Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Installation Art?

With the upcoming "Wrap it Up, Already" Installation Exhibition by Philadelphia Fiber Artist, K. Pannepacker, we've asked a lot of our friends, family, and people in the community to give us their used wrapping paper, New Years resolutions, and To-Do lists. To which the response always seems to be, "What exactly is installation art?"

According to Wikipedia, “Installation art describes an artistic genre of site-specific, three-dimensional works designed to transform the perception of a space. Installation art can be either temporary or permanent. Installation artworks have been constructed in exhibition spaces such as museums and galleries, as well as public- and private spaces. The genre incorporates a very broad range of everyday and natural materials, which are often chosen for their evocative qualities….”

All made of plastic railway tracks you get as a toy set!
Paramodel's exhibition at Kyoto Art Center in Kyoto, 2005.
Photo by Seiji Toyonaga © Kyoto Art Center.
Paramodel are Yasuhiko Hayashi and Yusuke Nakano,
an artist duo from Eastern Osaka.

Or maybe Dictionary.reference.com's definition will be better:

Installation Art: Art that is created, constructed, or installed on the site where it is exhibited, often incorporating materials or physical features on the site.

Installation by Myanmar artist Nyo Win Maung,
in Installation Art Workshop series I at NICA,
2003, Yangon, Myanmar

So put on your imagination hat for a minute, and visualize with me. Let's pretend we're going to create an installation piece. We'll use all four walls, the ceiling and the floor in this example, to create our art. People will literally walk through or maybe even on our creation. We'll hang art on the walls, art will dangle from the ceiling, and perhaps sit on pedestals on the floor. Maybe we'll add a few touches that we create off-site, such as life-sized figures or sculptural elements to add to the wall space. We might paint on the walls, or cover them with other materials. In other words, in this imaginary installation, the entire room will become our work of art.

This is only one example of what an installation piece could look like. Like everything art related, there are many ways an artist might create an installation, or interpret the definition of installation art. Installation pieces can be created inside or outside. An installation piece is not limited to a room; it could merely take up a corner. It could be a repetitive object that fills one area, such as one or two walls, rather than the whole room. It can occupy and interact with the out of doors. The only limitation is the imagination, and possibly the physical aspects of the installation location.

We're not entirely sure what K. Pannepacker will do with our gallery, plus your wrapping paper, resolutions, and to-do lists. She'll be creating her installation on-location just days before the Opening Reception. Just like waking up and finding gifts inexplicably appearing under the Christmas tree, this show will be a bit of a mystery until the last moment. I'm looking forward with great anticipation to the unveiling.

So if you'd like to participate with us, please send us, or drop off, your left over wrapping paper, New Years Resolutions (anonymous please!) and To-do lists Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 to 2:00 PM for Wrap it Up, Already!

some things looming
526 washington st
reading pa 19601


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Handmade Holidays

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go...

Especially at 'some things looming' where you can find unique, handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts!

Special Holiday Hours:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday - Friday: 11am-2pm
Friday Eve: 6-8pm
Saturday: 12-8 pm
Sunday December 12, ONLY: 12-5

For more details visit our website at www.somethingslooming.com

Friday, November 5, 2010

Featured Artist: Barbara ZuaZua

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Barbara ZuaZua from Douglasville, PA.


About the piece:


On the other side,
The dawn mirrors our dusk.
Sadness and grief are released.

Immortality realized,
My love awaits me

On the other side,
The dawn mirrors our dusk.
Sadness and grief are released.

Immortality realized,
My love awaits me

B.Zuazua written 1999"

Immortality, detail

Artist Statement/Biography: Most of my quilts are driven by emotion. "Discected" was driven by intense grief and anger. Most are driven love that is bursting forth. With any extreme of emotion, it fights to be expressed.

Currently I'm exploring more technical designing instead of following emotional inspiratations and pictorial quilts.


Building a foundation from the traditional style of quiltmaking, years of drawing and painting, and her woodworking style shows a logical progression to the studio quilts of Barbara Zuazua.

In the first few years, she worked with the basics of geometric shapes in designing her own quilt patterns and taught quilting at Pottstown Sewing and Crafts. Meanwhile she had been playing with the possibilities of combining several art mediums into her studio quilts and developing a voice in her artwork.

Since 2005, her quilts and dolls have been accepted in several shows, exhibits, and publications.

Currently Barbara is represented by The Gallery On High, Pottstown, Pa. She teaches at the Gallery School, is forming a free quilt making class for seniors at a retirement community, and is entering juried art competition



Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Featured Artist: Leslie Sudock

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Leslie Sudock from Philadelphia, PA.

Arashi Vessel #1

About the piece: Arashi Vessel #1 is the first in a series of experiments, both in knitting and resist dyeing. I knit the vessel using 28-gauge bare copper wire with nearly a dozen 5” double point needles. The vessel was then subjected to two sessions with non-ferrous metal patina dyes. Traditional Japanese Arashi resist technique consists of wrapping, compressing and tying cotton fabric around a large pole before dyeing. The tight wrapping with string produces the wonderful striation that characterizes Arashi textiles. I applied this process to my knitted vessel to the extent possible: the vessel was twice compressed and bound with thick cotton cord before being “dyed” with special metal patina solutions. The technique produced subtle creases and colored layers and converted the copper knitted jug to a geological structure that gently resists its origins.

Arashi Vessel #1, detail

Arashi Vessel #1, top, detail

Artist Statement/Biography: Needlework of one kind or another has been a part of my life since early childhood: my grandmother taught me to crochet and sew on her treadle machine in the cellar, and a kind neighbor gave me my first pair of knitting needles to ease me through illness when my parents were on holiday. Since then, my hands have been perpetually engaged with making. Indeed, the collection of afghans, quilts, sweaters and vests stacked in my closets and drawers map my journey through high school (with special permission from teachers and principal), university, graduate and law school; my life as a young mother was charted by caps, booties, mittens, scarves and cardigans.

I have always been fascinated by the fibers, techniques and structures of knitting; Scandinavian stranded color work sweaters in 9th grade history class, intricate Aran pullovers in Philosophy seminars, and complex mohair lace vests in Constitutional Law lectures. So I suppose it was natural enough when - after an extended foray into the three-dimensional world of sock and felted shoes - my work turned sculptural.

The discovery of knittable copper wire a few years ago has enabled me to explore the intersection of knitted textiles and vessel forms. I've decided I must have been a potter in a previous life. A recent opportunity to study traditional Japanese shibori resist techniques in Massachusettes, and some unexpected conversations with an open-minded master blacksmith in North Carolina, has enabled me to test the limits of my needles.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Featured Artist: Mary Stoudt

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Mary Stoudt from Reinholds, PA.

Vintage Gold Circle

About the Piece: I create my art quilts looking through a lens informed by decades of experimenting with a wide variety of art media, manely photography, printmaking, ceramics, weaving, collage, bookmaking, and sculpture, etc.

To begin an art piece I imagine a basic composition in my head concentrating on color and form, and then work intuitively through each piece. As I progress through the quilt, I improvise, perhaps like a jazz musician would.

Vintage Gold Totem

Sometimes, I give myself quilt assignments such as, "See how big you can make a quilt', or "use wool and cotton together" or "see how many layers you can add to make a quilt. Some of my quilt creations could be put into categories such as color studies, storytelling, or optical illusions.

About the Artist: Since the 70's I have been stitching, weaving, making paper, creating mixed media all to create diverse works some of which have been described by critics as being whimsical and spiritual. In 2003 I started layering fabric in a grid-like fashion. Simply put, I visualize the quilt composition , its colors and forms in my head and then as I move through the process, I improvise the details. For certain pieces, I make an actual size pattern as I move through the process, but I introduce new elements while using the pattern. I love the warmth, the flexibility, the play of color and textures of quilt making.

Here is a mixed list of my favorite artists and other inspirations:

Paul Klee . Gees Bend Quilters . Pennsylvania Mountains, Fields . Traveling . Andy Goldsworthy . Red Grooms . Blues Music . NY times Sunday paper . Gustav Klimpt . Oiseaux Sisters . Joseph Cornell . Fabric Stores . Frank Gehry . Audrey Flack . Childhood Memories . My family . Hundertwasser . NPR . Goggleworks . Literature


Friday, October 29, 2010

Featured Artist: Lee Harper Schultz

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Lee Harper Schultz from Lansdowne, PA.

Cloister Rose

About the piece: The work titled Cloister Rose includes some use of resist done in the early color foundation of this work where folding, stamping, tie dying and other ways of limiting the coloration were used. The work was then used as a base for my stitching techniques where many layers of cloth, machine and hand stitching overlap in a partial woven, layering manner. Cloister Rose started years ago with a cloth cut to make a tactile picture of the cloister of the garden in front of my Art room at Overbrook. This last spring I was cleaning the room and was moved by the sudden death of a colleague to finish the piece thinking of her. The roses in the cloister were particularly beautiful this past May and June.

Cloister Rose, detail

Home Again

About the Piece: Recently I found an older sampler from a Stitchery class that I had in college in 1970. It had been sitting in my parent’s home for many years partly folded in my mother’s sewing room where I had originally made the piece using hand and machine embroidery. This old work has been reinvented with additional machine stitches and for the Simply Irresistible show I have added handspun silk threads that were tie dyed to complete this project. Much of the cloth has the patina of tie die and differences in the effect of light can be seen on some of the pieces of cloth as they have survived in time. In this case some of the resist is that the material was folded and light over time has affected the color of the cloth. Now that it has been cut apart and reassembled, I added machine and handspun tie dyed threads to complete the work. Because of the influence from an earlier time when I was living in my parent’s home, it is named “Home Again”. I consider TIME to be one of the RESISTS affecting this cloth.

Home Again, detail

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Featured Artist: Sophie Sanders

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Sophie Sanders from Philadelphia, PA.

Rhythm, Re-presentation, and Remembrance

About the Piece: My multimedia installation "Rhythm, Re-presentation, and Remembrance,"" mimics the form of a monumental West African drum (a djembe). It celebrates the drum as a symbol of our most essential form of music, and one that is closest to the human heart beat. Using influence from West African textiles, I tie dyed the silk ""skins"" with patterns and layered them with images of dancers. A sound element inside the installation includes music and spoken word by dancers, musicians, and members of my family and community.

Rhythm, Re-presentation, and Remembrance, detail

Rhythm, Re-presentation, and Remembrance, detail

Artist Statement/Biography: Using a blade as my paintbrush, I cut and collage textile images in a process which I call "textured fabric relief." In these works, I translate movement, rhythm, and emotion from my study of African dances into painted and incised gestures.

In a variety of visual media, I am exploring aspects of layered identity and constructs of beauty, which are inherent problems in figurative art.



Monday, October 25, 2010

Featured Artist: Constance Rose

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Constance Rose from Fortuna, CA.

Urban Ikat

About the piece: This quilt was the outgrowth of an experiment I did last fall, doing several shibori dye baths with different Dharma Procion Black dyes. The variations in the dyed colors -- greenish, bluer, blacker -- are the effects of different dyes. I'm also very attracted to Ikat, and I've woven fabric with painted warp Ikat designs. The long strips of the dyed fabrics reminded me so much of Ikat, that the quilt feels like a new take on the concept.

Urban Ikat, detail

Going in Circles

About the Piece: I love discharged fabrics and I love working monochromatically. After printing the digital image of rolls of paper on fabric, this quilt practically begged to be made. I really wanted the central image to really pop, and beading was the way to do that. The beading took far longer than the quilting, but the piece wouldn't be the same without the addition of those stunning glass beads.

Going in Circles, detail

Artist Statement/Biography: Texture excites me - both the way fiber surfaces feel to the touch, and the visual orchestration of pattern, color, line, shape, and form. As a surface designer, I am highly intrigued with the serendipitous patterns created on fabric by dyeing, printing, and discharging. The foundations of my studio quilting are working with wholecloth fabrics, or with stitched or digitally printed fabrics. I am fascinated with overall graphic patterns that make a statement or have a bold presence. I lean toward to muted colors and asymmetrical shapes that evoke the organic natural world.

My inspirations include the natural world, the florescence of Art Nouveau and Victoriana, the stylized and repetitive geometrics of Art Deco and ancient Egyptian designs, Native American and ethnic tribal patterns, and the Arts & Crafts and Craftsman styles in functional and decorative arts and architecture.




Friday, October 22, 2010

Featured Artist: Kiki Revoir

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Kiki Revoir from Angwin, CA.

About the pieces: I find the vibrant color and distinctive individuality of ethnic costume really exciting. Making one of a kind wearables lets you make design decisions as you work, enabling you to use the ""happy accidents"" that occur. For example the fabric used in Red Jacket came out of the dye bath with its selvedges felted and puckered . I used this on the upper edge of the sleeve.

These three pieces were all stitch resisted using a shibori technique known as mokume ""wood grain"". Parallel rows of thread are basted into the fabric and are then pulled up tight gathering the cloth up against itself. The whole piece is then submerged into a hot dye bath. Once the wool is dry the stitches are cut and pulled out leaving cloth that is irregularly ""pleated"" and dyed.

Red jacket is made with a medium weight, creamy white melton wool, stitch resisted and dried crimson. Dyed areas range from deep crimson to raspberries bleeding into cream. Elastic in casings at the waist pull in the side seams. Inside are two small pockets for ID/cash/keys. The front facing and collar are lined with a shirred silk, hems are finished by removing thread to create a small fringe. Dry clean only."

Mustard Scarf - pale khaki tropical weight wool has been stitch resisted and dyed a rich mustard yellow. The ends of this piece have curved in upon themselves. I attached aubergine felt balls attached at both ends to accentuate this adding to the scarf's bounce. Dry clean only.

The Chartreuse Hat fabric started with jacket weight ivory wool stitch resisted and dyed a forest green teal. Once dried and the threads removed, the whole piece was vat dyed a pale limey yellow, transforming ivory and forest green teal into burgundy and chartreuse. The China silk lining was then dyed to match. Gently hand wash. Dry Clean recommended.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Featured Artist: Tanya Prather

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Tanya Prather from Nashua, NH.

About the piece: "Season’s Shadows: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall came out of a series of explorations that were inspired by the natural prints of leaves that appear on sidewalks every year. As I walk, I appreciate the subtle changes of season, taking in details around me. Each autumn, I notice these leaf prints begin to emerge around me and marvel at their simple beauty captured in the natural environment, seemingly unnoticed by others. My mind is curious to the perfect combination of conditions - water, leaf, acidity, time, surface - that allow these prints into being, capturing the individual leaf images as the tannins press and seep into the concrete.

This curiosity was the springboard for a succession of experiments in my studio, seeing if I could capture leaf prints onto other surfaces – various kinds of silk and paper – and exploring a variety of leaves. There were many variables and I wanted to understand the impact they had on the final image. As I was able to create rich fields of pattern, I began to layer over them with techniques of both soy and traditional wax resist with acid dyes. I observed how subtleties in density and texture as well as color profoundly changed my perception and emotion of season related to the leaf images. Based on that sense of transformation, this quadtych is a representation of the constant changing of seasons – a mere moment, a feeling, a memory, as the passage is far too illusory to capture."

Season's Shadows, details

Artist Statement/Bio: Although I've worked in many forms of media, I've been drawn to fiber in recent years because it engages more of the senses. It is not only visual, but tactile. Fiber utilizes the same principles of design as other mediums, but the results are manifested through a process that is both planned and organic, and the aspect of texture takes on a much larger role. My goal with any fiber piece is that it should be so compelling that the viewer not only looks at it, but has an insatiable need to touch and feel it.

My work in silk, exploring Rozome and natural leaf dying, has led me to create wearables for the first time. I've found this compelling because it allows one to be physically wrapped in art, rather than viewing art as something separate from self- something that hangs on a wall. Most of my imagery, if specific, is inspired by nature. I can hardly walk down the street without becoming engrossed by the patterns of leaves on the sidewalk, the intricacies of lichen on a fallen tree trunk, or the play of shadows as light filters through the branches of a tree onto the lawn. My mind is constantly caught up in the subtlety of pattern and form, even in seemingly mundane environments.

In the past year, I've begun integrating felting into the silk, which has added a much more dimensional quality. I've become fascinated by the possibilities of Nuno felting because it allows disparate materials to be fused together seamlessly. I most often use protein fibers - silk and wool - bust sometimes integrate rayon, polyester, linen or cotton when a "found" piece of cloth captures my interest. I enjoy cutting scraps from old clothing, re-purposing things that have been tossed aside - making unlikely matches and marveling at the results. Recycled cloth provides a broad palette of textures, patterns, colors, and weights, and because it comes with a history of its own, I find it more intriguing and thought-provoking than fabric taken off the shelf.

I like combining these diverse sources of fiber, as well as a variety of processes with dye and resist to constantly test the boundaries -how something can be made exquisitely sheer, or startling dense and lush. Defining the conditions, directing the pieces, and then allowing magic to happen as fibers, dye or other materials meld together and create something wholly new is a process that drives me to continue generating new work.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Featured Artist: Susan Clarke Plumb

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Susan Clarke Plumb from Doylestown, PA.

Bubble Gum Cha-Cha

About the piece: The dyed silk that I used for this project suggested the subject matter. The colors were playful and fluid and the effect of the resist provided unexpected opportunities to experiment with the fabric. I chose to incorporate some traditional weaving to establish a sense of rhythm, repetition and melody. This work was a particularly fun piece to complete since it allowed for the manipulation of fabric with the smooth, creamy texture of silk and the amazing serendipity of color.

Cry Me A River

About the piece: This work began with the resist dying and painting of two rectangular silk scarves. The length of the finished fabric suggested such free associations such quiet, flowing water moving randomly and mixing colors in unexpected ways. I wanted to experiment with cutting and twisting the slippery fabric and as I began to create strips I saw expressiveness in fabric that could have been flowing tears. The addition of the bead work helped to establish the idea of actual tears as the travel down the face, seemingly unstoppable.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Featured Artist: Maryanne McDevitt

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Maryanne Mc Devitt from Ambler, PA.

baby wrapped in love

About the piece: My blanket version "G" is designed for a strong female. The colors are not pale, although they are feminine and show off how much I love creating beautiful things for new little ones. Welcome, baby!

baby wrapped in love

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Featured Artist: Mary Mortenson

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Mary Mortenson from Minneapolis, MN.

About the pieces: I am intrigued with resist dyeing and enjoy experimenting with any technique, material or tool that will create patterning on cloth.

Two of these pieces were part of a series done on a plastic cone retrieved from a weaver‘s studio. The conical shape and perforations created complex patterning that was enhanced by wrapping in the opposite direction when over dyeing “Shimmer”.
Teinturier, Trouvaille

Monday, October 11, 2010

Featured Artist: Kachina Martin

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Kachina Martin from Adamstown, PA.

About the piece: "The stretched yardage is the result of various experiments with dyeing and discharging, allowing colors to blend and fade, creating a visual texture that transcends pattern. All three pieces were subjected to the same process and dyes, yet each was bound differently; the minor variations in binding, dyeing times, and discharging created three distinct but visually coherent pieces. I have chosen to display the three pieces as part of a larger whole to illustrate the responsiveness of the process to even the most subtle changes.

Much of my work is wearable, and the pieces on display in the boutique also utilize shibori, as well as pieces of vintage fabric. I feel strongly that the wearability of my work enhances its depth and beauty. That the work will be worn is significant, indeed essential, to its artistic value. It is when the work is worn—when the wearer imbues it with her own sense of style and integrates it into her daily life—that the work truly comes to life."

Artist Statement/Biography:

Kachina Martin is an educator and fiber artist based in Adamstown, PA - which, as a nearby billboard famously attests, is "known for antiques and hats." She is a member of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, which recently awarded her state juried status. Her work is carried in several boutiques and has been featured in a number of juried shows.

She earned a B.A. in English and French with an Art History minor at Albright College; she received her Master's in Art History from Temple University. Kachina has also studied fiber arts at the Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts, the University of the Arts, Touchstone Center for Crafts, and Cannon Hill Studios.

In addition to her work as a public educator, Kachina has also lectured at St. Francis University, Albright College, La Salle University, Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, and Temple University.

For further information, please visit www.howlingruth.com.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Featured Artist: Maryann Laverty

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Maryann Laverty from Narberth, PA.

Obi #1

About the piece: "A couple of years ago, while dyeing with indigo, I used metal clamps to secure the folds on a felted wool scarf. Moisture from the dye bath caused the ""stainless steel"" clamps to rust leaving marks on the wool scarf. After initial disappointment I came to see the result as something quite beautiful.

obi #1

The piece in this show is the first in a group of felted pieces using rust resist. Rather than using the process directly on the wool, I have rust-resisted a few yards of silk fabric using vinegar and old nails and then letting it sit in the sun for at least 24 hours. The silk was then cut and folded and cut again using a combination of origami folding and cutting. These cut-outs were laid out on wool with silk backing and wet felted."

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Featured Artist: Cassie Jones

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Cassie Jones from Harleysville, PA.

Resistance, Detail (pre-resist)

"This piece is a direct literary resist against the deterioration of Americans forests. We are quickly diminishing the size of what forests are left in America. More specifically though the paper industry is the number one consumer of forests in the Southern United States. They distribute five million acres of forest each year according to the Environmental Paper Network.

The Paper Network is an organization that realizes the need for reform in the area of paper production. Something needs to be done before it is too late to turn back. I have assembled this piece in hopes to spread this awareness, and together we can find a better option to destroying our forests and their wildlife."Resistance

Monday, October 4, 2010

Featured Artist: Lynette Holmes

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Lynette Holmes from Fernindana, FL.

About the Piece: "Hibiscus is one of a trilogy of Asian inspired handwoven wall scrolls. The yarns were first painted with dye in simplified Ikat, then woven with a supplementary warp, pleated and dyed.

Using drawings of my garden plants, I cut a stencil of the hibiscus, printed the image on the handwoven fabric and embellished with stitching."

Friday, October 1, 2010

Featured Artist: Karen Henderson

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Karen Henderson from Montpelier, VT.
Fireflies and Dew

About the piece: "This piece, like many of my works, was created over a long period of time. I started weaving “Fireflies and Dew” on my loom when I was living in New Jersey, and wove it off right before we moved to Vermont. I didn’t work on the piece for some time, while I got settled into my new space.

Fireflies and Dew, detail

Techniques used in this piece are: dye, batik, shibori, color removal, and stitching. There is a lot of back and forth when I’m trying to achieve the effects and colors that I’m envisioning for a piece. When I decide to cut one of my weavings, as here in this piece, that’s always a leap of faith; knowing or hoping that another texture will better push it to the resolution I’m seeking.

For me this piece symbolizes transitions; either big like a move to a new place, or small like the daily transition of dusk into night…when the fireflies come out and the dew drops to the earth. Pathways and rivers represent time and journeys, but also a consistency amongst change. Dusk is a subtly changing moment extended. Fireflies are fleeting, like time…Dew evaporates. So all of these things I hope to capture in this piece, and provide the viewer with that sense of calm and wonder that nature gives to us whether we notice it or not."

Artist Statement/Biography: In my work, I am interested in the connections between self, place, emotion and time. Seasons, atmospheres and the time of day intrigue me. I try to recreate these natural occurrences, evoking emotions that I associate with them through the use of color, line and texture.

I use different dye techniques (batik, shibori, rust print, color removal) as well as sewing with my weavings and fabric pieces. I draw lines by stitching with thread. Dimension is added with tucks, layers, or other manipulations of fabric. The lines suggest landscape or other aspects of nature. most of the techniques I choose to use are very contemplative, encouraging introspection; other processes are spontaneous and unpredictable. I try to find a balance between the two approaches, trying to capture those ephemeral, fleeting moments of time.


Originally from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Karen Henderson now resides in the beautiful Green Mountain state of Vermont. She learned weaving and print design in the textile design program at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been shown in high-end craft shows and both national and international exhibits, as well as published in TheGuild Sourcebook of Residential Art #6 , and in Fiberarts, Surface Design Journal, and Selvedge magazines. This year, Karen's work has been featured in the book, "1000 Artisan Textiles" by Sandra Salamony and Gina M. Brown.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Featured Artist: Ayn Hanna

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Ayn Hanna from Ft Collins, CO.

Tangled Web #1

About the pieces: I started these tangled web textile paintings in early 2010. They emerged as I was doodling and day dreaming and they have been another exploration of techniques – resists, fabric paints, and paint sticks. I created the “webbed” imagery through application of multiple layers of resists (both painted on and physical objects laid on) and fabric paints as well as paint sticks. I didn’t take any in-process photos as I was too wrapped up in “the doing” and forgot to, but I think I’ll have more opportunity to do so in the future because this technique seemed so natural to me, I’m sure I’ll be doing more with it. I like the contrast of the rich textured dark painted/resisted web drawings with the subtle light valued, airy border fabric which are pieces of my own hand-dyed fabric.

With these pieces especially, I am discovering that the imagery and “feel” or idea I have of my emerging subject matter seems to drive the techniques for realization of the finished work. Each piece becomes what it needs to be. I have completed 2 (Tangled Webs #1 and #4) of the initial 4 pieces in the series, and I’m still working through my own understanding of them, but they are very intriguing to me, and have some importance. They are in some ways a parallel to what I’m feeling with my career right now too. I have many questions that I am contemplating right now and I am feeling my way to discovering my next self.

Tangled Web #4

Artist Statement/Biography: From as early as I can remember, I've always loved to draw, paint, and make marks. I am attracted to artwork that shows the artist's hand - drawing is a very important aspect of my work. The physical kinetic process of making things and seeing a work develop form my own hands is also very pleasing to me.

I enjoy learning and working in multiple mediums - clay and wood sculpture, fine art printmaking such as etching and woodcut, artist books, and most recently, art quilting. Working in one medium often informs or suggests ideas to be realized in another medium. I am currently experimenting with ways to combine some of my printmaking processes and effects (including resist techniques) with the textile medium, bringing the kind of mark-making associated with printmaking to my art quilts.

My work is inspired first by strong visual elements and then, by uncovering more of my own thoughts and feelings about the subject, as I play with the medium and processes to achieve a finished work. Each new piece generates more ideas to explore within the process and also helps me learn more about myself.


Ayn is a printmaker and textile artist. Her subject matter includes imagery from the natural world as well as abstract compositions informed by her dreams. She achieves a sense of wholeness in her expression by including personal imagery from both her external and internal world. Her work is an exploration of media and processes as well as ideas, with the underlying elements of strong composition, rich texture, layers, patterns, and color as foundational supports.

Formally trained as a professional fine art printer, Ayn began exploring the textile medium in 2005, when she was first introduced to art quilting/textile painting. She is currently focusing on art quilting/textile painting while experimenting with bringing some of the processes of her printmaking background to the textile medium.

Ayn was born and raised in the Midwest and moved to Colorado to attend college. She earned both a BFA in Graphic Design and a MFA degree in Printmaking and Sculpture from Colorado State University. After graduate school, she moved to New York City, and spent several years working as a professional Fine Art Printer in a Master Printmaking Studio, making etching prints with many accomplished contemporary artists.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Featured Artist: Janet Hadingham

During the eight weeks of 'simply irRESISTible' we'll focus on individual artists here on our blog. Every week, three artists will be featured. Today, we're pleased to introduce to you: Janet Hadingham from Wayland, MA.

String Theory

About the Piece: This piece is the result of a science experiment of sorts. I had a theory that string could act, not only as a resist, but as a mark-making tool,… that is, if I were to load the string with dye prior to using it to bind the fabric around the pole — in this case, a length of flexible vinyl duct, one of my favorite improvised tools because it leaves wavy lines suggesting ripples on water.
The Rose Window

About the Piece: On this length of dupion silk I used a similar set of folds and bindings for each stage of dyeing. I wanted the patterning from each layer to move in generally the same direction. After the third dye bath, I hung up the piece so that I could stand back and have a good long look at it. As I had hoped, the lines appeared to radiate from a central point somewhere off to the left of the piece, suggesting a larger rosette, only part of which was visible. Then it struck me: the memory of sitting inside the chapel at Mount Holyoke College, where soft afternoon light was filtering through the magnificent rose window.

Artist Statement/Biography: My work is a blend of ancient techniques and chance discoveries. I usually start by manipulating the cloth, using physical resist processes - binding, clamping, wrapping- derived from the Japanese shibori tradition. Compelled to innovate, I'm always on the look-out for discarded objects to clamp within the folds of my cloth, wondering what ghostly "resist" image it might leave behind.

I work in layers to build up color and pattern. Each piece goes through many stages, until I arrive at that moment when the cloth tells me it is finished. Washing out the dye and unraveling the wet fabric comes with the thrill of unwrapping a gift. I'm always surprised and mystified that an object so utilitarian as a C-clamp can leave so delicate a mark, like moth wings, repeating rhythmically through the folds.