Sunday, November 29, 2009


The final sale of the year is over. This one was a little different than some of the others in that it was advertised(well advertised) as a sale of "fine craft". So much a sale of "fine craft" that some of the organizers occaisonally let forth statements that I would have expected at an art gallery--"artistic integrity" or "a certain energy to the piece". However, there was a lot of money exchanging hands, --in my observation--not that I was party to much of it. So now I have a fair bit of stock left, and I need to find somewhere to store it, as I have no plans to venture out into the marketplace for at least six months.

I had wondered if my "muse" would return if she wasn't overwhelmed with the need to produce--and she has. What a great feeling it is to find the ideas flowing back! Now I have to struggle to let them all germinate. I have a piece due for a show jury sometime in January ( guess I better find out when!), and two heavy-duty classes to prepare for, so my time isn't exactly free, but the issues are percolating in my brain now, and, for me, that is always the first step in the process. The sample pieces for both classes are well in hand, although there is work to be done. Over the past two weeks there has been very little actual stitching time. I wonder if this is part of the reason my brain has felt so much free-er.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

more introspection

For the past month I've been more of less just puttering around the studio. I've also had a few days when I just didn't feel up to even walking through the door--more under the weather than depressed. One thing I've been doing is working with my beads. I acquired a few more and actually had to clean out the bottom of the corner cabinet, just to have a place to store them all. But this all got me to realize that my greatest pleasure comes from doing the hand work--even though that is becoming more and more difficult, because of the pain in my hands. Now this is just the kernal of an idea at this point, but certainly a direction that needs more exploration.

Right now the focus of my work is a series I'm working on with my Ravenesque support group. From hand-painted backgrounds, I'm re-combining various coluurs to create strata within the fabric. The next step will be to use thread and beads to enhance the whole concept. There is challenge within this group where each of us is to create a fantasy fish to be placed on a banner for display at an upcoming quilt show. Don't have a clue where I'm going with that one!

There is another challenge out there, this one through my local quilt guild wherein we are required to make a bag out of a kit of African fabrics, that have been supplied. Again--I don't have a clue!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New thought

Last night I had a chat with another fibre artist who is also looking at fused glass as an incorporation into her work. This was a strange coincidence, as I had been talking about the same thing with a glass worker over the weekend. My task over the next six months will be to try to find my own voice in my work. I'm not sure how using bits of other people's work fits into that idea, but I'm giving myself permission to explore any avenue that appeals to me.

Right now, I'm taking old works that were more or less disgarded, and trying to re-work them into something acceptable. I've started with a quilted piece I made out of some very beautiful Japanese cottons I bought in Ottawa during the Quilt Canada Conference in 2006. When it was finished it was awful!! So it's been sitting on a shelf waiting for me to get up the nerve to throw out all that expensive fabric. Well, I cut it up into 20' by 2" strips and then made the same number of strips out of black fabric that I quilted to make the weights just about the same. I am now using the back of the old piece as the front of the new. It will be very dark, but may still be a useful piece. I'm using a technique I learned a couple of years ago where the edges of the pieces are butted together and zig-zag'd. However I do think I will bind the edges, as I think this will make a mor durable piece.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Time off

My most recent sale was very poor. I have three more scheduled this month, but then plan to take at least six months off. With all of the pressure to produce for the sales, I haven't been able to do any serious creative work, and this has been preying on my mind. I also have two very serious classes to prepare for--both actual lessons and all of the project samples that I'll need to support them. Six months will also give me time to sort out in my mind what I really want to do with the rest of my life. If I want to sell then I have to make a real commitment to it. If I want to create, then I need to actively explore how I would plan to present my creations to the world. One thing I know is, that if I just create and keep it to myself, it will be sent to a thift store when I die. So I need the time to really find out what sort of life it might be to exhibit.

Over the past several years, I've often spent short periods of time "navel gazing", but I've never actually devoted time to gathering the information I need to come to a firm decision on my future. As I get older the idea of just having fun comes to mind more and more often. I think that, over the years, the cost of my creative life has driven me to sell, although the percieved need to recover cost has been in my own mind more than that of others around me.

What do I want to be remembered for?