Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Boro and Beyond October 2018 Workshop Day 2

On the second day of my workshop, Boro and Beyond: The Versatile Running Stitch, we explored a number of more involved samplers. Students used running stitch to construct patchwork four-squares to work on. Other options for bases on which to stitch included a collage-style format and a sliced and woven base.
Woven base.

Students tried different techniques in each square...starting with Boro mending. After cutting tears in the square, a repair was made by patching from behind and "melding" the layers together with running stitch.

Other experiments included surface darning (creating a new fabric within an open area)--though technically not running stitch, the same in and out motion is used to weave over warp threads. Students also played with more challenging techniques such as suspending an inlay patch within an opening and weaving around a floating patch.

Surface darning.
Inlaid patch.

Finally, some students used running stitch to "distort" fabric using Kantha-style stitching and a fun ruching technique.

Distorting fabric with running stitch.

Thank you students for an enjoyable weekend of stitching and exploring!

I will be scheduling another session of this workshop at Artistic Artifacts sometime in February 2018. I'll announce the date as soon as it is on the calendar.

To see the first post about this class go here.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Boro and Beyond October 2018 Workshop Day 1

I had the pleasure of teaching my Boro and Beyond: The Versatile Running Stitch workshop at Artistic Artifacts on October 21 and 22. What a mellow and creative group of 14! In this post, and in the one that follows, I'll share the students' work from this workshop.
Students working diligently on their samplers.

For the two days, we explored a number of ways to use the running stitch. Day 1 focused on line and pattern. I first asked students to look at a list of adjectives and to draw lines that reflected those adjectives (for example: curved, meandering, spiraling, radiating). Students then stitched using their drawings as jumping off points.

We also covered pattern and in particular the difference between Sashiko-style and Pattern Darning patterns. Students experimented with stitching both types of patterns. The first style uses rows and columns of uniform sized running stitches stitched vertically, horizontally and sometimes diagonally.

Pattern Darned patterns are created using closely stitched lines of running stitch where the size of the stitch and the space between changes to create the patterns. A number of students worked on spiral patterns.

The last technique we worked on during Day 1 was lacing rows of running with floss or yarn.

In my next post, I'll show more student work showing how the versatile running stitch can be used to mend, patch, construct and distort.

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???