Friday, March 26

Stitch and Surface wrap-up

The Winter session at Fleisher is over now, but I took some photos of my Stitch and Surface students work on the last day of class to share. Some people were finishing up their functional object/clothing embellishment, and others were completing their monoprint/fabric collage piece. I'm really proud of how creative and committed these ladies were this semester. It really shows in how individualized these pieces are:Lynn Ellen Wolfe's functional embellishment was to add spark to a tweed winter skirt she'd made. She decided on creating an abstracted stand of birch trees in applique with stitched bark. I wish I'd gotten another image when she was further along, as the bark texture was exquisite. The hem of the skirt is ringed in lines of running stitch, completing the landscape feel.You don't need to know how to sew your own clothes, though to do fashion embellishment. Check out Grace Smith's deconstructed blouse:It started life as a Target purchase a friend passed on to her, but the neckline was covered in weird jewelry-like embellishments she disliked and tore off, leaving behind an interesting tracery of machine stitched lines. Responding to the lines and the pieced aspect of the blouse, Grace started drawing additional fine lines with thread, connecting and meandering the existing ones, balancing out the heavy ribbon lines below and turning her blouse into an upcycled fashion piece. Don't be slaves to consumerism people! Put your own mark on thrift store finds and the old clothes lurking in your closet. It just takes a little imagination and a needle and thread.Casey Jones turned this functional, but sort of plain satchel into a one-of-a-kind by adding buttons from her collection and a stitched feather. The large button at right was attached with shisha work, since the shank was so small compared to the diameter of the button. It looks like a compass now. The lining of the bag has a map of the world in sepia tones. The feather reminds me of the wind and travel, exactly what this bag was made for.
Casey really got into the collage and found object embellishment. She is a great collector of keys, and finally found a use for them in her embroidery (below). By the end of class the king and queen had broken hearts connected by a thread. She said keys remind her of opening the heart. This piece is a great exploration of applique, reverse applique, and a broad definition of what can be used in embroidery material-wise.Anna Lockhart also had a great exploration with the monoprint/collage project (below). I think she probably had the best transformation of her monoprinted fabrics- the eyes in the sky and the grid patterned cityscape play between pattern and representation. The eyes are reverse appliqued with seeding and beading filling in some of the edges (my favorite part!). Anna also has a collection of bric-a-brac she was able to include in the piece. The sun is a squashed salt shaker cap, and the trashy street scene include bits of plastic jewelry and a birthday candle! I think the students were influencing each other a lot this session- Fran Schatz's combinations of printed and dyed fabrics, ribbons, threads, beads, earrings, buttons, clothing tags, etc. etc. were quite inspiring to the other students! I like how in this one, she's making more of a pictorial affect- the randomness reveals an underwater scene.
I'll leave you with Pam Thompson's sampler-like motif. Pam is very inspired by African textiles and culture and so this piece, I believe, is a fertility symbol. It will have some more beading included, as well as some cowrie shells placed in the bottom furls. I already know Pam is coming back for another class, and I can't wait to see how this one develops. May your own creativity be endlessly fertile and personally meaningful!

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