Friday, April 11, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

liminal studies

Using google earth, I have virtually traveled the shoreline of Prince Edward Island collecting screen shots that display specific geographical features.  These aerial compositions present stretches of shore that feature areas where the water breaches the shoreline to create an inland stream, pond or marsh.  Transitory, liminal places that are vulnerable to sea-level rise and erosion, and could be vastly altered in the years to come.
Adapting a woven pattern to overshot, I have figured out how to weave each of the three geographies (land, shore, ocean) in a different pattern, creating another visual variable to distinguish the area of colour.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

pouches for precious things

I am finally getting around to photographing and listing items to my Etsy shop.  I have some pouches and scarves left in my inventory from the fall craft fair season, and instead of them sitting packed away in my studio for the winter, I am carving away a bit of time here and there to get them on-line.  Last week I listed my handwoven zippered pouches on my Etsy site, which you can link to in the left sidebar of this blog....each pouch has a handwoven cotton (and sometimes raw silk exterior) and is lined with fine commercial cotton.

Friday, January 24, 2014

winter nesting

 Woodstove burning...

 Rag rug weaving....

 Winter sun lounging....

 More rag rug weaving and ripping cotton flannel sheets into rag strips...

Baby hat knitting and winter twilight calm.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Sable Island revisited

For the last four or five years, after the busy urgency of fall craft fair season an Christmas, I have routinely devoted the winter months to my art practice.  Last year was a bit of a hiatus as I devoted my energies to renovating our school house home.  This winter, now that we are living in our school house, I am carving out some time for art over the next few months.  And a great motivator is deadlines.  The first weekend in February, I will be taking part in the Atlantic Craft Trade Show (ACTS) in the Gallery@ACTS.  The Gallery@ACTS showcases one-of-a-kind artwork from fine craft artists from the Atlantic provinces, inviting commercial galleries from across Canada and the US to check us out.  The weekend will be full of workshops, seminars and on-on-one meetings with the gallery owners - all with the goal of finding markets for my work. 

I will be showing three works in the Gallery@ACTS, all made in the last 3 years.  Over the last few days, I've been revisiting my Sable Island piece, woven in 2011.  Using hand embroidery, I overlaid the contour of an early map of Sable Island (Blunt, 1897) over the current shape of the island in woven inlay (taken from Google Earth).  My goal is to highlight the shifting sands of this giant sand dune over time.  I also embroidered a compass in the top right corner to emphasize the directionality of the island and its role in the shipwrecks of many sailing vessels over the centuries.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

rag rugs

 Since we moved into our school house home last June, I have wanted to weave rag rugs to keep feet warm and cozy on our floors.  My idea is to weave 3 foot wide rag rugs, and then stitch them together along the selvedges to make a larger area rug.  My warp colour choices were predicted by my stash of 4/8 cotton.

 Way back in June when I really had no time to weave these rugs, I started collecting cotton flannel sheets from Value Village with the intention of using of ripping them into strips for the rugs.  Four large bed sheets make a lot of rag strips...

This will be my first chance to work on my large Cranbrook loom since we moved in.  The Cranbrook is perfect for rugs:  a wide shed and treadles that lock into place so I can walk around.  There are eight harnesses, really unnecessary for a plain weave rag rug threading, so I still have to decide whether it is worth the hassle of taking four of them off and moving the heddles over to the other four harnesses left on the loom, or simply work with the full eight harnesses.

My idea for weaving rag rugs and stitching them together to create a large area rug is inspired by my time in Sweden in 2012.  Handwoven rag rugs are depicted everywhere in historic Swedish paintings and illustrations of domestic interiors.  I also saw many fine examples of contemporary handwoven rag rugs (similar to the one in the image below) - out of all the many handwoven objects I saw in Sweden, the rag rug was by far the most ubiquitous.

Monday, January 6, 2014


While I was in California for Chrstmas, staying with my brother and his family in the suburb of Cupertino, I went for lots of walks.  Sometimes two walks a day.  Wandering around the residential neighbourhoods in the warm (surreal) December sunshine, I was very taken with all the mysterious plants and trees that do not grow in the familiar North Atlantic climate of home.  Some trees had lost their leaves and were left with seedpods, some still had their leaves, some some leaves were bright yellow or red, some trees were giant succulents, and many were evergreens.  While taking my daily walks, I set my camera on the image of branches against clear blue sky, trying to document as many of the trees as I could.....