Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Directions

Here are two pieces that I finished this week. They are both on my own one-of-a-kind, low water immersion dyed fabric. I've added beaded embellishment, and framed them. I have no idea what sort of price to put on them , as I really need to sell them so that I can pay for a course on photographing two-dimensional artwork. The actual piece is 10" by 10", which works out to aobut 11 1/2" framed. Any suggestions?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What am I doing!!!

The Marketing Co-op had its Annual General Meeting last Sunday. This was followed by an "art Show and Sale". There had been a lot of publicity, and many people came out to the sale. Unfortunately there were only 8 artists who displayed their work. People would walk in the door and say" Is this all there is?" and walk out again. As well, several of the artists had more crafty than arty items for sale. So we end up in the never-ending discussion of what is art and what is craft. I feel very much caught in the middle. Some of what I do is art and some is craft. I go to great lengths to make sure that what I take to shows is appropriate to the venue. To art shows I take one-of-a-kind, original designs, and decorative pieces i.e. no functional purpose. Beside me at this recent sale was lady who had hand-painted switch plates and hand-painted pin-on buttons. Next to her was a lady who takes forks and spoons and bends and twists them into "bugs" that can be used as fridge magnets.

It has been noticed that the more traditional artists are no longer participating in our sales. Could it be that they don't want to associate with what are definitely "crafters"? The other problem could be that our co-op is so small that we have lost critical mass and can no longer put on a large enough show to remain credible.

The Co-op is mounting a gallery show next week and, as of last Sunday, had very few entries. I have been working this week to make more, but will still only have 5 items to take--two of which might be considered more craft than art. ( I'll make the final decision about including them when I see what else is there, as I've volunteered to help hang the show)

The bottom line is that I've made the decision to only participate in the more "art-y" gallery shows with my art, and only enter craft sales with the rest of my stuff. No more "Art Show and Sale". This also means that I will have to give careful consideration to my continuing membership in the co-op.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Test classes

Over the past while I've been working very hard to set up classes. Until you've actually done this, you really have no idea how time consuming this can be--making samples, researching and preparing handouts etc. The one activity I'm finding very, very useful is a test class. This is a small class of students who are aware that it is a test class, pay very little for the privilege of attending, and are expected to offer critique and suggestions about every aspect of the class--even to the point of proof-reading the handouts. I have yet to go through this process without it resulting in changes to the prepared course.

This weekend I did a small test class for the course "Scrap It!". This course is still in development, and I learned that it is a very viable concept, but needs to be divided into two separate classes--one for traditional quilters and one for contemporary quilters. So, now I have my chores for the next couple of weeks. It was agreat experience! The ladies were thrilled. I had five small projects, each of which could be done with a "sew'n'flip" technique, or with the fusing technique, that I taught as part of the class. They all ( yes, all 7 of them) chose the same project, so the other 4 haven't actually been tested, and they all chose the fusing technique. Good information for future classes--fewer projects! They were a mixture of beginner and experienced quilters, so the fusing technique could well be part of both levels of class.

While the information is good, the other benefit is in my enthusiasm for carrying on with the class. I feel invigorated as a result of the success of the class and the good feedback I received.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Mouse Factory

This name has been with me since the 1970's. At that time I was making small mouse dolls, and finding a good market for them. Times change, and the mouse doll is long gone. I'm finding that the name has no relevence in today's fibre art world. This is becoming important as I become more and more active in trying to market myself and my classes. So--let me introduce you to

The Fibre Divas
Yes, there is a new game in town! My friend Dianne Leatherdale Johnson and I will be working together to promote ourselves as artists, and our classes. We plan to continue participating in art shows and fine craft venues. We also plan to proactively market our classes, throughout the province. Dianne accepts private commissions, but I prefer not to.
There are no plans to change this blog or the content of this blog. The Mouse Factory is a part of me, and will remain a part of me. At some point we hope to have a Fibre Diva blog, but that is further down the line. For now you can find both of us represented on the web site This is the website for the Eastern Manitoba Artists' Co-op, and you will have to search for us by name.