Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Art of Sharing (by artists)

Fabric Gift from Mia's Stash
Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists met yesterday to herald in the holiday season.  Being in the company of lively, creative, accomplished fiber artists is joy enough but when members share their bounty it is a time to jump up and down and clap. 

Mia Bloom brought a big bag of fabric from her stash to share and the picture above shows the great fabrics that I grabbed up as if there were no tomorrow.  Mia overdid her generosity by also gifting beautiful potted plants from her garden.
Beautiful Potted Plant from Mia Bloom
Teresa Shippy brought squeals of happiness out of everyone when she let each member choose Christmas socks, the continuation of a tradition that she started last year.  I picked a pair that I could wear year round.  They are so soft and warm--perfect for this time of year.
Christmas Socks from Teresa Shippy
Eileen Wintemute, our #1, superb hostest with the mostest, presented everyone with an 8"x8" stretched canvas.  There couldn't have been a more thoughtful, perfect gift for a gathering of artists.
Stretched Canvas Gift from Eileen Wintemute
And, EGAD!  jo p. griffith (and yes, all letters are lower case :-) presented everyone with a 2015 calendar that has a picture of one of her art works on it.  The poor girl!  We all descended upon her to sign our calendars.  Her work is so amazing that she is sure to become one of the greatest recognized artists of all time and we will have a signed work!!!
jo. p. griffith's Calendar Gift
And the pièce de résistance had to be Cynthia Caitlin's Ghirardelli chocolate bar!  Oye!  Be still my heart. 

The world stopped still with Cynthia Caitlin's gift of chocolate
It is such a great honor and pure fun to be a part of Beyond the Edge Fiber Artists.  Each of us, and collectively, are exhibiting widely, so I hope you will check out what this group is up to on its blog that our leader, Eileen Wintemute has created and maintains.  Eileen's leadership keeps this lively group on track and is taking our 's works into wonderful exhibiting venues.  Kudo's to Eileen.

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved

Monday, December 1, 2014

Owl - From Handmade Stamp to Thread Painting

I'm developing a 3D work that may (or may not) be selected for an exhibit in 2015, so I will not be able to show all the steps or the finished work until a decision is made whether it will be chosen to exhibit or not.  However, here is a little teaser with a few explanations of how I arrived at the elements so far.

The field of orange in the background was created by applying Rit dye with a dollop of hot water directly to 100% cotton fabric, scrunching it up a bit, putting it in a lightly covered microwave safe container, and then heating it for approximately 50 seconds.

The small leafy images that are printed onto the orange background were made from a stamp I created with polymer clay mounted on a wooden block.
 The larger leaf shapes are merely laid upon the fabric in the photo to audition them.  These were made by first coloring sheer curtain fabric with permanent markers and acrylic inks.  When the inks were dry, the fabric was inserted into an embroidery hoop with water soluble stabilizer and free motion embroidered on the sewing machine.
Inks Applied to Fabric and Then Inserted into Hoop
After an embroidered leaf shape was accomplished, the unit was removed from the hoop and run under warm water to dissolve the stabilizer and then laid aside to dry.  Once the unit was dry, a heated stencil cutter was used around the edge of the leaf shape to release it from the surrounding fabric.
Stencil Cutter
A Completed Leaf
My vision is to have an owl emerge from the suggestion of stylized arboreal foliage.  Once again I turned to my handmade, polymer clay stamps, and printed an owl shape onto 100% cotton fabric.
Owl Print from My Handmade Polymer Clay Stamp
I am using a combination of satin stitching and zigzag stitching on an angle to start thread painting the owl.
Beginning to Thread Pain the Owl
I must hold off with further steps until this work is either chosen or not chosen to be part of an exhibit in 2015, but I'll be having a lot of fun coaxing this owl out of the trees.  I'll be sure to post the finished product sometime in 2015.

Note:  All my sewing is done on a regular sewing machine.  A computerized embroidery machine might make all the stitches totally even, but there is something in me that really likes the element of serendipity when manipulating the stitches myself.

If you have never tried your hand at free motion machine embroidery, you might want to give it a go.  Grab some stabilizer (it doesn't have to be water soluble), lay a piece of fabric on it, insert it into a hoop and put the pedal to the metal.  You might be happily surprised at what you can produce.

Always remember, never fear to experiment.  
Sometimes wonderful things happen.
© Linda Friedman 2014.  All rights reserved.