Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great 3 Days with a "Beautiful Woman"

I must have been very good in a past life to have all the awesome women (and men/boy folk, too) that I do in my life.

Cheryl-Ann Webster, creator of The Beautiful Women Project has been my student the past 3 days in my studio working on some felting techniques before she moves to a too far away city. Her project has touched many, many lives and has brought about so many discussions. I hope one day soon Cheryl-Ann (pronouced with a "ch" like chair, I have learned) writes a book about all her experiences and correspondence. She's one smart cookie, a terrific artist and a good friend. Check out her website, have a look around and love yourself, even if it is just for a moment, it is a start.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

New Endeavor- Long in coming...

Automan by Carolyn Butts of Bon Eco gallery/design

Several Years ago now, I had a call from woman looking for tires. My husband used to race cars and she, Carolyn Butts of Bon Eco gallery (please look at the site- really great stuff) was making fabulous home decor items from post consumer rubber. One converation led to another, we met again at an art festival and since that time, we have been bouncing around ideas to combine our areas of expertice. Well, this is finally coming to fruition. Carlolyn has designed a subwoofer that doubles as a piece of one-of-a kind furniture. I will be creating a piece of felt to be used as the fabric to cover the top of the piece. Carolyn will offer this as an option for custom orders and I (or Carolyn) will consult with the purchaser on design and colour, etc. This is a high end product so it is not like we are going to in full on production and not every order for these pieces will desire the felted wool cover. I have yet to calculate the cost, but this will vary depending on type of wool and design elements. Carolyn has delivered the base (actually a prepared tire that was once on my husbands race car! It is a "slick" no treads) of a prototype for the felted top and this will be sent off to design shows and high-end electronics venues...I wonder what will come of it??

In the meantime, I continue to work on my FeltUnited pieces ready to install next Saturday to recognize the International Day of Felt. I then must lay out some scarves requested by New England Felting Supply gallery and work for another gallery the Silo Weavers Gallery. I have a private student here in my studio Mon/Tue/Wed, so whatever does not get done before then is on hold until later in the week. Lots to do...all good stuff. I am so happy to be back "making"...feels good!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Stunning Image

Yes...stunning image. This is breast cancer.

I had the privilege today to have a woman in my studio that I am so proud to include amoungst my circle of friends. She has been an artist for decades, making a living in the fibre arts with fine knit wearable art. Her work is fun, colourful and lively, much like her. Last year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She arrived at an Artists in Business meeting with a shaved head, which I foolishly first though was a fashion statement as she looked so fabulous completely bald. I was shocked to hear of her diagnosis. This fabulous talented woman went on to endure chemo and a double mastectomy and now has the nicest, perkiest boobies ever...and best yet, she is cancer free. Rock on, Carolyn. You kicked some cancer butt!

She is now in a new phase of her career, branching out into complimentary mediums (like hand-made felt!) and receiving long overdue serious recognition. Carolyn is raising money for the RUN FOR THE CURE. If you would like to donate, you can do so here: Bye-Bye cancer

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Almost Complete

15 inches wide x 32.5 long

I completed another stage of the landscape piece. I still need to give it a final wet felt to finish the surface and complete the mount on the back for hanging. This is to go to a gallery in St. Jacobs once I have a couple more to send with it. It has been a while since I have made a landscape and my process has changed...or shall I say evolved. I took me by surprise actually. I can't even tell you how or in what way it has changed, it just has...allow me to ponder (and go fetch the kids)

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

In Progress

Working on the newest landscape

Initial layout of the landscape

After a quick errand downtown to drop of a disk to my grant writer extraodinaire, Lindsey, I am now home to work on a landscape for the Silo Weavers Gallery. I had planned on laying out 3 and rolling them together, but was reminded after laying out one that that is just not how I work. Each piece must be started and finished before I begin another. I like to really live with one piece at a time and not divide my energy. I am the same with every piece including something that appears mundane and old-hat like scarves. Each piece demands my attention to every detail and creative energy. This results in a truly one of a kind that is a part of me, heart and soul.
My middle one is home with a cold today so he was nice enough to take the picture of me working. Quick lunch and back to work.
I have already worn a spot on my finger today and my work is just beginning. You would think I would build up callouses of some sort, but glad I have not or, perhaps, I would not be as sensitive to the changes in the wool under my hands. More later....happy creative days ahead...

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Monday, September 21, 2009

The Common Cold

Headache, check.
Sore throat, check.
Nasal congestion, check.
Runny nose, check.....

Yup, I have a cold. Inevitable with kids in school. Those little germ factories.

After a busy weekend with the Precious Metal Clay workshop on Saturday with Shannon and Juan and time with the family on Sunday, I am ready to get to work in the studio on some pieces for the Silo Weavers Gallery in St. Jacobs. I will make a few landscapes and figures. These are things I am not really doing right now, but will do so for the gallery. It is already after noon and I have been procrastinationg! On Thursday my friend and fellow fibre artist Carolyn Barnett has hired me for a felting lesson. Looking forward to it. Well, time for hot tea and lemon and some soft wool to lay out and distract me from my stuffy head...

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Friday, September 18, 2009

Felting By the Sea

The view as we are felting from Manon's front "yard"

Making a Beret by the fire on a chilly morning

Shelves in Manon's home. Milliner's delight

Well, I am home from a lovely 3 long, lingering, peaceful days by the sea with friend and wonderful (international award winning) hat maker, Manon Lortie.

Manon is interested in creating felt hats and received a grant for me to take the long 12 hour train journey to her in North Eastern Quebec and spend 3 full days making felt. I arrived at 2:30 A.M. and getting to sleep was difficult with the anticipation of the day to follow. Our work was interspersed with walks on the beach with her dog, mid-day naps and treating ourselves to desert at every meal.

I showed Manon how to lay out a fine felt with some beautiful superfine merino she had in natural colours. To see them come together with a delicate, fine pebbled surface was new for Manon and a real pleasure for me to share. We spent lots of time reflecting on the process. We had tears and laughed (mostly over our French/English translation issues! very funny!) and decided on the last day to lay out some wool and give her newly acquired felting machine a go.

We made 2 samples. One of corriedale and one of merino which we wet out and started right from square one on the machine. It did not save felting time, but we then laid out 2 berets and hand felted them a bit ready for the machine next. I fulled them in the evening and Manon has them ready to shape and block how ever she may decide using her significant skill. Manon gave me a beautiful straw hat that I will treasure and wear with pride. It really is beautiful and she found the right one for me with the first hat she selected.

The train ride home was long and started with a late train at 1;30 a.m. and arrived home in time to pick up where I left off, picking up children and driving to music lessons. I am to attend a precious metal clay workshop tomorrow and deliver some art, but look forward to staying in this peaceful place the beach (and Manon) has left me and spending some time with some wool.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Goofing Off

Design from Chad Alice Hagen's (fabulous) felted hat book - should have added ham slices and titled it "green eggs and ham"... now it's "green eggs and dots". Doesn't quite have the same ring.

Love this...can't wait to wear it! Made with a varigated merino from New England Felting Supply.

Pam commented on my last entry that she believes it is all about momentum. I tend to agree as I have spent the last day & 1/2 firing up the creative engine and getting ready to venture out creatively once again. My fuel has been giving myself permisson to play making a couple of fun little hats that I can wear this fall and winter to keep myself warm, slightly amused and impressed with myself. Of course, my youngest has laid claim to the little beret. I must make him one when the spirit moves me.

I laid out the base of the black hat before bed last night and woke up at 5:30 this morning anticipating adding the dots and wetting it all down. I was sensible enough to not get out of bed at that point, but that hat was on my dreamy mind.

The week after next I am headed to teach a woman who lives "by the sea" in Quebec...a long 12 hour train ride away. She has received a grant for me to come for 3 whole days to play. How great is that?! She is a talented milliner and while she is interested in 3d/vessels leaving the door open to all kinds of fun things, I decided I felt like making some hats to have some techniques fresh in the frontal lobe. I have done very little hat making, to be honest, I believe largely due to my inability to measure anything correctly. They are, however very, very fun to make. Deciding to make them instead of "work" was complete impulse, and absolutely the right thing to do...procrastination can be a beautiful thing.

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Saturday, September 5, 2009

Why is getting to the Studio always Uphill? (when It's in the darn basement!)

From the collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

Seriously! I have had 2 "free" days with no school to drive kids to, everyone happy and healthy. So, why the hold up? My eldest had a friend sleep over Thursday and even though they are teenagers, I still feel responsible to supervise, entertain, monitor... without "creepin". Then we had the promised trip to Chapters (Big book store- think Barnes and Noble) and Starbucks (well, yeah!). One thing after another added up to the day gone by and the same has happened today! All good/productive stuff, making cookies, tidying the house, but jeesh!

I am now waiting for a shopper...who is late by 24 minutes, at this point. I might be inclined to not answer the door, or be surly, or....who am I kidding. I do toy with the though, nevertheless. Makes me feel a bit better. That and a few cookies, that is. (29 minutes and counting)

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Full Swing. Life is Good.

Okay, I have been home a few days. I have napped in the afternoons without a shread of guilt. My bed bug bites are no longer itchy and are healing (Yes, fringin' bed bugs! Not in my house, thankfully) The boys are settled into the beginning of a routine and I am looking ahead!

I was downtown Kingston today making some deliveries and I had not recognized how much I need my Kingston connections. I love my "artist" community. My network is small, but I am so happy to have a handful of craft professionals that I can connect with. Just being "downtown" got my juices flowing ("downtown" in quotes as Kingston is not exactly a metropolis!)

I have completely accepted the fact I missed some entry deadlines. Although, when the catalogues come out, I am certain I will have a pang of jealousy. I am teaching a bit this month and have some schedules to juggle, but other than that I am ready for the studio. I will spend the next few days sketching and will begin the making for my solo exhibtion in March. I will keep you posted, you know I will!!

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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus