Friday, July 22, 2011

Past Lives

I always remember fiddling around with cloth- from making doll clothes to my own and even in a art project in HS using commercial felt. I went to collage for Home Economics.
I was not interested in sewing at all.  My emphasis was Interior Design and Child Development. I still feel child dev should be a required course in High School, side by side with sex ed. I think if folks understood what a child is capable at each age/stage, there would be less child abuse.
When I got my different teaching positions, I attempted to change the mind dulling experience of Home Ec into a more stimulating experience.
circa 1979

Examples. For a sewing class- the students designed their own pillows, created the patterns and made them. It turned out like soft sculptures- from letter pillows, pencils and odd items. Boys too!
We hung them from the ceiling for parents night. Very cool. I'll never forget the principle's face. I guess he was expecting aprons.
Another time in Basic Cooking. We were discussing how what you see affects the pleasure of the meal i:e  presentation.
The students made chicken, potatoes, some veggie and cake. We colored the chicken red, the potatoes green and the cake was purple with multi color icing. We invited the principle to this meal. Everyone insisted the chicken wasn't cooked- even though they cooked it. The potatoes tasted minty because they were green. It was a good lesson.

So I evolved into quilting in the early 70's with the same approach. Use any fabrics and machine quilt. Then I moved to NH where I was told this was 'wrong'. I should use cotton and hand stitch so many to the inch. Unfortunately I listened. Drat.
So I learned to match my corners, miter borders till I grew bored and moved on.
First and Last Star 1984
I fell in love with folk art quilts and created them for my children's baby quilts. My second child's quilt, Jonathan's Dream was invited to the Quilt Museum in Paducak KY.  I didn't do it because it was my son's. I still have mixed feelings on that. Oh well.
Jonathan's Dream 1985
detail- all hand appliqu├ęd and quilted
After I ran out of folks and babies to make for, I began the process of exploration. The guilds weren't allowing machine quilting yet so I left that supportive environment to experiment on my own.
When the digital camera, and personal computers came into existence, I embraced photography ( an old love ) on cloth and ran with it.


Connie Rose said...

Great bio, Wen! Deidre Abbotts graciously responded to the query I posted in a comment here earlier this week. Thank you both!

Anonymous said...

I love this bio! But, it only scratches the surface of the artist that is Wen Redmond! We need a second blog installment featuring the evolution of your pieces... with pics of you too! Perhaps even a book... "The evolution and revolution of a fiber fanatic!" :D

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