Sunday, June 29, 2008

Workshop and Blog Closed

Seamless Skin will be closed from Monday, June 30-July 6, 2008 for vacation.  Staff will return on Monday, July 7, refreshed, relaxed, and rejuvenated.  See ya soon!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Going blank for a title, but read it anyways...


Mo and I had a late lunch.  She was excited about scoring the highest A on her summer mid-term in her Intro to Pan-African Studies and blabbed on and on about how she is among the few of the 20 students who seem to have had previous exposure to some of the topics of discussion.  I refrained from getting snarky but I did gently remind her that her mother (me) was aiming for a double major back in the day in Educational Psych and Pan-African Studies...(I was only 4 courses away from the PAS major but I was more ready to be done with school).  It is a little reassuring to see some of what I've tried to incorporate has stuck. 

Yesterday I worked on quilting preliminary studies for The Poetry Series.  I finished 2.  The one above I'm putting in seed stitches and decided afterwards that the larger pieces really call for machine lines.  The machine lines seem more of a compliment to the organic nature of the surface design of the fabric.  Brings in more a sense of order without taking over...and for the same reason I'll put on a small binding.



How about one big collective "ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"?!  How beautiful!  Grace, blog author at Barnyard Chatter awarded me one of her hand-dyed fat quarters for being one of the winning recipients of a blog contest she hosted. Right now, I'm leaning toward placing it into one of the poetry quilts.  Reds, Greens, and Yellows are the main colours.  Thank you Grace.


I enjoy blogging because I enjoy writing and it has also helped support my novice interest in taking photos.  It enhances self-communication as well as communicating with others and I've found myself wishing that more family and friends would blog. 

A few days ago I picked up a new local publication that profiled "The Creative Class".  It profiled about a dozen or so artists in this city and how they have impacted the image, economics, and culture of Louisville.  Since I'm not one to be all up in the mix, I appreciated the coverage and wished for more coverage of local artists, emerging and well established.  Then I thought, "if" I had the energy and time I would start a blog for just such a purpose.  It would make communication with other artists more accessible. If you're from Louisville and you're reading this, feel free to take this idea and make it your own! 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Warm-up

Mondays are for warm-ups...Every Monday when I return to my workshop after two, sometimes three days away, I still experience awe...I look around and see that everything is as I left it...waiting for me. I spend the weekends planning and knowing in my head what I'm going to do come Monday...but I arrive and each Monday I've asked myself "okay, now, what am I going to do?".  I take a deep breath and start where I left off...unlike the first few weeks were I did busy work (beading on Red) to get use to the schedule, the space,...all the while churning and kneading ideas over and over.

The Poetry Series really excites me...I mean really really excites me, but I'm also aware that I feel very reverent for the work, for the process. And today, after years of not writing any new poems, it came to me that I need to write a new body of work that speaks to the future and is more current.  Writing poetry was just as intense and physical as creating quilted art, conjuring feelings of awe, reverence, and soul breaking open experience when something is working and I'm one with it.

I was in the workshop today for seven hours taking breaks every two hours for about 15-20 minutes.  I started and finished 8"x10" piece called 725-Prerequisite Study.  It was to audition the quilting pattern and threads which I think will work very well for these pieces.  Its important to me that every layer speaks to "rememory".  I almost added a Sankofa motif but decided against it because the quilt itself is Sankofa.

Here is a peak at it...I'll show it in it's entirety after it arrives to one of the Pay-It-Forward recipients.


It maybe a small piece but it took a big mess to get it done.  I usually straighten up before leaving because it makes me have more clarity when I return.  But I was too tired and left the mess as is:

DSCN3270 DSCN3272

Friday, June 20, 2008

Willie Pearl is never far away.

DSCN3240 The red cloth started out as one of 3 panels (the other 2 can be seen in the post below) that where to be sewn together.  But the design was altered today and to my surprise Willie Pearl found herself as the focal point on this one.  She had been pinned to the side of the design board with some other experiements I did almost 2 years ago with printing photos on cloth.  I pinned her up there as a way to remember to experiment again some day in the future...well I guess some day was today.  It surprised me but its very fitting since the poem written on the red cloth was inspired by her and her home.

She will sit there until next week when I return to see what she wants to do next?

And I'm promising myself that I will customize my blog heading before the month is over.  I upgraded on typepad to create a blog that is connected to this one but solely for visual of my quilts.  Its not set up yet as I've yet to make time to photography them.  I think I will feel better about interrupting my time to photograph them after I these tops quilted.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Continuing right along

This week I've worked on 2 tops in my Poetry Series.  Right now I'm leaning toward getting these four tops put together and completed before I start the fifth one.  The fourth one will be between 6 feet and 7 feet in width and I've never quilted anything that large.

Here is the surface work on a partial view of the smallest one:


The changes I made on this one was using commercial fabric and making the writing more legible.  I'm going to add the circles on Thursday (if I can manage the gas to get there).

I thought about bringing some work home but I really do not want to be working out of both spaces.  The clear delineation between home and my workshop provides clarity and  a better flow of what needs to be done and when. Even though I'm always itching to get back to my workshop, more thought goes into my work by not having it around me all the time.

I could never do this at home:






Thursday, June 12, 2008

See whats happening

How could I leave this chair sitting on Craigslist?  I waited one month to inquire, then talked myself out of it, then waited another month and the owner still had it.  I went crazy over it when I first saw it so I'm thinking it was meant for me to have it.  Its not the most comfortable chair but it'll do for short spells.  I use it at the computer at the workshop.  I picked up an older and much used cordless iron yesterday that I found on Craigslist.  It works great for me to iron on my cutting table.


I washed out the green fabrics dyed with iDye Tuesday.  The fabric on the left is a poly-cotton blend that I previously used last year when I was experiementing with transfer dyes (which are not for me).  The iDye worked well with the transfer dye which are the graphic lines.   The fabric on the right is a blend also but a feels like linen but behaves like spandex.  I'm thinking there is more natural fibers which accounts for the loss in colour.

From this




to this






I returned to making the panels for my Poetry Series.  I used the back of the fabric I painted with the acrylic paint mixed with the GAC 900 because it shows more texture.  I'm adding the circles here with regular fabric paint and acrylic ink.



Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Two Shows, Two Pieces, Two Locations

Cilium 2 and Negotiating Territory were accepted here:

a fiber art exhibit held in conjunction with the W.C. Handy Festival in Henderson, Kentucky on the banks of the Ohio River in Audubon Mill Park from June 7-14. 

Spoken With Hands, the fiber art exhibit will be open from June 10-August 8, 2008.

Location: Rotunda Gallery, Henderson County Library, 101 South Main, Henderson, KY, Mon-Thur 9am-8pm, Fri-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 1:30-5pm.

You can read more about the festival here.

and here:

Many Cultures-One Art, this is an annual event co-sponsored by The Center for Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans and The Central Kentucky Homemakers Quilt Guild at Kentucky State University, and HBC, located in Frankfort, Kentucky. The exhibit opens September 2 and runs through October 31, 2008.



I get around (in my dreams)

After dyeing fabric the old fashioned low water immersion way using 6 different reds I tried something different for my greens...I painted some and then simmered some...the simmered fabric is one poly-blend and the other is a mystery fabric that I picked up in Baer's discount room.  The paint was a mixture of acryllic and Golden's GAC 900.  I've used it before but couldn't remember the results...I'll try to remember to place samples in my journal today. 


The simmered fabric was prepared with the no-mess IDye-Poly by Jacquard.  I let it simmer for about an hour. 


Wash out day is today.

I've allowed my contributions to the Take It Further Challenge fall way behind.  I swear on a stack of fabrics that I will not accept challenges again!!!!!!!!!!!  I work intuitively...meaning from the inside out.  The purpose of taking on a challenge should help me grow in the direction of work I'm already pursuing or plan to pursue.  But still, in an attempt to try and redeem myself by focusing on the colour combinations I pulled out of my scrap bag the colours for March's challenge...the sheet in the middle of the photo on the right...a great I need to decide what to do with them.  I do want to experiment with colour combinations and since these appealed to me it was the shortest route to take to internalize the project.

DSCN3193 DSCN3194

Oh, and last night I dreamed I was at the home of a family from India and the husband was cooking for me and the wife was a short story writer and I was reading her stories from an anthology while dinner was being prepared.  There was a beautiful gold and brown silk fabric covering a Duncan Phyfe couch that the husband was stretched out on.  I could also smell the food.

Also, I've not forgotten about the Pay It Forward...June was my self-imposed deadline so somethings will be going out this month to Deb, Nellie and my memory is falilng me on the 3rd person who responded which I can check by bringing up the posts. 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New Southerner Interviews

Upfromsumdirt, aka Ron Davis, my brother.  The interview.  In order to read it you will need a LULU account and if you take the downloadable version of the journal, it is FREE!


Friday, June 6, 2008

She Who Holds Tomorrow

It all started with a writing prompt that Crystal gave on magical realism and wondering what I could come up with in fabric.  I sketched out some ideas and although She Who Holds Tomorrow was my less magical, she was the one that began to send me telepathic the original sketch there are huge vases behind her that she asked for, then I decided to embellish the vases...then she asked to be made in cloth...I said hold up, you'll have to wait. 

She Who Holds

Yesterday was her was the 2nd day this week that I couldn't focus...felt tired, mentally blank, so I piddled instead of beginning the third top in the Poetry Series.  Ran the screens on a sample cloth, then made more marks on the cloth with Nsibidi writing using Indian Ink with the fine line writing tool.  Mo came home yesterday from her intro to Pan African Studies class asking about Nsibidi writing. It just so happened that a few months ago I had ordered a book on African writing systems and had read about Nsibidi writing so that was kinda a cool connection.  The writing on cloth became so good to me that I started making up my own marks.  The cloth ended up redeemed because the screen printing I did on it was a bust.  In some spots the drawing fluid wasn't thick enough so the screen filler filled in places that should not have been. 

Then I turned to my first sketch of She Who Holds Tomorrow and did a small exercise of her in Tsunikeo Inks (I know I just butchered that spelling) and prismacolour pencils.  This is just a practice on a piece of fabric that measures 8 inches by 11 inches.   

Grace asked about the drawing fluid and screen filler and whether or not she could use just the polyester mesh screen without a frame by taping the mesh around the edges...since I'm not an "expert" I would say go for it and try it...On Jane Dunnewold's Complex Cloth DVD she fuses tulle between two sheets of iron-on stablizer...she also demo'ed this on an episode of Quilting Arts.  I like the weight that the frame gives me, making the piece feel more stable when pulling over it.

Last night I dreamed that I flew to Accra, Ghana to hear a concert given by the UofL orchestra.  I was with Estella, a long time friend.  After the concert was over the very large group went to sit on the steps of the concert hall to watch a very elaborate parade of floats on water that ran in front of the concert hall...Beyond the water I could see the urban sprawl of Accra with buildings in salmon, yellow, fushia and trolleys and busses and huge long blocks of vegetable and fruit stands.  Estella had a Nikon D40 and I had my camera and we both where taking pictures of the parade and then of the areas beyond the water.  So I'm wondering now if She Who Holds Tomorrow is from Ghana????


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Daily Grind of Living Faithfully

I returned to my workshop on Monday as I'm committed to keeping the Deb said in the comments...just do it anyways.  Grant it, I wasn't as productive as I'd hoped but I did manage to finish writing on the last panel for the 2nd top in the Poetry Series...I also experiemented with writing with acryllic inks...this sample was ironed after it dried and then wetted with lukewarm bled which kinda surprised me since it is acryllic base.  I also prepared screens using the drawing fluid and screen filler.  The duct tape I use is 3M brand but I do not get a good adherence to the screen...I've tried a cheaper brand and had the same problem...I'm thinking about trying "artist tape".  If anyone has any other recommendations please let me know.  I'm rinsing the drawing fluid out here at home and will print with them (2) tomorrow.


DSCN3181Yesterday I was up to actually running the sewing machine so I sewed the panels one seam 4 times...I found that I was more committed to getting the seam (it really needs to be straight in these related pieces) right than being frustrated over having to re-sew!  I couldn't believe how calm I was about doing this over and of my more mellower moments for sure!  I also prepared the last of my cotton fabric for dyeing by soaking it in soda will be in the bucket until tomorrow.  I'm still uncertain about dyeing there or if I should rent out space for a day (20 bucks a day) at MACA to dye fabric...because I don't have that much I think I'm going to attempt to do it at the workshop since I have less than 5 yards and I'm only doing 2 colours, 3, at most. 

A few weeks ago I caught Alice Walker on a monthly tv show called In Depth that runs on  A 3 hour interview at her home in Berkley, California.  I've been told through the years that I exude an intense calmness but I've never seen myself that way...I do see Alice Walker that way and only hope to be able to express my inner voice with such calm and intensity as she...she definitely makes a strong case for meditation and writing practice.  Because I've been pondering motherhood, motherhood and being a poet/artist (something I've never resolved satisfactorily since I first began to question 27 years ago) I'm being led to read the books by Alice Walker's daughter Rebecca Walker.  I've never read any of her 3 books but would like to know her views on feminism and motherhood and to see if I can gleam any more understanding about the mother/daughter relationship...I have a quilt by the name of Faith of the Mother which examples marking time as a mother by my faith. 

I will be putting an update on my book blog in the coming week.  I started reading Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott.  Michele sent it to me with the note that she thought of me frequently while reading it and I've since thought of 2 friends frequently while reading it.  This is my first book by Lamott and I'm enjoying how she plainly speaks about the daily grind of living with the daily grind of living faithfully  I will pass it on when I'm finished.


Of course Jesus would water his tomato plant!  Oh, and thanks for letting me know that "sit a spell" was not a phrase peculiar to the peculiar south.  I don't know why I'm so fixated on southern sayings or even the origin of cliches but when I use one I question how it got started and where it came from.  One that I believe is peculiar to my family (me, a sister, and my great grandmother) is "whatsonevah" meaning "what so ever".  You must use it like like one big word interject the n sound and say the er as ah.