Saturday, August 27
The mosaic above and below was created by our 11-13 year old "junior counselors". They worked on an art project in the morning, played "reporters" to document the week of camp, and helped out with the kids in the afternoons. For their mosaic they used tiles and sculptures that never got picked up after our wintercamp activities last December. Their mosaic creates a frame for us to post signs or pictures in the future and it brightens up a very dull wall to greet passersby.
Matt Leines to do some jointed puppet-making with the kids. They are almost life-size characters that use brads to connect the limbs.
Sunday, August 21
For the past 6 weeks I've been teaching a softies class at Fleisher for adults. Here's a glimpse of some of the creations my students came up with. We had 3 main projects: a set of "building blocks" of simple shapes to help teach some pattern and sewing skills and spark the imagination; a simple silhouette 2-sided piece with painted or stitched embellishment, and a final multi-limbed piece.
The sweetest piece was this little, handsewn felt and corduroy bear made for a new preschooler to be his nap-time buddy.
I hope my students enjoyed the class, and feel confident in their ability to transform their imagination into their own pattern pieces. It seems like they're off to a good start.
I'm on a little break from Fleisher for a few weeks until the Fall semester begins. If you're interested in Fall classes it's not too late to sign up! I'm teaching Color theory and Stitch and Surface for adults, an after school basic design class for 11-13 year olds on Wednesdays, and a fiber class and silkscreen for 11-13 year olds in the free Saturday kids program. Spread the word!
Monday, August 15
Last week I spent every day from 10-1 at Fleisher teaching the week-long Stitch and Surface intensive to 12 fabulous ladies. For the week I had a theme of photography as inspiration, but it branched out a bit and we squeezed a LOT of stuff into 15 hours of work over 5 days. We made:
- a doodle-inspired sampler to see how drawing marks and stitch marks correlate
- a cyanotype on fabric
- a shibori-dyed piece of fabric
- a handbound book to hold our handouts and sketches
- a final project utilizing our cyanotype fabric or something else
What a productive week! And what creativity and individuality! I've probably said this lots of times before, but I feel like I've done a good job if everyone's voice shines through the projects, and they don't all look the same. Now I've got to come up with something new and wonderful for the Fall session!!
Sunday, August 14
I've been stitching up a storm over here ever since I was informed of an exhibition opportunity for February. I'll be having a solo show at the Shipley School's gallery, and I want to have new work for the show. My past 2 years of grad school have been more focused on education than studio work, and the studio classes have projects that aren't always related to my preferred focus of medium or subject matter.
So to that end, I've begun at least 2 new pieces- both long, narrow cloths. One will be a vertical river-like strip, and this one will be a horizontal panorama. I've been quite enamored by a spool of black tatting-weight thread lately, and have been enjoying drawing with it on cloth.
For the past week I've been teaching a morning intensive Stitch and Surface class, and the black thread was brilliant on this yellow arashi linen. This is my demonstration sampler which built up as I showed students individual stitches. The bits of color are either Shisha embroidery or reverse applique pieces. I love, love, love reverse applique....
Thursday, August 4
My shibori students at Fleisher were wowed by the results of their itajime/clamp resist shibori dye experiments. Clamp dyeing definitely gives dramatic and graphic results compared to the more organic tie dyeing and pole wrapping we've done so far. We also added in the fun of overdyeing some commercially printed fabrics from the scrap pile.
Monday, August 1
The great part about teaching a class sometimes is that I get the fun of making samples. The Softies class for adults at Fleisher is halfway finished, and I've been able to make a few myself to demonstrate specific skills. Below is a porcupine softie. He was made by drawing a pattern, tracing and flipping onto white broadcloth, using black fabric paint to create detail and texture, and then cutting out, sewing, and stuffing. He was a sample piece for the idea of a 2D silhouette shape becoming a 3D object when stuffed.
I made these two for my niece's twins, because they got so excited by my student's cat softies I'd also posted on facebook. There's a calico cat which reminds me of my mother's cat, Putter, and a tuxedo/musical cat which is a lot like my own cat Jolie. They're an awful lot of fun to play with as a pair, especially when someone discovers a mouse finger puppet in my sewing nook, and ends up playing cat and mouse and laughing with me all night.
Adults shouldn't forget how to play- it's important to play with your kids, and the ability to play is a key component to artistic and creative thinking!