Friday, October 26, 2012

Good Advice

Carlsbad, CA 2012

Distraction is fact of how do we get things done anyway?  Can intention help to shift things?  Today's edition of Robert Genn's newsletter has some simple and practical advice.  Set a timer for 25 minutes, work on your project.  When the timer goes off, take a break for 5 minutes, and then repeat the cycle.   Read more in the newsletter. This could be an interesting experiment to better manage time.  Are you up to the challenge with me?  It has already helped me to finish writing some artist statements!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ouilts and Flags

Several of us  took a day trip to see the Quilt National 2011 and Prayer Flag Project exhibits at the Oceanside Museum of Art over the weekend.  A fabulous day out.  I was happy to see the QN exhibit, which included one third of the original 85 quilts from that year (3 traveling exhibits are being shown all over the country).  It is inspirational to see the work that was accepted into this exceptional venue.  Always more impressive in person than in photographs, of course.  Many superb quilts, techniques and ideas.  Yet sometimes I found myself wondering what the juror was thinking in choosing a piece.  It is a reminder that, in the end, viewing art work is a subjective experience.  What one person is drawn to may not resonate with others. 

I was very intrigued by the Fiber Dialogues quilts adjacent to QN.  Here, a select group of regional artists, including Jane LaFazio, Terry Waldron, Joanell Connelly, & Sheila Frampton Cooper, were invited to submit pieces that spoke to works in the QN show.  It was an effective and interesting idea. 

Sorry, no photos allowed for any of the quilt exhibits.


Happily, they were allowed for the Prayer Flag Project 
in the lobby area.  
Exciting to see the many flags sent in from artists all over, 
including myself

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sculpting Bowls

Ruffled Thread Bowl 2012

I have been creating these small fiber bowls, which began as a means to recycle leftover thread cuttings, yarns, and lint.  The results always have an element of the unexpected.  Previously I had used Solvy sheets, a water soluble stabilizer that looks like plastic wrap, in making my own fabric out of threads and stitching for appliques on my quilts, as you see in the center of one of my "Squiggles Series" below.

Squiggles 3  © 2008  Linda A. Miller

So, I began to wonder about the possibilities of a three dimensional piece... and how would that work?  Three years later you see the results.  I thought it time to share the process with you.

Fibers set up in hoop - top side

Back side of piece

To begin, I set up layers of lint, thread cuttings and yarn between two sheets of Solvy.  This package is then put in an embroidery hoop before stitching.  I find this keeps everything together as I stitch.  I use a 10" hoop that allows me access to all areas under my machine's arm.  Then I use free motion stitching all over the surface to keep the materials together once the stabilizer is gone.

Stitching completed

Once the stitching is finished, the materials are taken out of the hoop.  I trim off the edges of the Solvy (I now have a bag of those cuttings to use in some project!)  and wash out the Solvy in a water bath, leaving some residue remaining which will act as glue for bowl.

Post washing

Now the material is ready for forming into a bowl shape.  I am using packaging from store bought muffins currently. You can experiment for yourself with different forms.  Once molded, I let it dry.

Shaping the bowl

The bowl is very light, almost paper like in texture, and holds it shape.  I seal it with acrylic sealer or matte medium to protect it. have fun fiber bowl!  You can see more bowls in my Etsy shop.

Ruffled Thread Bowl - top

Using the soluble stabilizer to create is not a new idea.  I love seeing how others have gone down a similar path to develop their own style of three dimensional art.  In the current  issue of Quilting Arts (October November 2012) Julie Richardson talks about her own process of turning scraps into sculptural bowls.  She uses AquaMesh Wash Away embroidery stabilizer.  I may have to experiment with that!  Let me know what you come up with.

Ruffled Thread Bowl 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

Exhibit Month

 This seems to be the season for exhibit openings.  Over the weekend I attended two receptions. Sandra Lauterbach, friend and fellow Fiber Fanatic, is one two featured artists at HaleArts Space in Santa Monica.  Her exciting energetic pieces will be on view until October 17th.

Extreme Quilters "Art from Cloth" held their reception yesterday out in Newbury Park.  It was a lovely Southern California fall day for a drive.  My friend, Sally Wright, and I were fortunate to be able to gather with a group for the pre-exhibit SAQA lunch, allowing time to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.  The exhibit is extensive with a variety of offerings...sorry no pictures were allowed to share with you, however you can go to this preview of their catalog.  I was particularly drawn to Loris Bogue's and Pamela Price Klebaum's pieces.  And purchased several delicious hand dyes in the gift shop! 

Next weekend, at the Oceanside Museum of Art three concurrent exhibits will open on Saturday and run until February 2013- Quilt National (selections from QN 2011), Fiber Dialogues and the OMA Prayer Flag Project (one of my flags is a part of this exhibit).  Looking forward to seeing these!

Finally, Visions Biennial Brainstorms will open on October 20th.  I am eagerly awaiting this always innovative, inspiring exhibit!

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Unexpected

 I had planned to meet up with an out of town friend yesterday.  Here in L.A. a major freeway closure was in effect over the weekend due to bridge construction, and my friend was on the opposite side of town.  I thought I would be able to take my familiar surface street route to get there.  Well, think again!  I found my route blocked off, later learning there was a triathlon event on those streets.  It was disappointing that getting together was not meant to be that day. Reminder that some things are out of our control.

Back home, I instead enjoyed a quiet, peaceful day.  Some sketching, gardening, and finishing my reread of John O'Donohue's inspiring Anam Cara

Over the past week I have been listening to the audio book of Thomas Cahill's How the Irish Saved Civilization...which I had also read some time ago.  I find Cahill's Hinges of History series thought provoking.  Wonderful writing about points in history that impacted Western culture.  I encourage you to read his books....

I leave you with this beautiful quote from T.S. Eliot-
"And at the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And to know the place for the first time."


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