Thursday, September 30, 2010

Leaps and Bounds

"Leaps and Bounds" (detail)

Finished! First seen in my August 5 post "Between Inspirations" this little (roughly 40" square) quilt is ready for my Open Studio event in November. I think that an assortment of work is necessary to have on hand: small matted pieces, printed cards, smaller utilitarian pieces like this one, along with the larger more artful work.

By the looks of things one would surmise that I'm well organized...this piece is well ahead of schedule.

EXCEPT November is also the Sisters' exhibit in New Haven at Bru, my two-person show with Maureen Squires (mixed-media) at Friends & Co in Madison and my going to Houston to see "Creative Force", the SAQA exhibit that I was lucky
enough to get into (it'd be a cold day in Hell before I did not get to see it UP).

THEN I can kick back (as if) and participate in the Shoreline Arts Trail Open Studio the third weekend in November. That's just before American Thanksgiving when traditionally our home is the gathering point for family from Maine, DC and Winnipeg.

But I've got that horse WAY before the cart. Next week our little Friendship Force of Southern Connecticut is hosting an exchange from Varel, Germany and guess who is the Exchange Director? This next week is going to be such fun. We have events scheduled for each day ranging from tours of Yale, pizza parties, cookouts on the beach, a trip to a wonderful museum (Pequot Museum), to dinner parties. I have even arranged for the Good Humor Man to call on our Welcome Dinner. Nothing more Americana than the Good Humor Man!

Upon re-reading my post I think I need to relax, close my eyes and get centered ;^) I REALLY want to enjoy the journey.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Terrific Find! Eva Zeisel

One of my hero(ine)s is Eva Zeisel. Here's a quote from Wikipedia:

Eva Striker Zeisel[1] (born Eva Amalia Striker,[2] November 13, 1906) is a Hungarian industrial designer known for her work with ceramics, primarily from the period after she immigrated to the United States. Her forms are often abstractions of the natural world and human relationships.[3] Work from throughout her prodigious career is included in important museum collections across the world. Zeisel declares herself a "maker of useful things."[3]. Zeisel currently resides in New York where she continues to design furniture as well as glass and ceramic objects.

The thing is that most useful, everyday glassware is not marked with the designer's name. Which,
from my selfish point of view, is a very good thing. Once you've held one of Zeisel's glasses in your hand you will never be interested in holding another...and you will always recognize it even when it's hiding among myriad knockoffs.

Today on my trip to a Goodwill Thrift Store ....because it was near where my art quilt group met today....VIOLA!!! I came across Twelve!!! small juice glasses, sometimes referred to as sherry glasses.

I think I have cornered the market on them here along the CT Shoreline.

I love them. All sizes, with the Federal Co. swirl or without. Each is a wonderful, useful piece of sculpture.

Bravo, Eva! You are an inspiration! Can you imagine: Approaching 104 years of age AND still creating beautiful objects!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The grunt work....

This first photo is of "Consider the Kelp", one of my last year's completions.

But this year I'm including it in my work for Shoreline Arts Trail Open Studio in November. I took last year off because the Open Studio Tour in my own studio the previous years had placed a hardship on my family. (My husband and I share a home with my daughter and her family: two parents and two children and two dogs!) Those who have had or have youngsters at home know how busy a household can be!
This year I will camp out at the Guilford Art Center. There are casts of thousands who include the Center in their stopping points along the trail, so I have hopes of needing a supply, especially of the smaller work. I have decided to mount on foam core those under 24" in either direction.

This second piece is one of my submissions to Fiberactions' challenge for the word "communication". It's titled "Signs and Symbols".

I have decided just to whittle away the mountain of prep that needs to be done in order to get me situated at the Center in November. Today I got two mounted. Two down and umpteen to go.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fiberactions: September 15

Fiberactions time again! On the 15th of very other month, each member posts the results of her challenge to create a 16" x 20" piece inspired by a particular word. This month the word was 'stretch'.

Pictured here is a detail of "Time to Go?" my offering. I chose to stretch myself by creating limitations and, in so doing, challenge myself to stretch my imagination.

The limitations were: one piece of fabric, one color of paint, one embellishment and thread.

I cut a freezer paper stencil, painted with charcoal grey, painted the distant birds from an antique Japanese stencil with greatly darkened grey, machine stitched and embellished with antique, silk covered buttons.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Spunk" and Foam Core

This past January Fibercations, an online group that I belong to, posted its word challenge "initiative". I chose to interpret one of the word's literal definitions (dynamism, energy, originality, vigor, spunk, longing, love, passion, action.).

Now, months later, as I prepare for Open Studios I am mounting many of my smaller-to-mid sized pieces on archival foam core. In August I was asked by the Massachusetts SAQA group to give a mini-demo....which got me to thinking (oh, no! not thinking again!)

So far I think each of the pieces I've mounted has been elevated a little in its visual punch.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Like I'm not busy enough

When I signed up for Lyric Kinard's wonderful printing class at Quilt University I must have had my head up and locked.

I've been grandparenting all summer and hosting an even stream of house guests. I actually thought "What the Heck, summer will be at a close and I'll have time". WRONG!

Pictured here is Lesson One that I completed today. Just so you know, tomorrow Lesson Three is released!

The leaves were cut from newspaper to create a screen and the ferns were cut from freezer paper some time ago for a different project (Tide Pooling-After Audubon, see my August 15 post).

Both of these prints are on reclaimed linen napkins that I found in thrift stores...the blue one is damask and recently unsuccessfully sunprinted ;^) (see the last post!)

The yellow/green paint was a little too thick and began to dry too I rinsed it out of the screen. By the time I returned the napkin had dried so I, again, thought "what the heck?" and applied another layer of darker green.

I should have my head examined. Why I think I can get all this accomplished is bizarre. Aside from trying to ready for the Shoreline Arts Trail Open Studios in November, I am also the volunteer Exchange Director for an incoming cultural exchange from Varel, Germany in October! Friendship Force International: wonderful organization, great goals, too much on my plate!

Just send the shrink over the next time you see me volunteer for something! Seriously.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Threat of Hurricane? Not in my backyard!

Hurricane Earl was scheduled to arrive Friday afternoon...after our long-planned Sun Printing with The Sisters. We figured that if there was no sun there might be sufficient light to print and, if not, we'd just end up with painted fabric. Not so bad. We soldiered on.

Pictured is one of my pre-block printed pieces of linen that I didn't like. The jury is still out.

Several of my new-passion-for-brown/mud fabric are interesting. I have in my head the color and mood for a new work and I'm still gathering the fabric. Actually I have a sizable hoard...oops...stash of earthy fabric of all ilk and I should move into action mode. If there were not SO many things on my overloaded plate...soon. At least that's a goal.