Monday, March 19, 2018

Wabi Sabi Egg

One afternoon, I took a little detour from my main event. I idly perused March 2018 Quilting Arts Magazine in the library; one article in particular about making amulets interested me called, "Objects of Comfort," designed by Victoria Gertenbach, which you can see part of here. The scraps were wrapped around shells and sticks, which didn't appeal to me (I like natural things au naturel), but the technique was full of color and texture. From Lulubears I had bought some garnet emery (ground of garnets) to make little pin cushions and thought this might be a good opportunity to combine the amulet/pin cushion/garnet emery and make a small pin cushion for myself to hold my needle when I'm in progress. Because I like the packaging of the sashiko needles, I've been keeping them in their tube in their box and leaving one needle out while I work. Not so good. I'm afraid I'll lose it.

So I made this wabi sabi egg. First I made a loose form with batting around a wooden craft egg and basted it together. I removed the wooden egg, poured in the garnet emery and stitched up the holes! Then began wrapping and basting scrap cloth around the now batting + emery egg. Whip-stitched the edges, adding a few decorative stitches.

The stitching became addictive, and I kept adding more.

By taking the detour I realized how to solve a problem for another quilt in progress.
Just keep swimming, er sewing.

(post about sashiko needles here)
porcupine egg.

(post about making divided insert tray/compartments for a box here)

This is the kit that follows me around the house. 
Plus the sashiko needle package.
There's my little new egg in the center, the wooden egg on the right.
And the assortment of thread, tape measure, seam ripper, scissors, tiny binder clips, small wooden needle case for my other needles, and safety pins.
I can probably take out the wooden egg. But it's weighting down my errant threads.
And I like it, too.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Rauschenberg-inspired Coptic Journals

Robert Rauschenberg's energy and whole-hearted investigation and engagement with colors and materials still buzz in me, and I felt I needed to newly investigate and engage with colors and textures in the book form. These journals seemed a perfect place to combine acrylic painting and some leftover fabric scraps I had originally printed for my quilts. I kept to Rauschenberg's colors: white, black, and red. Well, pink crept in, too.

They're small and sturdy. Perfect for carrying with you. 
Great for writing or drawing in tight spaces like diner counters or on a subway.
Nice Strathmore Drawing paper inside.

A little preview from a quilt I'm working on now in these with the cherry blossoms printed from a linoleum block and a peek at the letterpress printed poem.

This one has maps enfolding each signature.
A piece of printed cloth from Housework here on the back.

Textured red and white, with little white accent ties on the spine.
A fragment of the cherry linoleum cut on the back.
(Another peek at my upcoming quilt: Almost Cherry Season.)

If they appeal to you I've put these new Coptic journals up at 
nevermindtheart, my Etsy store.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Star 82 Review 6.1 Is Now Live!

"Still here, Captain." I hear Scotty's voice from Star Trek in my head each time I release a new issue of the online and print, art and literary magazine, Star 82 Review. And here's another! An interesting, thoughtful, and heartfelt blend of distinctive voices, just like always, but somehow this time even more so. Each piece is short and can be viewed or read when you have a moment here or there, enjoyed like a good snack. Of course you can dig in all at once, too.

Easy access!

6.1 web is here.
6.1 print is here.

You can keep up-do-date with the news from the magazine and read the found poem created from the first two or last two words from each written piece at the Star 82 Review FaceBook page here.

Happy Reading!

6.1 Contributors
Claire Ahn
Kathryn Almy
Dan Alter
Micki Blenkush
Chris Bullard
Marion Cohen
Tommy Dean
Carol L. Deering
Salvatore Difalco
Jaimee Hills
Richard Kostelanetz
Jessica Lawless
Kali Lightfoot
Doug Mathewson
Angelina Oberdan
Deonte Osayande
Tammy Peacy
Alejandro Pérez
Jenn Powers
Terese Robison
Valorie K. Ruiz
Tim Sharman
Cathryn Shea
Alan Simmons
Michael Dwayne Smith
M. Stone
Debbie Theiss
Landa wo

Monday, March 12, 2018

Conversation: A New Art Quilt

After seeing the Robert Rauschenberg exhibit at SFMOMA, my head was buzzing with ideas. One was to sew cloth together that first had been pleated. I had no idea what would happen after that. This is a little quilt that spoke to me as I went.

I began with some scraps from other quilts, inspired by Christina Kim. Last March, I had seen a wonderful textile exhibition, Scraps, at Cooper Hewitt Museum, and was particularly enchanted by how she and the other two designers used what would otherwise be waste material from the garment industry. A book that gives you nearly the same feeling as seeing the show is the exhibition catalogue, Scraps: Fashion, Textiles, and Creative Reuse: Three Stories of Sustainable Design. Kim in particular created one line of clothing, used the scraps from that to make the next, and down the line until all that was left were little amulets. At each stage she sourced the production to local people. I have a little bag with scraps that I have printed, so I began with those.

As I ironed and pressed the scraps I heard the words in my head, "folded many times thick." I knew it was part of something Thoreau wrote because my friend quotes it, usually when I am talking about layering, but I couldn't remember the rest. It turned out even better when I found the whole thing. At the full text is in a letter from Henry David Thoreau to Ralph Waldo Emerson, July 18, 1843:
In writing, conversation should be folded many times thick. It is the height of art that, on first perusal, plain common sense should appear; on the second, severe truth; and on a third, beauty; and, having these warrants for its depth and reality, we may then enjoy the beauty for evermore.
I had my title: "Conversation." It is tabletop size: 20"h x 19"w.

Pieces are from these quilts: Seraph; Where Is My Passport?; What Are We Becoming; Hope Rants; Nightlights by the Bay. The white rectangle has a crease ironed down the center like a book. Actually, all of the pieces reference the book form, either by the accordions, the printing, or the page spreads (Thanks, Velma, for planting that idea).

The quilted stitching draws connections from one panel to another. Thinking about Rauschenberg's materials in conversation with each other, too. Common sense, truth, and beauty. Worthy goals for any artistic endeavor.