Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rusting Fabric; Lost Quilt; Fiber Art Group

Here are some pictures of the fabric stamps I created (discussed in previous post) and the pieces I used them in. One of the quilts is completed and the other I am in the process of quilting. I used various paints including Lumiere, PRObrite textile paints, and inexpensive acrylic paint. The stamps are made from foam sheets cut up and attached to plexiglass, and art erasers that are carved. I understand that the erasers are available in larger sizes and I plan to look for some of those. This size was quite small and limited the complexity of the stamp design. Both stamps worked well though and were very easy to create. The foam sheets are really easy to draw a design on, cut it out, and then use E6000 adhesive to glue it to the piece of plexiglass. A clean, fun, easy project to use to create your own piece of fabric unique to you, and then use that fabric to create an absolutely original fiber art piece!

A week ago my sister was visiting for a couple of days and my mom encouraged us to do some fabric rusting. Some pieces came out and some didn't but I think there is definitely some usable fabric. Here's a picture of a piece of Osnaburg that we wrapped around a rusty tow chain and left for 24 hours in a black plastic garbage bag on the deck. The smaller piece is handmade Thai silk and I believe I wrapped it around some steel wool and metal shavings. Both of these pieces are definitely good additions to my stash.

Last picture. Here is a very rough beginning for a piece. I wanted to start with a black background for this one. Here I have chosen numerous fabrics to go together and arranged them somewhat. I had recently purchased the two strands of beads and they will definitely be a part of this piece as I love how they look. It is difficult to show people a piece at this stage as no one has the vision of what it can become like I do. Doesn't look like much at this point, right? Don't worry---it's going to be great. I can tell! Watch for progress on this piece…

On Monday, I got together with a small group of fiber artists and shared some art, some techniques, some ideas, and some enthusiasm. It was nice to talk with other women who are as interested and intrigued by all things fiber art as I am. We all have different ways of working and certainly the pieces we produce are all different (original!), but still we all have an enthusiasm for learning more and finding out about what others are doing and maybe picking and choosing the things that might work for us. The group includes artists doing realistic pictorial, abstract, multimedia, and mixed technique work, but mostly with a base of quilted fiber. There also all stages or levels of knowledge about working with fiber within this group---some are rather new to it and others have years of experience to share. But each person has a fine grasp on art in whatever form they produce it, and everyone in the group creates work that inspires me and gives me an even greater appreciation of the range of possibilities in this realm of fiber art.

I recently wrote about the small quilt (12"x12") that I shipped off to the Studio Art Quilt Associates online auction and posted a picture of it. Unfortunately, the piece never arrived at the SAQA destination and appears to be lost in the mail, or possibly stolen out of the mail. I have been in touch with the Executive Director of SAQA and she is keeping an eye out for it in case it does happen to show up by some small miracle, but I'm not very optimistic about that possibility. It was nice to find out that it was her husband who purchased my piece from the auction last year for his new office, and that she enjoys the piece when she sees it hanging there. It is always a morale booster to find out that someone (particularly someone who isn't your friend or relative!) really enjoys your work and believes it to be art worthy of hanging on their wall. And if they still enjoy it a year down the road, that is even more encouraging! I was really looking forward to contributing to the organization in this way again this year and am disappointed that my work will not be posted with all the other wonderful pieces that are on the website, but I guess I'll have to deal with it! Please do visit the site at and view the online auction pieces that are posted there. There are many truly wonderful works. The auction begins in September.

The dry, hot weather here has created a truly ravenous and destructive population of grasshoppers that are eating their way through my gardens. A few of my perennials are stripped bare and will likely die, and the vegetable garden in the backyard has been cleared of any green beans, most cucumbers, and most of the winter squash plants that were coming along nicely. Hardly motivates me to go pull the weeds that are ever increasing in those gardens! The last few days has brought some thunder showers but the moisture has not seemed to effect the grasshopper population. Every time you walk outside they are popping and bouncing around all over the place. And I have a six year old who thinks they are really cool and has collected and regularly feeds at least a dozen of them in a little terrarium in his room!

Boy is the summer going fast! Soon our County Fair will be here signaling the end of the summer. My son will start First Grade and I'll spend more time in my studio and less outdoors. It's a transition I look forward to with mixed emotions. I love the quiet, uninterrupted time in the studio, but time spent with my son is precious and fleeting. I think he has grown half a foot since this Spring and none of his pants fit (thank goodness for shorts in the summer!). Tomorrow we are going bowling with a friend and her grandson and I'm going to cherish the outing. Watching the two well-behaved and charming young men (6 and 7 yrs old) is fun and makes me smile. They are so enthusiastic about everything. Give me some of that!!

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