Saturday, July 31, 2010

In Shades of Gray

Prints on green and white paper

After testing out some variations of gray, I made a few prints on white and factory green. The results are good! I'm ready for printing on the tool pouch!

I made this compact printing table top when I realized I didn't have room for my desk in this new apartment. Before, I had these hinges set up on an ikea desk, but now, after using this table top for the first time, I am very pleased!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Prints and Quilts

I’ve been happily making tons of sketches by hand and by computer, planning for prints to come. This new print - that I’ve drawn out with fluid on the screen - will be an exercise in gradients, using a rainbow roll of grays, which will look great on that factory green from French Paper !

After printing on paper, it’ll be time to print on fabric to make a glass blowing tool pouch for a friend, who will be coming for a visit in two weeks! This doesn’t give me a lot of time to finish this project, but I will come through… I hope.

Some new printing ideas that have been floating around:
Another wolf-woman
Irises, with pen drawn on top of printed image


Quilting is a challenge. Especially if you do not have a giant workspace to lay out all of your pieces for your quilt before sewing. In retrospect, I would have chosen a smaller selection of fabric, between three and five patterns, cut larger pieces, and made a small quilt. In reality, I have chosen twenty varieties of patterned fabric, which, just this past weekend, expanded to thirty to accommodate the fact that I am making a queen-sized quilt. My target quilt area will be 80 inches x 95 inches. I have about one third of this project done and it looks like disaster struck. However, this will prove to be a good learning experience if I want to venture into quilt land again (Next time, I peruse the quilt kit section first).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New Studio!

I'm wasting no time to get into the studio. Since I've moved into a studio apartment, I'll be living where I work (quite literally, my bed is a mere 5 feet from this table!) and I'm incredibly excited to be diving right in to things. My latest project is a humble quilt. Through much trial and tribulations in selecting fabric, I've decided on something that is not quite attune to my usual aesthetic, but in tans and neutral light blues. This is an experiment so far: cutting up fabric into 3 inch strips and then varying lengths of 3.5 inches to 8.5 inches. All of the fabric has been bought from Joann fabrics - their fat quarter selection is tremendous. I've been taking advantage of their college student discount since I'm now enrolled back in school :)

The other project has been recording Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis. Yes, I'm making an audiobook. Why? Someone had told me that they were not big readers.. so I thought, they could be good listeners. Now I'm recording a book. As a note, my voice is not exactly the best to listen to for hours on end, especially since the character in Lunar Park is Bret Easton Ellis, who is known being a bit of a pig. I stifle a lot of giggles and take the opportunity to make a lot of vodka drinks.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Printing for 4-9 year olds!

I got to spend this past Wednesday at the Art Center, teaching young kids about screenprinting! For an hour, I explained that a lot of different things are printed and then each person made their own print of Da Vinci's Flying Machine, which they learned earlier in the week: the week of inventions.

When I finished the lesson, the kids were really into the printing process! Many hugs were had at the end of the hour!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Penland Summary

So much has happened during my two weeks at Penland. I made a lot of strong bonds with craftspeople from all over the US, enjoying conversations over meals, finding inspiration in the many different studios with many talented people working in them, and making things without ever having to stop.

The gift of uninterrupted time in the studio was incredible. I never had to think about the responsibilities of everyday life that consume so much of the day. My schedule revolved around studio time and meals.

My favorite part of the 24 hour cycle was the time after dinner: since it was the last meal of the day, I didn't have to ever get up from my workstation and could stay as late as I wanted. One night, I left the studio around midnight to get some inspirations and came back at 3am and worked for a few hours because I felt that I needed to! There was nothing that held me back from doing so!

At first, before I arriving, I was hesitant about the idea of being so isolated from the world outside of Penland, but after arriving, I realized how important it was to become so involved with the small community that is carved in to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. It is extremely important to preserve the idea that in this isolated mountainous region, a community of craftspeople emerge from all corners of the world to become a part of this intensive studio retreat.

Waking up every morning and seeing the mountains and hay bales gave me a sense of the sublime and helped me focus on what is important. I realize that my craft and my projects are my first true love and to stay loyal to them.

I had forgotten what it was like to be so involved in projects that you lose a sense of time - devoting all of your energy into making something. Which was just what the doctor ordered, especially since I haven't had a proper studio since I've graduated from school and now I am in a place where I'll be starting graduate school in the Fall. This is perfect timing.

Everyday, you are surrounded with so many talented people with so many ideas! There was a puppetry class that had an amazing performance (in the blazing hot sun!) on the knoll. People emerged from their studios to watch.

I loved that this class was performance and craft married together.

My class, Fashion, Art and Silhouette was led by Vincent Martinez, a life long Penlander - He started here as a work-study student, then became a core student, and now an instructor. He guided the class in making wonderful creations, which culminated into a fashion show before the auction. This picture is of Vincent and my model, Craig Usher, wearing my so-called monster suit, which was inspired by a romp in the woods behind the wood studio. After feeling a bit frightened, I decided I should make a disguise!

I had a lot of fun making this garment. It is a compilation of many many many strips of black fabric sewn onto the base garment with a bright red lining. When you lift your arms, you look like you have bat wings!

My last photograph of Penland is of the water tower - I spent my last night on top of the water tower at 2am, reflecting about the previous two weeks. I did not want to leave all of the people I had met, who were all amazing, and I was afraid of forgetting any of the details of my experience.

It was a truly emotional experience that has opened my eyes to new opportunities in life. I am excited to start making things at home, have better studio practices, and start new projects.