(Above: Working on a picnic table at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota. Little trays of individually cut letters, A thru Z, and the tags I made today for new keys! Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)
HELP ... I need more words ... something other than "The Key to Happiness" or "The Key to Knowledge" or success or faith or hope or "a fast Internet connection" or world peace or a good sex life or the best diet. I need some more UNUSUAL traits/qualities/abstract nouns/hidden desires/secret locations and other ideas!
PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT WITH YOUR SUGGESTIONS ... or email me at email@example.com! Thanks in advance!
I've just finished my second full day at the amazing Anderson Center art residency in Red Wing, Minnesota. It was a fabulous day ... in every way possible. First, birds chirp all day long! It is so peaceful and quiet here that I can really enjoy it whether inside my studio or outside on the picnic table! Yes, for a few hours, I worked outside in the sunshine ... until I realized that I was getting sunburned. Who would have thought that might happen during a Minnesota spring?
So ... what was I working on? Well, tags for keys. My installation, The Wall of Keys, is going in August to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham, England. It will be part of the Through Our Hands exhibition. Although I have easily more than 1600 or so tagged keys, I think I might need more ... maybe 500 or so more. (I can't have enough! LOL!) Thus, I painted heavy watercolor paper and tore it into 7/8" strips before leaving home. After all, I can't make fiber vessels all day, day-after-day while experiencing an art residency. I need a little break every once and a while. Tagging keys is an excellent break ... and something that I can do outside!
I want to be able to completely fill the space I'm given in Birmingham. So, I need more tagged keys ... but I also need ideas for these new additions. Please leave me a comment with your suggestions or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(Above: Tags for new keys.)
If you enlarge the photo above, you can easily read the tags I made today. I'll be making tags and attaching them to the stash of keys I brought during this art residency.
Yet, tagging keys isn't really part of my proposal. Making fiber vessels, exploring the concept of containment ... that's the proposal! I'm doing that for the vast majority of every day. Thankfully, I love doing this. First, I make the cording. It is made by machine zigzag stitching over 6 - 12 strands of thread and yarn.
In the photo above my Bernina is sitting on an unusual surface. Why did I chose this place? Well, I stand to sew. I've always stood when stitching by machine. (By the way, Ernest Hemingway stood to type.) So, I like a rather high table on which to put my machine ... something rather sturdy since making cording requires the machine to run almost constantly. The machine vibrates quite a lot when used this way.
I was given a double-sized studio space here at the Anderson Center. One side is obviously for a ceramist. There's a clay extruder and a slab roller. The slab roller is VERY HEAVY and is rather high ... perfect for my sewing machine! The vibrations were causing a bit of a problem ... until I tied my machine to the slab roller. (Note ... tied to the slab roller's wheel and to some sort of hook on the right side ... Nice and steady now!)
All day I stitched over various yarns ... mostly brown, orange, golden toned, and tans with black thread. I started this color wave yesterday afternoon.
By the end of today I had this giant ball of cording! I have no idea how many vessels it might make. I forgot to snap a shot of the big ball of pink cording I made on Friday night and yesterday morning ... but it isn't nearly as large as this one.
Today I also had an unexpected visitor. This little red-tailed squirrel accidentally wandered into my studio. Almost immediately he got very, very scared and started hurling himself against the windows. The door was still open ... but he seemed convinced that the windows were the way out!
Maybe he wanted to sew? Finally I managed to get him turned around and out the door. It was sort of fun!