Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Although I've been stitching into different kinds of fabric since I was five years old, I've never done much on paper or other materials. When it came time to assemble our various markmaking experiments into little books, Dorothy encouraged us to sew things in rather than use glue. And that led to interesting textures and results.
Here's a haiku that I sewed into one of my books.
Monday, July 28, 2014
Dorothy Caldwell is known as a superb handstitcher, so naturally we did sewing in her workshops. Her favorite stitch is the kantha, aka running stitch, which can be urged into a surprising variety of patterns and rhythms.
Here are the two pieces that I started in the workshop and am still working on.
Three years ago I worked on a collaborative project with my friend Terry Jarrard-Dimond, who had been introduced to blind stitching in a Dorothy Caldwell workshop and loved it. We each did twelve hours of blind stitching, in the course of which we got to be pretty good at it.
The white stitching was blind; the blue was added later with eyes open.
The blue details below are more traditional kantha stitches, which I also found comfortable because I had worked with the technique extensively during my year of daily hand-stitching.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Friday, July 25, 2014
Back to unfinished business, showing you what I made in the Dorothy Caldwell workshops last month.
We experimented with many ways to make marks in addition to the obvious use of ink (or paint) with a pen or brush. Perhaps the most fun was the day we got to burn holes in things -- outdoors, with a big pail of water handy for those awkward moments when things got out of hand.
First we played with a candle, holding the paper carefully above the flame so the soot would waft up and coat the paper. After the paper got a good layer of soot, you could draw into it with the end of your brush. We had to use spray fixative to keep the soot from smudging.
On vellum, we noticed that white blisters surrounded some of the holes, and upon experimentation found that you could barely touch the incense stick to the vellum and get a trail of blisters with no holes.
Update: I'm linking this to Nina-Marie's blog, where each week you can check out what other fiber artists have been up to.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
In 2011 I wrote about a vacation with a five-year-old, how he was curious about my daily art project for that year and decided to adopt it for his own during our week at the beach. Earlier this month I had the pleasure of spending time with him again -- now he's nine -- and again he was curious about my daily art project. After watching me do my collage he wanted to do his own.
We both worked on the same "assignment" -- make a face by putting together parts from other images. I was impressed that he was literally thinking outside the box, allowing the hair and beard to extend off the page.
a cow on the sofa, and his first one was also a living-room scene, but he quickly moved on to soccer, in the exciting final days of the World Cup.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
I wrote last week about some of the recurring themes in my daily collages, and now that I'm home from yet another trip, thought I would talk a bit about the theme of travel. One of my criteria for daily art is that it has to be portable, so I can do it even if I'm away from home (thus, no painting or chainsaw sculpture). With collage, I set off with blank cards, a scissors and a glue stick, and collect printed materials along the way. As a result, the collages frequently incorporate maps or tourist info that make them a bit like journals or diaries.
Here are some examples:
Don't you always find that even with a wonderful trip, the perfect length of vacation is about two days less than however long you have planned to stay? I'm always happy to be heading home.
Friday, July 18, 2014
On my recent jaunt to Europe I noticed a nifty little quirk in the table linens we encountered in several restaurants -- the napkins have numbers woven into them. Presumably intended for the home audience, so you can keep the napkins straight for a couple of days before you throw them in the wash. But also fun to compare numbers in the restaurant while you drink your wine under the grapevine veranda in the sunset.
And speaking of subtle, how about sitting down to this elegant table, all in orange...