Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Inspiration - Current Fiber Art Exhibits

Summer's here and I bet a lot of you will be traveling!  If you'll be in the US, I have four fiber art exhibits that look great.  Unfortunately, my travels won't take me anywhere near them, but I'm having a good time looking at the on-line information each of the exhibits has.

Mmmm - I love the art of Japanese silk kimonos!  The Textile Museum in Washington, DC has an exhibit of Tawaraya Workshop woven silks and kimonos running through August 12, 2012.  The Tawaraya Workshop is one of Japan's oldest - over 500 years of making silks for the Imperial Household.  And if you can't get there to see it in person, the museum has a good on-line exhibit, including the full Exhibit Guide.

Snowshoes and Canoes, Ferdie Goode
The Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts has what looks like a great exhibit of Native American quilts, weavings, rugs, and beadwork coming up.  In the Native American Tradition runs from July 18 to October 2012.  If you live nearby or are planning a Wisconsin visit, be sure to look at the different curators talks they'll be having - and the Artists' Reception!

If you love indigo-dyed fabrics and will be in New York (I'm dying that I was just there and this wasn't open, yet), the Mondo Cane Gallery will be showing Erik Kvatek's personal collection of antique Japanese Boro textiles.  The work will be there until July 12, 2012.  The gallery's website has some great photos if you can't make it to see it in person. 

Haena Point (Hawaiian Sunset #1), 1979
And finally, the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles has an exhibition of the late Mark Adams' woven pictoral tapestries on display until July 29, 2012.  I love his use of vibrant colors and bold shapes!  Again, the museum's website has a nice sampling of the works on display.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wednesday Sewing - Last of the Denim Squares

I finished the last fourteen squares for my denim crazy quilt!

I have the backing fabric - now I just need to figure out how to put the squares together.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Monday, June 25, 2012

Monday Project - Tweaking Ice Dyeing

Wouldn't you know - now that I live in Phoenix and it's 110 outside, I need snow.  We lived in Montana for many years off and on and got very tired of the stuff!  Well, after noticing that when I used  whole ice cubes while ice dyeing, I got large crystalline designs, I wondered if the designs would be smaller with a smaller ice crystal ... so I pulverized the ice in my blender until it looked like snow.  It definitely changed the patterns I got.  I'm starting to fall in love with this type of dying!

I took a yard of fabric, prepared it in soda ash water (see here for the complete instructions on ice dyeing), stuffed it down into a small container, and piled on pulverized ice.  It looked like a giant snow cone!  I did everything else the same.  

This time I used Procion dyes in forest green, sage green, golden yellow, and rust brown.  Parts of the fabric remind me of Yellowstone algae pools - very cool!

I've got my thread and am ready to make some fiber art leaves.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Inspiration - Kumi Yamashita

I am constantly blown away by what artists do with fibers .... and stunned by New York artist Kumi Yamashita's work!  Remember (some of us!) thread and nail pictures from the 60's or 70's?  They usually ended up making geometric forms, owls, or such.  I always thought they were really cool and wanted to make one, but never got around to it.  Then one of my sons sent me a link to the artwork below.  Keep those old string pictures in mind while you look at this:

Close in principle, light years in execution!  Yamashita uses nails and a single strand of sewing thread to almost magically create light, shadows, and a full range of values.  This is Mana from the Constellation Series.  There are more here on her website.  I seriously can't stop looking at them!

But that's not all!  She also creates works by removing certain parts of the weave from denim.  The piece to the left started out as solid black denim.  See more here at her website.

And Yamashita's known for her amazing shadow work, where light is shone on wood, paper, letters, and such from a specific angle to make a certain shadow appear.  I'm very excited!  The piece below, untitled, child, is part of Math Alive! - a interactive traveling exhibition showing the amazing possibilities of math.  It'll make a stop at the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix from July 8 - September 3, 2012 and then move on to the US Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama September 22, 2012 - February 3, 2013 and the Houston, Texas Space Center February 23 - May 5, 2013.  I'll definitely get to see it when it gets to Phoenix in a couple of weeks!  You can see more of her shadow pieces on her website and on Bored Panda here.

Finally, this is a fun demonstration and sort of interview with Kumi on the Japanese television show, Takeshi Kitano's "Unbelievable."  It's in Japanese with English subtitles.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wednesday Sewing - Still Crazy with Denim

I am determined to finish this denim crazy quilt!  This week I got twelve more squares done - I have hopes of finishing them up by next week.  Maybe ... if I don't get distracted.  Originally, I planned on only using a few of the iron-on embroidered patches, but I liked how they looked and quickly used up my small supply.  So I ordered a bunch more.  They arrived this week, and they're beautiful!  I used two companies that are new to me - Laughing Lizards and Applique Buffet.  Both have huge selections and were very prompt in getting me what I ordered.  I also decided I needed more lace and lace appliques.  These I got from my favorite Etsy lace store - Mary, Not Martha.  She's prompt and has an amazing selection.

So here's what I ended up with this week:

Happy Creating!


Monday, June 18, 2012

Monday Project - Shibori Temptations

I'm in the middle of two projects and after buying a new shibori book, I'm having to use all my will power to not get side tracked and start something new!  English textile artist Mandy Southan's Shibori Designs and Techniques is amazing!  Even if you have no intention of trying out the projects, the photos are beautiful to just look at.

Part of the draw of this book is the vibrant colors she uses - and I am totally mesmerized by these colors!  However, it's also the great photo illustrations that make the shibori projects look doable.  I've done some of these techniques before, but they haven't turned out like this!

And these leaves .... I'm getting lots of ideas for these!

Awhile ago I ordered some silk velvet scarves and I now know what to do with them.  I just need to get the denim quilt and art leaf projects finished ...

When I look at this, though, I have to refocus!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Inspiration - Summer Leaves

Our yard has reached that green time of year - it's gotten too hot for my pots of flowers, the wild flowers have all gone to seed ... but the trees and heat loving bushes are going strong! 

So many different greens!  The bright citrusy greens of the lemon tree and its tiny, next year lemons. 

In the garden, besides the herbs, we still have beets with their red streaked greens and the yellow-green of the peppers.  With all that green, the oranges and pinks of the bougainvilleas really stand out!

The blued greens of the geraniums add a nice contrast.

Flickr photo

 I seem to use leaves in my work quite a bit and love looking at the fiber art work of artists who use leaves in theirs.  This gorgeous felted, beaded leaf pendant from Humblebeads reminds me that I haven't done any felted pins in a long time.  Hmmm ... I'm already getting some ideas.

I'm intrigued by the lacy leaves on Andi Shannon's art quilt.  They remind me of skeletonized leaves.  She gives a nice explanation here (March 16, 2011 entry) on how she makes these. 

And Lynda Pike's leaves she painted on canvas and then quilted are amazing!  She talks about creating the piece here

I have an idea for functional fiber art based on leaves and using ice dying that I'll be starting on next week.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Happy Creating!  Deborah