Wednesday, November 28, 2012

If The Shoe Fits...

Through my friend Sara, from Chicago School of Shoe Making 
I was invited into the Women's Journey in Fiber group
and challenged to make a shoe to represent a journey, mine or someone else's

I decided I wanted to make a clog, and found a pair at the thrift store
I thought I could make a pattern by using duct take
This did not work out
Neither did drilling holes into the clog so I could sew my fiber creation onto it
Here is what I ended up with as my fiber art to cover the shoe with
I wanted to express my journey from traditional quilts to art quilts
Honoring to my hands that allow me to create

Journey to Blossom
  Artist Statement:
I decided on a clog, the traditional footwear of Norway, because I am half Norwegian. As a child my home was surrounded with artifacts from Norway, which instilled a strong connection to this half of my heritage. My father’s parents came to America from Norway, and my Norwegian grandmother was an important part of my upbringing. When I was seventeen I had the pleasure of visiting this beautiful country and meeting my relatives.
 Recently I began wearing Dansko shoes, a step up from my Crocs, both modern day clogs.
This shoe represents my journey into the world of fiber. Like most, I started this journey by making traditional quilts, then learned more artistic techniques and surface design methods. The shoe is covered with a traditional pieced quilt that transforms into more artistic expression.
I pay homage to my hands that allow me to create.
The shoe is filled with a garden that is blossoming, just like me.

The exhibition debuted at the Chicago Botanic Garden in early November
at their Fine Art of Fiber event

We set up displays with touch and feel examples from the variety of
techniques used to make the shoes

It was a beautiful weekend for a visit to the garden
The exhibition space was packed most of the time 
and everyone seemed to really enjoy the art
This project was a real challenge, but I am happy with the outcome
and look forward to future challenges from The Women's Journey in Fiber group

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Blind Eye: The Result of Doing Nothing

I am the proud Illinois rep for The Surface Design Association.
We were fortunate to be allotted space to exhibit our members' talents 
for the month of October at a quaint gallery called, HumanThread in Pilsen, Chicago Il.

The HumanThread Center for Peace, Arts & Education is a non-profit that engages individuals in conversation about peace, non-violence, and human dignity through art, education and discussion. 

We decide on the theme, Blind Eye: The Result of Doing Nothing
Exhibition Concept:  Too often today we see tragic situations that result from the lack of action. This exhibition hopes to explore the destructive results of ignoring a situation or people’s ignorance to thinking everything will be ok when they choose to not get involved in making the world a better place.

Here are my pieces from the show

The Golden Chair
 As children we are told, education is the key. The key to opportunity and a successful future. Yet, society turns a blind eye to all the external influences and forces that teachers must struggle against to provide a quality education.
 As a public school art educator in Chicago, this is a deeply personal piece for me.
While I was not on strike because I work at a charter, I was passionately on the side of the teachers.
Education in America is a complex issue. It is easy for those on the outside to judge, suggest, criticize, evaluate, and offer "solutions".  They do this with ignorance, because they do not see all the other influences that we, in the battlefield of education, have to face on a daily bases.
This piece challenges you to see those issues.

They are a bit easier to see from the back of the piece.

 A Portrait of Rich

 What a wonderful life money can provide. A safe green bubble that shields you from many of life’s daily challenges. Easy to turn a blind eye to the struggles and challenges most Americans and people around the world face each day. Why worry about them or the world when you live such a nice comfy life?
 This piece speaks of what I hear coming from many politicians and media personalities today.
It makes me angry and sad. When did America become a nation of, I got mine, screw you?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Journal Pieces 49-52

Wk 49, Abundance
Traditionally, at the beginning of each new year I make a piece based
on a word that I choose as a theme for the year
I decided to make a piece for the new school year, since this is also a new beginning

Wk 50 & 51 Caught in The Net & Our Gift
These two pieces are about education
One hand represents management
The other, teachers
Can you guess which is which?

Wk 52,
The final piece in the 52 Weeks to 40 Series
I started this the last day of Ox Bow, there are 40 warp strings
It is a freestyle woven piece that was fun to work on
late at night as I watched TV
I hand stitched it to black layered fabric and quilted around it
I am quite pleased with how it turned out.

This series has certainly been a challenge. There were definitely weeks that I thought I would never get to making a piece, but always managed to create something. I enjoyed trying new techniques and expressing specific issues that were on my mind. I am proud of the fact that I did it. I completed all 52 pieces. If they were displayed as one piece they would measure 44.5 feet wide by 48.5 feet high.

I am now looking forward to the next challenge, not sure what that is yet,
 but I do hope to create at least one larger piece per month.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ox Bow

I had the great pleasure of spending a week at Ox Bow, in Michigan, the last week in July
The week was focused on learning to weave
This is the beautiful house I stayed in
This is the quaint room I was assigned
I loved it because it had lots of hooks and 2 windows
Ox Box is set deep in the woods
The studio (left) and my house (right) were across the street from each other
The top floor was our studio, downstairs was a printing studio
I love being able to see sunsets when I get the chance
A short drive from Ox Bow was accessibility to Lake Michigan
Ox Bow provides all your meals, this is the lovely kitchen and eating area
Weaving booty
The first day we made our looms and warped them
Finished and warped loom
Before we began on our big loom, we made small pieces
using cardboard. This allowed us the chance to experiment,
and get familiar with the weaving process.
 Another sunset seen from outside the studio
 Some of the artists in the class collaborated on installation pieces
Our studio was big, open, full of natural light, and had air conditioning
We spent the days working on our art until about 11pm 
Our studio also had a big open deck, this came in handy when 
we had no electricity for a day after a big storm
It was great to be so close to the beach
Break time to collect some rocks
Ox Bow is set by a lagoon, sunsets could be quite spectacular
One of our favorite things was going to the 24 hour Toast Bar at 11 pm
A tasty snack and great conversation could always be found
Here are some pictures of me working on my big piece
The last day of class we set up a gallery and had critiques
Everyone's work was incredible.
It was a great week with some great people

This is my big completed piece
Here are some of the other artists' completed pieces

 Below is a small piece I made