Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Eye Candy Wednesday

There's a little artin going on but mostly fiber fondling. I've been going through the fruits of the last fiber fest and happy to tell you not much of this batch is getting out to the general public. Maybe next go round. This is one of the tighter woven feed sacks, maybe from flour or sugar. It's got a wonderful soft, almost flannel hand. Another of the tight weave, "diaper weight" pieces. and finally, a quarter of an antique damask tablecloth, worn soft and wonderful and bound to become some free motioned flowers soon.

Monday, April 27, 2009

glyphs progress

Sorry for the crappy photo but I'm starting to live/love this piece again and gotta dash. The rest of the goodies are tumbling around in the dryer right now. _____________

Back from the errand dash...and I have Glory & Riches!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This is a long strip of the coarser chicken feed sack fabric from Rosemary. I've learned a lesson about being over impressed with wet stuff. I won't have any pictures of finished products until later in the week. Let's just say I bit off more than I could chew today. I fact, I'm choked. This is one of several salt/dyed pieces coiled up in baggies and waiting to hatch. Damask and natural muslin sandwiched together this time, sharing the crystals and dye. This piece has had soy wax treatment and is waiting for color. It's in the washing machine right now cause I just had to see one of them today. Too much sun, too much fun. I am whupped. Chef Jim prepared fabulous flat iron steak, 'tater salad and 'maters and olive on the side. Summer fare for Summery Sunday.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

...faces come out of the rain...

Jude's recent post about faces got me to checking into my image files, stuff that I created, not photos, and I came up nearly empty handed. Now you know why. Seems like whenever I set about making faces there's a strong current of menace and mayhem just waiting to manifest. I find most of them hilarious. I brought some embroidery thread to work to see if I remembered how. This feels like a throw back to "Atavistic Inclinations" going back to 2006, one of my first experiments with discharging. Thanks to everyone who wrote and gave input regarding the feed sack material. It's all been prepped and some of it will go into a soda ash bath tonight for a dyefest tomorrow. It's toasty here in Georgia. Seems like we've skipped spring and gone straight to summer - great weather for dyeing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

archaeology and treasures

Wonderful things come to light when you start digging. I need to get new containers as all these charming little baskets are too small by half for each colorway and you cannot put 14 pounds of cat in a ten pound basket for long. The red pieced thing is "Picnic In Hell" a top that has been missing for more than a year. All this industry was provoked by the arrival of a large box of vintage fabrics passed on to me by my friend Rosemary Claus-Gray. An incredible trove of fabric that may prove to be from the turn of the century. I found a barely visible stamp on one piece that said "Made For A.D.Pierce, Brooklyn, Conn." A little research tells me that this company was a hatchery of some sort. Wonder what they used all this cloth for. Chicken blankets? I also came across this piece of embroidery that used to grace the whole back of a denim coat that I wore until it was pitiable. Then it was on a couch pillow for years. next?

Monday, April 20, 2009

shawl revival

For lack of anything else to do (besides muck out the Aegean stables that my studio has become) I nailed these dyed damask flowers on the pointed ends of my favorite velvet shawl. My seat at the office is close by the wall of glass (for the light) and the door breezes so I mummy up with this when the evening turns blue and cool.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

under one flag

Yeah, there's no denying that they are flags. Even hanging across the opening of the laundry and backlit with a 75 watt bulb. I've always loved stained glass and was really thinking about that Tiffany window when I reshuffled the pallette after a false start. Even though I seamed a few of those pieces together, they were dumb as posts and just not happening. A few fabric substitutions and some transparent Setacolor and this one is starting to hum. It's fixing to get grizzly outside so my idea of painting/drying/painting on the deck is now going back and forth between 1/2 of my sewing table and the laundry closet opening which is 60"x80" and covered completely by this piece. I don't know why I think this is a big deal. People routinely made bed covers bigger than this. Here's a shot with flash and half dry so you can get an idea of what's really going on instead of the glowing wishful thinking happening in the first picture. You can bet I'll keep coming back to it and try with paint and other techniques to make it happen for real.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

the process

Thanks to everyone who commented on "Front Runner" and the way I documented it's manifestation. Keeping track of my work was my original purpose for keeping this blog. Time to toe the mark. Ever timely, Elizabeth has posed the question "where d’you begin?" I gave it some thought and decided to pay closer attention this time as I'm anxious to start the next piece in this series. There've been plenty of pictures in the past of my studio, almost always looking post-apocalyptic, but pieces of ironed fabric, all stacked and racked, just don't speak to me. It's as if they already have a job - presenting the illusion of order - and have an imaginary DO NOT DISTURB sign hanging on them. I think this is where some folks get carried away with their stash. It does look all nice and orderly all folded and sorted like that but how would you ever know how this red, that nasty, murky piece of table-mopper and that swath of golden damask would look together unless you flapped them off the shelf and threw them about a bit? I started rounding up these likely suspects yesterday. I overdyed a few laggards and recalled one or two items from the wrinkled depths of the closet and heaped them in the Chair. I'm feeling intense. Cat posted this amazing photo a few days back that perfectly captured my color mood much better than my crayons have in the sketchbook. You can see I've already deviated wildly.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Front Runner completed

Hooray for Captain Phillips!


to stop, I think. At least time to stop and breathe. Time to get out the shovel and get this place in order. When you go looking for something that you KNEW was there and can't find it three times in one day, it's time. The stats god tells me that I have had a new and lengthy visit from someone someplace in the heart of NY near Wilmington. I know it's deep in one of the most beautiful places in this country although I'm ashamed to say I was never farther north than Glens Falls. So many people think New York is all paved over, concrete and steel. I'm here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

working the elements

There's been a lot whining here about the limitations and failures I've experienced working with fiber and sewing. Lately I've taken some good advice and started paying attention to what elements I like in a variety of other artists work and I keep coming back to the dimensionality of the machine stitched line in layers of fabric like Terry Grant's work. (Front Runner in progress , 48"x72") This time I'm going to compound the impact of the machine stitching on this piece one pass of stitching at a time and hope I recognize when basta! arrives. The stitching itself is lost on these failing eyes from just a few paces across the room but the shadows that are cast with natural light get my attention like claw marks in bark. For my own satisfaction, I'm thinking I have to find a balance between the broad strokes/energy of color and shape and the finer details of stitching and texture. I've come to accept that the problems of working large is finding ways to reconcile how a piece looks from across a room and what else goes on when you step in for a closer look. addendum - I just read this from Lanie and find a serendipitous parallel .

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Front Runner comes to Batt

Front Runner goes to batt and the Braves baseball season is off to a wonderful start as they are two games into handing last years world series champions Phillies their asses. I start my mornings with some webwork, a cup of coffee and lately, two consecutive hours of some of the best TV drama ever written going on in the background while I putter, stop, and become engrossed. Because I worked the second and third shift for many years, I didn't get to see West Wing when it was on in prime time, so many of the shows are new to me. "Two Cathedrals" was just on and this one, like many, moved me to tears. I don't care what side of the political aisle you sit on, I just can't help but be moved by people who have made public service their whole lives and I'm not just talking about the elected officials. I also keep in mind what an amazing artistic collaboration this TV production was and wonder about how it came to pass. Nothing in government would work without the people who move the mountains with teaspoons and I wish that I had made a career in that arena but then I remind myself that the contributions I have made matter a great deal to many people who care about me and I hike up my suspenders and get busy with my own teaspoon.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Front Runner in Progress

Almost all of the fabrics for this piece were selected from the slush pile...the redheaded stepchilden headed for the overdye pot someday when the mood moved me. Pink flannel, fer crying out loud. Transparent Setacolor has started working it's magic. That and pollen, bug crap, cat feet and whatever else is out on the top deck after a long, hard winter. It's raining out there now.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Sweet Saturday

There's thread of communication here running through Alien Alphabet (left, made four or five years ago) and these recent random gridworks. The letters are starting to form. I wonder what the message will be?

It's wonderful to be easily amused. Homemade Bruschetta for lunch, a few scraps of fabric and thread and the last spring training game of the season on TV before Opening Day tomorrow. Go Braves.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

starting place

Every piece has to start somewhere.


dear ANT...forgive the public reply but after I finished writing you, I was fresh out.... No Yogi here...Of all the writers on that blog, I like Clairan best ( I used to follow the blog but lately there's so little time) it's just that after I read one of the posts, like this one, I heave a great sigh and think, just like you, "Meanwhile, Cy was off in a corner, toking on a bone and having a great laugh on the rube who just gave him six months rent for something he did while grunting over a tough bowel movement, damn that week-old fried rice anyway." Who KNOWS what an artist has in mind and if you asked them at the moment (or close to) of creation, would they tell the honest truth? "I was just dicking around with the new colored know, the ones that still had sharp points and I was mad about the bitch on the third floor turning her pointy nose in the air when I dared smile at her in the lobby, I mean who the FOCK does she think she is anyway, the nasty twat, and thanks for asking but NOW the General Tso is giving me diarrhea. I think I'll take a canvas in the crapper with me and see what comes out...." I wonder what percentage of the entire AB-Ex (or any movement, for that matter) movement stems from so many people having private, personal and completely non-artistic moments with some art materials because somewhere along the way they got the notion that being an Artist was glamorous and some loving family member seized on the opportunity to encourage the little demon in a non-destructive direction. I mean, really, my gramma taught me cross-stitch embroidery to get me the hell out of her kitchen where I could be found at any moment eating a square of Bakers' chocolate (and swearing it was great!) or crunching on whole roasted coffee beans just to hear the noise. My memory of her kitchen and it's contents is photographic right down to which of her two parakeets would bite you to bloody and which one would ride around on your head, crapping merrily into your braids. Have I digressed? Go to the studio, you say? Last night a restaurant manager called to report an employee's slip and fall in the kitchen. I was required to ask "What type of tile is on the floor?" and before he could tell me, I offered "Butter Creme or Chocolate?" Also " A woman ran out of the establishment without paying claiming that the Devil sat down at the table opposite her and was making a racket with the silverware". The police were called to the scene but did not respond. Addendum - As I look around blogland, I see the wonderful work of artists everywhere who are working with their favorite stuff merely for the pleasure of doing it. Some of these pieces jump off the page and move the heart. Their work speaks openly and honestly of their motivations. To me, the joy found in the making of it is enough.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I've been at the computer for a while rebuilding the Fiber Fandango website and digging through my files to find the images that go along with the pieces from my stash that will be on the block...I really don't want to have to reshoot these things. I'm finding things that are speaking to me in ways I wasn't paying attention to back when they were first created.