Friday, May 29, 2009

my life.

No sun today just rain and drear.
Perfect to hole up in the studio with.

A coffee, rain, needle, and thread. This is my life!

jelly fish and metals.

This show looks like a show worth seeing. The Racine Art Museum has the show Creatures from the deep by artist Arline Fisch. I believer this is an installation that is just in some windows that the museum curates but....

I would not mind swimming around in them awhile.

Arline is best know for her creative and incredible jewelry making. In which she crochets and laces metals. Impressive and gorgeous stuff!

I admire the courage and inventiveness it must have took for her to turn her jewelry making mind and hands toward creating a large scale installation.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Whoah! is all I can say or think about the very impressive and highly detailed hand beaded work of artist Scott Schudt. Though his website design drives me mad and his statement provides little insight into his work- it simply does not matter because his work and technique speak for themselves!

Scott creates highly detailed hand beaded paintings inspired by personal subject matter and experiences. He states:

My work might appear to be carefully planned, but I actually tend to work intuitively, one element at time.

Armed with an initial concept I will research the idea and gather a mass of visual images until I am sure

that I can work a piece to completion. Once the sewing starts, time is rather irrelevant and I just do the

work until it is done right. During this lengthy process, the work may morph as elements are added or

left out. Often, I make a functional or partially functional object, such as a backpack, compass or a basket

fragment to carry the beadwork as an efficient method to place more content in the work.

The large time, personal and intellectual commitment involved in each of my works causes me to work on

a variety of themes. So, in any one year I will create work ranging from social/political topics to

archaeology, history or nature.

I love his way of creating a composition and the conceptual element of combining a craft practice with very masculine and charged imagery.

I most prefer his political work as I find the work very powerful, moving, and unque. I hope someday I can see this crazy detail oriented work in person- I can only imagine how loud my "whoah" would be then. See more.

live and learn...

Here are the final pictures of my sampler. Though it was just last Wednesday that I shipped the work off it seems like a millions years ago.
The linen is a pain to photograph because it is not square so it looks crooked no matter what I do!

I was very happy with the work and proud of the quality. Remember I have only been embroidering about 2 years and so I am still learning and vastly improving my technique and this piece made me feel proud about that.

I did end up framing the work and am still unsure how I feel about that. Generally I prefer not to frame my work as it feels much more stagnant, flat, and artifact-like once it is contained. But since the work was going to a museum and would be hanging next to a framed sampler I decided to do it. But now I sort of wish I had not- as this would have separated it more from the antique sampler and keep it more in the present moment. What do you think?

Oh well we live and learn.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Open Studios!!!

Hope to see you this Saturday at my Open studios!!
Details are:

What:BWAC Open Studios- Open studios throughout Red Hook, Brooklyn and my studio building has 30+ artists in itself.
Where: I am located at Screwball Spaces, 183 Lorraine Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, 3rd Floor, Studio #2 - turn left off elevator
When: Sat May 30 - Sun May 31, 12-6pm (I will only be in my studio Saturday all day- I have to be at a meeting for another art event Sunday- but my studio will be open with my studio mate both days)

So come one, come all, visit me, see art, and see my awesome new space.

For more info and a map of participating studios go here:

Also check out my updated profile at the Elizabeth A. Sackler Feminist Art Base- if you do not know about this resource to research female artists you are about to find a meca!

looming large.

Mr. Slit

Check out my article on the inspiring and incredible artist Sheila Pepe here.
Pepe has been working in crochet on a large scale for over 20 years.

home and hectic!

Home safe and sound. After a lovely visit in the mountains, way too much food, and some very lovely walks in the woods I am home.

Me and my mom took advantage of the awesome antiquing and I scored some super spectacular linens to work with. I will take some pictures to share soon!

Otherwise I am just trying to get my brain back on- it always takes me a day to catch up on emails and just catch up on being back in my routine and life. But there are so many exciting things happening over here in Joetta land. And I look forward to sharing some of them very soon.
But mostly I just need to get my butt to the studio at like 8 am tomorrow and work, work, work.
things are coming together nicely for line...- but I know that next week I will be distracted in preparation for my piece in Windows Brooklyn. I will be spelling the words "sweet dreams" out of doilies- inspired by this piece. But the trick is the doilies will be suspended? So I still need to figure that out?

So glad to be back and be sharing with all of you again.
Did you see that the awesome Jenny Hart did a little blurp about me? Check it out here.
Thanks Jenny!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


my last night to snuggle in my bed for 5 days. I am going away to visit with my folks and sister.
I am so excited to see them, get out of the city, and breath some good old country air.

Don't worry I will be working away on my project, in the airport, car, and on the porch looking out at the mountains.

But I may not be here on the bird. I am not taking my computer and though I will try to stop in and say hi, I may be too busy enjoying clean air and family love.

So have a wonderful rest of the week and holiday weekend.

See ya on Tuesday!

finish line.

I have built the frame and matte for this piece. Now I just need to get plexi, photograph, wrap, and ship.
Even though it took me forever to make the piece because of the stitch I chose to use- I am quite happy with the piece and enjoy that it is a very unique work in my portfolio. Quite different than my previous work...
We will see if it leads anywhere.

My brain is in processing mode.
Better pictures soon!

The loom and loss.

See my article on the complex and moving work of weaver and artist Erin M. Riley here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

studio peek!

a little peek at the happenings in my studio. I have been busy cutting, appliqueing, and embroidering in hopes to get the work Line done.
Though I am still feeling very unsure about the work in general- I am getting excited.

I accept it is an experiment that may develop into something in the future and am attempting to simply treat it that way.

Today I am messing with a frame to hang my sampler in- I do not normally frame my work but for this piece it seemed appropriate. I can't wait to see how it looks.

time intensive trash.

St. John and detail of St John.

Who am I to whine about how long my sampler took...looking at the text heavy detailed oriented work of fiber artists Karen Reimer exhausts me to the max. Her work is extremely detail oriented which in turn means extremely time intensive. And yes these are embroideries if you cannot quite tell.

The American Woman's Home

I love how she re-creates the object and detritus of everyday to create her work, a book page, scrap of paper, and wrapper from a snack. Creating throwaway mass produced objects in the painstakingly slow manual labor of embroidery.

Solution to Last Week's Puzzle

She describes her current work as:
My recent work examines the relationships between beauty, value and meaning by exploiting the tensions between copy and original, object and process and fine art and domestic craft. It demonstrates the out-of-control nature of language and the provisional quality of meaning.

The embroideries are laboriously produced copies of pieces of text taken from sources ranging from great books to candy wrappers. Generally speaking, copies are of less value than originals. However, when I copy by embroidering, the value of the copy is increased because of the elements of labor, handicraft and singularity - traditional criteria of value. The copy is now an "original."

Using a different but equally familiar criteria, the value of the object as a copy is decreased by the technique of embroidery. Not only is it inefficient in terms of time and labor, it also produces a bad copy; it makes the original partially or completely illegible.

Recipient's Copy

Her work is fascinating as a use of medium and subject matter. See more here.

Monday, May 18, 2009


John Hughes

Big Poppa

How did it take me so long to discover artist Allison Manch- I think we would get on swimmingly if we met. A kindred spirit in both her humor and hurt in embroidering lovely words on vintage linens. I simply love, love, love them.

my bloody valentine

and the dyeing of sweet white linens a milky faded black transforms them in a wonderful way.
My grandfather was a photographer, my grandmother was a lacemaker

Much of her work seems not only inspired by media but memory both personal memory, like the above piece, and collective memory, mostly based in song or music.

Crystal Gayle

Allision's words ring very true in my heart too. She states:

My work features thematic illustrations of love and personal history via hand-embroidered drawings and text. The imperfection and vulnerability of the embroidered linen resembles the fragility of human emotion, while the medium harks back to a seemingly distant past. Threading a sense of humor throughout, drawings and text are stitched onto handkerchiefs, tea towels, and tablecloths that are often adorned with preexisting machine-embroidered imagery.

My aesthetic derives from a long-standing personal experience with the medium. My mother taught me embroidery as a child and my grandmother was a skilled lace-maker. This body of work started when I began crudely embroidering personal narratives and music lyrics onto cotton handkerchiefs inherited from my grandmother. While the work is not directly diaristic, the pieces are highly personal in their concept and execution. I draw from song lyrics, family photos, and figures from popular culture stitching imaginary lines to meaningful events in my life.

so true, so true.The above piece reminds me of my sampler, as I can imagine how long this work took! But it turned out so lovely and worth it.

Her super simple straightforward way of installing the work has my own mind thinking about my forms of display. I am quite drawn to how she simply treats the work like drawings. Simple and sweet and powerful.

Hurts so good

Her words "The imperfection and vulnerability of the embroidered linen resembles the fragility of human emotion, while the medium harks back to a seemingly distant past" could not more perfectly express how I myself feel toward my medium and choice of process and materials. I now feel less tired and more inspired.

get inspired yourself at her website.


exhausted, unmotivated, and bored.
Not a good way to start out a busy week.

oh well, sometimes you just have to feel that way.

I am taking my camera to the studio to share with you all the many going on's there.
I have been a busy bee.
And very excited to head out to Asheville, NC and see my folks and sister later this week.

Friday, May 15, 2009

A daring adventure.

Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature,
nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
- Helen Keller

Here is to lifting our faces to the sun and running free.
Awesome quote found by C.

A man and his needles.

I am loving the humor, irony, and skill of artist and avid knitter Mark Newport.
He creates super hero knitted unitards, with hero symbols, accessories and mask. All I want to know is where are the capes?
some of his heroes are familiar old standbys...

while other are creations of his own invention...

It is easy with the silliness and pleasure of the idea to overlook the incredible skill and ambitious nature of Mark. I mean look at his technique!

Mark states:

My recent work explores different facets of masculine identity and activity. Many of these works come about in response to the question, "How do I know how to be a man?" Some of the pieces examine role models from public arenas (football players, politicians, artists, servicemen, superheroes) while others address more personal ones (husbands, lovers, fathers). Many images are chosen for the activity they depict or the function they serve as either residue of an event or a collectible object...
Through the choice of form (trading card, garment, bed cover) and the method of transformation of the original object, I compare myself to what I have been shown and told about being a man. The activity of making the work becomes a way for me to transform what I have learned and present one of the many ways of understanding masculinity.

In installation his work can have a frightening and ominous feel, with the large scale figures suspended and pinned to the wall. Their limpness adds a very creepy and dangerous feel to them.

What can I say, I love a man with knitting needles.
Do you think if I got one for C he would wear it?
To see more of Marks super hero style of art check his website out here.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

to cut or not to cut?

Experimenting...what do you think?

For the large scale outdoor installation, Line, that I am doing for an arts festival next month, I am creating 4 rows of "laundry." Originally each piece of laundry was going to be appliqued with words on it. But realistically that is like a 6 month, not 1 month, project and I am not sure conceptually necessary.

So as an experiment I tried a cut-out of the words, partially because it will be much faster and less painstaking to make- but I also I kind of love the idea of seeing the other words, the blue sky, and the green grass through the cut out words.
What do you think?

I am diving into this project head first this afternoon as my sampler will be done in about one hours time. YAY!

Elegant vulnerability.

Last month I posted about the amazing and inspiring Love Armor Project and eventually took the time to look into the artist responsible for it s amazingness. Artist Shirley Klinghoffer makes some extremely beautiful, graphic, and personal work.
Shirley often uses the actual body, mostly the female body, to cast and use as muse and subject matter.

Creating gorgeous petal like vulva's:

and armor-like nipples and skin:

Shirley uses the body to convey an idea and concept. Using repetition, a minimalist aesthetic, and the materiality of her making to express a dark humor, provocative subject matter, and contrast within that subject.

Creating visually powerful work.

Shirley states toward her "fleur" works:

A close personal identification with natural forces such as growth, loss, birth, and seasons, and my natural instinct to observe flowers as tangible evidence of these forces, has led me, in recent years, to my “femme fleur” challenges. My first foray into this floral realm was with unique bronze flowers that discretely revealed intimate vulval imprints cast directly from volunteers, who enthusiastically embraced their participation in this show of female pride and strength... These female and floral forms continue to foster further exploration with new contextual ideas and media.

Although my artwork changes constantly, “vulnerability” and “strength” weave in and out creating a unifying link.

Indeed Shirley creates an elegant vulnerability and a magnificent strength in her inspiring work.