Monday, November 30, 2009

color and content.

1200 hats crocheted by residents of the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women - one hat for every incarcerated woman.

I fell upon the awesome work of fiber artist Sherri Wood on flickr last week and was totally wowed. She combines traditional techniques and contemporary thinking to make incredibly cool embroidered works, quilts, and knitted works. I particularly love her installations.

Sometimes her work begins as a matter of collection such as her piece on the Beth El synagogue. All objects were donated by members of the synagogue. The objects were collected, photographed, and then cut into pieces, and then assembled into a series of quilts.

See all the donated objects here.

Sherri has also made some super cool quilts out of every day objects such as toilet seat cozies.

and left over trim.

Her use of color and the found object is amazing. I love her comfort room, a room covered entirely in granny squares. I could drink tea in here all day.

some super cool tattoo babies.

A large part of here body of work comes out of the tradition of mourning quilts, This quilt is an ongoing piece dedicated to and honoring the soldiers of the Iraq war.

Sherri's work is inspiring and proves her to be a very prolific artist with and exceptional eye for color. Drop by to visit her flickr site, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Giving thanks.

I am thankful to be home and trying, but failing, at getting back into the swing of things.
I spent all day getting caught up on neglected emails and to do's and still have a few big ones left for tomorrow.
I bought a load of fabulous supplies in Ohio and wishing I got around to using them today in the studio, my fingers are crossed for tomorrow.

I have to say I am BLOWN AWAY by the submissions for connective thread, I cannot believe the quality and diversity of the work submitted. Now comes the hard part selecting the artists. But all the work is so awesome I will be featuring every artist here on the blog. So you all get to see the amazing stuff going on out there in fiber land.
But now I have to focus on my own solo show that opens the same week. Agh!.

A sweet little mention here.
and make sure to sign up for my class if you are interested- class size is super limited and already filling up.
and read a review of the show I am in in Austin here.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I am off to good old Ohio tomorrow to visit with grandma's, aunts, uncles, cousins, sisters, nieces, and folks for a good family Thanksgiving. C and I rarely do the big Thanksgiving thing and with the new babe on the way will probably not for a few years do it again. So I am looking forward to all the family, food, and turkey free fun.

In order to truly focus on family I am taking the week off of official blogging. I may stop in if I have the time or inkling but may not. So I wanted to wish you and your families a very happy, safe, joy filled Thanksgiving.

I have been reading this poem to my yoga classes this week and thought you all might like it too:

I’m Thankful for You

Thanksgiving is the appointed time
for focusing on the good in our lives.

In each of our days,
we can find small blessings,
but too often we overlook them,

choosing instead to spend our time
paying attention to problems.

We give our energy

to those who cause us trouble
instead of those who bring peace.
Starting now,

let’s be on the lookout

the bits of pleasure in each hour,
and appreciate the people
bring love and light
to everyone
who is blessed to know them.
You are one of those people.
On Thanksgiving,

I’m thankful for you.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By Joanna Fuchs

Enjoy the bounty of your life.

See you on November 30.

Deadline fast approaching!

Don't Forget the deadline for submissions is fast approaching and only a few days away for connective thread. I am loving all the great submissions coming my way and cannot wait to see the last minute ones this week.
So please send your submissions in and pass the word to any friends or blogs that might be interested.

It is going to be a truly great show!!!

hooking away...

Sorry about the lack of post on Friday but I was up at 6:30 am to teach yoga and did not get home until almost 5 from my crochet class.

The class was a huge success. It focused on motifs and I learned so much. I now feel pretty confident following a crochet pattern and figuring things out when I am confused. Plus I learned how to make 4 very cool motifs an octagon, sweet little flower, snowflake shape, and a doily circle.
Best of all I was not even close to the stupid kid in class...I learned rather quickly and was able to problem solve a lot on my own. Plus I think the fact that it takes A LOT for me to get discouraged helped. A few of the other students would just get frustrated when things got confusing or did not go their way. Not conducive to figuring things out. Where as I am so use to problem solving in my studio I never got discouraged I just kept going. I have been hooking all weekend trying to pound in the new lessons to my brain.

And I think for Thanksgiving week I am going to take on trying to crochet a beret hat. I have been wanting to buy one- but I think I can do it. After all I have 2 10 hour car rides to figure it out.

Thanks for all your encouragement.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

simple and sweet with a little "sass."

Check out the awesome embroidery by Jennifer of Porterness. that I saw while perusing the HEN Gallery. Her hand seems familiar as if I have seen her somewhere before, but not sure.

I like how she combines unexpected images to create a sort of collage of vintage inspired illustrations.

And her palette fits the work just perfect.

See her flickr here and her shop here.
Some days simple is just what you need.

catch up and crochet.

do you ever feel like you are always in catch up mode? Today is one of those days, I have spent my morning and better part of my afternoon catching up on life. Getting emails sent, bills paid, questions answered, and I still feel like I have SO much more to do.

I have a list of things I would like to do when I have time...and it just never seems to be gotten too. Most specifically to write a few proposals for the tons of galleries having open calls right now. Someday I will get to this.

and for some insane reason I signed up for a crochet class tomorrow that will go over making crochet motifs. This seemed a good way to perhaps learn the skills to crochet words- which I have been wanting to do forever.
But now I am terrified. I mean yes I know how to crochet, but barely. And I DO NOT now how to follow a pattern. Patterns and me just do not mix. When I sew and knit I just make it up- so crochet will likely be the same. ( i never really liked rules, ya know?)
But... I am afraid I am going to be the stupid kid in class tomorrow and totally embarrass myself and annoy the teacher. Eek. Let's hope not.
Wish me luck.

If you are in Brooklyn you should stop in to hear this cool embroiderer speak about her work tonight.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

spilling forth...

Artist Myriam Mechita's work is grotesque, gorgeous, fascinating, and repulsive all at the same time.
A recent exhibit with fellow artist Gregory Jacobsen's press release stated:

Organs, entrails and genitals leading a life of their own, heaps of flesh interacting with creatures with mask-like faces, fleshy and wrinkled skin and open wounds, which, despite bearing human traits, look as though they had escaped from our worst nightmares. Shining strings of pearls are flowing from a deer’s open neck, as though the animal’s bowels were spilling onto the floor, intertwining and forming mysteriously glittering shapes.

Now that is an introduction! This same press release eloquently commented on how Myriam's work is like the moment between the flowing of life, caught at a stillness. And his work is very much in this space, as the work often alludes to a moment of action or movement or loss it is also totally stagnant and paused in a moment of utter stillness.

Myriam generally works with animal forms and bodies, specifically the deer, as his initial subject and medium, often with their guts made of colorful beads spilling out of them into a gorgeous and bizarre mess.

Though one can find a number of images of Myriam's work online there is little written about him in English so I have yet to find any statements or quotes from Myriam himself to give more context and content to the bizarre, shiny, bead filled, other world that he creates. But needless to say I am intrigued.


at work in the studio, enjoying the raking sunlight of late fall coming through the windows, running out of all the thread that I need, needing to unbutton my pants for the growing baby in my belly, and making a mess of my thread and side table....

but smiling at my deep gratitude for the space and financial ability to spend my day in a chilly, sun filled studio with just me and my work.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I have really been enjoying the last few days in the studio. Working diligently away on an ambitious project that I am excited about. Time flies and I wish I could be here longer. This is such a nice feeling.
For the last few months being in the studio has not been fun, but more of a struggle- so it is SO great to feel excited and at peace with my work again.

And I feel like new ideas are brimming as a result.
I barely want to take the time to post and just want to keep stitching.
How is your studio treating you?

image from here.

artcitecture in crochet.

I recently saw the show card for the new show at the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Map of everything, a solo show by artist Shela Klein and I had to investigate. (images above of install) Shelia is a very diverse, prolific, and risk taking artist. Her personal practice focuses mostly on fibers including large scale crochet works:

and draped fiber spaces:

She tends to be drawn to elements of architecture.


Shelia has also taken on a number of public art projects in crochet and light. Here are a few of my favorites described in her own words.


The comfort zone.
A series of textile related pieces hung on the building alluding to shawls, blankets and curtains, handmade from stainless steel yarn. The piece has a handmade feel while remaining architectural. In the front porch area of the Broadway side of the building I envisioned a series of blinds or screens that filled 5 of the 30' bays. These architectural curtains lent a human scale to the building. They serve to articulate and specialize this facade. The stainless yarn was woven in classic patterns such as Brooks Bouquet, Spanish Lace, and Danish Medallion. They are graphic when viewed by cars and provide a textural meditation when seen close-up. The lacy curtains create a series of shadows throughout the day and by night they are backlit.

Show and Hide
These moving curtains create different tableaus as they change and recombine. The piece addresses the street as a display that isn't and from the inside an interior that doesn't stay in its place. The idea of change is central to this work.

and a heart constructed out of traffic lights, turns on at night:) Awesome.

Shelia has an extensive and well designed website full of images, words, multiple statements, and humor. Check more of her work out here.

Monday, November 16, 2009

lost in translation

another fabric book of LB.

I watched the documentary Louise Bourgeois: The spider, the mistress, and the tangerine today in my studio. And as always LB's combination of wit, vulnerability, and temper fascinates me. But one brief moment in the movie, it might even have been in the extras made me a little disappointed. In this section a friend of LB's discusses her fondness for the fabric book from 2005 Ode รข l'Oubli. This too is one of my all time favorite works of LB.

one of my favorite pages.
I have a copy of the printed version of book and love it. It has always been one of my favorite books to show students and look through myself for a little bit of inspiration. In it LB masterfully translates her drawing style into a series of mostly abstract embroidery and applique drawings. Her choice of fabric and color is nothing less than perfect.

a rare page were you can see the monogrammed initials of the original linen.

Come to find out from the documentary that each piece was sewn on one of her cloth napkins from her wedding linens. Many having stains and spills revealed, especially on the backs of each piece, along with her newly acquired married initials LBG. In addition, the back of each piece is revealed as you see her stitches and process. (thought most of the fine stitching was done by hired sewers, LB's hands are no longer able to do such intricate work).

working on assembling the book as editions.

I was fascinated and inspired to find all this out but very sad that the book reproduction does not reveal any of this. The images make one believe that each linen is pristine and new. And no backs are revealed at all, while in the artists book they all are. I would have loved to seen just a few. Therefore, I so wish that someday I have the opportunity to see this work in person, but even then know it will not be as much as I want, because I really want to feel the fabric and stitches, see the backs and flaws, as this all adds even more to the very beautiful work.

Makes you realize how much you miss from a piece when you can not handle it and experience it as curators, collectors, and the artists have the privilege to.

Excellent article on this book here.

needle in hand.

sorry the color balance is so bad, i waited too late and now my studio is dark.

I have diligently been working away with needle in hand at my studio all afternoon. Company has been a Louise Bourgeois documentary and American Radioworks. It has been great.
I just settled in and worked a solid 4-5 hours or so on appliqueing the hair of my bed piece. I love the way it looks but just hope the dark hair does not dominate the skin tone thread. It is hard to tell when so much lays undone. And the addition of paint at the very end changes everything anyway.

I am so excited to get to my inbox everyday on connective thread to see the amazing submissions that are starting to poor in. Many artists that I ave featured here or even met and some totally new ones have submitted. I have a feeling many more than just the selected will be featured here on the blog. But I am beginning to have no idea how I will select from such amazing group of work. I think it will all come down to creating a cohesive show that works together and in the space. Plus I have plans to curate more shows in the future so many work not selected might be selected then. Remember to submit if you have not -only 9 days left.

Friday, November 13, 2009


some in process images of my new work. It is going along well, though I am already out of a few threads I need. Micheal's, why cannot you live in Brooklyn:(
And it is interesting adjusting to working on such a large scale - I am using a standing quilting hoop which allows me to work on large areas but does not give me as much flexibility as I am use too. But most annoying is all the extra fabric hanging off. I am having to tie and pin the rest of the linen just to keep it out of my way while I work. But I am confident that the adjustments will pay off. I am super excited about the piece already.

And... I am super excited to say that I got a piece accepted into the Fiber Art International show in Pittsburgh this spring. I am so glad to have been selected and this is the first year I have applied. The show is a huge show in a great space with a great opening and artist's event. And there is the possibility to be invited to their traveling exhibition. The bad news is all the fun stuff (opening, etc.) is one week after my due date. So though I have my fingers crossed that I will feel up to going with a new baby in tow, I am doubtful. But hopeful!

gallery run down

So as I mentioned I went to Chelsea yesterday to see a few shows. It was a quick trip but a success.
I really loved seeing how Miriam Shapiro incorporated fiber into her paintings. The work on display was not her actual quilt pieces but paintings in which she gel medium collaged lace, ribbon, and swatches of fabric onto their surface. One piece had an apron and a few sweet little doilies incorporated.
They worked really beautiful and spoke very much about the experience of the domestic space.

Mending by Lee Mingwei was truly worth the trip. The exhibit and install is very simple and straightforward but perfectly done. What I did not expect is that each mended piece, neatly folded and stacked on the table in the center of the gallery, was attached by a long thread to the spool of thread, on the wall, that the mend was sewn with. It ended up creating a beautiful visual mend of space and physical web through space as well as forcing you, the viewer, to interact with the work in a new way. The mends themselves were also at times pretty wild with color and mess of thread. Really beautiful. Unfortunately no images on line of this transformation.
My only complaint was that they were in the process of hanging some "in process" pictures of the mending done over the time of the exhibition. The images seemed to have been taken automatically with a digital camera on a timer. BUT they were horrible, they were not balanced and therefore a glowing yellow and brown. The gallery should have know better to light balance the camera and get some decent shots:(

image not from current exhibit.

Kimberely Hart's show was a but of a disappointment. Her work was still beautifully crafted and clever but it was lacking something. It almost seemed too thought out, too gallery ready, there was no grit to the work left. I fear she might be going through the stage of having the money and success to do whatever she can imagine and her editing process and commitment to the work not being quite the level it was forced to be earlier in her career. Still worth seeing, as she has some hand made vultures that are truly lovely. But a bit of a disappoint.

Otherwise nothing too exciting- except I did really love the paintings at Susan Inglett gallery by Hope Gangloff. Her paintings are relatively large scale and read almost more like drawings than paintings, with her strong use of line and white space. She includes a lot of simply rendered fabric from bed sheets, to towels, to discarded clothing often focusing on their graphic patterns. Always centering her casually reclined figure in the comfort of a domestic setting. They are really nice work and I would love to have one hanging on my wall.

And as I think I mentioned the Bill Viola show at James Cohen is amazing. He poetically, beautifully, and simply portrays the simultaneous process of birth and death, pleasure and pain, rebirth and loss.
Highly recommended.

Tracey Emin

Now I have to get around to planning a trip uptown to see the new Tracey Emin show and this super awesome sounding embroidery, in stitches, at LTMH gallery.

Louise Bourgeois
The exhibit includes established artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Lesley Dill to more emerging artists.
Todd Knopke
I cannot wait to check it out!! I mean look at the roster of artists. You can actually see the entire catalogue online, so enjoy.