Tuesday, July 27, 2010

gift of giving

My friend Lily wanted to honor her friends recent wedding with a gift from her own garden. The result are these napkins, printed with Japanese maple leaves picked from the tree outside her front door. I enjoy working on projects like this, when the process of giving becomes a gift in itself. Lily is an amazing gardener and garden historian, and therefore these handmade napkins have an extra meaning for the newly married couple.

I want to send a special thank you to Susie at Flower * Press who wrote so nicely about our recent swap. I got the most beautiful linen towels, a custom print, and some of her rick rack fabric, in exchange for pieces of my handprinted fabric now destined to become pillows in her home. Check out Susie's etsy shop which is stocked with her stunning, garden inspired and  hand crafted linens, fabrics, prints, and cards. I love surrounding myself with work by creative friends!

 Chalk filigree unbleached tea towel by flower press.

The next few weeks will be hectic, as I am gearing up for a group show at Warm Springs Gallery in August, while finishing up a commission for the University of Virginia also due next month. I'll try to keep up with posting, but if I am not you'll find me in the studio happily but frantically dyeing, printing, and stitching.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

queen anne's lace

The fields and road sides around town are dotted with this delightful weed, also called wild carrot. The sturdy stalks are proudly reaching for the sky and the delicate white flowers sway in the wind.

Queen Anne's lace is an excellent printing plant, occasionally a bit unpredictable, but most of the time its intricate impressions are amazingly clear and precise. The flowers and the seed heads need to be pressed for  about 24 hours before being used. Once two-dimensional it is easy to coat one side with paint and press onto fabric.

I love to include Queen Anne's lace in my work. The samples above are pieces in progress, but there are a couple of wall hangings available in the shop. Spotted, is a framed and glassed textile collage, and weedy delight is a small art quilt, both are putting this lacy plant center stage.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

pippi the puppy

Let me introduce our new family member, Pippi. We found her at our local SPCA, or she found us... Pippi is sweet, curious, and cuddly - a dog with a good disposition. Being only 8 weeks old she is leaving a constant trail of pee puddles, and she is driving our older dog mad with her energetic affection. Her breath still smells like milk and the streak of white on her nose is adorable. She is named after the heroine Pippi Longstocking, from the Swedish Children's books, because she is brave and has white socks on each of her paws. Puppy love is a simple pleasure in the midst of a complicated world.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

barbara wisnoski

white rag quilt
photos courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

 A small single piece of fabric, slightly worn, ends up next to a similar yet different piece of fabric. Some are tarnished, some torn. All with a history to tell. By the hands of Canadian textile artist Barbara Wisnoski, they become part of a much larger picture. With frayed edges and lose threads proudly exposed, she pieces together amazing wall quilts that beckons to be examined and admired. Barbara calls her art 2.5 D textile installations, made from recycled fabric and clothing. The exposed seams, and layered patches gives the quilts a wonderful depth and weight. From afar the wall pieces have clean simple motifs like lines in a landscape, shapes of rectangles, and the contour of a roof, but when viewed up close the true magic of her composition is revealed.

2d-3d house
photos courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

I love everything about Barbara's work, from the innovative reuse of materials, to the subtle flow of color, and the simplicity and texture of the large finished pieces. If you are interested in seeing her quilts in person, two of them are currently on display at Fiberart International 2010, at Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA. The show will subsequently travel to Rochester, NY, and San Francisco, CA. Thank you Barbara for letting me share your beautiful art!

grey rain sea
photos courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

platonic target
photo courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

photo courtesy of Barbara Wisnoski. all rights reserved.

Monday, July 5, 2010

endearing collaboration

My successful endeavor with textiles and fiber art came to be thanks to my mother. When I was young she taught my how to sew doll clothes, how to knit, and make my own clothes. Much later she was the co-conspirator in the creation of inleaf. She knew I wanted my life to take a more artistic path, and during one of her visits we explored leaf printing for the first time. She has ben my most loyal supporter ever since, always encouraging, inspiring, and pushing me along.

She is still an amazing fiber artist in her own right, and when she was here earlier this summer she suggested a mother-daughter collaboration. She brought a bag filled with my fabric scraps back to Sweden, with the idea of using them for a traditional quilt pattern. Here is the initial result. I love her color selections and how she mixed pieces from my collection with ones from her own stacks. One of the hexagons even feature a paw print from my late cat, who accidentally walked across my printing table at the time...

We don't know what final shape this project will take. It will evolve over time, and we will work on it together when we next meet up. Thank you mamma, for the wisdom and creative inspiration you continue to provide.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin