Other art I do

Other art I do

I suppose you could say I have always had a thing for art. Most of us creative types generally do. Once we are introduces to crayons and the ability to make marks to express what is in our noggin, we are hooked. I have always been an advocate for having some creative projects that are not connected to how you make your living. Something that is not influenced by trends or kudos or profit margins. For me that means stepping outside of the medium that is my income. I started knitting when I was a graphic designer for that very reason. Now that fiber art is my full time work, here are some of the other things I do to keep my creative brain nimble.

The Cary Arts Center. OMG. I love this place. I have never lived in a place with such a beautiful, well funded program for the arts. The community classes that are offered are so freaking awesome. Better yet, once you take a class there are studios where you can dive right into your new found skills and create to your hearts content. AND it is so insanely cheap. AND filled with so much equipment. So far I have take three classes. And have passes for two studios. Here is what I have been playing with

Fused Glass. This is another one of those  thing I thought I would never have interest in. But on a whim I signed up for the class, got hooked on the enthusiasm of my awesome teacher, and have been making plates bowls suncatchers and pendants. My latest thing is making glass puddles for pendants. They are super easy and is a great way to use up scrap glass. Pulling these little jewels from the kiln is like Christmas. I definitely have all my birthday and Christmas gifts for the year, yet I just can’t stop making these. I have been researching ideas for windchimes and night lights, so I image those are next. Here is my Glass Inspiration Pinterest Board.

Clay. I have had a lifelong fascination with clay. And this is certainly not my first rodeo with the wheel. But in the studio orientation, I FAILED the wheel portion of the test. It had been 10 years, and I was rusty! AND the glaze room was so large and there are so many types of glazes I was just not familiar with. I am so freaking glad I am working through a refresher, because there is also a bunch of equipment I have never used before as well.  I am really interested in making some wall tiles that I can incorporate some fiber with. I also want to make some coffee mugs and gigantic noodle soup bowls. I want to try all the techniques, there are just so many different styles I love. AND THE GLAZES!!! I want to throw a large set of tumblers just to play with the dozens upon dozens of glazes and all the possibilities. I am making a set of pendants that are essential oil diffusers as well. My Pinterest clay inspiration board is ginormous.

Graphic Design. It is funny to write this, but I find myself LOVE LOVE LOVING to work on my website. I love making pretty graphic quotes. I was a graphic designer for 25 years, and now I get to do it without a sales rep breathing down my neck.

Art Journaling. If you have been following me for a while, you know I am a huge advocate for art journaling. It is related to the sketch books we learned to keep in art school that helped us develop our ideas into an actual piece. And for many it was a place to harness passing inspirations for later. I can honestly say art journals have been the glue that holds all of my work together. It is my paper brain. Here is my Pinterest board for Art Journals.

Painting. Painting is not something I do too often, but it is definitely something I enjoy when I do. In 2015 and 2016, I took Alena Hennissey’s A Year of Painting series. It totally changed the way I approach painting and I find it LIBERATING. It is almost like a deeper approach to my work than art journaling, with a little bit of soul healing tossed in. I mostly work in Acrylic, but have found a love for mixed media. My favorite mixed media tools are Inks, paint pens and collage. Here is a link to my mixed media Pinterest board.

So, share with me. Do you have any other mediums you like to work in? Please share in the comment below and by all means! If you have any picture you want to share, do so on my FB page of in the Fiber Art collective.

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Yes!!

When fiber becomes your obsession

When fiber becomes your obsession

I woke up this morning with art on my mind…I was obsessed with potholder looms

Yep…Potholder. Looms.

You know the kind you use to make those girl scout craft potholder, that uses loops of knit fabric. I imagine for many of us it was the first kind of weaving we ever did. For me it was not so much about the potholders as much as it was about the small loom and all the other possibilities I was imagining I could create on the little 7x7 loom. This has been an idea festering in my head for months now, and I was sick of not acting on it.

Okay maybe it was a little bit about the pot holders…

I love the asymmetrical designs that remind me of Gee’s Bend Quilts.

So after my day of pot holder obsession, I began to play with some possibilities working yarn on the little loom. Now I know it seems counter intuitive that I am moving away from say a table or floor loom. Here are some of the reasons I am actually looking to go with a smaller loom as opposed to moving to a bigger more complex loom.

I hate warping. The bigger and more complex the loom, the longer it takes to warp. In fact once you get to something like an 8 heddle floor loom, you could easily spend more time warping a loom than actually weaving. Now granted a Saori loom does have a feature that allows one to easily warp their loom by using a rewound warp and changing out the removable beam. And there are also tricks of tying a new warp onto the end of the old and advancing the ties through the heddles. But for the most part. I am just not a fan.

Looms are expensive. Maybe when my profit margins are bigger, I might consider a bigger loom. And in terms of teaching others to weave, it just makes more sense to help others find their art without such a hefty financial commitment.

Art weaving is best in small doses. This is totally my opinion. My short stubby body can not pull off too much lock spun without looking like Fred Flintstone. If I want art weaving to be a focal point, the best way to do that is by surrounding it with a contrast of smoother textures.

Instant gratification, diving deeper into study. My ceramics teacher recently said, “When you get an idea, exhaust it. Don’t just make it once, make it 10, 20, 30 times. Explore it deeply.” YES! This. When you do a technique just once, it remains just that. A technique. When you do it over and over and over again, each time you are adding you own style to what you are making. It becomes your art. Working on a smaller loom takes way less time to to finish a piece than a length of cloth. You can blow through a series in no time. I find myself flush with new ideas when I am working with smaller weavings.

A different approach to construction. Nothing makes me want to drink wine more than having to cut fiber art. And If I am making yardage of hand woven cloth for a garment, that is exactly what I would have to do. In my reference library, most of the garment books specific to hand woven cloth spend a lot of time constructing garments with the least amount of cuts possible. I have been toying with ways to piece a garment as you would in freeform crochet of working with granny squares.

 

So, this week I am working through the quirks of this loom, exploring different ways to warp, different ways to finish. I am really hating the gap of “teeth” in the corners. But once the square is off the loom, It seems to close up naturally. I can feel this frustration dampening that fiber obsession with my pot holder loom, just a little bit. So I am looking for a win to get me back in the drive. And that is what fiber obsession really is, a drive.

So what is rocking your creative juices right now? what are you working on? You know I love to hear about your work. It inspires me so much. Leave me a comment below, or head over the the FB page and/or FB group(Sign up below!) and share your work.

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Yes!!

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 30: what did and did not get done

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 30: what did and did not get done

One more day to go y’all.

It is hard to believe I have been at this for a month. And I am not gonna lie, I don’t feel like I will be finished. At least not in the sense of a perfectly organized studio space and business. It is something I am coming to terms with. For the most part the best laid plans for me usually fall apart in the execution. I can be quite the systems girl. And can create some killer work flows with forms, schedules, spreadsheets, and files. However I find I need a bit of flexibility to really find something I will stick with. And there is also a fine line between A clean studio, a packed studio and one where my materials are available in a way that I can see them and be inspired yet comfortable to hang out in.

So this evening I am taking inventory of my accomplishments and what is left to do. First what I got done:

  • Organized the resource library
  • Organized the needles and hooks
  • Organized the notions
  • Donated a ginormous box of needles and hooks to a local knitting charity
  • Cataloged and purged the WIPs
  • Organized and purged the spinning add-ins
  • Organized and purged the plying yarns
  • Consolidated the fiber/fleece stash to one closet
  • Organized and purged the Mixed media supplies (journaling and painting)
  • Began the news filing system
  • Found my new bookkeeping system
  • Found and began migrating new email newsletter service as well as new opt-in and lead page integrations
  • Reworked my studio schedule to reflect my new business goals
  • Reassessed my inventory management system
  • And the one thing I really wanted to achieve this month, manage a daily blogging schedule with email notifications.

 

As I mentioned, there is still a good bit I need to do. And I will continue to work on as I begin my new work flow next week.

  • Inventory the dye blanks
  • Inventory and catalog finished work
  • Go through the stash yarn one more time(I have already gone through it 4 times in the last 2 years, letting go has been..um.. a process)
  • Organize office supply shelves
  • Tackle the nightmare that are my computer files

So there is is! Like I said not perfect, but done to the point where I can focus on next years business goals. And that my friends I am going to share with you tomorrow along with pictures of my studio!

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 28: The other art I do

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 28: The other art I do

I have more than just fiber in the studio, I have all kinds of other art supplies that help me make art. And they too are a hot mess!!!

Part of what keeps me creatively productive has to do with other mediums I use to make art. What I mean is, sometimes I get creatively blocked when It comes to fiber art, and I need to be able to step back get a new perspective on the visual language I am trying to communicate.

Most of the time that means art journaling. If you have been following me for any length of time, You know art journaling is my jam. I would like to say it is my daily jam, but truth be told the daily part comes and goes in waves.

I also have picked up painting in the last couple of years and am in love love love. It is such a great way to take some of the pages from my journals and flesh them out into a more direct representation of that idea.

When we moved, I have been able to finally set up one of my favorite pieces of furniture, my big ass industrial old stool drafting table. It was a gift from my late great graphic design business mentor. I have schlepped that thing almost 1000 miles. It sat in my scary basement for 10 years. Surviving a home remodel, basement floods, and passing thoughts of letting it go. I am so freaking glad I never gave it away. I love working over it. It reminds me of my design roots, College days before the industry moved to computers.  My first job at a paper company making labels and logos for bags. My second job at a major magazine, specing type, waxing galleys and making perfect mechanicals ready for the printer. Skills of precision measuring, cutting, inking. Building mock ups. Assembling gigantic board presentations for the advertising sales team. All things I still love to do despite the fact they are obsolete skills for the industry. They are still awesome ways to make art. Hand made books, pages and pockets in my journal that provide a 3D experience even if just for myself.

So yeah…I have a bunch of other art shit in my studio that is very dear to me. These days much of the old stool graphic skills fall under the term mixed media. So I suppose you can say I am a mixed media artist as well.

I am not gonna lie, the ephemera part of the art supplies can get a little out of hand. So I have decided that I am only going to allow myself a tall cabinet, one wirecart and the drawer of my drafting table for my art journal/painting/mixed media stuffs. If it doesn’t fit here, its gotta go…wish me luck.

 

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 27: Weaving and other fibery WIPs

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 27: Weaving and other fibery WIPs

Like my spinning WIPs, the weaving WIPs for the most part are just a freeform, on going kind of thing. I do however have a couple of projects.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post this is my current working bin.

By no means is this the only yarn I am using on my current weavings. I tend to collect bits and toss them here.I do have just a couple of weaving projects in the WIPs

The lap loom prototype

This is another project under deadline. Consider this a sneak peek at a live one-day workshop coming to my LYS as soon as I nail down this prototype.

Hand woven zippered pouches.

If only I can get the materials for thes 2 zippered pouches in the same place at once. In fact, the woven part of one of these is actually missing. I have bought zippers and lining material TWICE. GRRRR. It will come together eventually.


The other fibery art I am just starting to dive into is felt. I intend to use some of my vast collection of fleece in projects. Both wet and needle felting is slated for studio time in 2017. I am really exploring the idea of nuno felt scarves, as well as some hats and slippers.

So, there it is the fibery WIPs all catalogued and ready for storage. I am in the home stretch of the studio re organization and purge. I would love to say I am in the middle of a nice neat space, but honestly it appears to be a hot mess worse than before. But It is all over the place because I am mid organizing it all. Okay…we are gonna finish strong… WOOT!

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here:

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 26: My Spinning WIPs

Studio Awesome Challenge Day 26: My Spinning WIPs

My spinning WIPs are really closer to a perpetual WIP kind of thing because I usually finish a yarn in one sitting. But there are a handful of specific unfinished spinning projects that I have come across.

For the most part my spinning project stash is this:

Yep that is a closet full of fleece and spinning fiber.

And that is really not all of it. Just last night I found 2 fleeces stashed in a trunk that normally houses my fabric stash. Suffice it to say I have yet to fully inventory the fleece stash yet. So the perpetual spinning project for 2017 is to process this wool. I may venture into using some for my growing felting interest. But for the most part this was intended for art yarn. I have ordered a large jug of power scour, and I am READY!!

The fleece to sweater project.

I have been hoarding a couple of tri colored fin fleeces for a cabled sweater knit in a traditional manner based on Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ book Knitting in the Old Way. I has test carded an spun a few samples. I have decided to use the tricolor fin because I love the way the 3 shades of wool become a beautiful heathered yarn when carded together.

Art Yarn in Progress

This was a getting back to the art yarn exercise. Probably have 2 more spindles of this stuff in the bin.
Whatever this roving is…

Not sure what this is.

I think this was languishing inventory I decided to spin out of mercy for roving that had been there WAYYY too long. I also think this is what in currently on the espinner… I think…

Misc tiny art yarn for the weaving.

I think I just need to skein it up and set the twist…unless I decide to go ahead and ply it.
Not sure I remember where I was going with this one.

I am not sure, but I think these were intended to be spun together.

I feel like I have really fallen away from spinning. I am so ready to hit the dyepots, get back to my carders and make some yarn. I am especially ready to dive deeper into working with my pat green super card. I have always loved this machine, but I have been a little intimidated by it. It is the complete opposite of my art batt carders. For what ever reason, it is calling me.

Alright fiberista, tomorrow we are going to look at the weaving WIPs and other fibery things I am contemplating.

Joining me in the 31 Day Studio Awesome Challenge?

I am posting progress and info on setting up my studio over the next 31 days. I will not be blitzing my main email list daily…but if you DO want an email notice when daily posts go live, sign up here: