Saturday, January 29, 2011

Tight Squeeze

Well, I am done! Time was tight, but with 12 workshops in 2 weeks and only having one finish late by a few minutes (late students!), I think it all went very well. 2 or 2.5 hour workshops to make felt is really a tight squeeze. Unfair to the medium really, as there is just too much to share and understand that one cannot begin to express in that time frame. That being said, I had many students who I know will take the experience and move forward in some way. At the very least, they will know what felt is and have a little appreciation for what kind of work is involved. Some may use it in their own classrooms or make reference to it in some way. It's a good thing (sorry, Martha)
My only regret is that there was not one more week. It took a week for them to notice I was there and then they were clamouring for spaces available in the second week. One more week to get them all hooked (maniacal laugh) would have been good. So now what, you ask? (or maybe not, but I am going to tell you anyway):

1.) Teapot for an invitational show in Pittsburgh
2.) Retirement gift for my mommy
3.) Scarves for a gallery
4.) Bags for new Water + Wool Gallery (located at New England Felting Supply)
5.) Work for the Agnes Etherington Sales and Rental Gallery

There are things I must do that I will sort of enjoy, must do but will enjoy, and don't have to do and will really enjoy. Fitting it all in is always a tight squeeze.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Working it out...

As I head into my second week of my Artist in Residence, I am sooo grateful that I spent so much time planning for both weeks. I do have some things to prepare and pack, but I am feeling like I have a handle on things. As tired as I was on Friday and as busy as I have been this weekend, counting on working would have been unthinkable.

A bit of an explanation of how this whole thing works. I have been hired by the University who have subsidized workshops for the teacher candidates at the teachers college. The program offers a position every 4 years to a visual artist and alternates performing arts, music, literary arts. So, my students are graduate students from many different areas. When the classes do not fill, limited spots may be offered to the public for a fee. I also have a few special workshops...a couple open to the public, and a larger art group. So, I have some repeat students if they can fit it in their class schedule and some who may not decide to come at all. Between workshops, the studio is open for students to come by and ask questions or work on projects and I am free to work on my own thing (which has mostly been cleaning up and setting up).

The classes are very short for feltmaking so, I have made kits to save fiber selection/amount questions time. I have all equipment pre-cut and ready on each spot along with everything they need. So far, the timing has worked out well and they only tight thing I anticipate for next week is the vessels which is for 20 people in 2 hours. We are working small so I think it will all work out!
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Keeping myself busy between workshops...these are going to the new WATER + WOOL gallery. (purple one not done!)


my kitchen...

moving in...

another view.
Well, must run 20 students to arrive to all make scarves in 2 hours. Thank goodness for prefelt!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Day One: A Piece of Cake

Oh, what a great day. I woke on time, van loaded, lunches packed, kids dropped off in the bitter cold (bye. boys!) and I toodled up the road to my Artist-Educator in residence position. I entered my studio...all was quiet... too quiet (crap. #1: bring radio), I looked for the clock (#2: bring clock) and paced around a bit wondering if someone would be checking on me to see if I was punctual (which I was and, incidentally, always am).

Okay. Project. Yes, I need a project to get me to 12:00 before my students arrive. Short fibre merino beckons and, voila, jewelry it is. Pal, Ingrid, drops by with a cold Starbucks (she had a detour. I was grateful, nevertheless) and we chewed the fat (must look up where that expression originates) while I see-sawed away on my bamboo mat making ropes. Ingrid did not mind for she is a true friend. Alas, her meter is about to expire, so I am again in my silence looking for a clock.

Angela, the co-ordinator, appears and (sky opens, sea parts, angels sing) brings me...a radio...and a technician to connect me to the internet (more angels singing). Oh, life is good.

Oh, students, yes, they come! Some are late, some are sleepy, some not authorized to attend, but "hey!", all pretty enthusiastic. I am game. Away we go. Anyone here felt? (crickets) anyone here ever see handmade felt (more crickets)...okay, square one and off to the races. 11 scarves in 2.5 hours. Done. Next?

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Friday, January 14, 2011

All packed up.

Ready to move into "The Studio" at Queen's Faculty of Education. I start Monday :o)

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Laundry List:

- Buy more drop cloth material and cut into scarf lengths
- cut screen material into 20+ pieces
-photocopy information/resource sheets for 230+ students
-Hair cut (and colour, shhh)
-read (and drool over) new German Felt magazine with enclosed English translation (bonus)
-Pet new cashmere/silk roving
-fill wool orders (argh)
-plan some small projects to work on between my Artist in Res workshops (and thinking I might be crazy to think I am going to get to do anything!)

tick tock

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Monday, January 10, 2011

Play time done, for now!

finished and drying on a hanger.


back view

full front view. I ended up making slits in the side so that when it is on, the front panels fall nicely. It is still damp here and hanging a little stiff.

Mid way through fulling.
I got impatient and took the piece off the resist quite early and immediately regretted it knowing it could all come apart. It was all in a heap and I could not let what part was what. I very carefully lifted shifted the piece to begin fulling careful to support the weight.

Wet out last flap

layout of last flap
I will post a picture of me in it when my photographer is done his homework!

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

next step...

Pretty, Huh? I know it is difficult to tell what is going on, but it will all make sense!

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me wearing requested!

The resist ready for the nest one. This one will be all wool (no silk fabrics incorporated) a little longer and fuller in the bottom. I'm looking forward to getting started.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Just for Me

Totally an "Andrea" vest

A little closer...

...and the back

It rarely happens that I create something with the intention of it being for me, for keeps. Yes, I sometimes make a piece for "me" that ends up being shipped out along with all the other things I fall in love with as I make them, but not this one. I do always love the last one I made the best. That being said, this is my new "love". I know I will enjoy wearing this when I teach. It took me forever to calculate the resist, as I am mathematically challenged. I also had to think what my silk ratio would be as this affects shrinkage. The next one I make will have more wool and with more overlap on the front and, perhaps I will play with some asymmetry. This took me a few days to complete in and out of the studio and I am hoping to get another done this weekend. Wouldn't that be a treat? (I am excited now!).

I am sooo sorry, you all, that I did not document the process. My camera batteries were dead and I knew I could not delay! I will for the next one!

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Monday, January 3, 2011

...and the pile grows

OMG. I have made thousands (seriously) of little balls of wool the last couple of days and am so glad to have all the fibre organized for my Queen's University Artist-Educator in Residence position (which begins in a couple of weeks). Still lots of equipment and materials to organize, but this was a major part.
I bought a cute little table top ironing board so I don't have to schlep my big one because, you know, I iron sooo much at home. Truth be told, I boycotted ironing non-felt items several years ago which mysteriously coincided with the receipt of an ironing board cover in my Christmas stocking. We have since worn only knit wear and yoga pants. The children are now outcasts, but it's a small price to pay really.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ready, students?!

This is how I will be looking at your felt! (I am totally kidding)

Some of the over 230+ kits I will be putting together for my Artist in Residence position

"kits" in progress...

Like little loaves of freshly baked bread, no?
I am not a fan of making "kits". I like variation and surprise, but teaching very short workshops for my Artists-Educator in Residence position at Queen's University means I must prepare as much as I can before hand. No pussy-footing around for my students if they are going to get any felting done! I will be teaching some wet felting, as well as needle felting and I am not sure what to expect from my students! I will teach 1-2 workshops a day and will likely be spending the remainder of the day cleaning up and setting up for the next day. The studio is a nice open space and I really look forward to moving in. I may just not want to leave! I have a couple of weeks left to prepare and I know that time will go very quickly, so I am not leaving things to the last minute.
I am soooo itching to felt right now. I have a couple of new ideas to play with as well as a couple of shows to prepare for. I feel like there is something out there about to come my way, hope my instincts are on track. I am back to my regular routine tomorrow (which is more often irregular) and have too many options. You know I will keep you posted....
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Saturday, January 1, 2011


Kevin Bacon in Footloose

A part of my spirit longs to be foot loose and fancy free. To wake each day with a stretch, birds singing beyond my window, and have the ability to carve each day as I make my way through it without considering where it will end. While this is a romantic notion, I also know that it would drive me crazy.

Perhaps this is where balance comes in. My life seems to have vast blocks of one or the other. Scheduling "unscheduled time" seems like a contradiction, but I begin my year with blocking out big spots of time to come up for air.
I bid 2010 adieu, with all it's hairs and warts (2011 currently promises to shave and pluck) and have things to look forward to in the New Year as well as a wish list to begin to plan:
-Artist-Educator in Residence at Queen's University
-Work traveling Europe with The Climate is Changing
-Work traveling US with FiberArt International
-Another child becomes a teen while one begins to drive
- Teaching at New England Felting Supply
-Invitational shows in Pittsburgh and Boston
-begin to develop a new body of work
-submit work for the Agnes Etherington Art Lending bank.
-book a couple of more teaching gigs (U.S. likely)
- A trip to Europe- teach? Visit? Both?
-Exhibition research
-develop a new body of work

Lets see how that goes for starters. Happy New Year to you all. Make it count.
"I just don't know if I believe in everything that you believe in. But I believe in you." footloose
(good one, huh?)

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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus