Tuesday, May 27, 2014

More Clay Dyeing

I am looking forward to clay dyeing aprons which are suppose to be arriving on Friday. Guess you know what I will be doing this weekend! This piece was dyed with a brown stoneware clay. At first, I was underwhelmed, but the more I look at it, the more potential I see.  The next clay will be a black clay. Although, it does not turn black until high fired so this should be an interesting experiment. Definitely fun without a lot of work!

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Universe Had Its Own Ideas

Saturday I quickly finished all my errands so I could go to ClaySpace. I have started a new sculpture that was calling my name. Unfortunately as I was pulling up to my house, there was a fire truck in front of my house and a fire marshall's car in my driveway. The roofer working on the house across the street had set the roof on fire with a torch. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I could not leave my house for nearly three hours. I had to carry my groceries from my car which was parked several houses down from mine. Melissa and Joe, the owners of the home, were incredibly calm. Melissa even joked about how the saga of the fallen tree (put a hole in their roof last year) was never going to end. At one point, I think every boy in my neighborhood was standing in front of my house watching all the activity across the street. Exciting times but not much creativity.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Clay Dyed Fabric: The Journey to Get All My "Vices" in One Room

As many of you know, I took up ceramics in September 2013 as a way of getting outside my comfort zone. For the last six months, I have been experimenting with different types of clay which. has created small amounts of clay being leftover. What to do? Since I am also trying to get all my "vices" in one room, I decided to try dyeing with the leftover bits of clay. This is my first attempt and I have to say, I'm hooked! I used PFD fabric and terra cotta clay to create this piece. I want to thank Kimberly Baxter Packwood for sharing on her website how to do it. The next clay that I am going to try is a brown stoneware from California. This is just too much fun and I can't wait to use the fabric.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Path to Enlightenment?

The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. -Hans Hofmann 

When I came across that quote in one of my journals, I realized that that is what I am doing. When my dad died, one of my jobs was to clean and organize my parents' home. I did curse my dad more than once because he had promised he would not leave a mess for someone else to deal with like his legal guardian did. Well, he did. My dad loved his label maker and had neatly labeled files but we could not find for two days the important papers (found under copies of Handyman magazine). I came to realize that most of us don't want to admit that we won't live forever.

Dealing with mouse droppings, mildew, and clutter has made me want to clear out more things from my life, to take a deep look into other areas of my life that I need to clear out, too--a narrowing of focus. I have been spending time writing and deep cleaning both areas in my home and in my mind. It is a journey.

I am also thankful that this weekend I was finally able to spend time in my garden. There is something about playing in the dirt that feeds me in a special way. I do think that every maple seed that dropped last year germinated in my yard including an entire forest in my lawn! I have become a tree killer.

Thanks to everyone who has written me concerned. I promise to post more often. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Women Who Broke All the Rules- Denver

I started Crossing the Line: Artists at Work (CLAW) because I wanted to educate people on the power of quilts. For more than a year, I have tried to get into university galleries with no luck. It has been a major frustration. It goes to show how much work still needs to be done to get people to understand that quilts are not just for the bed.

Women Who Broke All the Rules was at the Denver Quilt Festival IX (May 1-4). The Daily Blog (Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims) had a slide show about the show. The sign for our exhibit is the first image which I find confusing because only two of the quilts were shown- Kathy Schmidt's "Bloomers" and Vivien Zepf's "Behind Barbed Wire"were shown and at the end. Regardless, I am thrilled that Lilo who reported on the show like our exhibit which deals with women throughout history who made a difference. If you know a place that might be interested in showing these quilts, please let me know.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Northern Lake County Quilters' Guild

Travel is like a good, challenging book: it demands presentness --
 the ability to live completely in the moment, 
absorbed in the words or vision of reality before you. - Robert Kaplan 

Giving my lecture "Connecting Cultures: An American Artist's Pilgrimage" to the Northern Lake County Quilters' Guild tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Antioch Township Center located at Grass Lake Road and Deep Lake Road. If you are in the area, I would love to see you. I am excited. It is great to be lecturing often again.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The world is but a canvas to the imagination. 
                            -Henry David Thoreau

Life is still in crazy mode for me. Too much to do and not enough time to get it done. I had the best time in Rockford. It is where I discovered these upside down trees decorated with the changing seasons and time. I was told that when the road was under construction, the trees wore hard hats. How cool is that! I truly want to thank the Sinnissippi Quilters for their kind embrace.  

First Friday at ClaySpace was also a lot of fun. I invited a group from a nearby retirement community and they came. They were so much fun- lots of great questions and great stories. I hope they come again.

On Saturday, I traveled to Batavia for the first Chicago Suburban Arts Conference. I was able to network with organizations and businesses from three counties. I hope some meaningful relationships were made. I am so thankful to Water Street Studios in Geneva/Batavia for organizing the conference. Janet Carl Smith's keynote speech on collaboration and advocacy was full of food for thought. She has agreed to send it to us electronically which will help greatly in my processing of all the information that she imparted.   El Puebla Modern Mexican had incredible guacamole. I look forward to participating in next year's conference. How have you collaborated?