Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Wall of Ancestors and Threads, Gathering My Thoughts ... before Barcelona!

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors. Installation of 127 framed, anonymous photos. Images are collaged with letters clipped from vintage sheet music and books with phrases that relate to the passage of time, memory, and suggestions of possible lives for those depicted. Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.)

The past few days have been a whirlwind of activity. Steve and I went to Washington, DC over the weekend. We delivered a large “Stained Glass” fiber piece to a couple who had seen my work at the ACC (American Craft Council) Show in Baltimore last February. We also delivered My Bluegrass Roots III to a nice lady in Takoma Park. I love selling art work! Yet, our main reason for the trip was to see ABT's (American Ballet Theater's) performance of Don Quixote. It was fantastic!

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors, detail.)

During the drive, I got an email from the owner of Earthwood Gallery and Earthwood Collections in Colorado … placing a rather significant order for both locations! I was ecstatic but nervous. Serendipitously, I had almost everything needed under construction but time was a factor. Why? Well, Steve and I are now on our way to Barcelona!  (I'm blogging from JFK Airport in NYC!) We cashed in our $1000 travel vouchers from Delta for this great opportunity. (We got the travel vouchers after volunteering to “be bumped” on our return flight from England last December.) So … I had just two days to complete the orders.

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors, before the installation started.)

Of course, I already had a jam packed schedule for those two days. I had TWO installations to install! So, on Monday night, I welded my hammer and hung all 127 pieces of The Wall of Ancestors.

(Above: The Wall of Ancestors, after the installation was completed … three hours later!)

The Wall of Ancestors is my contribution to the group exhibit at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios for the annual Artista Vista art crawl in downtown Columbia. The show is called “Say Something” and includes work by all thirteen artists with studio space in the building.

I'm elated with how my work looks, how it feels, and by the impact it will undoubtedly make to people attending. There's just no way to stand in front of so many framed photos, read the collaged messages, and not feel the sense of time that is evoked. All these images came from Bill Mishoe's auction … except for a couple … including …

(Above: I Had a Dream Too, The Wall of Ancestors Series. Framed: 14” x 12”. Original reverse painted glass mat, hand-tinted photo, collage of letters clipped from vintage sheet music and books.)

… and …

(Above: I Had to Ride on the Back of the Bus, The Wall of Ancestors Series. Framed: 14” x 12”. Original reverse painted glass mat, sepia toned photo, collage of letters clipped from vintage sheet music and books.)

These two pictures were donated to me by Vennie Deas Moore. I am so grateful because they bring a balance to the collection, a different point of view, and different pasts. I only received these two pieces on Monday … and immediately did the collage work and framing … in order to hang them later that night.

(Above:  South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley addressing the Chamber of Commerce over breakfast at the airport.)

The next morning (yesterday … the day before going to Spain … aka “Tuesday”) started with a 7 AM breakfast hosted by the Chamber of Commerce at the Columbia International Airport. Even Governor Nikki Haley came and spoke to the assembled crowd. Why was I there? Well, the Richland and Lexington County Cultural Council just initiated a new program for 2D and 3D artwork to be on rotation at the airport.  Selected artists were invited to attend and show a piece of their artwork.  It was fun!

(Above:  Dual, locked showcases at the Columbia International Airport ... where my work will be featured this coming September and October!)

I'll have a collection of fiber vessels filled with wrapped-and-stitched spools, other fiber vessels, and small sculptural pieces in this double, locked showcase! When? Next September through October.

(Above: Threads: Gathering My Thoughts at Studio Cellar for Artista Vista.)
By Tuesday afternoon, I was hard at work getting ready for the next installation. Threads: Gathering My Thoughts took about three hours to complete. During the first hour, I was busy on the ladder, attaching screw-eyes to the wooden ceiling for lengths of wire … on which I hung the three dozen assorted baskets. Originally, I thought I had too many. I've generally had this sort of impression before my first installation. It is almost always incorrect. I had just enough! So … in September … when I mount an even larger version of this installation at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios, I will need at least twice the number of baskets.

I knew I had more than enough thread … but … for the larger installation in September, I will need even more. Making my vision a reality always seems to require even more material than originally planned. It is simply amazing how big a pile looks on my living room floor and how small it looks when on site!

This is Charlotte Lindsay, the owner of Studio Cellar. She'll be showing off her new business and my installation for the next week … including Thursday night's Artista Vista opening. Hopefully many people will stop by to see all these threads … especially since Wade Sellers of Coal Powered Filmworks made this great video!  CLICK HERE to see it!  (Okay ... I was interviewed AFTER three hours on a ladder and playing with baskets and a mountain of thread!  My hair is a wreck ... but I'm happy with the video nonetheless!)

Obviously, I'm missing the Artista Vista opening. I'm also missing Friday night's opening of ArtFields in Lake City where my Grid of Photos is hanging. Hard to imagine! Three installations mounted inside of eight days … and I'm missing the openings! Oh well … Barcelona is calling!

Between these installations, my “day job” custom picture framing, packing for Spain, and everything else in life …. I did manage to finish all the work for the two galleries in Colorado. The only thing that didn't happen was snapping photos of the “new work” for this blog. Suffice it to say, four new “small” In Box pieces, two Lancet Windows and two, small “Windows” were finished, framed, packaged, and shipped!

(Above:  Lancet Window headed to Colorado.  Unframed:  27" x 7".  Framed:  31 1/4" x 11 1/4".)

I only took this photo of one of two Lancet Windows …


and this one of half of the orders before shipping!

Next stop … BARCELONA!!!

Update:  Barcelona is FANTASTIC and will blog about it sometime next week ... after I return.  Currently, Steve and I are staying in a great apartment inside of about 100 yards from Gaudi's famous Sagrada Familia Church where I'm now linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber arts. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Grid of Photos is installed at ArtFields!

(Above:  The sign off State Route 378 leading into Lake City, South Carolina.)

Yesterday was a big, big day!  Installation Day for The Grid of Photos for the upcoming 10-day festival in Lake City, South Carolina known as ArtFields.  Everything had been planned down to a detailed discussion on the construction of the wall on which the work was to be hung.

(Above:  Caroline Duncan with her fiance Louis Tarantini at her brand new business, Olio Studio.)

I arrived at Olio Studio around 11 AM as planned.  There I met Caroline Duncan, the new young business owner, and her fiance Louis Tarantini.  Over a decade ago, Caroline was in an intensive summer art program that I taught at nearby Sumter High School.  She has continued making art, studying art, and expanding her love of art into this business venture dedicated to sharing art through workshops, classes, parties, and other events.  The place is brand new ... sparkling clean and tidy ... totally perfect!  They were ready.  We were all excited!

(Above:  Five brackets made by John Sharpe of Sharpe Creations.)

First thing to do:  Mount the brackets. I brought an industrial drill with a masonry bit, the recommended 1-1/2" long concrete screws with a hexagonal head, the coordinating drill bit to fit the heads, an extension cord, and a ladder.  I've installed on cinder block and brick walls in the past.  This should have worked!  But, the intended screws wouldn't penetrate the wall deeply enough.  We are all perplexed.  After all, we were all told that this was plaster over cinder block.  All the other, exterior walls at Olio Studio are cinder block.  Well ... PLAN B.  I also brought short 1" multi-purpose screws.  We decided to use them.  The photo above shows all five brackets mounted with the short screws.  We were a bit worried.  We didn't feel the screws were sufficiently into the wall ... just into the plaster covering up what was supposed to be cinder block but evidently wasn't.  (Personally, I suspect there is a metal firewall between this space and the building that is attached to it next door.  My screws and industrial screw driver would have gone through just about anything else ... but not a metal firewall!)

(Above:  The Grid of Photos, unrolled in front of the wall.)

We unrolled The Grid of Photos.  It actually isn't as fragile as it looks because every photograph had been fused to fabric.  (For a blog post on the construction of this piece, CLICK HERE.)  We screwed together the 5/16" sectional rods.  We threaded the rod through the hanging loops of thread.  We lifted the piece onto the brackets.  For a moment, everything was fine.  Then, one of the brackets gave way ... fell to the floor ... and broke.  Fortunately, John Sharpe had made a spare bracket (thank goodness!)... but we were afraid to attempt using it.  The screws were obviously "a slight problem."  We needed help!

(Above:  Lifting The Grid of Photos onto the brackets.)

Carolina immediately called for the ArtFields installation team.  Amazingly, Tim and Jeremy showed up inside of FIVE MINUTES ... for real!  Seriously, ArtFields is very well organized has a great working relationship with the owners of the many venues for artwork.  I was quite impressed.

(Above:  Tim and Jeremy ... part of the ArtField installation staff ... and employed by Moore Farms, the major sponsor for ArtFields.)

So ... what kind of tools did they bring?

(Above:  A hammer drill and an impact drill ... brought by the ArtFields installation team!)

Just what we needed!  A hammer drill and an impact drill.  By the way, I covet the impact drill.  It is very light-weight, cute, and even has its own lighting feature!  What more could an installation artist want?  I think I need one!

(Above:  Tim and Jeremy mounting the brackets for The Grid of Photos.)

One by one, the team removed the 1" multi-screws, used my masonry drill bit with their hammer drill, and screwed the 1-1/2" concrete screws back through the brackets using the impact drill.

(Above:  Mounting the brackets correctly!)

Because the hexagonal heads of the concrete screws are bright blue, I also brought Zinsser B-I-N shellac-based primer in a can ... the perfect paint for adhering to metal.  After each bracket went up, I painted the ends of the screws.

(Above:  Five correctly mounted brackets!)

This photo might not look much different from the earlier, similar one ... but the screws are much, much better.  Within a minute, we lifted The Grid of Photos back onto the five brackets!  Presto!  Finished ... all inside of an hour and a half of the time I arrived!

(Above: Louis Tarantini ... who was tall enough that he could lift the rod into place without a ladder!  Thanks so much for all your help!)

(Above:  Caroline Duncan ... in front of The Grid of Photos in her business, Olio Studio!)

I'm truly honored to have my work in such a great venue and part of such a fantastic event!

(Above:  Donation of thread from Elaine Tanner.)

Last year at ArtFields I met Elaine Tanner, another fiber artist.  We've corresponded since then ... and she dropped off this amazing collection of threads, ribbon, crochet, etc. for my use in upcoming installations ...

(Above:  Donation of thread from Elaine Tanner beside the collection of unraveled thread to be used in my upcoming installation, Threads: Gathering My Thoughts.)

... like Threads: Gathering My Thoughts, which will be installed next Tuesday at Studio Cellar here in Columbia for Artista Vista.  I can hardly wait.  That is the same day as I'll be installing The Wall of Ancestors at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios!  So much to do!  Hope these upcoming installations go as well as it did in Lake City.  Even with a "slight problem", it went very, very well!

(Above:  The Midland Clay Arts Society .... all reading Jasper Magazine!)

Wonderfully, I wasn't quite done being "an artist" yesterday!  By 7 PM I was with the Midland Clay Arts Society giving a presentation on "The Business of Art".  I brought copies of the current Jasper Magazine, a free publication here in Columbia.  It was a great program for a great group!

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

Monday, April 14, 2014

Fiber Arts Options Goes to Meridian Fibers and more!

(Above:  Fiber Art Options, an invitational group in the Charlotte North Carolina area.  Going around the table from the left, front to the back, right:  Debbie Langsam, Susan Brubaker Knapp, Linda Stegall, Nancy Cook, and PJ Howard.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

For about a year-and-a-half I've been proud to be a member of Fiber Art Options, a select group of professional artists in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.  Membership has been limited to six.  We meet every month.  The experience has been totally inspirational, educational, and lots and lots of fun.  Last Thursday we visited a new fiber art business called Meridian Fibers. (Update: 2021. This business is now closed but it was nice while it lasted. The owner is changing her business to high end home fabrics with no more workshops.)

(Above:  Debbie and Linda discussing important fiber matters with Meridian Fiber owner/artist Laura Sutthoff.)

Laura's business may be new to the Charlotte area but her history in the textile industry goes back for decades.  Meridian Fibers is now becoming a place for workshops, experimentation, and an exciting new location for fiber artists to find inspiration.

(Above:  Material room at Meridian Fibers.)

How could a fiber artist NOT find inspiration when the material room has this sort of stash ...

... and dozens of threads and drawers of ribbon and trim ...

... and a glass case filled with vintage findings and buttons ...

.... and too many decorator fabrics (the kind one cannot find in any chain store) and all sorts of yarns ...

 ... and personal attention for a professional!

There were all sorts of wearables and accessories too!

Plus ... a very neat and tidy room for stitching!  I highly recommend this new business!

 (Above:  Prep work!  Recycled black acrylic felt cut into sizes for more "In Box" and "Stained Glass" pieces.

So ... what have I been doing?  Well, it was time to do a little prep work for my "In Box" and "Stained Glass" series.  The available work has dwindled recently.  (The pieces that are available are HERE.)  Why?  Well, I sold well during the ACC Baltimore Show last February, have a couple pieces in the upcoming South Carolina Arts Commission's annual Award Gala and Art Sale, have another accepted into the juried Palmetto Hands Show ... and just got picked up for representation at Iago Gallery in Blowing Rock, North Carolina!  So ... I need to make plenty new work, especially smaller sized pieces.  I start with recycled black acrylic felt.  It used to be the packaging material for a kayak or canoe being shipped from Legacy Paddlesports, a manufacturer, to River Runner, my local outdoors shop.  Guy Jones, the owner of River Runner, has been donating all this felt to me for years.  I cut up two canoe's worth of felt into the sizes needed for 12 "Windows", 10 "Small In Boxes", 8 "Medium In Boxes, 4 Lancet Windows, and more.  The paper piece of paper in the photo above has all my measurements for all my sizes on it.  Currently, I have two Lancet Windows and five, small "Windows" under construction.  I'll share them soon.

(Above:  In Box CXLVII. Inventory # 3122.  Unframed approximately 17" x 13".  Framed:  21 3/4" x 17 3/4". $325 plus tax and shipping.  Click on image to enlarge.)

I did finish this medium sized "In Box" piece. Tomorrow I'm installing The Grid of Photos at Artfields using brand new brackets created by John Sharpe's new business Sharpe Creations.

(Above:  New brackets for installing The Grid of Photos.)

I'll be taking photos of the installation in progress ... can't wait.  This month is filled with installations.  For Artista Vista, I'll be installing Threads: Gathering My Thoughts at Studio Cellar and also The Wall of Ancestors at Gallery 80808/Vista Studios. 

(Above:  125 individually framed pieces for The Wall of Ancestors.)

Over the weekend, I moved all the pieces for The Wall of Ancestors to my studio.  There are 125 of them.  Installation day is on Tuesday, April 22nd.

(Above:  Collection of three dozen or more assorted baskets for Threads: Gathering My Thoughts.)

The installation day for Threads: Gathering My Thoughts might be earlier on the same Tuesday ... but it might get changed!  It will depend on a film crew!  My fingers and toes are crossed that this might happen.  In addition to all the unraveled thread, I've been collecting assorted baskets for this installation.  I hope three dozen will be adequate! LOL!  

(Above:  Opening of Studio Art Quilt Associate's Radical Elements exhibition at the Cafritz Foundation Arts Center of Montgomery College's Takoma Park campus in Silver Springs, Maryland.  The show runs from April 3 - May 9, 2014)

With all these installations and activities, I wasn't able to attend the opening of Radical Elements outside Washington, DC ... but I loved finding this photo on Facebook from the opening reception.  My piece is the brightly colored one depicting the element Promethium!  It is made from cut pieces of Rowlux Illusion Lenticular film hand stitched with very thin red and hot pink copper wire. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Arrowmont and Beyond

(Above:  The Fiber Studio at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.  Click on any image in this blog post to enlarge.  The photo shows the room set up for my "trunk show" and workshop instruction on Thursday night.)

I've done it again.  It's been nine days since my last blog post which means this is LONG!  Of course this has everything to do with the fact that I've been to "paradise" and back, made loads of work, and met too many wonderful people to count.  My adventures started in Gatlinburg, Tennessee at Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts where I was teaching "Second Life", a three-day workshop during Legacy Weekend.  This workshop focused on my grave rubbings and use of vintage materials in order to create heirloom art quilts.  Household linens and lace were combined with old buttons, beads, keys, and stitch to express concepts of time, admiration for long-gone anonymous stitchers, and to also speak to future generations.  I love this sort of thing ... and so did those in the workshop!

(Above:  The entrance to the main building of Arrowmont School for Arts and Crafts.  The fiber studio, book store, metal studio, exhibition space, auditorium, photo lab, and offices are in this building.  There's a breezeway to the clay and paper studios.  It is across the driveway from a spacious wood studio/building.)

It was such an honor to be an instructor in a place with a 102 year history ... especially on the weekend when deeds were signed passing the land from the founding Pi Beta Phi fraternity to the Arrowmont organization.  It really was a celebration ... a milestone for the Legacy weekend.

(Above:  The Staff House.)

My quaint bedroom was on the second floor of the lovely staff house.  Many people said the entire place felt like a summer camp for adults.  Well ... that might be true ... but I never went to a camp with such wonderful accommodations!  It was great:  WiFi everywhere, rockers on an enclosed front porch, plenty of closet space, and even a large tub in addition to a shower in the shared bathroom!

(Above:  The Dining Hall.)

The Staff House is actually connected to the Dining Hall.  The food was delicious.  I'm not generally one for desserts but couldn't pass up pineapple-upside-down-cake, the moistest chocolate cake in the world, and other homemade goodies.  The salad bar was excellent and all the vegetables were fresh.  There was even a "Taco Night"!

(Above:  Interior of the Dining Hall.)

I tried to sit with different people during meals in order to hear how things were going in the split oak basket workshop and the "crocks and pots" clay workshop.  Elsewhere were other workshops:  digital nature photography, painting, cigar box ukuleles, and wood turned stools.  But ... this blog post isn't really supposed to be about good food or various workshops.  It's all about THE FIBERS!

(Above:  The spacious Fiber Studio.)

Unfortunately, I don't have many photos from the workshop.  I was really, really busy once we started.  I totally forgot to snap images of the participants, works in progress, or much of anything else.  Yet, the set up for this Thursday night - Sunday afternoon workshop was more leisurely than I've ever experienced.  I had all day Thursday to haul in my material, design work stations, and set out supplies.  So, I took these photos then!

(Above:  Three tables full of vintage and recycled materials plus my collection of grave rubbings.)

I've also never had so much space in which to spread out materials.  It was great to have THREE LARGE TABLES just for "stuff"!

The first table was for vintage material ... mostly all the white and off-white household linens ... and even an off-white bridal gown from a thrift store.

The middle table was for all sorts of colored fabrics, old batiks, even a pair of spats and an old 48-starred flag.  All of this was "used" ... which means it had another "life" before I bought it at auction or inherited it from someone else.  Nothing on these first two tables was purchased "new".

On the third table I placed a really large piece of white acrylic felt.  It had once been the packaging material for a kayak or canoe being shipped from a North Carolina manufacturer to my friend's outdoor shop.  The rest of the table was filled with my collection of grave rubbings.  Some were on vintage material.  Most, however, was on silk or silk-like fabric that I did purchase new ... but that's about the only material in the entire workshop that didn't have a life before I got it!  Still ... it had all been to a cemetery or churchyard.  The surfaces were covered in crayon-on-fabric grave rubbings.  I brought them because ... if it had poured rain for the entire weekend, my workshop would have been seriously flawed!  Weather is a factor when incorporating a field trip to a graveyard!

(Above:  The button, bead, thread, needle and pin station.)

I had so much room, I used another entire table as an embellishment station!

(Above:  Four tables for my four workshop participants.)

One of the reasons I had all these extra tables is the fact that this workshop only had four participants.  Talk about a WONDERFUL way to connect!  Plenty of one-on-one conversations ... everyone easily able to see every demonstration ... no problem remembering anyone's name!  This was GREAT!  Also, each participant had her own large table too!

(Above:  The ironing station.)

The Fiber Studio is equipped for every kind of fiber arts ... including dyeing, silk-screening, weaving, batik, etc.  There was a large shelving unit for a bank of Bernina sewing machines too!  Since we weren't using the sinks, I set up two ironing board in front of them.  Also ... there were electrical outlets everywhere ... even hanging from the ceiling to prevent all sorts of cords puddling on the floor as a trip hazard.  Arrowmont is ready for any fiber action imaginable!


As a workshop, we didn't use any of the lovely, provided machines.  I brought my two Berninas and my Babylock dry felting machine.  With so few people, we had no problems sharing these.

(Above:  Station for tagging keys.)

Believe it or not ... I still had more tables!  Thus, this one became a "key tagging" station.  After my Thursday night trunk show, we talked about the concept of time, memory, legacy, and leaving heirlooms for future generations.  We discussed making art with "intention" and how text/epitaphs on graves create mood, atmosphere, and profound thoughts.  This was a perfect segue-way in using an old key and collaging a tag.  It was a perfect way to "make something" quickly, give an object a "second life", and focus on the memories we wanted to capture and share through art.

(Above:  Wooden spool station.)

Beside the "tagged key station" was the "wooden spool" station.  This was another place to use a small object for creative expression.  I brought plenty of thumbnail photos scanned from my family's photo albums to be collaged on the ends of wrapped wooden spools embellished with stitch.  These are quick, fun, and attractive, but they are also tokens suggestive of past memories.

(Above:  Mounting and matting station.)

There was one table still left ... which turned into the "presentation station".  This is where we mounted and matted work.  One of the advantages I bring to any workshop is my years of experience as a custom picture framer.  

 (Above:  Fiber artwork by Rena Wood, fiber artist-in-residence at Arrowmont.)

While setting up the Fiber Studio, I happily ran into Rena Wood, the fiber artist-in-residence at Arrowmont.  I invited her to join us for my Thursday night "trunk show".  Of course, I then asked if she would conduct a tour of her work in the Arrowmont exhibition space.  Lucky us, she agreed!  The exhibit was just outside the Fiber Studio door and showcased the work of all five artists-in-residences who are about to wrap up their eleven month program.  Rena's work is incredible and speaks to so many of the same concepts of time and memory.  She incorporates vintage materials too.  I was immediately drawn to her artist statement:

My work gives physical form to the ephemeral sense of memory.  The time I spend working is marked by each stitch, each knot, and each repetitive act of my hands. I construct and deconstruct my materials to show a suspension between formation and falling apart, the acts of remembering and forgetting, and to represent time passing and time stopped.


This is one of Rena's most incredible hand stitched pieces.  First, she dyes all her vintage pieces black.  Then she hand stitches ... allowing the design to incorporate the existing needlework.  These three photos were taken by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers, one of my workshop participants.  Thanks, Jeanne!  Yes ... I forgot to snap photos from the very start of the workshop! LOL!


This photo is a detail shot of the image immediately above.  Rena is using subtle shades of thread ... all hand stitched ... lots and lots of running stitches!  Truly amazing work.  I was so happy to unload some of my stash into her more than capable hands.  It is beautiful to think of these textiles finding their "Second Life" as art.  After Arrowmont, Rena will be headed to the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft for another residency program.

(Above:  Gatlinburg ... shops on Parkway Avenue.)

Although we were caught in a downpour, the workshop was able to go to White Oak Cemetery in downtown Gatlinburg.  Anyone who's been the Gatlinburg is probably puzzled!  A cemetery in such a touristy place?  Well ... yes ... just behind this row of shops is a steep hillside with trees.  There's a mini-golf business on the right ... but on the left ... there's a small historic cemetery ... established in 1830 yet still active today.  I scouted the place on Wednesday in the late afternoon within a half hour of arriving in Gatlinburg.  Please remember, this workshop advertised my expertise in grave rubbings.  Everything sort of hinged on the ability to actually MAKE A GRAVE RUBBING and I'd never been to Gatlinburg!  This cemetery is within two block of the Arrowmont drive way ...

... it is behind stores like this one selling "legal moonshine" ... and on Wednesday afternoon there was a coffin, a deep hole, and a funeral home canopy in place.  Thankfully, the burial was on Thursday before my workshop ever started.  More thankfully, the cemetery had plenty of unique and interesting stones for rubbings.  It was a perfect place!  I went there twice with people in the workshop!

 (Above:  Work-in-progress by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers.)

Fortunately, people in the workshop remembered to take their own photos.  Some were posted on Facebook.  Everyone has allowed me to repost their pieces here.  Jeanne Hewell-Chambers blogged her entire Arrowmont experience every day.  She came with her engineer husband ... who took his first clay workshop!  On the third day, Jeanne designed ELEVEN pieces.

 (Above and below:  Works-in-progress by Jeanne Hewell-Chambers.)

Though not all the pieces incorporated a grave rubbing, Jeanne was totally absorbed in the reuse of old garments, cloth, and house hold linens.  She's got plenty of work to stitch in the weeks to come and said that she really loved having all the space in which to design this new body of work.


One of the pieces in my stash was this table runner.  I loved it but knew I'd never, ever find a way to use it myself.  Yet, Jeannie designed this fabulous creation.  Believe it or not, she brought the bright pink gloves ... which went perfectly with the black ones I had.  Why?  Well, the black gloves had a row of French knots in the exact pink color!  It was meant to be!

 (Above:  Cyndy Falgout's artwork.)

Cyndy Falgout said that she could have spent the entire weekend tagging keys.  Fortunately, she used several in pieces like this!  I'm not showing any of Valerie Summer's work.  Why?  Well, Valerie just took out a business license as a professional artist, has an entire exhibition under construction, and ordered 16 8" x 10" mats and 24 11" x 14" mats from me to continue with her new series.  She paid me one of the biggest compliments ever when saying, "You changed my life".  I am honored ... humbled ... proud ... excited ... and totally in awe of the energy unleashed during these few days.

(Above:  The Key to the Sand in the Hour Glass.  Crayon on fabric grave rubbing, tagged vintage key, free motion and hand embroidery.  Framed:  15 1/2" x 13". Inventory # 3100.  $110.)

So ... what did I do?  Well ... I talked a lot.  That's what workshop instructors generally do but I also stitched some.  Pardon the glare in the photo above.  I took the picture after it framing it was glass.

(Above:  The Key to Hope.  Inventory # 3098. Framed:  9 1/8" x 7 1/8". $70.)

I finished these three tagged keys.  Two have dry felted backgrounds.  One incorporates a grave rubbing.  I also started a 12" x 12" art quilt for the upcoming SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) auction.  It served as my demonstration for free motion embroidery.  I worked on a larger Grave Rubbing Art Quilt ... which served as an example for different stitched textures and how I often use buttons on the edge of my work along with the blanket stitch.

(Above:  Quatrefoil Key.  Inventory # 3099. Framed:  9 1/2" x 7 1/2". $40.)

In addition to my workshop, I did walk all over the Arrowmont campus.  My Dad would have LOVED the entire wood studio.  There were all sorts of areas for the various way on which people work with wood ... lots and lots of machines.  It also smelled wonderfully!

 (Above:  Wood Studio at Arrowmont.)

(Above:  Workshop participant in the cigar box ukelele class.)

 (Above:  Totem poles at Arrowmont.)

In addition to visiting other workshops, I walked up the trail past the totem poles ...

... to the artists-in-residence studios ...

... where I peeked into Rena's very, very neat and tidy studio ...
... and found H. P. Bloomer's clay studio!  He was having an "open studio" sale. Bill and Mary Ann Smith, the split oak basket workshop instructors were already there.  I did find two bowls that needed to come home to Columbia!  So did Bill and Mary Ann!  Artists are great people ... and know great art ... and buy from one another!

(Above:  Where Were You When Kennedy Was Assassinated? Ancestor Wall Series. 12 1/4" x 14 1/4".)

Well, all good things come to an end ... and so did the workshop at Arrowmont.  The drive through the Smokey Mountains was gorgeous.  I returned to another kind of "mountain", aka a pile of waiting framing work.  But this week, I've also continued making more pieces for my Wall of Ancestors installation.  There are now over 100 pieces.  The installation will be part of Gallery 80808/Vista Studios' group show called "Say Something" for Artista Vista, the spring art crawl in downtown Columbia.  The show will run April 24 - May 6th and the reception is during the Artista Vista evening of Thursday, April 24 from 5 - 9.  There are several new pieces.  Just scroll down to see them!  I can't wait for the entire collection to be hanging as if a real "family wall", an encounter with people whose names have been forgotten but whose images are still captured in anonymous snap shots. 

(Above:  Window XCIII.  Inventory # 3119. Unframed:  13" x 11"; Framed:  17 1/4" x 15 1/4". $265.)

Before I left for Arrowmont, I'd finished the stitching on several new "In Box" and "Stained Glass" pieces.  Since returning, these works have been melted, mounted, and framed.  More of these are also in the works.

(Above: Window XCII. Inventory # 3118. Unframed:  13" x 11"; Framed:  17 1/4" x 15 1/4". $265.)

(Above: In Box CXLV.  Inventory # 3120.  Unframed:  14" x 10"; Framed:  19 1/4" x 15 1/4". $225.  This is the smallest of the "In Box" series.)

I updated my blog for the sale of these works.  There are three sizes of the "In Box" works and four sizes of the "Stained Glass" work called Windows, Lancet Windows, Lunettes, and Large Stained Glass.  That blog is HERE.

(Above: In Box CXLVI.  Inventory # 3121.  Unframed:  17" x 13"; Framed:  21 1/2" x 17 1/2". $325.  This is the medium size of the "In Box" series.)

(Above:  Donation of old thread from Wilma Black.)

Every evening I am continuing to unravel miles of old, neglected thread for my upcoming installation Threads: Gathering My Thoughts which will be held at Gallery 80808/Vista as a solo show from September 17 - 30th with a "pilot project" during Artista Vista at Studio Cellars, 912 Lady Street from April 23 - May 1.  I'm very excited about this project!  I'm also in debt to plenty of people who have donated their old thread, including Wilma Black!  Thank you, Wilma!

Below are the rest of the newest pieces for my Wall of Ancestors installation.  Enjoy!  I sure did!

(Above:  Cheers! Prosit! A Toast to the Future.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed in an antique cross bow walnut frame.  12 1/2" x 14 1/2".

(Above:  All American.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed in an antique walnut frame.  14 1/4" x 12 1/4".)

(Above:  All That is Left.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  6" x 7 3/4".)

(Above:  Beware of Boys.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  7 3/4" x 6 1/4".)
(Above:  Fading From Memory.  The Wall of Ancestor Series.  Framed:  6 3/4" x 7 3/4".)
(Above:  Gentleman Caller.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed: 7 3/4" x 6 1/4".)
(Above:  I Could Not Wait to Leave Home.  Wall of Ancestor Series.  Framed:  10" x 9".)
(Above: In Love, Elope, Stayed Married.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  10 1/4" x 13 1/4".)
(Above:  Life's Race Well Run.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed: 13" x 16".)
(Above: Little Lady.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  6" x 5".)
(Above:  Perfect Family.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  8" x 6".)
(Above:  Prim and Proper.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  8 1/4" x 6 1/2".)

(Above:  Quality Family Time.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  8 1/4" x 6 1/4".)

(Above:  Salt of the Earth.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed: 7 3/4" x 6 1/4".)

(Above:  Single Mother.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed: 7 3/4" x 6 1/4".)

(Above:  The Girl Next Door.  The Wall of Ancestors.  Framed:  11 3/4" x 8 3/4".)
(Above:  The Last Ride.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  6 1/4" x 8 1/8".)
(Above:  There is No Place Better Than Your Own Back Yard.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  9" x 9".)
(Above:  Trip to Paradise.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  9 1/2" x 7 1/4".)
(Above:  A Picture to Keep By Your Heart.  The Wall of Ancestors Series.  Framed:  11 1/4" 7 1/2".)

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