Wednesday, March 31, 2010


OK I did it.

Moreover my work was well received and I managed not to stutter or drop things!

Yay me!

I have been asked to check back around Mothers Day as that will be the next time she will be changing things up in the store and looking for some fresh work.

She liked the stick and stone pieces the best. That is kind of exciting as they are such a new subject for me.

So now I'd better get busy and finish a couple more of them.

Tomorow I will post on the overdyes... interesting results.

This is a huge weight off of me

it also makes me feel more ready to try to push my boundaries in some other ways.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sales Call

Tomorrow I will be visiting a local artisan gallery to show them some of my work. I have been trying to get to this point for 3 months. Missed calls, schedual conflicts, you name it, plus some minor breakdowns on my part...

You might say I'm not a natural salesperson, in fact I regard the breed with a bit of suspicion. I've experienced too many who are callous and mercenary.

I am uninterested in developing either of those qualities in myself.

I also tend to take rejection personally even when it clearly isn't.

Add to that a tendency to undervalue myself, and a lack of clarity regarding my objectives and you can see why this isn't my strongest suit.

So sticking this out and finally getting myself an appointment is a Big Deal to me.

I've been warned that they aren't presently buying but I want to get myself positioned/available for the next seasonal cycle if I can.

So my objectives are clear for the moment

1 show the items I have that I think fit in their array

2 find out when they do the next round of purchasing so I can send them an update of items they might like

3 smile and be engaging :)

Thats it,

I think I can manage, sort of the Kaizen approach to dealing with salesphobia...

And in other news I did the overdye tonight so we will see what happens with that too!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Nothin to Lose

Going back into the dye with this one...

It can't get uglier,

can it?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Missed a post

Well I missed posting yesterday. I was a bad combination of busy and lazy, so I don't have much to show for myself.
For the moment I thought I'd just post a link to Fiber.Art.Wales. an incredible group of artists weavers, felters and shiborists
Very inspiring!
Maybe I can get myself a bit more inspired too!

Friday, March 26, 2010

It snuck in there...

I didn't realize until this evening that this stone I started wrapping the other day is sort of an ombre too...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Beauty of Numbers

OK I admit I grew up math phobic. Not exactly unusual amongst the arty set. For a long time I thought I was kind of limited in that regard. As I've gotten older I have developed a respect for math especially algebra, and I use it alot in recipes and planning designs. I'm over it, I know what I need to know and I have an inkling of the abstract beauty of numbers. I really think I just need to learn math in a different way than it is commonly taught in our public school system. I seem to require visual aids, I resist memorization (massively) but I have no problem with the abstraction and am rather intuitive in some regards.

I think it is one of the reasons I'm attracted to patterns especially naturally found ones.

I grew up with a dad who was a chemistry PHD, and fascinated by computers and electronics... he was not math phobic. He was also the person in my family who shared my love of animation with me... He is still with me but far away and unable to get out to animation festivals, Parkinson's disease is slowly taking it all away from him.

so I give you this link in honor of him.

I found it over at Lines and Colors (highly recommended)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Experiments in Ombre Part Ugh

Have I mentioned before that the Dye Gods are capricious?
I was all confident that I pwned this Ombre thing... Ha!
Here you will see my folly

This piece was folded at 3 angles I was hoping for an isolated motif that diminished into white.
I got an UGLY symetrical blob

This was straightforward, vertically pleated fabric. The dye didn't wick into the fabric far or evenly and it haloed jarringly. I used leftover burgundy dye for these and that is probably part of the problem. Reds can be "stiff" with a resistance to penetrating the fabric at the best of times. Week old dye is not the "best of times". The true yuck of the haloing doesn't truly show in this picture, the red is ugly, like crime scene ugly, and it is surrounded by vivid blue and stained white... Burgundy is a complex mix of colors and the blue in it obviously has a greater affinity to the fabric than the other colors in it.

Here I thought I would try to get a diagonal line fading to white on either side. This is what is called a waste of fabric or a learning experience depending on your mood.
I'm not done yet though... however I think I will try to approach this again with a little more care, fresh dye, and a different color choice.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Experiments in Ombre Part 1

Been noticing ombre everywhere lately, it is Very Trendy.
I've never tried making it before but I understand the theory:
Hang fabric with one edge in dye and allow the color to wick into the fabric creating a gradient.
Easy Peasy right?
I figure I will try some variations on it...
To begin I pleated my fabric into a long strip then cross pleated it in a staggered design, each pleat a little shorter than the one before

I clamped it using some bits of plastic cut out of a takeout container and squeezy clamps.

Next I suspended the edge with the largest cross pleats into activated dye

Uh oh, this is what it looked like when I took it out the next morning. Maybe I left it in too long, it looks as though I completely lost the white.

Wrong! it looks cool!
The clamping and folding have distorted the eveness with which the dye soaked into the fabric
creating the spikes.
I did get the gradient to work and the pleating made each band of dye narrower as planned.
It is creating an illusion of moving back into the horizon...
On to the next experiment!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Selected Thoughts

I fell out of the blogging rhythm again. Its easy to do when you are busy and then all the thoughts sort of back up... too many things to talk about.
I spent a week and a little getting my production run done. A few odd thoughts

Tie dye/Dyeing has many things in common with old fashioned "housework" it is labor intensive

Although I consider myself a feminist and hope to be an artist, to my secret shame I like housework and simple tasks (although not exclusively) I can get pleasure from doing simple repetitive tasks well if I'm not worried about efficiency or money

There is spiritual worth to be found in simple labor, and our society has lost sight of the worth of working with ones hands.

Studio space matters, as does having the proper equipment. I've messed my back up a bit working on tables that are 10 inches too low.

While I am of the opinion that daylight savings time is pointless, I was happy to see more light in the afternoon. My rock art took on the appearance of an alien creature temporarily

I got back to the beach again... guess what I picked up?

Spring has sprung up with surprising speed in my yard. My earliest bloomers are back!
Tonight I will be experimenting again with a new idea/technique so I should have something to talk about tomorrow!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

New Colors

Well here they are, these are the new colorways.
I worked all day on more of some older designs.
Tired, time to rest now...
Tie dyeing in quantity is surprisingly physical work!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A New Color

I'm trying a new color mix and style, doesn't really look like much yet does it?
I will be washing them out tomorrow, I expect they will be more interesting then.
We had beautiful weather here today so my plans to shut myself in the cellar and fold/dye shirts got a little subverted with airing out the house and sitting in the sun with the dog for a little while. I did get some of it done and I will be folding and dyeing like crazy tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Pile Number One

Well this is what my weekend will be looking like.
I am embarking on a large production run of my inventory.
Mostly old stuff but I'm tossing in some new designs.
I just spent an hour and a half getting the studio set up. My studio shares space with the garage, the exercise area and the laundry area (AKA the cellar). Since I don't use the space every day I find the area becomes porus absorbing the runoff from other activities... plus last time out I left a mess by not cleaning up after myself.
Note to self: it is alot easier to clean up thickener when its fresh.

Anyhow I'm now ready to go!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Another experiment with burnt Shibori on rice paper.
I have to say that one of the most appealing things about shibori is the textures that the manipulated fibers take on.
I eventually will return to heat setting fibers...
I have ideas percolating through me.
In the meantime check out this!
Its inspiring me to get back to the heat setting sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More Wrapping

This is something I was working on before life got me sidetracked.
Intstead of wrapping the stone and then attaching it to the background I thought I'd experiment with the wrapping anchoring the stone.
Kind of a spiderweb effect...
Fine filaments trapping and wrapping.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom

Grandma Hazel Sorensen's pearls. A recent gift to me from my stepmother on my visit to Wisconsin.
They are lovely, a gift to Grandma from Grandpa, I don't know if they were for some particular occasion or not.
It seems an uncharacteristically extravagant gift for Grandpa who I always knew as frugal and suspicious of luxury. This side of the family has passed along a distrust of risk and a strong need for security, something which I'm both grateful for and resentful of.
I value the concept of not living beyond one's means, being a "responsible" adult as it were.
However that same coin has another side I often choose the safe path and talk myself out of the frivolous adventures life presents in the name of being sensible.
Honestly though, its just an excuse. Lets face it, I'm just afraid to leap without a net.
I wonder where I might go if I let go of that excuse?