Thursday, October 12, 2017

Summer Wrap-Up #3: Family Art Project


Wrapped stone by Kai featuring one of Keith O'Connor Pottery's ceramic donuts.
Yes...you did read that correctly...SUMMER Wrap-Up...! I know, I know...it's nearly mid-October and my plans for getting all the summer happenings posted here didn't quite happen. I did want to share this last one with you since it turned out to be a fantastic project!

More of Kai's wrapped beach stones.
Every summer, I come up with an art project for my extended family as part of our vacation together...often at Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The Cape is a special family place. We grew up going there for our summers...eventually finding ourselves on Rockwell Ave in So. Wellfleet. We have many great memories of summers there. My folks eventually bought a house that overlooked the ocean off the same main road (Ocean View Drive) that Rockwell is on. They had that house for ten years. We did eventually have a little hiatus...mostly visiting my brother in Kittery, Maine...also very beautiful! But the Cape called us back and we have been there 5 out of the last 8 summers.

Kai's fish
The family art projects started in 2010 and each year I must wrack my brain to come up with a new one! Actually, it is not that painful! I usually have something in mind or I get inspired as the time draws closer. This year, I wanted to do something a bit low-key, using materials that we could find in nature with the addition of some items brought from home. I'd been curious about weaving over/around beach stones and thought this might be a great project for us to try.

Kai working on one of his beach stone creations.
Kai's finished piece.
We had a family outing to my favorite local bay beach...Duck Harbor. I love this beach...it's sort of quirky...has tons of interesting stones and afternoon and evening skies that amaze! It's the place to be for the best view of sunsets. We went on our gathering expedition...choosing stones that called to us!

Duck Harbor on the rainy day that we collected beach stones.
Next I laid out the materials I'd brought from home...waxed linen, assorted stone beads, wonderful ceramic beads created by Keith O'Connor Pottery (in New Hampshire) including our favorites...small ceramic donuts, and some fibers including dyed and painted cheese cloth, fabric strips and lace. Some Elmer's glue also came in handy.

Poppy using some glue on her stone.
I just love this little guy that Poppy made featuring some of Keith O'Connor's beads.
Poppy really enjoyed adding fiber to her pieces to give them texture.
My 10-year-old nephew Kai wanted to start in right away. I realized at that moment that I hadn't done my usual testing out of the materials and techniques. I immediately started in and so did Kai. No sooner had I realized...hmm...weaving over stones isn't so easy...when I heard my nephew exclaim, "Epic fail!" He found the weaving difficult too (though later in the process he did do some successfully). So...thinking on my feet, I remembered that I'd seen a number of interesting images of stones wrapped with fiber. Bingo!...that was the answer!!!

Poppy played with wrapping layers of cheese cloth and lace over stone. The other is wrapped with lotus wood beads.
More of Poppy's whimsical creations.

What followed was an outpouring of creativity! We each fed off of the discoveries of each other. My architect brother started wrapping and stacking stones. My graphic designer sister-in-law created some pieces that reminded me of Zuni animal fetishes. My 10-year-old niece, Poppy had fun with fiber and beads...creating some delightful pieces. And Kai really took off! His later pieces reminded me of ancient tools.

My brother, Stuart weaving over a wrapped stone. He makes it look so easy!
Stuart's finished piece.
Stuart stacked his stones...not surprising for an architect!
Another stacked stone creation by my brother.
My sister-in-law, Judy, working on her wonderful fish!
The finished piece.
More pieces by Judy. The top piece reminds me of a Zuni bear fetish.
Kai's "tools".
Another of Kai's pieces showing knotting.
Of course, Mom and 15-year-old niece, Ivy and I joined in with some of our own creations.
The best part was the materials could be left out and the creations kept happening throughout the days we spent together.

Mom's stone featuring beads, including one of Keith O'Connor's ceramic donuts.
Ivy's simple, yet beautiful design.
Of course, I had to add fiber to my stacked piece!
An assortment of my stones. I really enjoyed making these!

Now I'm wondering....how can I top this next year???

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Summer Wrap-Up #2: Sacred Threads Quilt Exhibit

Bonnie Dubbin Askowitz: Hand of Peace

A highlight for me this summer was a visit to the Sacred Threads quilt exhibit. This exhibit is held once every two years in Herndon, Virginia. This is the second time I've gone to the exhibit. My first time was in 2013 and I unfortunately missed the exhibit in 2015. Below is a small selection (of the hundreds of quilts!) from the exhibit that particularly struck me. The first, by Bonnie Dubbin Askowitz, is really my favorite. You can see the exuberance in each hand!  I love the protective Hamsa symbol (also known as the Hand of Fatima). I've spent many hours drawing them as a form of meditation. I've designed, drawn and stitched them as gifts for dear friends and family members. Seeing Bonnie's piece made me realize that I want to go back and create more...maybe even a hundred of them!

Bonnie Dubbin Askowitz: Detail
 Here is some "history" about the exhibit from the website:

In 1999 a small group of women gathered together with a vision of a "new" type of quilt exhibit. At that time topics such as spirituality and inspiration were not always understood or welcomed at traditional quilt shows, and all-medium liturgical art exhibits generally featured few if any quilts. There was no "safe" or welcoming venue for quilters who saw their works as a connection to the sacred and/or as an expression of their own spiritual journey. Often the meaning behind these works was missed or misunderstood because the artist did not have the opportunity to share their sources of inspiration with the viewer. 

Hope Wilmarth: Fall Was Her Favorite Time of Year
Founder Vikki Pignatelli and the other committee members wanted to create a dignified exhibit of artwork that would touch all those who viewed it on both spiritual and personal levels. We wanted to share the experiences of quilters whose stories would be a source of healing and strength for others by allowing the artist to submit a statement which would be exhibited with the artwork that described the meaning or inspiration for the piece...

Kimberly Lacy: Pyrite Ammonites
The show does not emphasize any particular religion or theology but conveys the spirituality, healing and inspirational messages that transcend all people. 

Sabrina Zarco: No Olvidados/Not Forgotten
 For the exhibit, quilts are divided into categories based on theme. These are Expressions of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood.  The artwork themes provide thought-provoking insights, encouragement, inspiration and healing responses to grief and human hardships... 
Jackie Manley: Death Did Us Part
Jocelyne Sobeski: After the Snow Falls
Jocelyne Sobeski: Detail.

Linda Jurkiewicz: Blue
Linda Jurkiewicz: Detail.
Linda Jurkiewicz: Endure Hardship as Discipline
Linda Jurkiewicz: Detail.
Susan Callahan: Ball Gown with Cape (made from old ties!)
Lorie Hancock McCown: the Black Dresses
Martha Petry: Moon Flower
Martha Petry: Detail
Roxanne Lasky: Tidal III: Source
Roxanne Lasky: Detail
The quilts in this exhibit were very powerful! Thank you participants for sharing your work!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Summer Wrap-Up #1: June, July and August 2017 Stitch-Ins

Barbara C.: Little hand-woven indigo boxes
It's so hard to believe that it's Labor Day today! I've been neglecting this blog in favor of Instagram! But...I promise I'm now back! I'll be spending the next few posts focusing on creative summer activities starting with images from Stitch-Ins from June through August.

Ann Z. took a machine embroidery class this summer at Artistic Artifacts...

Ann Z.
 I love this sweet bird!

Ann Z.

 Barbara C. started her line of hand-dyed thread and is calling her new company Studio Amaranthine.

Some of Barbara's hand-dyed threads. I've been using them on projects this summer. They are really wonderful to stitch with!
Here's a hand-dyed top using some of her threads.
Here's a fabulous Indian textile that Barbara bought while she was in London. Very inspiring!




Cheryl C. continued working on pieces she started in my Jumpstart in Hand Stitching workshop. She's planning to bind these and other pages into a cloth book. I'm teaching the five-session class in Hand Stitching at the Art League School starting on September 20.

Cheryl is a landscape architect. I love this printed and stitched "floor plan"!
Cheryl C. : Here Cheryl is using reverse applique to create a layered piece representing 3D forms.
Cheryl C.: Detail

Mary Louise M. continued exploring the mark-making with stitches that she started in the Jumpstart in Hand Stitching workshop.

Mary Louise M..

Holly C. continued to work on her expressive black and white stitched samples that utilize both machine and hand stitching. She mounted them on linen table runners she purchased at Ikea!

Holly C.

This piece is white hand stitching on a black linen table runner. She says that she was inspired by Australian Aboriginal art!

Holly C.

Jodie F. brought in a number of stitched works. I love this map piece with its wide variety of stitches.

Jodie F.

 Jodie used a number of fabrics inherited from her mom to create a small stitched book.

Jodie F.

 I love this combination of drawing and stitching.

Jodie F. 

This is the piece that Jody brought to work on. Reminds me of Zentangles!

Jodie F.

 Judy M. brought in her completed Story Cloth quilt featuring all the pieces she created in my class, To Tell a Story with Cloth: Impressions, Connections and Memories. Her stories were about her grandmother and times spent at her grandmother's cabin. I'm teaching this class again at the Art League School starting on September 27.

Judy M. talking about the stories behind her story cloths.
Judy M.

 I continued work on my Mom's 85th birthday celebration cloth. Each "moon" represents a decade...8 and a half moons in total!
Julie B.

 Jutta M. continued work on her healing cloth from my Patching, Stitching, Weaving: Creating Healing Cloth workshop. She's planning to add some stitched stars to the patchwork. I'll be teaching this workshop at the Art League School on September 9 and 10.

Jutta M.

Melanie H. continued stitching on her healing cloth too! She was inspired by photos of DNA and microscopic organisms.

Melanie H.

Susan G. started working on the second of her series of healing cloths. Each cloth represents one of her siblings and their relationship with family.

Susan G.

Megan P. decided to make a healing cloth for her sister who lives in Charlottesville.

Megan P.

Rebecca K. started work on a new piece during the Stitch-In using reverse applique.

Rebecca K.

Peggy G. started adding stitched details to her indigo-dyed bag.

Peggy G.

Willa D. decided to create a piece using torn strips and leftover scraps.

Willa D.

Liesel F. brought in some of her hand stitched Sashiko pieces. I love this one that is free-style!
Liesel F.

It was so great to spend time stitching with all you talented women!!