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Archive for the ‘Embroidery’ Category

feltproject

Alright everyone. I’m done moping around my house after having that darn wisdom teeth surgery, and I’m ready to get back to work after a long week of doing nothing. My brilliant plan for a website is no more; I discovered I was wholly incompetent in that arena and I should just stick to the analog and non-digital machines I know best (not including my digital camera, which is slowly starting to earn as much respect from me as my 35mm slr). Blogging should suffice for now, I suppose.

I wouldn’t say I didn’t get anything done last week, actually. I finished knitting a small panel for my dollhouse project, “tapestries for small places,” and dug out the felt I made last year in foundation’s fibers for the applique work. Lot’s of embroidery to come.

Speaking of embroidery.

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While I was in Maine I got a lot more work done on my embroidery project about personal folktales; I know it doesn’t look like a lot of progress but there are a lot of slow details going on. And no matter how hard I try to make the backs of my embroidery neat, it never works out that but, but I also never complain.

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I have been talking a lot with my weaving teacher about the idea of creating something and not allowing it to be seen, that is to say, in a gallery setting. For our pick-up project, one of the ideas we were supposed to consider was the use of negative and positive images that were created on either side of the cloth, and I not only chose not to display the back, but I also concealed part of the front. That idea is still pretty heavy in my mind, especially when you think about all of the work that goes into a fiber piece; every process is so time consuming and labor intensive, the idea of doing all that work and then displaying it with the intention to conceal is rather destructive in a way, and a sort of paradox in a certain sense. I’m not literally taking apart the piece, but I would be destroying the content of the piece in the context of having an by choosing to only display the back, which can sometimes be just as beautiful. I mean- look at those colors!

There are several ideas that I’m running with here. One stems from a conversation I had about weaving regarding the precision and “correctness” of the craft.  Traditionally, I have heard of weaving classes consisting of mainly making yardage, and though the rigorous artistic content that was pushed in my class was far from foreign to me, it was apparently so for others. Weaving is an art. Ikat, when done to the point, is an absolutely beautiful, breathtaking form of image creation. And it all comes with rules, standards, and settings. The main point of the conversation I’m referring to was this: that weaving, in it’s purest essence as an art form, is nothing more than a medium through which an artist creates, and just like painting or drawing, the rules can only take you so far.

I am not interested in weaving a neat piece of cloth, and I never will be. Just like I am not interested in developing a perfect print (or even knowing all the darkroom steps) or drawing a perfect body, or making an imppecable piece of needlework that is as clear on the back as it is on the front. I’m not even sure I understand the appeal of making something perfect. I think the most amazing thing about weaving is that I can make a piece of cloth, but I don’t have to use any of the traditional steps to get there, and when I’m done with it I can wrap it around my neck, burn it to the ground, or hang it in a gallery, because it is not something precious.

Which is my other train of thought. As artists, we represent a certain class in society. There are the fine arts (the high arts) and the low arts, and everyone is always at war with each other, aruging and whining and trying to out-do everyone else. And whether your art is showing in the MoMA or your best friend’s basement which also happens to be the hottest spot in town, it’s still only accessible to a select group of people. And these days, with big name artists hiring other people to do their work (yeah, we saw DiVinci and the gang doing it with schools and studios – but it wasn’t really for the contemporary conecption of what art is today), the value of providing ideas versus actualy ability to create is hopelessly skewed. So what does it mean then, to see the content of the piece as it was made verus the content of the piece as it is displayed (front versus back)? Who is the real audience, and what then, is the significance of making, and being seen or unseen?

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candyhouses

Tis the season! With a week left of finals, Jacqueline, Bryan, and I (respectively) decided to do a little de-stresser in the holiday spirit by building graham cracker houses. My other roommate, Andrea, also built one (the Empire State Building, she’s an environmental design major), but I didn’t get a good picture of it and now it resides in our fridge, just waiting to be eaten. Don’t they look scrumptious? My favourite is Jacqueline’s, which we dubbed the insane asylum. It was falling apart all over the place, but it was definitely made with love.

Since I’ve had a lot of time to lazy around, being mostly done with finals and all, I’ve had more time to contemplate what exactly I need to do to be ready to propose a show with Jacqueline in the spring, make inventory to get my website and Etsy shop up and running, and keep my sanity by doing the things I love.

dudeyarn

I bought this yarn at MICA’s Art Market the other day, and I couldn’t resist knitting it already- the color is so wonderful! I started out making a scarf, seeing as that’s the only thing I can actually knit, and then realizing that the yarn is a tad to scratchy for wearing, I decided that I’m going to make a wall hanging instead. It’ll give me an excuse to use the felt I made last year for some applique work and embroidery. Now all I need is some imagery. Perhaps some more Russian folktales?

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Three members at Sewing Circle- not bad for a first meeting. I hadn’t picked up any embroidery for awhile, so I took this with me:

russianembroidery

In-progress panel inspired by Russian folk illustrations and design motifs. One in a series of probably three, so I have a lot of work to do. It’s part of my body of work based on the idea of folktales and storytelling.

And I thought I would post this just for kicks:

narnia

This is a finished piece, sorta silly, just something for me and my roommate to hang around our apartment (we have a very large soft spot for C.S. Lewis). My graphic designer boyfriend liked my typography, so I guess there’s some artistic merit to it.

My philosophy with embroidery is to make stitches until something happens, but I highly reccomend this book if you need a little inspiration. It’s definitely a keeper.

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Right now I’m in an in-between stage. The Ikat project is finished, and the double cloth project will start next week; first a sample, then the final for the class. Truthfully, I don’t have a lot of work going on in most of my classes, mostly essays and reading, and since I am impossibly quick when it comes to getting homework done I have plenty of free time to get caught up on all of those other projects I have looming in the distance. No pun intended.

Actually, most of the projects I’m currently working on are off-loom; finally finish spinning the sumptuous green merino wool I bought at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival last Spring (which will take me forever, because I am a terrible spinner [I blame it on the drop spindle] and I get easily frustrated and quit early), a knitting project that I have in mind for an installation, and some embroidery work that I need to finish and begin (finish for work I plan on submitting to competitive scholarships next semester, begin work with Jacqueline McNally for a show we plan to submit in the Spring).  It’s hard to work on everything all at once, but it’s even harder to not let the inactive projects slip too far in to the back of my mind.

I’m most excited about my collaboration with Jacqueline because I’ve never really done collaborative work before, and our work is so different; she’s an illustator and I’m a fiber artist, but we have a lot of common ground when it comes to our interests, and we work together so well as people. I don’t see how we can fail.

It’s rather gloomy and unexciting outside today, so I’m going to hop on home, curl into bed with one of the aforementioned tasks (embroidery sounds good tonight) and watch Mirrormask, which is sure to be some kind of inspiration.

Weaving updates to follow this week- I can’t keep my hands off the loom!

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