Monday, March 24, 2014

My work from Focus on Fibers ... and more THREAD donations!

(Above"  Eighteen prototypes for brooches made last week during Focus on Fibers.  Click on any image in this blog post for an enlargement.)

For most of the past two weeks I've been at Mary McBride's Focus on Fibers at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna, Florida.  First, I taught a three-day workshop called HOT (which I blogged about here) and then enjoyed a week long retreat (which I blogged about here).

 (Above:  In Box CXLIV.  Inventory # 3054. Unframed, 14 " x 10"; framed 18 1/2" x 14 1/2". $225.)

Yet, I didn't really share any of the work personally accomplished during this time.  Thus, I'm showing it off now!

(Above:  Window XCI. Inventory # 3053.  Unframed:  13" x 11"; framed 17 1/2" x 15 1/2". $265.)

In addition to making these two pieces that fall into my normal inventory of work, I finished five workshop pieces.  What does that mean?  Well, I always finish my own demonstration pieces while teaching my HOT workshop.  The workshop focuses on heat-activated processes for contemporary stitch.  I demonstrate how to use previously painted Wonder Under/Bond-a-Web, polyester stretch velvet layers, metallic foiling, and other snippets of materials.  Another demonstration shows how to use the soldering iron and an industrial heat gun.  One of my favorite parts of teaching is my "Four Families of Stitch" demonstration.  Generally, I start two or three pieces before I teach ... so that I can use them on the final day for examples of mounting, matting, and framing fiber arts.  All totaled, there were five pieces from the last workshop.

(Above:  Relic LXXXV. Inventory # 3057.  Unframed, 7 1/2" x 6"; framed, 15 3/4" x 13 3/4". $135.)

I call these workshop demos "relics" ... because they are like precious, jewel encrusted memories from the experience of sharing my favorite techniques with others. 

(Above: Relic LXXXIV.  Inventory # 3056. Unframed, 6 1/2" x 5 1/2"; framed, 16 3/4" x 15 1/4". $135.)

Back at Mouse House, the framing business I have with my husband Steve, I use left over moulding, fillet, and often silk mats to frame them uniquely.  It is a good use of materials and often the framing would cost more than the entire piece ... but, what the heck! If the moulding is just a short, leftover piece collecting dust, it might as well be used on one of my pieces!

(Above: Relic LXXXIII. Inventory # 3055. Unframed, 6" x 5"; framed, 13 1/2" x 12" 1/2". $125.)

Generally, I haven't listed prices on this blog.  Why?  I didn't want this blog to look overly commercial or aimed primarily on sales.  That's not why I blog!  For me, this is a place to SHARE my work, especially with family and friends.  It is also a place to document my output ... posting images, measurements, dates, materials, etc.  Blogging has always been a way to write about work while it is fresh in my mind. 

(Above: Relic LXXXI.  Inventory # 3051.  Sold during Focus on Fibers.)

Yet, I've had Internet sales on two other blogs and people do seem to enjoying purchasing my work! (THANK GOODNESS ... because I can't store all of it forever! LOL!)  In fact, three of my "relics" never made it back home!  Relic LXXXI (above) is such a piece.  It sold during the retreat.  Relic LXXX was donated to the SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) upcoming 25th Anniversary Spotlight auction (May 1 - 4 during the annual conference) and Relic LXXXII was sold to one of the nice ladies in my workshop.  (I forgot to snap photos of these last two ... but I sent identification labels for all three pieces!)  From now on, I'm going to start listing the prices and inventory numbers on most of my finished work shared on this blog.  I hope this doesn't turn people away. 

(Above:  Old spools and miscellaneous threads from the floor at Focus on Fibers.)

In addition to these pieces, I spent the vast majority of my retreat on eighteen small prototypes for fiber brooches.  These are pictured at the head of the blog spot.  All are polyester stretch velvets on recycled black acrylic packaging felt with soldering, free motion machine stitching, beading, and embroidery.  All but one is completely stitched.  None are finished!  It is now time to turn my attention to the reverse.  I have several ideas for how these brooches will be backed and how a pin will be attached.  My idea includes mounting them on a small piece of framed mat board.  With luck, these miniature fiber artworks will hang as "wall art" when not being worn as "jewelry".  That's the plan!  Everyone at Focus on Fibers seemed to adore these pieces.  They got plenty of attention ... especially when someone dropped by their cut threads!  Yes, of course, I am still collecting old, neglected spools of thread!

(Above:  Donation from Lindsay Hager ... who brought this donation to Focus on Fibers!  Thank you, Lindsay!  This is an incredible stash ... including plenty of vintage buttons for all sorts of other projects!)

(Above:  Donation from Norbeth Ozark.  Thank you, Beth!)

When I got back to Columbia, there was even more thread waiting for me ... including this bag filled by Beth Ozark ....

... and this mailed box filled by Nancy Cook ...

... and this incredibly large bag collected by Nicholl (Nicki) Ransom ...

... and these spools from Vernon and Anita Bowen!

The pile of unraveled thread in the middle of my living room is growing.  The upcoming installation called Threads: Gathering My Thoughts will now have TWO exhibits here in Columbia.  The first will be at Studio Cellar, 912 Lady Street, during the annual spring Artista Vista art crawl (April 22 - May 1) and at Gallery 80808/Vista Studio, 808 Lady Street from September 16 - 30th!  I'm excited.

I'm linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber works. 


Anonymous said...

The brooches are gorgeous - definitely mini works of art! And the retreat looks amazing. day... :o)

Wanda said...

I guess it goes to show that it doesn't matter where your work is shown, it's THAT your work is shown! It doesn't matter where someone sees your work and decides to purchase. All the pieces are great, Susan! I am getting really excited to see the thread-chaos project! ha ha Is all that thread really old?? I usually end up scrounging for thread and it doesn't have a chance to get old. Although you had a great time in FL and doing your thing there, I bet it was nice to be back home too! BTW..having the prices on this blog doesn't turn me away at all!

Sandy said...

Hi Susan,
I love the little badges. Wonderful.
Thanks for your email, I tried to reply but it keeps bouncing back.

Something about sender being rejected and more computer gobbled-gook saying something about being blocked.
Sandy in the UK