Friday, June 29, 2007

Quilt National and other stuff

The people at Quilt National have published an article explaining why they disqualified a work by Amy Orr from this year's QN. She violated the rule on prior publication by signing a release that allowed her work to be published, and it was. They are also investigating the publication of the piece of Nancy Erickson's that appears in the SAQA Portfolio, which was also prior to QN. The closing sentence on the article: "It undermines the integrity of the artists and the exhibition if the published rules are not applied equitably to each participant. "

I agree wholeheartedly with that statement. If you are going to have rules, then everybody must follow them. On the other hand, if you have rules that become increasingly impossible to enforce, and when the un-enforcement reflects poorly on the organization, and when the enforcement makes the organization look disorganized, perhaps it's time to eliminate the rule.

QN's goal is to have a 'premier exhibition of new work'. As part of this rule, there is a cutoff date of about 2 years for when the work must be made. I think this is sufficient enough to guarantee new work; in actuality I would bet that most work entered in QN is made in the few months prior to the entry deadline. Who is going to hold back a good piece of work for two years waiting to enter it in QN? Do other prestigious shows have the same kind of prohibition against prior publication? I'm not familiar enough with the general art world to know for sure, but I'll bet not.

It seems to be important in the quilt world because people who go to quilt shows don't want to see the same pieces exhibited again and again. My rebuttal is that Quilt National is supposed to be better than the 'weekend' quiltshows and also, how many people who enter QN would enter those same quilts in a weekend pole and drape show where everything hangs inches from its neighbor?

And other stuff: I'm off for a week of teaching at CraftSummer at Miami University. I sure hope I've got all my supplies and my lesson plans work out and all the equipment works. Makes me quite anxious and gives me sleepless nights.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

More printing

Here is my design board with some of the fabric I've made these past few days. I have several more pieces batching, letting the dye set. I have screens already prepared for printing first thing tomorrow, which (I can't believe it) is our last day. Although I'm pretty wiped out and probably couldn't take too many more days of such intense work.

Yesterday afternoon we took time off and toured the various fabric shows. The QSDS Invitational is at the Cultural Arts Center. This is the show in which I have three pieces and I was delighted to see that one of my quilts greets the visitors as they come in through the front door.

After another show in Columbus and one in Lancaster, we went to Quilt National. As usual, I saw some pieces that I thought were quite impressive, some that were nice, and some that were head scratchers (and taking up space where my piece should have been). The first Quilt National I saw, back in 1993, I wasn't familiar with any of the artists. Now, I know quite a few of them personally. At least I'm hanging out in the right crowd.

One of the rules of entering a piece in Quilt National is that it cannot have been published or displayed in any show prior to QN. Several people have been disqualified even after being juried in for violating this rule. I heard that one work was pulled from this year's show because it was displayed on somebody else's web site, without the artist's knowledge. And yet Nancy Erickson's The Black Wolf, which is in QN, was published in the SAQA PAM Portfolio, published in the fall of 2006. Obviously, this has escaped the notice of the organizers of Quilt National. I feel it's grossly unfair for the rules to be applied so arbitrarily.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Deconstructed screenprinting

Day 1 of deconstructed screen printing with Kerr Grabowski. This is more fun than should be legal. We start with thickened dye and spread it onto a screen. The idea is to have something interesting underneath the screen and the thickened dye will retain an image of that. Then we let the thickened dye dry. Next we began screening over the dry thickened dye with more thickener. What happens is that the original dye transfers to the cloth and as we continued screening, the image breaks down. Got that?

This is one of the fabrics. It's much easier to understand the process when you see it demonstrated. My explanation is overly simplified. If you want to see and learn, buy Kerr's DVD.

These are two more screens that are ready for printing. They both have thickened dye and are ready to go first thing tomorrow.

It's really, really hot here and we're doing a lot of work outside under a tent. Actually it's more like a sauna. After bending over a table all day and sweating like pigs, a few of my classmates took a break.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Silk painting

Day 1 of Christine Zoller's silk painting class. This is tons of fun. First we built a frame to hold the silk scarf. After attaching the scarf we used gutta to draw a design on the silk. Then silk paint to fill in the shapes on the scarf. I chose a design that I have used in my quilts in the past, figuring I didn't want to spend a lot of time figuring out what to draw. Some of the shapes had salt sprinkled on and it makes a great design in the paint. For the border I dabbed on various colors of paint then dabbed water on which makes the paint migrate with interesting effects.

For this piece I laid the scarf directly on the table, spread paint, then sprinkled with salt and let dry. It's going to be a background for more design.

On the border of the first scarf some pieces of salt accidentally fell onto the paint and made it spread and since I really liked what that looked like, decided to do an entire scarf that way. With two yellows, two browns, a bronzey gold, and a red I dabbed paint on, then dabbed water, then sprinkled salt. This is still in the process of drying but it looks pretty cool already.

More exciting stuff tomorrow.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

All my bags are packed....

I am ready to go. I shipped 4 boxes on Monday and they arrived yesterday at Miami U, all ready for the end of the month. Then I did all the things necessary to close up the house for a week: stop the mail, stop the newspapers (including the stupid Examiner which comes free and the mail deliverer makes a point of aiming for my flower garden), book the cat sitter, do the laundry, water everything, fill out entry forms for two events, and pack for QSDS. This is what I'm taking:

Doesn't seem to be much in comparison to previous years. Since I'm not doing any sewing I don't need my machine nor all the accessories. One box of fabric plus supplies for dyeing, painting, and screenprinting. And since I shipped my only roll of masking tape I have to stop off and buy another one. You would think I would have more than one roll hanging around, but apparently not.

Martha and I are leaving this afternoon and driving halfway, staying outside Pittsburgh. Tomorrow we'll go into the city and see Fiberart International, then drive the rest of the way to Columbus. So we should arrive sometime in the mid afternoon - it's an easy 4 hours from Pittsburgh, although it's the more boring part of the drive. Once we cross over the Ohio River everything flattens out and the scenery is less interesting. At least to somebody who likes mountains. Or, sort of mountains, what we have on the East Coast can't compare to the Rockies, but they are still inspiring to me.

I will have my computer with me and there is wi-fi access at the hotel, so I plan to post what's happening. I'm doing silk painting with Christine Zoller and deconstructed screen printing with Kerr Grabowski, a class I've wanted to take for a long time. It will be tons of fun!

Thursday, June 07, 2007


Time flies. I'm always amazed (and a little distressed) when I see how much time has passed since I previously posted. I've been packing for classes and it's been rather confusing. Next week I leave for QSDS where I'm taking a silk painting class and a deconstructive screen printing class. When I get back home from that I have 6 days and then I go to Miami University in Ohio for CraftSummer where I'm teaching 3 classes: thermofax screenprinting, dyeing, and machine quilting. What was I thinking? I need to ship my supplies to Ohio next week because waiting until I get back from QSDS is pushing it a little. So now I have boxes all over my studio and I'm going through supply lists and trying to keep my head straight, especially since there are alot of things that I will need in both places.

And then yesterday I decided that it would be fun to have some extra t-shirts to dye or print in those classes so I put in an order to Dharma Trading for t-shirts for me, onesies for new granddaughter, cute little dresses for the other 2 granddaughters, and camoflage t-shirts for my grandson. Dharma has already shipped and the box will be here on Monday.

And in addition to all the above, I need to prepare a design and order 43 t-shirts for our tri-ennial family reunion. My husband is the oldest of nine children and we have been going on family reunions once every three years since we moved out East from Chicago. The first time was in 1973, when my son was 3 months old, and there were only about 12 people. Now we're up to 43. And we've lost the original generation, but have added one at the other end. So we have the 9 children (with 8 spouses), 18 grandchildren (with 2 spouses and 1 significant other), and 5 great grandchildren. Although I guess that needs to be moved up a level to siblings, children, and grandchildren. One of the highlights of the week is a family picture where we all wear our t-shirts. One picture is a regular pose but then we do a "crazy picture" where everybody does something wacky. People spend the entire week thinking about their crazy selves. So here we are:

This is 1992.

1995. I couldn't find the crazy version.

1998. This is the last picture with my father-in-law. He died in 2000.

2001. My mother-in-law died within a month of this picture.

2004. Two more children have been born since this reunion.

I wonder what this year's picture will be like????

As to art....haven't had a chance to stitch for weeks. Arghh!