Sunday, February 09, 2014

The Generosity of fiber artists ... THREAD!

(Above:  The living room ... with its massive pile of unraveled thread!  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Recently I posted my plans for an upcoming fiber installation called Threads: Gathering My Thoughts.  It will be at Studio Cellar, a "paint and sip" business that just opened near my studio.  It will be part of Artista Vista, the annual spring art crawl in Columbia's downtown arts and entertainment district.  The installation will run from Wednesday, April 23th through Thursday, May 1st with its reception during the actual art crawl on Thursday, April 24th.  In preparation for my installation, I'm unraveling miles and miles of thread.  These strands will be flowing in and out of baskets and containers suspended from the ceiling ... cascading down into a laundry basket on the floor.  For me, all these threads represent the way a mind works, the connections and disconnections we have through our memories, and methods of communication.  (I'm actually enlarging a former installation.  To see the "smaller" one, CLICK HERE.)

(Above:  My cat Max playing in the thread.)

My cat Max thinks I'm building him an enormous nest.  Every day the "nest" gets bigger as more old thread is unraveled from old spools.  When I shared this idea a few weeks ago, I encouraged people to mail me their old thread (and I'm still accepting it at 2123 Park Street, Columbia, SC 29201).  People sent thread!  I'm so grateful!  I've already blogged some of the first donations.  Below are the ones I received most recently!

(Above:  Donation from Antoinette Brown, a Facebook friend and a talented art quilter in Cary, NC.)
Thank you, Antoinette!

(Above:  Donation from Goose Track Quilts.)
Thank you, Cathy Hooley!

(Above:  Donation from Myrtle Robinson ... who must have read one of the messages I left on either the Studio Art Quilt Associates or Quiltart on-line forums!)
Thank you, Myrtle!

(Above:  Donation from Gay Lasher.)
Thank you, Gay!

(Above:  Donation from Gay Lasher.)

Gay's donation is absolutely amazing.  These wooden spools of old thread had belonged to Abraham Berg,  her Grandfather.  He worked as a pattern cutter in a ladies' dress factory in Philadelphia.  She wrote the sweetest message that explained that after a run of dresses, the company allowed employees to take home  leftover thread, trimmings, buttons, and scraps.  Her Grandfather helped the company set up overseas factories in the late 1920s and early 1930s.  Gay remembers that he was still working when she was a child of four or five.  I am truly honored that she sent me these treasures and I'm currently turning all the lovely wooden spools into tiny gems ...

(Above:  Some of my wrapped-and-stitched wooden spools.)

... like these!  I have hundred but I love making each and every one.  This is a project to which I see no end, and I love doing this.

(Above: Donation from Clay Burnette.)
Thank you, Clay ... and for anyone reading my blog who doesn't know Clay ... well ... he's wonderful and an internationally known basket maker!  Check out his website!

(Above: Package from Martha Ginn.)

What is amazing about throwing out a request to the on-line community of fiber artists is the fact that you can't imagine the depth of generosity to be returned.  I got yet another package as a result.  This one didn't even have any thread in it!

(Above: In side the package from Martha Ginn.)

Martha Ginn is an amazing woman, a talented art quilter, and a generous person who sent a beautiful package.  I had a great time opening it ... through all its stages!

(Above: Further inside the package from Martha Ginn.)

Inside the box and inside the bag that was stitched shut was a zippered plastic pouch.

(Above: Donation of two, vintage lace garments from Martha Ginn.)

Inside the pouch were these two wonderful, vintage lace garment and I have a plan!  Yes, I'm almost always thinking about more than one project at a time.  These are special and I have a special use for them.  It might take me months to put the plan in action but at least I'm ready now!  Thank you, Martha! 

(Above: Detail of beautiful rayon threads left anonymously at my studio door.)

The generosity of fiber artists can also come anonymously.  Someone left a plastic shopping bag full of mostly rayon thread attached to my studio door.  Whoever you are ... THANK YOU ... because these luscious fibers (which I can't manage in my sewing machine either) are the most beautiful in the entire pile. 

(Above: In Box CXLI. Unframed:  Approximately 28" x 16". Framed:  33 3/4" x 21 3/4".)

Now, one might want to assume that I've only been unraveling old thread ... but that would be incorrect.  I'm hard at work and counting the days until the ACC Baltimore show (American Craft Council).  To that end, I've finished In Box CXLI and have three Lunette Windows in various stages of completion.  I've also just finished the construction on another Large Stained Glass Window and finalize my original art contribution to this year's May 8th MIRCI charity event, "52 Windows ... Windows to our Hearts".   I'll blog these later in the week.  

(Above:  Detail of thread on my living room floor ... a floor that my husband Steve tried to vacuum today.  Why?  I have no idea.  Did some of these thread accidentally get sucked into the appliance? Yes! He said it took him fifteen minutes to completely removed them from the vacuum.  Silly Steve!  Doesn't he know by know by now that our entire house is an "artwork in progress"? !!!)


Mosaic Magpie said...

Hubbys pick the strangest times to be "helpful". The wooden spools of thread are the perfect gift for you, beautiful threads and spools! Can you imagine having a grandfather that could bring home all that wonderful stuff, trims, threads, fabrics...oh what fun!

Julie said...

I had to laugh at Max coccooned in his thread nest. He looks as though he's about to blow the threads off his nose! If you still need threads I could send you some from the UK? I have some devilish rayon ones that would look better in an installation than my thread box.

Wanda said...

OK, I am totally impressed with the thread Project now. At first, as you know, it sort of felt like fingernails on a chalkboard. But now, it's just amazing. Absolutely wonderful!!