Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Mandala XCI

(Above: Mandala XCI.  Custom framed. 18 1/4" x 18 1/4" when hung as a square; 26" x 26" when hung as a diamond.  Found objects hand-stitched to a block of a vintage quilt. Found objects include: a brass part of a lamp; palmetto tree charms salvaged from old South Carolina Department of Commerce awards; laminated Tampa Nugget cigar bands; gold colored salt and pepper shaker tops; owl-eyed paper clips; beer bottle caps; wavy hair curlers; small brushes for applying medical eye ointment; red triangular plastic corners used to protect a beveled mirror while in transit; and buttons.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Plenty has happened during the week since I last posted.  Not only have I finished this small Found Object Mandala, but I've participated in a local, outdoor art sale and picked up a broken Steinway piano to salvage for parts.  I've almost finished another, large Found Object Mandala and another 2D piece.  Most importantly, I learned that my work has been accepted into the 2022 Smithsonian Craft Show, April 20 - 24.  Of course, I'm over the moon about this!

(Above:  Detail of Mandala XCI.)

Two exhibitions also opened last Friday night.  One was the 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial here in Columbia, SC.  The other was an invitational show called Unraveled Recollections at The Vendue, an art hotel in Charleston, SC.  Then, there is my "day job" keeping me busy.  The week before a holiday is always busier than normal for anyone working as a custom picture framer!  I really do enjoy being busy, but sometimes I must prioritize the tasks at hand.  Blogging unfortunately isn't at the top of the list, but I will be posting again soon.  Why?  Well, Steve and I are blissfully not doing anything for Thanksgiving Day!

(Above:  Mandala XCI, hung as a square.)

Okay ... that's not entirely true!  Steve found an eleven pound turkey to cook for the occasion.  I plan on stitching and blogging while Steve prepares our feast!

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Mandala XC

(Above:  Mandala XC. Custom framed: 29" x 29". Found objects hand-stitched to a section of a vintage quilt. Found objects include:  Part of a glass table lamp over a brass part of another lamp; felt hammers from a piano; cafe curtain hangers; tines of forks; dominoes; wavy hair curlers; coffee K-pods; View Master reels; inlaid wood backgammon pieces; bronze colored plastic knives; galvanized washers; duck-shaped napkin rings; trophy shaped name-place holders; and buttons.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Before going to the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, I finished a similar Found Object Mandala.  Both were stitched in order to go into two, distressed, off-white "floater" styled picture frames that I've had for more than a decade.  Well ... I finished the second one. 


(Above:  Mandala LXXXIX and XC hanging above my Seal dry-mount press here at Mouse House, my business ... which is "downstairs" and zoned as commercial.  Steve and I live "upstairs", which is amazingly zoned residential.)

I think they look great together.  Both could hang as a diamond but I forgot to snap photos of either when hanging with this orientation.  The fact of the matter is that I've been really, really busy!  I've finished another, smaller Found Object Mandala already but haven't taken any photos of it yet.  I'd better get moving though.  A large piece is more than half stitched too!

(Above:  Detail of Mandala XC.)

By the way, I didn't cut off the forks.  They came that way.  They were on a "table lot" at my weekly auction. Apparently, the person consigning the stuff had been using the stems to make key rings.  It has, however, given me ideas!  I have a bolt cutter ... so there might be more "parts" of utensils in the future.

(Above:  Detail of Mandala XC.)

There definitely will be more Found Object Mandalas in the future.  It seems that I've stumbled onto a successful series!  Tomorrow night there are two art receptions for shows each featuring three Found Object Mandalas.  The 701 CCA South Carolina Biennial opens tomorrow here in Columbia.  The Vendue in Charleston is opening a textile show called Unraveled Recollections.  I wish I could be in two places at once!

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

The 2021 Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show

(Above: Mandala LXXXIX. Custom framed: 18 1/2" x 18 1/2". Found objects hand-stitched to a block of a vintage quilt. Found objects include: a lid to a vintage typewriter ribbon can; brass screw eyes; lots of individual key pads from a vintage typewriter; dominoes; blue brushes from a local ceramic paint studio (most without any bristles due to over use!); stag charms; keys; beer bottle caps; laminated Tampa Nugget cigar bands and vintage grocery store stamps; cafe curtain hangers; wheat pennies; two sizes of vintage capacitors; and buttons. Click on any image to enlarge.)

This Found Object Mandala was finished and photographed before the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show but it wasn't done before I packed the boxes.  Therefore, it stayed in Columbia.  Amazingly (and because of the on-line version of the show!), one nice lady has visited my new blog for the Found Object Mandalas and has expressed interest in it.  Perhaps later today, it will have a permanent home! (Update: It is on its travels to New Jersey!)

(Above:  Booth 102 ... just after it was erected inside Hall F of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.)

Anyone following this blog already knows that I was both nervous and excited about this year's Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show.  Sure, I've been accepted seven times but this was the first show for the Found Object Mandalas.  Everything, from the packing to the set-up, seemed new and unfamiliar.  Yet, it went swimmingly well.  In fact, the Found Object Mandala featuring all those tiny "swimmers" (Mandala XXXI) was the first to sell!  Two ladies were considering it at the same moment.  I was stunned.

(Above:  Selfie on Sunday morning!  The booth is totally different due to several sales!)

A week earlier, had anyone asked, I would have predicted that a few of the smaller pieces would sell.  I knew people would enjoy looking at the larger ones but I didn't really believe that anyone would actually make a purchase.  Yet, I sold as many larger ones as smaller ones!  Shocking!  The entire show was a masked event and everyone had to show their vaccination record to access the show.  So, the crowd was a little thinner than in past years but I remained busy all three days.

(Above:  The Christmas ornaments ... before the sale started.)

One of the reasons I stayed busy was due to my colorful fiber vessels and Christmas ornaments.  I'm very happy that I have a good reason to make more of them!  Since returning home, Steve and I have unpacked the van, put everything away, and started the paperwork associated with my inventory book and the PA Dept. of Revenue (sales tax!) and other pesky tasks!  All in all, the show was a success. 

(Above and below:  Details of Mandala LXXXIX.)

I'll be posting again soon.  Why?  Well ... the success of the show means more Found Object Mandalas in the future.  This is a good thing because I had one nearly finished when we left.  It will soon be posted!

Monday, November 01, 2021

Packing the Cargo Van

(Above:  My husband Steve ... building boxes for the Found Object Mandalas!  Click on any image to enlarge.)

Searching for unique found objects is FUN!  Stitching the Found Object Mandalas is FUN!  Figuring out how to get them into Booth 102 at next weekend's Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show ... well ... "Fun" wasn't a word that came to mind!  Fortunately, I have a fabulous husband who found 3" x 1" dimensional lumber and lots of corrugated for boxing each piece.  Each box is carefully labeled to indicate which mandala is in the box, which side is to be opened, and which end is "the bottom".  

(Above:  The boxed mandalas.  Some had to go in 4" x 1" wood but most went into the thinner boxes.)

So ... all last week, Steve and I boxed the larger artwork.  Smaller pieces were carefully put into boxes, separated by pieces of corrugated.  Then, we did our "hunter-gatherer" thing.  What's that?  Well, it involves finding all the stuff that has to get packed for the show ... track lighting; extra bulbs; the hand-held vacuum clearer; extension cords and surge protectors; a file cabinet full of stuff (invoices, pens, tape, zip ties, business cards, price tags, etc.); two boxes of interlocking carpet tiles; the fiber vessels; the display unit for the fiber vessels; the PayPal device and charger; bubble wrap; wrapped, wooden spool Christmas ornaments; bags for purchases; the ProPanel walls and all the pieces needed to construct it; chairs; the rolling cart; the two-part table for the ornaments; the booth sign; a ladder; a bag of tools ... and more. All this stuff isn't in one place, of course.  The walls were wrapped in a tarp in the garage.  Most of the track lighting was overhead in my studio.  Basically ... we "huntered and gathered" all over the place until the area near our back door was almost inaccessible.  I was worried.  How was it all going to fit into the cargo van?

So ... here's the pack job!  Above ... the walls go into the booth.  View from both the side door and the back door.
The boxed (larger) Found Object Mandala got stacked on the walls, leaning against the back of the driver's seat.
The boxes were strapped in place.  One of the boxes of interlocking carpet tiles went beside the end of the row of mandalas. The fiber vessel display unit went on top ... with another bungie cord.
The fiber vessel display unit created some unique spaces for boxes of light fixtures, the bag of tools, the Christmas ornaments, etc.
The boxes of the smaller Found Object Mandalas, the file cabinet, the second box of interlocking carpet tiles, and other things got put into the van.  The bubble wrap went on top.  We even have room for our suitcase!  

Tomorrow at dawn, we head north!  We move into Booth 102 on Wednesday morning. The fancy gala is on Thursday night.  The show is Friday through Sunday ... at which time I've got to remember how all this stuff got into the van ... so that it can go back into the van!