Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Reporting In

First off, a virtual postcard. This show opens next week at the Maryland Art Place in Baltimore. The critics selected wrote about the artists and their artwork and all of this will be presented at the show. I delivered 6 pieces yesterday; they may not have room to hang all of them. On May 3 is the Public Forum in which we will talk about our art and whatever. The program is a mentorship for art critics and the artists selected provide the resources.

Next we have a picture of the workshop I took at the SDA/SAQA Conference in Philadelphia last week. There were half a dozen speaker presentations on Saturday, a tour of the Philadelphia area fiber shows and other places of interest, and a 3 day workshop. I've mentioned already that I was taking Judy Langille's Whole Cloth Composition class, which involves thickened dye, silkscreens, torn paper resists, and thermofax screens. Judy's fiber pieces are whole cloth, something I have not done, and it requires a fair amount of pre-thought and brain processing, which is totally foreign to me. (That didn't really come out right...)

Anyhow, the first 2 days we all were making yardage, not a bad thing in itself, but not the idea of the class. On the third day it began to click and thoughts of composition surfaced. We only had half a table on which to work, so nobody could do anything large. There was a problem in that the weather did not lend itself to pre-soaking the fabric in soda ash (which fixes the dye) and so it was added to the thickened dye. In retrospect, not a good plan because the dye spent itself very quickly (or else there wasn't enough soda ash) because everything came out very pale. Luckily we were able to do some soda soaking before the 3rd day and fabric done then came out as expected, i.e. color saturated.

I expect that the pale pieces will have to hibernate in my stash for a while before I can use them - I need to forget how I expected them to turn out and be happy with how they actually turned out.

This is a picture of the bathroom wall at Snyderman-Works Gallery, where the Fiber Biennial was hanging. Cool.

And these are spools of thread used on weaving looms at the Design Center at Philadelphia University. What a cool place! They have everything from old weaving looms to digital printers. Wouldn't it be fun to be a student there!

Friday, April 04, 2008

Off again

I'm leaving this afternoon for the joint SDA/SAQA Conference in Philadelphia which includes a trip to Art Quilts Elements (formerly Art Quilts at the Sedgewick), and followed by a workshop with Judy Langille. Then a trip to Chicago to visit family and spend a day at the IQF show. So there won't be much posting going on (not that there has been much these last few days).

Last weekend I was at a quilt retreat with 6 friends who gather twice a year. I had a great time even though I was not at a point in my current project that lent itself to working on there. So I had to improvise and just did some ordinary cutting and sewing and spent lots of time visiting. This was my last time in those wretched cabins where the beds are terrible, the showers (if you can get them to work) leak sulfurous water, and the food is barely edible. I'll bet you're dying to know how to book a cabin there, right? Anyhow, I will be away when the group goes in September and next March we will be going to a different place that has real beds, real food, and real showers. And a bigger work room.

This past week I've been spending alot of time relearning some web page programming in order to revise and add to a web page for one of my groups. "Cascading Style Sheets" is a method that's supposed to make the programming easier by removing all sorts of formatting tags from the html language and make things more consistent. However, it's not for the occasional programmer (me) because it's very frustrating. Different browsers interpret the commands differently and trying to make the pages look the same, or at least reasonably the same, is a hair-snatching experience. And I'm not doing anything particularly fancy. But I think, cross my fingers, that I have succeeded in getting what I wanted and now all I have to do is get the members of the group to send me their images. So it may be a while before the pages go live...