Today is my birthday – another year gone by – but FINALLY I can say – she is finished – yes! A Woman’s Work is finally done! I finished the sewing earlier this week, but was stumped on the covers – I opted for a textured but plain paper, as there is already a lot going on with this book. I snapped some quick pictures with my phone – she has a date with a real photographer later this week. Really, I can’t believe this two year project has finally ended, (unless I change my mind about those covers – it could happen).
It began with this idea during my residency at TLC.
and then I started collecting the LISTS
poor book – still in progress – will I ever finish?
the book block ready to sew
and FINALLY all done!
except – a woman’s work is NEVER done
bottom of the block showing all the lovely strings
and the cover – hmmm still not sure
I want to give a huge thank you to Turkey Land Cove for the residency where this project was born, and to all the brave women who shared their to-do lists with me. This project had a LOT of help, and much encouragement from many of my readers & friends – THANK YOU everyone! Next up – snowflake bindings & a serious windfall of maple leaves!
Well the past weekend was exciting! It began on Thursday with a trip through the arctic tundra of Buffalo (you may have heard we had some weather here!) to catch a plane to NYC. I would never have made it without the help of my wonderful hubby Glenn who drove through a blizzard to get me there. He’s a good man – I am so lucky to have him as a part of my life. I flew to the city Friday morning and arrived tired but safe at the Center for Book Arts that afternoon. After a little time prepping for class and getting the lay of the land I checked into my hotel with some take out and collapsed!
sun comes up in the concrete canyons of Manhattan
Saturday dawned and as the sun came up in Manhattan I was serenaded by the gentleman in the next room as he showered. and the sound of hammers from a renovation going on across the street, the fabrics they were using to cover up the furniture in the room were lovely, a spot of colour in a sea of grey stone.
Coffee and a bagel, and it was time for class at last! I was really nervous about meeting my class, but wow! what a wonderful group! What is so wonderful about the opportunity to teach classes like this is all the things I learn from my “students”. Right from the start there was an amazing energy in the room, and ideas were soon flying for innovation and improvisation. It was such a privilege to work with this group. Together we retraced some of the pivotal discoveries and ideas that led me to start making the embroidered bindings, beginning on day one with a two needle cross-stitch binding and then moving on to create a soft cover fabric journal using Portuguese stem stitch.
I was buzzing with energy by the end of the day, and was glad I had some prep work to do that gave me some time to process all the new ideas and information. After a great meal I was glad to get back to my cushy hotel room and rest up for the next day!
Many of you may remember the map of hours I have been working on for AGES now, well here is a baby version – a tiny book of hours, each little page embroidered in the same way as the larger work by listening to the paper and following its lead, sometimes in circles, sometimes in completely new patterns. Here’s a little glimpse inside…
Want to own this little gem? It is headed off as a donation to the Morgan Conservancy for their annual benefit.
I am especially pleased with the beetroot dyed silk covers.
So glad to have finally finished something! And now back to grading and housework with a sense of accomplishment!
Well – I am not doing very well on my resolution for posting, one week in and I am behind again already – but a new opportunity may be around the corner that would give me back more free time. In the meantime, here are today’s pictures – a new work on display through July 31st at the Dykeman Young Gallery in Jamestown, NY.
installation view – laundry (a servant’s heart) at the Dykeman Young Gallery.
Laundry detail – embroidery in sulky metallic thread on used dryer sheets
detail 2 – metallic cotton floss embroidery
detail 3 – metallic cotton floss embroidery
I haven’t been blogging much lately – not because I have nothing to say (never gonna happen!) but because I have been busy doing – living an art filled life. So many opportunities have come my way and I am finding it hard to fit everything in. And then when I sit down to blog, there is so much to fill you in on I find myself unable to start. So this week I decided to try and get back to three weekly posts – one about current goings-on, art & studio & life etc, a wordless Wednesday post from the studio, and then a “throwback” post where I attempt to document some things I have been up to in recent months. I hope this is really plausible, I miss my blog, which I really started as a way to create a document of my studio/life. To make a record of the trials and triumphs of an art-filled life.
So then – what am I up to THIS week. Well – that obsession with sewing on leaves has developed further – as everyone I (barely) know keeps sending me more & more examples of other artists who sew on leaves. Like this artist – Hillary Fayle or this one, or this one. What I have discovered is an intense love of “needle lace”, and I have been spending hours reading old embroidery manuals. So many of these are available online through digitized archives, like Project Gutenberg, which has a crafts bookshelf! – the only draw back is that the pictures are often hard to see clearly on the scans. I am a pretty intuitive embroiderer – I can figure things out better from the pictures than from the instructions sometimes. I find it easier to let my hands do the thinking! This interest in needle lace has sparked a whole slew of new project ideas – and I find realjob is really getting in the way of progress! Here are a few pictures, These are just experiments as I try out new techniques.
beginning a needle lace bar on a magnolia leaf
magnolia leaf with needle lace bars
needle lace on a grape leaf – supported by hand made paper
Also I am curating another show – woven, sewn & pressed. I will post more about that next week as I start to install the work, and tell you all about the artists in that show. in the meantime, thanks to everyone for your patience. And please come back later this week to catch up on the last few crazy months.
and now back to some sewing – tonight a book from antique fabric remnants – catch up to you all later in the week!
This has been a busy week, the Women Create exhibit and month of events is drawing to a close, the last salon was last night, the closing is Saturday, on SWAN Day, when once again there will be an art market full of amazing women artists and a free drop-in mini zine workshop with Wendy Williams and Jean McEwan from the UK. Then a final private reception for the artists and their guests, and its over, the show comes down and a new chapter begins.
The reason I am so busy is I am also the “next chapter”, coordinating an exhibit with over 20 European artists from SCIBase, a group I am also a member of. April will be another whirlwind month of lectures, workshops, performances and a house full of visiting artists. The exhibit is so large it will span two galleries in Jamestown! I’m feeling a little anxious, I hope the artists will enjoy their time here and make some fruitful connections for their work. And I hope I am not too grumpy a hostess for their stay! You can see all about our goings on by going to the colonize page on this blog, here
It has been hard to fit in much time in the studio, I have been trying to get caught up on both my marking and my spring cleaning before April begins, but of course I have managed to squeeze a little time in. A new set of wings is finished and I have been steadily sewing on any leaf that presents itself. So one little peek…
“The act of sewing is a process of emotional repair” – Louise Borgeois