Tuesday, March 31, 2009

yarn, yarn, yarn, and more...

I went to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio yesterday and loved it. The environment and store was just fabulous. They had a table of yarn desserts on display, a yarn city scape of NY, with King Kong and all, and oh so much lovely yarn.

What I most liked it that there where people just hanging out knitting. No class was going on but a scattering of women were working on their projects in the space. I love when a yarn store really successfully invites the community in.

All the yarn and some talk at knitting night last night got me wanting to complete a few large works that I started and left behind during the chaos of my thesis last May.
It is a little weird thinking about picking up work that I started and got at least 50% done almost a year ago. But the work seems very relevant to me still-and perhaps in the direction that I am wanting to move in.
Maybe I was just not ready yet last year. We will see.
If I do pick it up I am sure I will share my work and findings with all of you.

domestic scenes.

An artist acquaintance of mine asked me if I knew of embroiderer David Willburn, and I said no. But now I do and my interest is piqued.
David draws with embroidery, using the line if the thread very much like the line of a pencil. Recreating domestic scenes through simple line drawings- originally the scenes were found in catalogues and recently are documentations of his own home.

The images have a quiet emptiness in them that really draws the viewer in and allows me as the viewer to be placed within this quiet, loneliness with David. And I must say I like visiting.

From my understanding most of his work is on the small scale side and I wish, oh wish they would all be big, like the top image. I would love seeing many of his negative space chairs life size, maybe even a bed or couch? Inviting me to fully enter the physical and emotional space.

After I added a lamp to one of my pieces and loved it- I have thought of doing work of my home space too. Particularly in large scale quilted embroidery. We will see, maybe someday.

Unfortunately David's website is partially down as he updates it so until it is up again we will have to be satisfied with his occasional blog posts. I look forward to seeing the updated website so that I can see more of his work- and maybe he will even post a little wee statement.

Monday, March 30, 2009

get back to work...

I am attempting to get caught up from being out of town. On emails, the apartment, life in general. Realistically not much studio time will happen until tomorrow but I am itching to get busily to work... partially because I have a ton to get done but mostly because I am yearning for the time in the studio.
Recently I found a hook rug I began and never finished and am starting to feel compelled to finish it and play with the rug as medium again. They just take FOREVER. But check out all the gorgeous colors you can get in yarn. (above)

I am also getting excited for the Contemporary Sampler that I am making for an exhibition. This is the original Sampler that is my inspiration. Not a great picture but I can blow it up and see all the detail. Since this is such a simple Sampler I am mostly just being inspired by the alphabet and the history of Samplers. But I may need to do a little series because I have always wanted to do a Sampler inspired by ones like these:

I want more...

I recently saw a work of artist Susie Brandt online and was intrigued by her strong use of color and layering. I cannot say further Internet research was satisfying. What I could find is disjointed and with little writing or statement behind what I discovered. (i.e. little tidbits from other folks but no cohesive presence by either her or a gallery representing her) But as I looked deeper I still kept finding work that excited and inspired me.

Technically her proficiency in quilting is astounding and inspiring.

Susie's work, as much contemporary craft does, explores the role of the domestic and handmade, but pushes further into ideas of consumption and abundance, and visual relationships between rural and urban landscapes created through textiles.

All of these explorations create strong individual works. But looking at them as a larger body of work from one artist sometimes seems a little disjointed and confusing. Some seem to come out of a more traditional and decorative viewpoint while others are entirely conceptual.

Collaboration with Liz Ensz

I would love to hear the chronology of the bodies of work, which works led to others, and what Susie's current work is now.
In other words I want more, I need more, I want more information. Give me more.

I also find it interesting because certain works of Susie's really remind me of some of my favorite young artists using textiles such as Derick Melander and Kimberley Hart.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

super sized!

Check out my article here on the super sized crochet work of Orly Genger.

And a big thank you to Marichelle for mentioning me here.

now that is some awesome lace!

While searching around for images for yesterday's post on Piper Shepard I fell upon this super awesome image. And with a little research discovered the super awesome design firm Demakersvan.
Demakersvan is interested in looking closely and making what is beautiful and small into something strong and industrial.

They describe this project:

The Lace Fence project translates that line of thinking. Fencing is a sign how we modified and cultivated our environment. Like brambles fences are rising rampantly around us. What would happen if a patch of embroided wire would meet with and continue as an industrial fence. Hostility versus kindness, industrial versus craft.

They have many other very cool projects but I am definitely smitten with the fence. Abandoned lots, playgrounds, dog parks, etc, would become truly beautiful if they all were surrounded by some sweet lace.

maybe we all need to take that look outside of the box.

leavin' on a jet plane....

We are off to Chicago for a few days. Looking forward to catching up with some old friends, eating some fabulous pizza, meeting a very special brand new baby, and just having plain old simple fun.
So there will be little or no posting the rest of the week 'cause I am not even taking my computer.
True vacation.

The only thing at my fingertips will be a glass of wine- well not really I am taking plenty of embroidery to work on.

Have a great rest of the week and weekend.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

forgivness and pleads.

a pile of linens ready to go in the studio.

a plead of never ending love.

- we are all flawed.

See them in the shop.

Busy and running to the studio as I have a large scale commission, a sampler for a show, and a large scale installation to work on. All of a sudden my needles need to start threading very quickly.

lace in large scale...

To see structures of hand cut lace towering above you sounds like a perfect vision to me. Artist Piper Shepard meticulously hand cuts traditional lace patterns out of fabric, something that is more suited for small works but Piper takes this on to a super sized scale. Creating installations that reference physical structures but built from a fragile pattern.

Piper Shepard’s hand-cut panels are fabricated of materials such as graphite, aluminum, muslin and gesso, although they often refer to historic fabrics, re-scaled and re-designed... creating textile structures that suggest walls or passages. from here.

She says, of her work, “A surface is a ledger, a calendar, evocative evidence of time and process…Like a map, it is an abstract way of tracking and comprehending.

Piper's work emphasizes how what is not there is just important as what is left- using the role of negative space to the max. I have always been drawn to work that is essentially a remnant and in many ways this is what Pipers work is the remnant of the labor intensive practice of cutting...resulting into an inspiring world to walk amongst.

This inspires me to look into non traditional ways I can reference lace in my own work. I love lace and often want to create it- but as of right now do not have the patience or time to learn and hone the craft. hmmm. Get's the brain a churnin'

Monday, March 23, 2009

sandy threads & colorful fields

Today, I am taking my needle and thread to the beach. It is sunny and I have been craving to go so today is the day. I actually have a ton of simple stitching that I need to do and can get done in the sun. So I am bundling up, taking my beach quilt to sit on, a big pile of thread and breathing in deeply.
I have a feeling that this will be a very special day.

And just in case you have not seen these amazing images here ya go.
This looks like the work of a very talented artist that I would feature here. But the artist is really mother nature with her faithful assistant the farmer.
More images here.

sassy samplers...

I found a card of Margaret Cusack's at a recent lecture and was inclined, by its cross stitch design, to pick it up. Margaret is a "commercial" embroiderer for the lack of a better word. She is commissioned by companies and businesses to create unique cross stitches and embroideries to use as advertisements and within promotional material.
I find this quite fascinating- and seeing some pretty big name brands re-created through the labor intensive and usually love filled process of embroidery is both fascinating and unsettling.

Margaret also creates a line of samplers that are very much out of and commenting on contemporary society.

She also creates some other interesting and humorous work from contemporary culture, such as the Bill Gates Voo Doo doll:

I am creating a Contemporary Sampler myself for an exhibit called "Historic Interpretations" sponsored by the Peabody Essex Museum .Each artist selected an archive from the historical collection and is creating a piece in response to it. I have always wanted to do a piece inspired from Samplers and am very excited about this piece and was very interested in seeing Margaret's interpretations.
See more of her work here.

Friday, March 20, 2009

hanging on a string...

This month in the issue of American Craft Magazine is a feature on Maggie Casey's work and though there was only one image of her work I knew I needed to do a bit of research on her.
Using string as her primary medium Maggie creates installations of everyday objects, many of which are structural spaces, and as a result creates stairs that we cannot walk up, skylights that emit no light, and rail tracks that can support no train....

Maggie's work shows a love for her material and the inherent characteristics of it and a clear knowledge of how to manipulate it. Unfortunately, her website does not go into much detail and no artist statement can be found and the article gave little insight. So - I am curious as to what brought her to string and why she chooses the subjects she does?

And even more curious in the knowing that many of her sculptures lay dormant on the floor and once activated by a door or other outside force spring into action and create the images we see. A fascinating idea and a difficult construction challenge.

I want to hear her talk a bit about her processes and inspirations...But you know me I always do.

snow or sunshine?

Equivalent, 1926, Alfred Stieglitz

hilariously, after all the lovely sunshine and days with our coats off...I look out my window this morning and see a flake of white. What is that I think? And then I see more, one after the other slowly falling down. Snow. Oh Mother nature you fickle lady you.

As I watch the flakes they are lazy and lingering as they fall...knowing that they will melt as soon as they hit the ground. Reluctantly fulfilling their destiny of an almost spring snow.

I think today I prefer theses little sweet white flakes over the warm sunshine- humbling me to simply being me.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

painting thread-

So when we strolled through Chelsea yesterday I left out artist Michael Raedecker, with the intention of a solo post on him today. 'Cause darn it he deserves it.
I vaguely remember seeing his work 2 years ago at his last show at Andrea Rosen Gallery and I vaguely remember liking the work. But at that time I ad not yet truly identified as a fiber artist. I had just began to use embroidery as a medium and had not gotten anywhere near as inspired or as devoted to my needle and thread.

But now- I loved the work. Michael combines painting and stitching to create truly gorgeous and quite landscapes and still lives. Often the works are painted with very thin washes so that the drawing beneath is still visible. Resulting in a beautiful textural quality.

Unfortunately, the work does not even begin to translate in photographs on the web. The scale and many subtle layers are essential to the works experience- and these are simply invisible in all the photos that I could find. So if you are able to stop by and see the show I highly recommend it- if not definitely keep your eyes and ears open in case he ever has work near you.

BTW, do you see the larger painting of a clothes line on the right? It was so gorgeous - but then again I love the image of a clothesline in general. I am actually thinking of proposing a temporary public piece base on clothes lines....I have to think about it some more.