Friday, November 17, 2017

November Bead Challenge #1

Erin Prais-Hintz's November challenge on Earrings Everyday was to interpret one to four of these inspirational quotes:

Okay - of course I chose "Stars can't shine without darkness."  It's about stars!  I knew I wanted to go with a matte black background, so as little light would be reflected as possible, and white stars and hit it on the first try.  This is a study in dark and light/black and white - I had the idea to make an old black slate chalkboard and do the stars like chalk drawings.  I remember (with several friends) covering my third grade teacher's, Mrs. Fieldler, blackboard with stars when we figured out how to make them in one motion without picking up the chalk!

I added a clear crystal for sparkle!

I've been hard at work on the next two challenges and also my first Holiday Studio Sale and Open House.  Stay tuned on Monday or Tuesday for the release of the next shop update of holiday and winter beads - and a special offer for you blog readers who aren't local enough to come to the sale!

Be sure to check out how other's interpreted this month's challenge here.

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday Inspiration - Dorothy Tucker's Kantha Inspired Embroidery

I've been getting the embroidery itch lately - a deep desire to pick up some cloth and stitch!  It's been quite awhile since I've done any, knitting taking a forefront in my fibers work lately.  So while looking at contemporary embroidery artists, I came across UK artist Dorothy Tucker.

Her works are inspired/informed by the Bangladesh and Bengali embroidery form of Kantha.  Pieces of old fabric (like sari silks) are pieced together with stitching to form cushions and quilts.  Dorothy uses found fabrics and a running stitch to both draw them together and draw pictures.

In her artist statement, she also talks about using digital prints of landscapes, adding layers of fabric and areas of stitching, in creating her works.

It was this that got my imagination going! I'm just beginning work on a piece using these techniques - it should be ready to show you in a week or two!  And I may have finally found something to do with the old botanical print files I've been collecting!

In the meantime, be sure to check out Dorothy's work at the Textile Study Group here.  And she does give workshops in Kantha - the classes for 2017 appear to be finished, but keep an eye on her page here for next year. 

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Looking at Grays

With the idea in mind of "if you can't fix it, feature it," I went out this morning looking at all the grays outside.  Now this is Northwest Oregon and while we've had a beautiful autumn with lots of blue skies and color, it looks like the grays are starting to set in.

What I discovered while editing the photos, though, was that very little of what I photographed was actually only gray.  I would've told you it was while I was taking pictures, but some of the grays actually turned out to have very light shades of pinks or yellows in them.  And even the truly gray grays had a little bit of green peeking out between the cracks, a piece here and there of reddish brown, or a sliver of blue sky.

I'm starting some ceramic work focusing on grays and this has changed how I'll be approaching it!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday Inspiration - The Warm Fires of Autumn

Mmmm ... few things are better than curling up in front of the fire when the weather outside turns nasty!  By the end of winter, it's gotten a bit old, but now in mid-autumn it feels wonderful.  With the tough summer of wildfires we had here in the West, it's also nice to have fire be for warmth again.  This seems to be a more common inspiration for fiber artists - I found several nice pieces that really capture the magic and comfort of winter fires in the hearth/fire ring.

I've had Terry Grant's campfire themed quilt saved for quite awhile - one can almost hear the crackle of the sparks rising and feel the excitement of being around a fire outdoors!  And I just recently discovered that she's an Oregon fiber artist who actually does not live very far from me.  Small world!  Be sure to look at the other work on her website here.  It's wonderfully composed and detailed.

Next I have two works with the same name!  The first is Fire and Ice by German artist Claudia Pfeil.  I love the motion of the flames in this quilt and the juxtaposition with the snow flakes falling outside.  Perfect day for a fire!  Fire and Ice won many quilting awards and, if it looks familiar, graced the cover of Quilters Newsletter some time back.  Claudia creates beautiful, intricate pieces - her fractal quilts are amazing!  Check out her website here.

The next Fire and Ice is by another Oregon artist, Barbara Walker.  This piece was created using the centuries old technique of ply-split basketry - and she has a wonderful explanation of it on her website here.  This basket is absolutely stunning!  The thin line of blue ice jumps out from its complementary color of orange fire in a way that seems to move - it makes me think of ice melting near fire.  I know it's not really in my theme of hearths/fire rings, but the way it's a contained basket reminds me of the containment of fires we light for warmth.  Barbara teaches workshops in several weaving techniques - the 2018 schedule is not up on her website yet, but I know I'll keep checking to see what it offers!

Okay, time to go put another couple of logs on the fire to stave off the rainy day!

Happy Creating!  Deborah