Around Here Week 26

In honor of all the fireworks displays that will be set off on the 4th, here’s a botanical fireworks. I have no idea what this six foot tall plant is; most likely a weed, given its size. It could be fun to embroider the bursts of stalks that radiate from the center.

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3,500 Centuries of Glass In Six Hours

I can’t rave enough about the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. My husband and I toured it earlier this month, and expected to be there for about three hours. Instead we were immersed in glass, from its scientific and technical aspects to its artistry, and had to tear ourselves away late in the afternoon. The world renowned collection draws many visitors from abroad. A glass making demonstration we watched was simultaneously translated into Mandarin.

One display is indeed called 3,500 centuries of glass. If you’re a glass objects lover, then allow time for the research library and the Frederick Carder (manager of Steuben Glass for many years) gallery. For entertainment several live demonstrations are on offer, including breaking glass. Sorry, you can watch but not participate. You can also sign up to make glass yourself.

Corning itself seems a shadow of its former glory. It’s trying to get a hip downtown scene going in what’s called the Gaffer District, but how many pubs and massage/healing therapy places can a town support? Corning Glass, now called Corning Incorporated, is still headquartered there, though much of the manufacturing is done elsewhere. The modern headquarters building is behind one of the old entry gates.

But back to the glass. Here’s my highly curated selection of photos based on personal taste and how photogenic the pieces were. Glass reflects light so many of my photos show mostly the spotlights, not the object, despite having the flash turned off.

The above two images are from a special exhibit on Tiffany studio’s mosaic glass. Artisans worked up samples for commissioned works before doing the whole panel. The panels are gorgeous but not photogenic – at least not with my phone camera.

I didn’t note the artist for the above work, but it reminds me of time lapse videos that show seeds sprouting and swaying to catch the light.

The above won my “over the top ostentatious display of wealth” award.

A display case full of blue aurene glass, one of several thousand works designed by Frederick Carder, Steuben Glass Works manager from 1903-1932. The gallery is separate from the main museum, but is worth the short walk to reach it. My first response to this case was holy crap! Then I went on to the other cases and lost the power of speech.

If you visit, and I hope you do, I recommend you arrive right at 9 a.m. when the museum opens. The crowds build towards the afternoon. And they really love to shop.

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Around Here Week 25

This week’s posts are drawn from my recent trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York. Here’s the view from the tasting room at the Lamoreaux Landing winery by Seneca Lake in Lodi, New York. Pretty sweet. It seems ready made for a landscape quilt.

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The Good and the Bad, With A Side of Ugly

I said I’d show the fabric I dyed at my Sue Benner workshop, but let me warn you my results aren’t swoon worthy. Painting with dye can be tricky. The reds will gallop ahead and take over any space they can. The turquoises will be shy and often show up very late. Spray bottles will be temperamental and drop blobs where you want a haze. Thickening the dye helps, but it can be difficult for a neophyte to gauge how thin or thick a line a squeeze bottle will draw. My point is often you won’t know what you’ll get until you wash and dry the fabric.

I’ll begin with fabrics that began as black painted or monoprinted on fabric. A second pass added color.

In the above I splodged on black from a squeeze bottle and dragged a comb through it. After it sat for a few hours I put a vinyl bathmat under the fabric and rollered on several colors of dye.

In this one I applied the black to the tile board with a paint brush, dragged a notched tool through it, and then used a wipe away tool to remove the black. I laid my fabric on top of the board and rollered over the cloth to take a print. Once the cloth was dry I painted thickened yellow and turquoise dye onto a sheet of vinyl and pressed the vinyl paint side down onto my fabric.

For this one I painted thickened black on my board with a brush, made the curved Xes with the wipe out tool, pressed the cloth over it, and let it sit overnight without washing. The next day I used a stencil to add the green and yellow thin dyes.

Again, I used thickened black dye patterned with a kitchen scrubber and a comb on my tile board. I took the print, let it sit about 2 hours, and then added red and blue violet thin dyes. You can see how the red spread out.

Next, I took up brown thickened dye.

First I applied pale apricot thin dye using a stencil (a vinyl place mat). Next I placed a foam stamp under the fabric and rollered thickened brown dye over it. Then, a fellow student introduced me to felt tip type markers that you fill with your own ink or thin dye. I used that to make the boxes.

I combined a stencil, a sponge and a spatula to make the background. Then I used squeeze bottles to apply the red and turquoise. I had hoped the turquoise would spread out more but that wasn’t to be. I think if I had sprayed chemical water (don’t ask) over the fabric before the turquoise went on it would have spread.

For this one I painted two layers over splotchy turquoise and gold. The first layer of thickened turquoise was applied with a brush on vinyl, which was pressed onto the cloth. I used a squeeze bottle for the second layer of metallic gold paint.

Several other fabrics were less successful in that there’s still a lot of white showing. Like I said, I found it tricky to assess the amount of dye to use. The good news is that I can over dye them easily. If any of my fabrics come out well, I’ll show them off to you. Otherwise, they’ll get cut up and used in supporting roles.

Here’s some tool nerd information for those of you who might be interested. The Kemper wipe out tool is about the size of a pencil with silicone rubber shaping edges at both ends. It came with my class kit. The felt tip markers are designed for ink but work with thin dyes. https://www.imaginecrafts.com/learn-fantastix

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Around Here Week 24

Since I tend to hike looking more at my feet than the scenery, I notice tree roots that can trip me up, which is why I look at my feet. Talk about circular logic!

I thought this root was reminiscent of Chinese ink drawings. It might make a good thermofax screen, which could be printed in several different orientations.

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“With These Hands” Exhibit

On the way to my Sue Benner workshop my travel companion and I stopped at the Ross Art Museum in Delaware, Ohio, to take in the With These Hands art quilt exhibit. Actually, I made the stop a condition of doing the driving, as I have a piece in the exhibit. I hadn’t realized the quality of the company my quilt was keeping until I got there.

The exhibit was organized in conjunction with the Quilt Surface Design Symposium (QSDS), which is held each June in Columbus, Ohio. The works shown are a good cross section of art quilt approaches and techniques, though a bit light on the Nancy Crow style solids, which are plentiful at this year’s Quilt National exhibit. The Ross Museum exhibit is up until June 30, so if you’re driving I-71 through central Ohio or near Columbus, consider stopping by. I can find no online photos of the whole exhibit.

One approach I saw on several quilts was segmentation, either with separate strips or with panels sewn together after much of the work was done. Here are some examples.

Frauke Palmer made ten narrow panels connected only at the top.

Wen Redmond tied 21 panels together after creating variations of the same photo.

In “shell river” Lee Thomson created four panels separately, then hand sewed them together and added the button river.

Other quilts emphasized surface design.

Dominie Nash used crocheted pieces to print from in “Grandfather’s Garden.” Various shibori dyeing techniques are featured in Sharon Weltner’s “The Gateway to Night Time Vision.”

Some stood out for their color.

Trance by Kathleen Kastles grabs your eye from the entrance to the exhibit. Those blues and the narrow shape make it dramatic.Lots of little pieces of fabric make up the “rocks” in Beth Porter Johnson’s “Rhythms Within III.” Four Story Walk-up by Linda Strowbridge also uses small bit piecing.

Theresa Rearden used wonky half square triangles set in curves in “Off The Grid.” The detail of the ribbon overlay and the quilting shows below. There are also lots of french knots.Sandra Ciolino’s quilting in “Voluta #6 Solista” is exquisitely controlled.Finally, here’s my The Language of Pink Elephants, punching well above its weight.

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Around Here Week 23

Last week Around Here was in Columbus, Ohio, so the photo comes from there. Since I was preoccupied with color combinations in my dyeing class, I was taken with the blues of the sky, glass and shadows, the red of the sign and brick crosswalk, and the green of the leaves. Too bad I didn’t use that combination in my class.

A few decades ago I worked about a block from this intersection in a run down former hotel called the Seneca. My agency moved into swanker quarters and the former hotel has been refurbished into apartments for students.

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