Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day

(Above:  Valentine's Day ... first day in the new studio!  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

Every Saturday and Sunday, Steve and I have been hauling a load from my "old" studio at Gallery 80808/Vista Studio to the room we prepared to become my "new" studio!  Well ... HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!  So much has been packed, moved, unpacked, organized, and made ready that today became the first day to actually WORK in the new studio!  The only thing left in the old one is the 4' x 8' wooden table.  It was made by Dietmar Weiser (aka "Waldi", a family friend since the 1970s)  This means, it's very, very well made.  Steve and I have already unscrewed the table top from the base.  It is ready to be transported on Tuesday morning.

(Above:  Lunette XXII. 23" x 29". $495, plus tax and shipping.)

Why Tuesday?  Well, that's the day Steve and I will pick up the rental cargo van for our trip to the ACC (American Craft Council) Baltimore Show.  The van is large enough to haul the table easily.

Earlier in the week, my studio looked like this ...

... and my new "home studio" looked like this.  By today, however, the home studio was equipped with my Babylock Tiara sewing machine and just about everything else.

I finally replaced the sign on the door.  Once, it read "Artist Shipping Center and Installation Storage Area".  Now, the sign reads:  SUSAN'S STUDIO.

The transformation is nearly complete.  I've left the broom in the old studio.  By Tuesday, even the table (which isn't pictured) will be gone.  Time to sweep up ... and then load the cargo van for the show in Baltimore.  Exciting times!

(Above:  Blessed Sleep II.  12" x 12" art quilt. Grave rubbing on silk with vintage linens. Self-guided, free motion machine embroidery with plenty of hand stitching. Vintage and new buttons and beading.)

Moving the studio has occupied plenty of attention and time ... but not all of it.  Every evening has found me stitching.  I just finished Blessed Sleep II.  This started as one of the "step outs" for the August taping of The Quilt Show with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.  I blogged about it HERE.    It made no sense NOT to finish this piece.  Almost every phase of it had been started.  I will likely donate this work to the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) 2016 fund raising auction.  After all, the auction calls for 12" x 12" art quilts ... and this piece is exactly that size.

(Above:  The Cabinet of Curiosities ... a work in progress.)

Every day this past week has also included time with my Cabinet of Curiosities. Whether I'm working on a new "curiosity" or adding to the supporting sculptural structure, I'm working on it.  I love it! 

In the studio move, I found a small cross stitch I made in the 1980s.  I added it.  Plus, I found colorful letters (from where?  I don't even know!)  I didn't have the letters for my last name ... but I could spell "Susan".  When finished, I'll sign the work on the rest of the wooden ledge beside my name ... and date it.

I added several pieces from a former work called The Archeology Project to one of the wooden boxes.

I created dozens of pages of foreign-looking text for the Archeology Project.  Lots were placed in the pineapple clip.  (The writing is totally a fantasy ... but it is based on a dreadful year spent trying to learn shorthand while still in high school!)

For over two weeks I went back-and-forth on the notion of collaging the cabinet.  I didn't want to hide the look and feel of wood grain, antique drawers, and the solid structure under pages of ephemera.  I worried that too much collage would hide the solid nature of the cabinet.  Yet, I also couldn't resist adding pages from an early passport ... with the visa to enter Kenya.  I added stamps collected from when I conducted Cyber Fyber years ago.  Other paper came from one of my Grandma Lenz's annual finance records.  I used 1962. Plus, I had handwritten letters from the 1950s and cancelled checks from the 1920s ... bought at Bill Mishoe's auction.

I added sea gull feathers to this antique knife stand ...

... and various pins to this ultra cool leather pin cushion from my friend Deborah Langsam ...

... and sepia toned anonymous photos as well as scraps of Chinese newspapers from some bygone era.

I tried to retain the look of the wood ...

... even when adding scraps of  early 19th century celestial engravings.

But, I did more than just add bits and pieces of collage.  I also used several unique buttons from Buttons by McAnaraks to make two "curiosities".  One features a shell and a piece of costume jewelry.

The other has a pewter Indian and is attached to part of an antique lamp ... as if a pedestal.

I filled one part of the cabinet with beaded blue flowers surrounding a sepia photograph in a round pendant.  It is surrounded by scraps of a man's handkerchief that was donated by my friend Ed Madden.

Old grocery stamps were pasted to the cabinet beside a train ticket stub.  I actually wrote the date on it ... June 16, 1974 ... an off-peak trip from London to Haslemere ... a special family trip.

Another "family" item is this antler .. though I don't ever remember anyone in my family hunting.  Still, I got the antler from my Dad.

I got the leather tassels from my friend Mary Langston ... off a broken dog leash (or at least that's what I thought it was! LOL!)

My Dad also gave me this rusted conibear trap.

During the week I replaced the missing glass in the old clock case ... using a piece of wavy, antique glass ... and inside that cabinet nailed up several tagged keys. Beside the tagged keys are now two more keys that are framed.  When I built the Cabinet of Curiosities, I used several drawers ... but not all the ones I had.  The extra drawers were put at the curb ... without their glass knobs.  Four of the extra knobs were used to attach the frame to the clock case.

My friend Kim Bendillo gave me a collection of belts, scarves, and accessories.  One piece had this cross-sections of a conch shell.  It is now part of the cabinet.

While working, I am constantly looking at the cabinet from every possible angle.  Thus, even the underside of some of the shelves includes collaged stamps and other ephemera. There's a good chance that I'll have to distress or sponge paint my lettered name.  I don't want it to stand out too obviously.

Finally, I put the little "found object" rabbit from my studio into the cabinet.  I made it years ago.  It sat on a ledge inside the door's window.  Now that the studio has moved home ... it still has an artistic place to be!  I'll be continuing to work on the Cabinet of Curiosities until April Fool's Day.  Then, it goes to ArtFields, a nine-day art competition on Lake City, SC.  Every day it brings me happiness.  Today, however, is special.  Valentine's Day ... and the first one stitching in my new studio!

1 comment:

Margaret said...

What a grand new space you have now! Do you also have a "plain" sewing machine? (;-) ) I've oft been tempted by a just-does-free-motion machine, but up here they cost 1/2 the price of a good used car...

Also have my eye on that auction piece...Roll on September!

As for the antler, it could be a truly found object. One doesn't need to kill a deer to find an antler -- or an entire rack -- for they fall off the animals regularly and are replaced. So, no worries!