Thursday, August 30, 2012

shop talk

After much thought and consideration I have finally decided to put my etsy shop on hold. Etsy is still a wonderful place to look for and find amazing hand crafted goods, but the market has grown too big for my preference. So from now on my work will be sold exclusively in my big cartel store. The big cartel venue feels more intimate and I love the way I am able to customize the look and feel of the store front.

The store offers many of the same items previously found on etsy, but the focus will be on one-of-a-kind naturally dyed and eco printed pieces. Popular items like kitchen towels and sachets are still listed, and I am adding a line of hand printed and hand bound books, as well as eco printed and leaf printed  pillow cases. Smaller art quilts and textile collages are also offered. My larger wall pieces are featured on my website, and they are also on display in my studio at Chroma Projects should you be visiting Charlottesville. 

Since I first started this creative business, I have approached even the smallest projects or objects as pieces of art. Sachets and large art quilts alike are all created with the uttermost consideration, care, and quality, and somehow I also hope they reflect the joy I feel making them. I invite you to skip over to the store to browse and discover.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

fiber and art

Generally I try to keep things beautiful and upbeat here. But lately I have found myself increasingly disgruntled about the art world and the role fiber art plays in it.

While on vacation, I visited my favorite modern art museum Louisiana, beautifully situated on the waters edge north of Copenhagen in Denmark. It is a large museum, with a vast collection of contemporary art. When we were there in July, there were no fiber art on display, with the exception of a piece by Pia Arke that was included in the main theme exhibit about Scandinavian architecture.

Pia Arke's work Soil for Scorebysund, consists of a collection of coffee filter bags from her native Greenland. One of the few fiber art pieces at Louisina museum of modern art.

Recently the amazing exhibit Disintegration and Repair, at Warm Springs Gallery, which included several nationally and internationally renown fiber artists, was received warmly by the public, but generated few sales and little attention or reviews from local press and art establishments.

Work by Barbara Wisnoski and Kathryn Clark at Warm Springs Gallery.

I am just using these examples to illustrate how fiber art is met with hesitation, if it is included at all, in more traditional art venues. I think there is an ingrained suspicion towards fiber among art curators, art critics, and art audiences in general. Somehow textile art is considered fragile, fleeting, and flimsy. Then there is the debate whether it is really art, or fine craft. Where do you draw the line? Do you have to draw a line?

Work by Karen Henderson at Warm Springs Gallery.

My wish is to garner a greater respect for the medium itself. Fiber art is no more precious, or insubstantial, or folksy, than any other medium. It is what the artist does with the medium that gives it meaning. Textile art can be good and bad, just as any other art form. I think great fiber art deserve a place alongside great paintings, prints, and video art.

In general (of curse there are exceptions) fiber art is most successful in venues where buyers, curators, collectors, and gallery owners have an interest because of the medium. Most of us probably fall in this category. Our love of fiber, makes us seek out good fiber art via specialty galleries, online venues, and exclusive fiber shows.

But my passion for the art form wants me to promote it in a wider sense. Not just to advance my own work, but because I truly think that fiber art belongs on the big stage. I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Do you have ideas about how to make this happen? How to further the understanding about fiber art and its qualities? I suggest that you visit these amazing artists, who all deserve a place in the most prestigious galleries and museums; Barbara Wisnoski, Karen Henderson, India Flint, Judy Martin, Roz Hawker, Dorothy Caldwell, and Beverly Ayling-Smith. The list could go on...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

round trip

Returning home after an extended vacation is almost as exhilarating as taking off. I am sitting here in the studio trying to recap three wonderful weeks away, sifting through notes and photographs, and sorting through my thoughts...

The first week was spent with family and friends in southern Sweden. The weather was gorgeous and we were offered a plentitude of delicious meals and refreshing drinks. Our evenings were laced with engaging discussions, laughter, and friendship. We criss-crossed the region via train, bus, and car, visiting museums, shops, and cosy restaurants. We swam, basked in the sun, and strolled. It was the most perfect of times.

Paris was the destination for the second part of the trip. We arrived wide-eyed and ready for everything the city of light has to offer. The beautiful apartment on the left bank had a roof top view of the Eifel tower and was the base, for our daily excursions. We quickly came up with a long list of favorites including; Degas painting The orchestra of the opera at Musée d'Orsay, the tomb of Heloise and Abelard in Pere Lachaise Cemetery (what a love story), Papier+ in the Marais quarters, the Victory statue in the Louvre, the all out meat dinner at Relais de l'Entrecote, the kitchen store of all kitchen stores - E. Dehillerin, the stroll through the Porte de Vanves flea market, and getting to know Eva Besnyö and her beautiful photographs at Jeu de Paume. The list goes on, but it is still the everyday experiences that are the true highlights when visiting a new city, such as fetching fresh bread from the bakery every morning, walking down a narrow street at dusk, overhearing a conversations at the lunch table, perusing the market for fresh fruit, and going to bed at night with aching feet and a mind overfilled with new impressions.

Happily back home, I admit that we were ready to reunite with the dogs, sleep in our own beds, and cook a simple meal in our own kitchen. That is what vacations are for. And I am itching to get back to work, to continue pieces in progress and start on things totally new. Somehow the experiences from weeks past will make their way into the process of making and creating that I love so much.


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