Thursday, October 29, 2009

* and art: liza lou

I first fell in love with Liza Lou's work when I saw a picture of 'Kitchen' during art history class my freshman year in college. What obsessiveness! I was fascinated.

Liza Lou
Kitchen, 1991-1995
168 square feet
glass beads

Liza Lou, Kitchen, detail

Liza Lou, Kitchen, detail

While writing this post, I discovered something new about this piece; this fragment of an Emily Dickinson poem.

Liza Lou, Kitchen, detail

She rose to his requirements, dropped 
The playthings of her life
To take the honorable work
 Of woman and of wife.

Visit here to see the whole poem

..... ..... .....

This is one of Lou's more recent pieces, Continuous Mile, a mile long coiled rope woven from white glass beads and cotton. This piece was made by both Lou and her team of South African studio assistants using traditional Zulu bead technique.

Liza Lou
Continuous Mile, 2007-2008 
glass beads, cotton 
freeform sculpture approx: 77" d, 32" h  

I really like 'Continuous Mile', although I like it differently than 'Kitchen'. 'Continuous Mile' resonates with so many of the themes that interest me in my own work: counting, distance, measuring, obsessive and repetitive and time-consuming work.

More about Liza Lou at lmgallery, the Met, and deitch gallery.

... ... ...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

this and that

 I've been trying my best to enter one show every month, as a way of giving myself deadlines and building a  body of work on the object multiple/art quilt/conceptual work side of things. I've had a piece in limbo for the past few months, and I decided to finish it up for my October (really November, but we'll pretend it's October) deadline.

Whoops! I read the application form wrong and I've been thinking the deadline was November 13. Nope, it's November 3. Ultimately, this is better, but I'm scrambling a bit now. Just like applying to the arts market, this is last minute enough to light a flame under me, but not so last minute to be unrealistic.

I've been carving some wood blocks and I'm hoping to start pulling prints this afternoon.

Believe it or not, all of these pieces will come together by Sunday.

... ... ...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Project Printed Matter

I'm sure I've mentioned my background in printmaking before. And I'm sure you know how much I love needlework and textiles.

So of course I'm in love with Project Printed Matter, which is the work of Evelin Kasikov. 

According to Kasilov, "Printed Matter is a project about craft within the context of graphic design. My aim
     is to bring together craft and modern technology, and explore the possibilities for printing processes to be
     integrated with textile techniques. My main influences come from Swiss typography, Dutch book design
     and Estonian language – in no particular order. By mixing high and low tech, screen based media with
     slower crafts, I investigate different ways of seeing and experiencing visual messages."

first experiment with handmade CMYK half-toning (May 2007)

Letter Posters
584x821 mm | Hand embroidery on paper. 
All three posters are now in private collection

Set of hand embroidered posters based on Gill Sans Light. First poster shows the combinations of four CMYK colours. Second poster shows the increasing resolution through letterforms stitched with Cyan and Yellow thread. Green colour becomes visible from a distance as the blending of colours takes place in the eyes of the viewer. In the third poster a single large scale letterform is hand stitched using conventional screen angles and the equal blend of four CMYK colours.

There is so much interesting work in Evelin's site, it's definitely worth a good look. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

binding woes

I've been experimenting with the binding on the last few quilts I've made, and I've yet to come up with a method I love.

I don't like to machine stitch the binding to the front and then hand sew it to the back because I feel like hand sewing takes too long. Instead, I've been machine sewing the binding to the back, and wrapping it around to the front and machine sewing it again. But I'm not happy with the way the corners turn out when I do that, and the front ends up showing more of the binding than the back. It's one of those things that nobody's ever commented about, but drives me crazy.

My latest experiment was another exercise in what not to do, as evidenced by this bit of surgery:

For this binding experiment, I tried to cut 1 3/4" strips for a double fold binding, so that the wraparound to the front was the same size as the back. Big mistake! The binding was too narrow and difficult to apply evenly. So I thought maybe grading the seams would help. No dice. The only thing I could think of at that point was to take the whole thing off and start again.

If anyone has a good method for applying binding, I'd love to hear about it.

In the meantime, I need to put this quilt away for a few days before I drive myself crazy.

... ... ...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

that's a whole lotta graphs

I love graphs, charts, tables, and whathaveyou.

 The Visual Display of Quantatative Information by Edward Tufte is one of my all-time favorite books, and I keep my copy close to my work table. 

I'm a total dork, I know.

So I was thrilled to discover the Transparency Department at Good.

So many different graphs! I could spend all day looking at them.


...contented sigh...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

new fabric! well, almost

Finally, I've been working on some new fabric!

unboiled batik fabric
 little flower / harvest gold

Except it's been raining every day lately, so I haven't yet boiled out the wax.

unboiled batik fabric
 little flower / harvest gold

Maybe I should say it's new fabric (waiting to happen)?

unboiled batik fabric
 little flower / ocean / harvest gold

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

3-for-Tuesday - What If?

I stumbled across What If? (exploring relationship with cloth) a while ago and didn't have much time to look at it, so I made a note about it, which I promptly lost. My "office" (aka the overflowing binder next to the computer) has been seriously out of order for weeks, and when I finally gave it some attention and organized it, I found all manner of little notes I'd left myself about all sorts of things. It was like getting a bunch of tiny presents.

I am so happy that I didn't lose What If? in my mental shuffle. Jude Hill is doing some really interesting work with cloth. There are so many things I love about this blog and this work. The spirit of experimentation, the journaling aspect,  and the scientific/documentary approach all speak strongly to me. In the studio, especially in the dye studio, I like to work very methodically and scientifically, and I'm fanatical about documenting my results. So it makes sense that the voyeur in me loves watching someone else work this way too.

 from What If?

from What If?

from What If?

I especially love the entries with notes.

I'm feeling very inspired. So many ideas flying around my head.

If you work with fiber, you should take a look at What If?. You can even start at the beginning to read all the entries in chronological order.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

glass microbiology

I love science. I love graphs and technical drawing, counting and categorizing, measuring, microscopy, dissection, and hypothesizing. The highlight of my foundation drawing class was visiting the anatomy lab.

Needless to say, I gasped aloud when I saw these sculptures from Luke Jerram's Glass Microbiology series over on MVSEVM.

To quote Jerram's website, "These transparent glass sculptures were created to contemplate the global impact of each disease and to consider how the artificial colouring of scientific imagery affects our understanding of phenomena. Jerram is exploring the tension between the artworks' beauty and what they represent, their impact on humanity."

e. coli


 swine flu

Ah, yes, the tension. Beautiful, clean sculptures of devastating and dangerous things. So often the work I like best has a tension, be it between art/craft, beautiful/dangerous, or whathaveyou.

These pieces are so clean, so isolated and scientific, so removed, so clinical. But they're so tactile, to me they beg to be touched, which adds another layer of tension. What textures would be under my fingers, and what coldness?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Monthly Goal Meetup

I'm not sure whether I'm late or early, I was doing the monthly goal meetup with Modish and somehow I've never quite been on schedule. I think I'm late (again).

Nevertheless, a new month calls for some evaluation and some new goals, so off we go!

Here are my September goals:

1. Improve conversion rate & increase sales.
*work through browsers to buyers notes and make changes
* seasonal themed items
(halloween, thanksgiving)
* new patterns using less labor-intensive processes to diversify product/
price range
  Brickel Shibori
* approach bloggers

* local boutiques/markets (PT)
In the works.
* put together information & follow up with existing contacts
Also in the works.

New patterns
* experiment with folded, twisted, clamped resists   Brickel Shibori is a folded resist.

3. New products
* zip bags
* pillow covers

. New colorways
* orange
* cranberry

* emerald green

5. New quilts
* continue "break" series
* "furrow" quilt - develop colors
- lake/poppy, gold sand/? This is now Farrow. Swatches are done, presentation needs to be finished, photos taken, some accessories (throw pillows), maybe a second quilt.

6. Find shows to enter, assemble deadline calendar, including 3 Rivers next June. Done. I need to keep this up every month.

7. Business Plan-- finished! (I've been kind of stalled out on this one)

8. Prepare for Arts Market in early October Done! Now I need to make monthly improvements to my display.

So so. Not great, not terrible. I stalled out a little bit and lost my focus for a while, so all in all, I'm pleased with how much I accomplished. I've decided to be very ambitious for October. We'll see how it goes.

October Goals:

* display improvements for November market (underskirt, vertical display, styling)

* online/shop improvements :
    - continue with b2b suggestions,
    - weekly critiques
    - new photos (packaged shots, styling)
    - approach bloggers

* follow up on September contacts
* develop 2 new contacts
* add to deadline list - shows to enter, other opportunities (surrealism show)

* new quilt set: "skew" (play with pattern direction (farrow?))
* new products: zip bags, throw pillows (Farrow plain, Farrow directional)
* new colors: teal, emerald, eggplant, peachy pink, pagoda
* new batik pattern (horatio screen, fleur)

* Farrow spec quilt (lake/red, eggplant/?, teal/pagoda)
* Farrow demo to KD (teal)

* write up 1st drafts of quilt patterns (eclipse, basketweave, hourglass, chevron + stripe)

* nice quilt phots

* design stationery- (shipping suite, general correspondence)
* trifold brochure
* single page website
* business plan

I realize this is probably more than I'll get finished this month, but I'm going to go for it and see how much I can get done.

Friday, October 2, 2009

link love

Happy Friday! It started out rainy and grey, but things are looking sunnier here by the minute.

Hopefully the rain will stay away, since tomorrow morning I'll be doing my first arts market and I'm hoping for a lovely day. If you're in downtown Baton Rouge between 8 am and noon, stop by and say hi!

..... ..... .....

 Midsummer wallpaper in Pink 

 I may have mentioned before that I'm obsessed with wallpaper. It's getting ridiculous, especially with so much amazing work available to drool over on the internet. After spending some time on the Graham & Brown site, I may have to crowbar myself off the computer from now on. Hello, procrastination! (via design hole)

..... ..... ......

Speaking of procrastination, check out this list of 50 great blogs over at craft nouveau. If you're looking to be wholly unproductive for the rest of the day, you can thank me any time. If you actually need to get things done, well... sorry.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

(textiles) & art: Spencer Finch / High Line

Today I'm not showing textiles; instead I have some public art to share.

(Although, this particular piece does remind me a lot of quilts. So maybe I should say this is art plus suggestion of textiles...)

The High Line, in New York City, used to be an elevated train line, which has now been turned into a park/public space. Since it runs through "one of the world's greatest arts districts", some of the first supporters of the High Line project were artists and galleries. Now the High Line Art Program is supporting the arts as well.

The inaugural piece, The River That Flows Both Ways, is an amazing work by Spencer Finch, which I discovered on  Joanie San Chirico's blog.

 image credit: The High Line

According to the High Line's site, "The inaugural artwork on the High Line, by artist Spencer Finch, is The River That Flows Both Ways. Its title comes from the original Native American word for the Hudson River, Muhheakantuck. This work is located on the High Line in the semi-enclosed former loading dock between 15th and 16th Streets, where the High Line passes through the Chelsea Market building. Finch transforms the site's existing casement windows with 700 individually crafted panes of glass representing the water conditions on the Hudson River over a single day. To create the project, Finch photographed the Hudson River 700 times from the deck of a boat and then carefully matched each unique image to a pane of glass."

image credit: Joanie San Chirico

I'm struck by this for several reasons. First is the obsessiveness of it, the idea of taking 700 photographs of the river over a period of 700 minutes to capture all the different colors of light. And connected with that is the accumulation of that information. You can look at the river all day, or even paint a picture, and wind up with something flat. But 700 could make a pretty nice stack out of that...Then my brain starts running full speed thinking about how that information could be organized, but I digress. Obviously, this piece has really sparked some thought in me, and I've only seen a few pictures of it on the internet. I must see it in person next time I head back east.

image credit: art in america

I love this too because of the way it shows me something new, and something that I wouldn't have seen if I'd looked by myself. Not only that, but this piece seems very accessible and relate-able. I can get something out of this piece, and at the same time, someone who has a completely different background can relate to this piece. While different people will walk away with different ideas from the same thing, the important thing is that the relationship was formed in the first place.

Find out more about Spencer Finch on his website. Really, you should take a look. This guy does some seriously amazing work.