Friday, January 29, 2010

slow cloth

Images above courtesy of Glennis Dolce. All rights reserved.

Slow cloth is the fiber worlds equivalent of the slow food movement. Slow cloth was branded and initiated by Elaine Lipson, artist, writer, editor, and one of the supporters of the slow food idea here in the US. Slow cloth is not a project, technique, or some kind of exclusive club, but rather a philosophy and an attitude, characterized by joy, skill, contemplation, beauty, and expression. The Slow Cloth philosophy embraces teaching, community (global and local), diversity, and responsible sourcing and use of materials. You can find a more detailed outline of the slow cloth initiative here.

For me slow cloth emphasizes the fact that making things from fiber is a blissful experience, and that is is ok for things to take time, as long as we cherish the process. On a larger scale slow cloth takes on issues such as sustainable, and fair manufacturing of fashion and home goods, respect for the environment, the importance of making things that last and doing more with less.

The slow cloth group on facebook, spearheaded by Elaine, with the help of Jude Hill, and Glennis Dolce, now has close to 600 members from all over the world, all sharing a love for fabric, fibers, stitching, and handcraft. The slow cloth group has ongoing discussions about varied topics such as artistic process, books for fiber makers, favorite needels, and "ugly" work. There is an adjacent flicker group where members can post photos of their work, and all members are encouraged to post links and comments on topics related to the slow cloth philosophy. I find this to be an increadible inspiring place and I encourage everybody who work with textiles, and who embraces the slow cloth ideas to join the group. Thank you Kit for helping me find the way, and thank you Elaine, Jude, and Glennis for setting things in motion!

Images above courtesy of Jude Hill. All rights reserved.

Monday, January 25, 2010

studio life

My studio is located in the most beautiful room of our house. It has a 10 foot ceiling, and three enormous windows. Late last week, after a series of deadlines had left this magical space in an undignified disarray, I embarked on operation clean-up. The photos above shows the progress... It is almost done. Most of my beautiful fabrics have been pulled out of the closet, and placed on open shelves and display racks. I love having it all right there for reference and inspiration. I also have cleared out two work stations - one for cutting and assembly and another one for sewing. Right now, when everything still is in place, it feels luxurious. I am wondering how long the order will last. The voting is in full swing over at poppytalk, and I would love to receive yours for favorite handmade housewares, if you are inclined...

the sewing corner, with lots of room for big projects

my favorite (for the moment) fabrics on display.

where the cutting, assembly, labeling, and packaging happens

could not resist this crate from three potato four

more textiles; vintage, new, dyed, delicate, heavy...

pin board with sketches, inspirations, and various treasures from friends and family

the computer corner...

Monday, January 18, 2010

starting point

I have two show openings this week with my art quilt group Fiber Transformed. We do themed collaborative shows whenever possible. The most recent one is called starting point, celebrating the fact that all artistic endeavors start with a small seed of inspiration, a black dot of sorts. The pieces shown at Art Works in Richmond, Virginia, all incorporates spots; tiny, simple, big, plentiful, or provocative. The second show is called wish you where here, and is on display at Radford University, Radford, Virginia. It is a collection of artworks created in response to vacation photos taken by group members during their travels. I am honored and delighted to be part of this fun and talented group of women!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

rumination and dreams, part 2

This morning I sent out a short email to the storeowners I have worked with over the past years, telling them that I will no longer do wholesale. It was a rational decision, made after much consideration, and I know it is the best choice for me personally. But it was a hard thing to do. Many of them have become friends, some are disappointed, and I feel like I am letting them down...

Giving up the wholesale accounts is just one of several small changes I am making this year. From now on I will sell my work almost exclusively in the etsy shop. Etsy has been a wonderful experience for me and the artists and customers I have met there have enriched my life. I will be able to concentrate all my production and marketing in one place, instead of stocking and promoting several sites. The etsy shop also allows me to offer one-of-a-kind objects, like the big heart pillow above, while maintaining my original line.

Which leads me to the main reason for all this reshuffling and reorganizing. What I really want to focus on are my larger art pieces, quilts, and textile collages. I love using fabric as my canvas, incorporating printing, dyeing, stitching, and vintage into the mix. I am still learning, and I am not sure if my work is that good yet. But it is evolving and it makes my heart sing... My main web site is now devoted to the art quilts, and I hope that will help attract interest from gallery owners, buyers and collectors.

Only time will tell if my strategy will work. If not there is always room for more change, and new dreams and aspirations...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

special gift – special request

My friend Mia gave me this delightful bracelet the other day, as a belated holiday gift and thank you token. I am especially enthralled with the fig leaf charm, which is a silver replica of my leaf print. Mia is a talented goldsmith and jewelry designer, specializing in beautiful wedding and engagement rings and elegant pendants. Last year she also introduced an adorable line of jewelry that can be customized from your child's drawings. Thank you for my treasure Mia!

Have you heard about the poppies, a fun and lighthearted series of awards initiated by poppytalk? The awards are not meant to be a true competition, but rather a way to highlight and celebrate talented crafters, designers, and artists. I usually don't fish for compliments, but if you feel inclined, I would love your nomination in the homemade housewares category. While there check out the other award categories. The nomination process ends on January 12, so hurry over and let the world know who your favorite creative people are!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Today I have grown taller from walking with the trees.
Karle Wilson Baker

I am definitely a tree hugger at heart. We have a few majestic ones in our garden, and during stormy night I lay awake worrying that they may get hurt or felled. I can't imagine our life without them. They are especially impressive in wintertide, without their lush summer clothing. Tall and ever reaching as they grace the sky.

I am working on an art quilt that incorporates a grove of trees. The imagery started out as a photo from a fall walk, which was transformed into a screen, which then was used for printing. I love the effect and the fact that this tiny reflection of nature now is part of my art.

The photo, burnt onto a screen, printed on linen...

Thank you for your kind and thoughtful comments to my last post! Your friendship and willingness to join me on my bumpy journey warms my heart.
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