Tuesday, November 30, 2010


     Something else I've been exploring is presenting work with free edges. This work encourages the ravelly and loose edges that only fiber work can achieve. So far I've used it only with my collage work but I can definitely see the possibilities with "traditional" art quilts. See August 25 and July 6th postings- here
Within Without
fiber and paper mixed media collage
      I have to say I love all of the ways fiber is literally and physically extending it's parameters! I started quilting 'back in the day' and went though the "OMG it's machine quilted" revolution. The very first work I saw that fully embraced the possibilities of fiber was Fran Skiles' work in Quilt National. I think it was '87. What an eye opener! 
     I continue to be amazed by the direction fiber is taking- painted work aka Deidre Adams and, the free applique of Fenilla Davis, Linda Colsh, Dominie Nash, the collage guru- Joan Schultz, the free spirit of Susan Lucky Shie, digital advances in fiber and the non-use of commercial fabrics started by the likes of Elizabeth Bush, & Virginia Avery. 
     I can not completely name all of the fiber artists I love and embrace. 
I am awed, thrilled and honored to share this passion with so many of YOU!

Monday, November 29, 2010


 For some time I have been less and less enamored with binding edges on my fiber work. Back in the 80's I used to use binding with mitered corners. Later I turned the binding toward the back. I like the clean finish of that technique. I thought it was similar to the effect of paintings on canvas.
Assembling and adding medium to edges.
In the 90's,  I used the pillowcase method. I still use and like this method but still...
I have started mounting my work in sections on very stiff interfacing and tying these together. I really enjoy this method and my piece that was accepted into Quilt National was executed this way!
However, in order to do this I had to eliminate the faced edges, as the interfacing is very stiff. Each section is like a mini-canvas. I discovered by simply painting the edges with acrylic paint, it would dry and seal the edges.
Breaking the Surface 
Fiber work is one form of art that actually has to forge it's own presentation methods. This is one I particularly like.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Hang 'Um High

How DO you hang fiber art??
     This question has stirred the pot on a couple e-lists I'm on. It seems to be a hot button and not artist likes to be told what to do. I get that in a big way. I rebelled against the standard of sleeve hangings required by most quilt shows. Each show seems to want their sleeve set up a particular way. Most have now 'settled' on the 3" wide and 1/4-1/2 inch down and to each side. Ok, but what if you want to enter said work in a gallery show? Most gallery shows, that I have been in, require a wired hanging device.
What is a poor fiber artist to do?
     I 'solved' this using the said sleeve, adding small eye hook on the ends and then attaching the wire so it is suitable for art galleries. If the wire shows above the work, staple i/3 of the way in, right though the sleeve and into the slat. And since the work has a sleeve, I can also use the same art for fiber shows that require 'just' a sleeve. 

Now you can also mount the work in numerous ways to canvas, stretch it on artist bars, frame it- also in numerous ways. Nail it aka fiber art cloth style. Suspend it away from the wall using certain devices unknown to me, stretcher bars mounted unseen to the naked eye and eye hooks from the ceiling. Dianne Johnson has devised a system using corner mounting triangles, while Michelle Kincaid uses foam board for mounting her free edge quilts. Fiber guru, Jane Dunnewold has a entire page devoted to the topic! here And I just received my copy of Quilt Visions and one piece is composed of multiple pieces and hung individually with some sort of metal clips that were very visible.
     SO, can we actually come to some consensus on hanging fiber art? It seems the kind and style greatly depends on the effect and kind of fiber art. This art seems to resist being pigeon holed, one kind fits all.
     I guess fiber is so malleable that it can assume almost any shape! A definite to think outside the box, frame or stretcher bars. Look out art galleries!- perhaps- it's they who need to move forward! 
My two cents.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Open Studios!

You are invited to an Open Studios at the Salmon Fall Mills. Artists open their studios for this Holiday event. Come see what goes on and find some wonderful gifts for giving this holiday season.
It will take place Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, 10-5My Studio is on the third floor, to the left, when you enter. Studio #336.
See www.millartists.com for directions.
Art from the Heart!

Fiberworks Collage Exchange

Every year  Karen Stiehl Osborn organizes a collage exchange among fiber artists. Her website-here.
We make 11 collages and send them to her. She shuffles them and sends 11 back. It’s great fun to see the collages you get in return.
This collage series is called Fiberworks.
I had a bunch of fabric samples from an upholstery book. I used these as the base of my collages. I started by applying lightweight molding paste to them. 
This will provide tooth and a white base. The white base is similar to gesso and will let the colors come though brighter. The molding paste is thicker than gesso and can leave lovely texture marks. This helps to cover some of the texture in the fabric too.
After this dried, I tore magazine clippings and some of my black and white inkjet images that I use to create thermo fax screens. This turns out to be a great way to recycle these and add to my collage stash.
I applied this using gel medium. After it dried I went in and painted with acrylic color. This was dried and I stitched black thread drawing marks. 
Mounted with mats and send off.
 I can’t wait to see the collages that come back!
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