Monday, January 25, 2010

Another week, another enormous project

Monday. Blog day. Three weeks in a row. I think I can do this.

Today I expect to be starting an order for my church. It will involve making a curtain that is 10' long by 30' wide. Easy. Want to come along and watch me do this? No dyeing involved. Just thinking and sewing and assembling.

Here is one of the largest hand dyed chuppah orders I ever made. You can see it on my web site finished.
I get so excited when I can work on large scale pieces. What is it that makes me so giddy? First of all the engineering challenge is cool. I love plotting out how I will physically attack the problem. Large amounts of fabric weigh a lot and is so cumbersome that I have to plot out ways to push it all around the studio to get what I want done.
If dyeing or designing is involved, I enjoy working out a way to get all that fabric laid out, the design transferred onto it, batiked or painted, dyed, rinsed, hung out, sewn into its final shape, ironed, shipped.
There is always a point with large scale work where I start to doubt myself and think, "I sure hope this works out". Because it is so large, most of the time I feel like I am looking at it through a key hole so doubt has a lot of chances to creep into my psyche. I can see parts of it, but not all of it so sometimes I will stop what I am doing and move all the furniture out of my kitchen (which is large) and lay the thing out and take a look. Am I in the right ball park? Anything need fixing now before it's too late? Usually my doubts are put to rest and I can finish well.
Bottom line for me is that when it is finally finished there is a rush of adrenalin that makes it all worth while.
When I send the work away I feel sad. Sad because the event is over and now clean up is in order but there is one more FABULOUS rush to come...when the pictures come in of the piece in place, ready for the wedding or the church service or the home furnishings to be put back and that is the best part of all. Many artists never get to see where their art goes but when we do it is the best feeling EVER. That final look at where it is meant to be is what makes me come back for more.
Tell me about your biggest art piece.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Little bit of work and a field trip

Monday is Blog Day. Two weeks in a row. I'm giving myself a high five.
I did two things this week that were noteworthy. One is that I finished a large scale tablecloth that you can see above. It is made using dyes painted onto cotton using sodium alginate thickener with Procion MX dyes. It came out just the way I wanted it to and looks great on my breakfast table.
You can take my new QU class "Thick and Thin" starting February 5, but it may close soon as it is quickly reaching capacity.

Here is a stamp I did using a cabbage cut in half that was painted with blue thickener. Not being a great fan of this vegetable, it was not something that people in this household objected to greatly when it was dedicated to art making.

So what do you see in this print? If you said a baby rooster then you're in trouble. That's what I see.

The other fun thing was that I took my daughter on a field trip to Sausalito California to hear/see a knitting and crochet demonstration by Laurie Goldman. It was excellent but the best thing was the view from the home of San Francisco bay.

Here is the view from the hostess's studio. I totally have "view envy". Know what I can see from my studio "windows"? Nothing because they haven't been washed in 30 years. Really. Actually I did try to wash them once but there is a fine layer of paint on the glass from having the house painted awhile back. If that were removed I would be able to see the underside of some plants and the back of the garbage cans. I would have to back WAY up to see this "view" as the two dinky windows are at about the 7' height and look out to ground level. Alas.
What kind of a view do you have from your studio? I'd love to know! Go ahead. Make my day.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back at it! New Year's greetings-

The holidays are over and everything is put back in the basement. When you participate in this ritual, do you ever think about the next time you will be pulling out the decorations? What will have changed? Will I be okay? Will anyone NOT be with us? Will things change? When I open this box, will I open it with joy and delight or will there be some world changing event that cause me to be reflective and somber?
I think about those things every year. It's a bit scary starting a new year especially when the one you just closed was difficult. What else can happen? Well....lots. The question is, will I approach life timid and shrinking away or will I leap off the end of the pier with my eyes wide open?
This year I had a very distinct vision of how I was living my life- I felt as if I was hanging off the end of a wooden, splintery, pier- blindfolded. I was swinging my legs around desperate to find where the water was but not finding it. I asked my husband if that was how he felt and he agreed.
The next vision was how I wanted to be living my life-I want to be about 100' from the edge of that same splintery pier-no blindfold- ready to run and just take a flying leap off the end. No cares about where I land, how I land, if I land.
That is my intention for 2010. Just run. Just leap. Take the chance. Try it. No worries. Trust that the God of the universe is there and that He cares for me and that what He wants is a Leaper. Yes. So far so good.
I have the best of intentions to blog at least once a week. Mondays. If I can do it more often I will.
Here's to 2010. Anyone want to join hands with me and jump?

About Me

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Woodland, California, United States
I am a fiber artist. I am a teacher. I am a Reverend. I teach, I create, I counsel, I listen.

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