Monday, June 29, 2009

These images are from the tableaux I created in the glass display case in my recent exhibition "Transition" in Kansas City. The interplay between the journals, the maquettes and the work was very inspiring and allowed people a glimpse into my working process, especially how integral journaling and visual journals are to how I work. Solo exhibitions are a wonderful opportunity to step back and review one's own evolution of their work. Generally work is boxed up in the studio and so I do not have the opportunity to see the evolution and progression of the work. In this case, it is a new body of new ideas and materials that have been percolating in the journals for years. There have been many tangents and backslides as I exlore different avenues, the show validated I am headed in the right direction. It was also very validating as a teacher of Creative Visual Journaling to step back and see how what I practice echoes what I teach.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Recently back from the Surface Design Association biennial conference in Kansas City,MO where I had a solo show "Transition." It marked my 'coming out' so to speak with a very new body of work that embraces the many different media I work in. The work displayed included whole cloth textiles and woven recycled cloth rag weaving both painted with surface design techniques, low and high fire ceramics, drypoint monoprints, collographs, and wall sculptures of bull kelp, bamboo and steel.The images above pan the exhibition moving from the left to the right. The intimacy of the space fitted the body of work well. I spent 2 days installing it. I love it when I have the opportunity to install a solo exhibition. I can listen to the work and create a sense of a conversation or dialogue between the work. The glass case in the middle displayed journals and maquettes of ideas. These added to a sense of the dialogue or progressive conversation of ideas that inspired the work. The staircases and sense of journey that have been the muse of my textiles for many years are evolving in to sense of a journey by vessel or boat.

On another note, Kansas City is great, full of old architecture, signs painted on old brick warehouses, now peeling off, a sense of westward and river history and very friendly. It was a stimulating conference on many levels. Seeing old and new friends, great exhibitions, speakers that stimulated thought and I had a wonderful group for my post conference workshop "Making and Keeping Creative Journals."

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Time has passed and I am still getting used to blogging so I have a bit of filling in to do to catch this up to date. In January, as I was finishing the embroidery of the Biltmore project I created a valentine to send off to Fiberarts Magazine. I had the honor of having this valentine postcard selected for First Place in the Fiberarts Jacquard Card Valentine Competition. My husband Cornelis was honored and the valentine resides on a shelf in his massage room. It was the first creative endeavor after completing the panels. When you make something from your heart, it is imbued with a special energy.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Biltmore Replication Project 2009 - Finished!

Last week I finished a huge textile replication project for the Biltmore Estate. By huge I mean the time it took - 2 years and 1 1/2 months to complete. The individual pelmets, similar to a valance, are not large 21" x 102" finished but they are very rich in color, materials and detail. A "textile replication" is as exact a copy of the original textile as possible. The original panels are not in good enough condition to rehang when they restore and open the Second Floor Living Hall in 2011. My four pelmets will hand in their stead. The top photo shows the panels being lined and backed at my friend Bernie Rowell's studio. The gold cotton sateen is a wonderful tight woven fabric and necessitated keeping my needle sharp with the sand strawberry. The bottom photo shows a finished pelmet, the darker brown velveteen end panels were probably added to the central embroidered panels when the Vanderbilts had them made into pelmets. The brown velvet hangs on the side of the pelmet frame with the entire embroidery panel spanning across the window and drapes that will hang below. It will be wonderful to see them hanging in their glory once again when the Second Floor Living Hall opens in 2011.

Biltmore Replication Project 2008

2008 was spent hand embroidering the 4 pelmet panels I am replicated for the Biltmore Estate (see last post). It was a wonderful year spent in a time warp of hand embroidery. Using red and white DMC floss and chain and couching stitches I embroidered the appliqued pieces secuely to the gold sateen backing. I modified a large quilting frame to use as an embroidery frame (middle photo) and it turned out to be exactly the size I needed. The back of the panels (bottom photo) are beautiful with a true sense of the stitches, the many many stitches that cover each 21" x 89" panel. When I embroidered I entered a time warp, living in the 21stC but embroidering at the same age old slow speed that women and men have embroidered for centuries. One can only embroider so fast and even in this century of incredible technology, and living in one of the most "advanced" societies I am embroidering at the same pace with a woman up in the Chilean Andes.

Biltmore Replication Project 2007

In January 2007, I had the incredible opportunity to undertake a replication project for the Biltmore Estate here in Asheville. It was a wonderful job that challenged me, using all my textile expertise and pushed me to new levels of craftsmanship. I began in Jan. by visiting the Biltmore Estate to do a mylar tracing of an original pelmet panel in their collection. The rest of 2007 was spent using thickened MX dyes to color match cotton sateen and cotton velveteen to the original colors (photo on top), gilding a silk-linen rep weave fabric with 24 kt gold, making pattern and pattern boards, using the color coded pattern pieces to cut the original shapes from the dyed cloth and using an archival adhesive, tacking down them to a gold sateen background cloth (photo on bottom).