Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What's Gnu

What's Gnu? 
I am in full-on work-in-studio/winter hibernation mode! 

I have shows to prepare for and workshop organization in full swing finalizing details and bookings. Okay, I was completely spoiled with a few days in NYC...

and there may be a few other worthy distractions, but the clock is ticking and Art is what it is all about. I will release an image of the first piece in the new series, but the rest will remain under wraps until the work premieres in Verona, Italy. 

Images soon! In the meantime, here is the very pared-down-in-details workshop schedule. For more complete information, contact names and links, visit my website under the workshop tab.

April 8-10- Cleveland Museum of Art- Ohio, U.S.A
April 12-14- Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati- Ohio U.S.A.
May 7-12, The Netherlands
May 17-18 Verona, Italy
FULL May 21-22 London, England
FULL May 24-25 Hampshire, England
June 9-14 Calgary, Alberta
June 16-18- Lethbridge
June - Kelowna, B.C.
July - East Hampton, Massachusetts
Sept  16-20- Minnesota

More later!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


The trip to Boston was fantastic and Andrea and I had such fun. The exhibition at the ICA was great

but the absolute highlight was a video piece by Ragnor Kjartansson. (above) A stunning piece with such beauty and curiosity.

We also stopped at the Mobilia Gallery thanks to our companion for the day, Marcia Young, of FiberArt Now magazine who arranged the visit and drove us to beautiful Cambridge. I have work there in a new show and it is a fantastic gallery. I fell in LOVE with the kinetic rings by Michael Berger.

Today I am working on a presentation I will be giving at the Modern Fuel Artist Run Centre alongside Kevin Rodgers. He is artist and Director of the centre and I look forward to hearing about his residence in Belgium. I will discuss how my travels will inform my new work..which is juuuust beginning, so discussing it tonight I think will allow me to consider the impact more fully. Even as I put the lecture together (Oh, yes...for tonight!) I will be developing these ideas. Kind of exciting.

I have set a schedule for myself that will encourage me to complete the required number of sculpture for my solo exhibitions in Verona, Italy in May and The Canadian Guild of Craft in Montreal in September. At this point, there are a whole lot of things crossed out and moved around and while I have the feeling time is on my side,  I know better. Time is fleeting and it is time to focus.

My schedule this week has drinks with friends, parent teacher meetings, art meeting and (more) drinks with friends. All this takes me from my studio space but I know serves as fuel for my creativity. I am a people person and need to be out with my people!

Always such a balance. I'll keep you posted...Now off to work!!

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Saturday, October 18, 2014

What's up?

Today I am waking up in the lovely home of author and felt whisperer, Christine White. She woke much earlier than I to head out to Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival. I keep telling myself I will make it there one year. While I just love people, I am not a huge fan of crowds and it will be shoulder to shoulder there this weekend, I am certain.

Today, I will catch up on some work, stop by New England Felting Supply and Boston. While in Boston, I will pick up the talented feltmaker, Andrea Noeske-Porada.

She makes very interesting geometric felt utilizing different weights and densities of wool to effect share and shrinkage.

We will go to the Mobilia gallery to see the show I am in (and the great company I am showing with!) and the the big fibre show at the ICA  (The institute of Contemporary Art)

I will deliver Andrea to her next destination and then head home to get to work in the studio.
I am so pleased to let you know I will have a solo exhibition in Verona, Italy. The fantastic owner of DHG in Italy has been coordinating the Italian leg of my visit and I am both grateful and excited to dd this to the European bookings that will be announced very (very) soon.

I will be in the studio in the coming months and sharing bits and pieces here as they become available. The big reveal of new work will come in the early Spring as I prepare to depart but I will keep you posted on progress and all the other things I am doing in between, because you know there is always lots going on here! I look forward to including you on this next stage...the next part of this fantastic journey.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tuning in..

Hi All!,

I am hoping to convince you all to "tune in" (an antiquated expression in this age, for sure) and join me in a LIVE chat with Fiber Art Now as part of their show series FanFare. You can register and/or find details here
I will be live streamed from my studio to answer all (well, maybe not ALL) your questions and talk to you about my work and my practice. This event is sponsored by my favorite supplier New England Felting Supply What sets them apart is the wide range of products and it is stocked full just for us feltmakers. The owner and author of what has become known as the "felt bible", Uniquely Felt, is Christine White and she is so creative in her approach to keep us supplied with materials that inspire.
I have wondering where the days are going as I have been planning my Spring teaching schedule and getting art shipped out for shows at the University of Dayton and the Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge. I have some friends to catch up with, a trip to Boston planned and them I will be busy making work. I will very soon be updating you with the new teaching schedule and showing you bits and pieces as I begin some new, until then I hope to hear from you on Sunday afternoon!

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014


Oh, faithful followers...I am so sorry. I have not been ignoring you, and being "busy" is certainly no excuse as:

a.) I am always "busy" (as we ALL are) and my blog is just part of what had been my daily routine and
b.) I really dislike when people say they are "busy" (hence the quotes!) It is said like a badge of honour when I think taking time to "sloth", on occasion, should be more valued in our North American culture.
omg...he is smiling. the. sloth. is. smiling.

 To be honest, I think it just fell from my routine and I need to add it back and I will now!! Thanks for your patience and for sticking around. So, what's up?...dear me...where to begin!

Since July I have been spending time with my boys after long absences this fall and early summer. What am amazing time of reflection on some great teaching experiences and meeting fantastic people and seeing beautiful places...the Rockies, the Alps, the Andes... I also spent some time getting reacquainted with my arts community and looking ahead.

The career of an artist must be in perpetual motion or opportunites are missed and deadlines pass. It can be exhasting and daunting, but so rewarding. Keeping on top of things when I feel like pulling the covers over my head pushes me and challenges me. So proposals and grant application are in the midst along with lots of art to make...

A couple of weeks ago a wonderful, much anticipated feltmaker that was scheduled to teach for New England Felting Supply was denied entry into the U.S. (such an ordeal!)  I am fortunate and privileged to be the holder of a visa that deems me an "extrordinary talent" is temporary, but valid currently and I took on the students that were happy for a last minute substitution.
  I had fantastic students in 2 landscape classes and managed to attend a fantastic chile roast with some of the best friends a girl could have

this is exactly what we looked like, but with salsa. I am Monica.

 Sooo...what is ahead. Well, I have an exhibition at the University of Dayton, Gallery 249, in Dayton, Ohio for the show, Fibers in Flux: Contemporary Perspectives/Traditional Processes

(my work will go, but not I) It would have been nice to coordinate a teaching event with the opening, but I am busy making more work. I will also have work in a show at the Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, Mass. themed Seeds...these will go along with some new work (I will post images of the new work later...something to look forward to!)

 Then....I will be working on work for 2 (yes T-W-O) solo exhibitions next in Verona, Italy (Yeah, you heard right...soooo happy to be going back to Italy!) and then in Montreal at the Canadian Guild of Craft. Lots ahead and I am so pleased to be sharing it with you all.

I'll keep you posted, as always...

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Friday, July 18, 2014

My day in the spotlight and...production time.

A quick cold drink and script review

 Early this week I traveled to Toronto to shoot a video for a company called WorkInCulture
for their YouTube Channel (estimate posting-September) Karen  and Susan, my contacts there, are so  great and are ready to take on some serious work on behalf of us Canadian artists that contribute so much. Being an artist is not for sissies. I am not kidding when I say it takes diversity in our practice to make being a professional artist work.

I am not a T.V. star...I have pretended on occasion, truth be told....and had a few brief opportunities as an "extra" and such while living in  Atlanta, but certainly not what I would call any real experience. Goofing around here filming my statement for my piece "Cleaning House" with my pal Alec Ross hardly counts.

I was greeted by the warm and professional, Brad Dicks as I entered the studio of Heather Shaw of Pilo. It was sauna-like with the lights..Heather filmed prior to my arrival and I was followed by Kim McBrien I was soon followed by the (A-dorable) "Hudson" the kitten...He had me at "meow". We filmed, we lunched, we filmed a bit more, and I was on the road to deliver work to the Craft Ontario guild shop, make a quick stop at the gallery/office to say "Hi" to awesome staff and beat it out of town before rush hour.

Image of Hudson by the fantastic and amenable, Brad Dick with WorkInCulture, who was so easy to work with!

 Ahh. It begins. last year, I suspended any commercial scarf/hat production work for a couple of reasons...

1.) I was creating work for the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. Glad I did, as I not only made some great work, but enjoyed some long,decadent  summer days with friends...time I will not ever get back and I made to most of it...Heaven.

2.) (big reason) I really wanted to distance myself from the "functional" work and concentrate on my fine art practice.

Reality, however, has kicked in and these are great sellers and there is a demand. With a fantastic new assistant on board, I am ready to design some exciting things and get them out the door so I can work on a new body of sculptural work for 2 solo exhibitions in 2015 (yes, details soon!)

These are hats from over a year ago and they were popular in Toronto....

I made a new one today in PINK with this template...but will be switching it up.

These are my fantastic "collage scarves" that were Niche Award finalists in 2012,but we will be switching it up this year with some exciting stuff. Maybe a combo...who knows?! Having an assistant will be fun as she, Susan Farber, an artist in her own right, is a real delight and has feltmaking experience (YAY!). I look forward to the dialogue and experimentation. It will mean not everything goes out the door, but the journey and development will be so productive and will feed us both. LIFE IS GOOD. I am one fortunate woman.

Ciao, Ciao (a clue as to where I will be soon, but not soon enough!..sigh!)

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pretty in Pink

 While in Portland, I purchased a heavenly long ribbon of soft pink cashmere roving. Truth be told, I am at heart a real girly-girl and what says decadence like cashmere. This is from DHG in Italy and it is perfection.

The layout was 2 thin, perpendicular layers on the smooth side of my bubble wrap (no point concentrating on that perfect layout to have it swim between the bubbles!) It did about 15 inches wide and 8 feet long. Remember: the finer the layout the more the shrinkage (and wonderfully drapeable!)

 Rolled and felted for a while very carefully with thin plastic on top. Now slowly fulling by sliding back and forth on my surface. Sooo wet tissue.
 I can pick it up and gently full now. A weird stage that feels like flat wet cardboard. it reminds me of Alpaca at this point and I was aware most people might think it is done at this I keep going!!
 Wowsers. The cashmere produced gentle loops and is so soft a drapable. I am so pleased I fulled and fulled ( many times have I said that word?)

 This image does not capture the correct colour, but shows the buttery folds. The following week one of my dear friends visited and it had her name all over it. I was so pleased for her to have it!

I have enough to make another so I need to work myself up to creating another one. It was labour intensive but really worth it!

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Buenos Aires: Felt, food and friends far away.

 Waiting for my flight in Terminal 3 at Pearson Airport in Toronto. Met a nice Geological engineer from Turkey. I told him I always seem to meet a geologist/geological engineer..he says it is because they travel so much. makes sense.

 Time to settle in...10 hour flight to Santiago.

 The Andes are SPECTACULAR

 My seat mate from San Francisco (Hey, Dan) was unimpressed with the fog.

 Considering I had no idea we were landing in Santiago, this was a "treat" ticket says "Buenos Aires", but we must deplane, clear security, get finger printed, smile for the camera :o) ...and get back on board the same plane.
 Welcome to BA...a city of over 10 (yes, ten) Million...

 The view from my apartment kitchen is winter here now, but with the sun today, you would not know it!

 Ready for day one of teaching in a beautiful gallery that supports the exhibition of the work of traditional weavers in remote areas of Argentina.

 The women arrive...lots of kisses in South America.

 First dinner Argentinian beef, wine, arugula. Fantastic. The best tasting meat here.

 My teeny tiny for 2.

 My starting point each A.M.was the Starbucks. I have a food allergy and while away and solo, I  need to stick to what is predicable. A Starbucks Latte is a safe way to begin...not to mention delish and a great place to people watch with doggies and winter coats.

 My corner in my hood.

 the best part...the feltmaking!!

 Lots of fabulous pods. These are all made with 100% Argentinian merino! I really love this wool. So happy to have been able to use it.

 Next workshop...making our prefelt...I can tell who are Julia's students...excellent layout!
 and exciting accessories!!
 Vessels in progess...
 A night time tour...traffic in a very, very, big China Town for fish!
 squidy things.
 What you looking at?
 Starbucks not open yet...switching it up at the cafe.

 on my walk to "work"

 Argentinian spirit getting ready for the World Cup Match...
 Results from the vessels workshop...I allowed some freedom and love the results..these students were ready for the creative challenge.
 Lovely women
 excitement over the results!
 My beautiful host, Julia Rossi and I.

 a free day and a walk about to the mall and such...
 Swanky shops (picture of purchase to follow)


 Required attire for lunch out durring world cup soccer in Argentina!

 Mmmm, Milenese. SO good!
 selling flowers on the street...

 Condiments in squeeze bags. So sensible.
 Really affordable, good $2.50!

 A mix of old and that...French architecture.
 The Presidents

 Love to stop and take it all in and then one by one cover the bases.

 Ruben Santantonin. Cardboard, glue, fabric and paint.
 Diego Rivera

 Frida Kahlo

 Luch on the roof with my students on a day warm enough!

 Hola, Kitty!
 Susanna challenged me with a creative question...I helped her with the process.

 At work

 Landscapes and many variations.
 Happy, happy
 Waiting for the doggie walker.

 Wool shops with U.K. feltmaker, Karen Ombler living in BA.

 A charming path (this is the jacket purchased from swanky shop)

 getting ready for the next game!

 Sweet shops with lovely things.

 Lunch out with Julia and my wonderful translators, Mirta and Sil and Julia! A round of beer with each goal by Argentina!

 Back to work with a new group.

 Most cars have crumpled spots :o)

 Markets and doggies.
 My students have to coolest shoes and jewelry. I always leave with a list of designers!


 Fun results!
 Cold day, but the sun is shining!
 last night and a lovely surprise and a gift from Mirta..handmade by her from paper and linen. Love it.

 Julia made me delicious empanadas for the flight which I enjoyed with wine and a move. Thank you, my dear.
It is late and I cannot sleep...but I am headed home so no worries. I have returned full of gratitude with lots to process. I will keep you posted... :o)

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time to relax

time to relax
Liberatio Captivus