right at our back door.  I have zero formal training in weaving wool tapestry at a tecnical level or how to color gradate. So I applied for an MLH Learning Grant and signed up for Rebecca's class.  Along the way, the Arts Council of Greater Lansing announced a new grant that is for individual artists.  It's the Chris Clark Fellowship Grant.  I decided to apply for it and see if I could get the other portion of my workshop weekend paid for.  I recently found out that I was awarded this grant also, along with a number of other artists.  The 2012 Chris Clark grantees can be found HERE.

What a class!

Day 1:
I learned how to splice so that I have no funny knots and smooth transitions.

Back of my piece/sample.  Please excuse the stray yarns...

Front of the piece, looking through the back of my loom so there's warp in the way.

Rebecca was very organized and had a wonderful power point to show up exactly how some of these techniques are used and how to do them.  She had samples all lined up for us to work on, but what I loved about her teaching style is that there were no hard and fast rules as to how you had to weave your piece.

Day 2:
I decided to try using a cartoon (line drawing behind the weaving) to follow an idea that I had.  I am using pick and pick, transparancy and gradation in the teal/black/grey piece.

Day 3:
On to serious gradation!  The yellow is the yarn we had been using (2 ply), and I started in with a purple block of single ply yarn that you use 3 strands at a time.

And then I got home, set it down in my loom room, and it sat like this until last week.  Nearly done, but after 3 full days of over 30 hours of weaving (my choice, they weren't 10 hours days!) my fingers were ready for a break.

Last week I sat down ad finished my gradation in the purple and yellow.  I remembered it feeling overwhelming because of the counting of single yarns and getting just the right mixture for a smooth transition, but it was't when I got back to it.

#1 "Stream of Consciousness"

#2 "Wing It"

#3 Gradation Block

This is the first workshop weekend that I have taken with the Michigan League of Handweavers. Since these were such new techniques in tapestry for me, I was really driven over the 3 days to get as much information out of the thress days as possible.  The last piece that I did, with the gradation block has potential for me to weave my beaded sculptures through it because the side of the purple block are completely open.  I'm playing with design ideas now.

Chekc out Rebecca Mezoff's Blog about her weekend with our class HERE (there's some good photos of me!)

I thought for a moment that it was the first 3-day workshop I had taken ever, but I'm wrong, Briony Foy did 3 days with the Greater Lansing Weavers Guild in Spring 2011 (Blog post here).

Thank you so much to both the Arts Council of Greater Lansing and the Michigan League of Handweavers for providing me with this opportunity!  I will be blocking these pieces and will soon hang them at Grove Gallery!

This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Forest through the trees: part 7, Leaf panel, woven and stitched leaves

The third and front panel for "She Can't See the Forest Through the Trees" is a panel of mixed fiberart leaves. There will be both beaded leaves and a kind-of stitched fabric leaf.That stitched fabric leaf is what this post is about.
I started experimenting with the excess fabric I had from the Forest weaving. I wanted to make leaves out of it, but I wanted them to be sturdy. The fabric, as you can see from the photo above, is fairly loosely woven. So I got out a fun fiber art fabric that dissolves in water. I am using the Skacel Collection fabric that I got from Woven Art a few years ago. I had bought some more (because I had misplaced this packet of it) and they were carrying a new one that is adhesive on one side.  I will switch to using that one when I run out of the Skacel fabric.
So I have been placing the dissolvable fabric on both side of my woven and sewing like crazy on my sewing machine!  It's nice because there's very little measuring and I feel like I'm drawing with my sewing machine.


When I first got to using this stuff I thought just hot water would work:

 But you really have to boil the white fabric off of it (unless you like to pick at it):

I am finding that you can boil them at various lengths of time depending if you want it a little stiff (almost as if it's starched), or completely loose.  Some of the leaves I have been boiling twice because they come out a little too stiff, which you can only really tell after they're dry.

This is the most I think I've ever used my sewing machine and I'm really loving it. Other ideas are cropping up in my head along the way, but I'm sticking with making my leaves for the time being.

Neon with Muted Greens and Tan Jewelry Multi Loop Checker Earrings and Bangle

Between perusing Pinterest for current color ideas and watching the movie  Poor Things  I had the urge to play more with the neon green-yell...