Saturday, January 31, 2009

making a living, living by making


thinking today about ways to sell more of what I make, increasing my business, increasing my income and maybe even my quality of life (ie - reducing late night financial anxiety, maybe buying a home one day - think of that!). Knowing the economic times we are in are effecting sales of my scarves in retail shops doesn't help. But, I do know that even though people may have cut their spending, they still enjoy the christmas craft season and meeting the maker/artist....this may mean planning to do more shows in November and December (busy but a thrill) where I am able to receive 100% of my retail sales price (as opposed to 50-60%). I also think I need to use my problem solving skills and creativity to come up with a handwoven item less expensive than my current least expensive scarf ($60 retail).....I have a handwoven version of the "scarflette" in mind, taking inspiration from some of my lovely fiber peers: a buttoned collar of a scarf that could be beautiful when done in my seaweed woven/felted style. And it is always a good thing to keep daydreaming, inventing, re-inventing and making variations on the theme of Marshall Arts. It what keeps me excited about all the potential in the world.

Friday, January 30, 2009

thaw


After re-working my piece (photo featured yesterday) until almost midnight last night, I finished it this morning and cut it from the loom. It is now washed and drying.....
This gave me the afternoon to finally get around to doing a couple of loads of laundry up the hill at the laundromat - the luxury of clean socks and forgotten favourites!
The deep freeze has finally ended and the icicles are getting more and more elaborate.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

scratch that, start again


some days it's easier to know what I want. some days I have a couple of false starts until I get it right.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

colour choices


I always find it a little tough (in the best possible way that art is tough) to be at this point: the loom is threaded, my background decided and dyed, my composition chosen, the first few inches of background cloth woven, but I am stumped by the plethora of colour choices available for my inlay imagery. I hum and haw, arrange and squint, trying to decipher my gut instinct which is usually spot on.......
this will be a piece based on the the percentage of growth in various aspects (fruit and veg, animal products, maple syrup, herbs, field crops) of organic farming in Atlantic Canada. I want it to be bright and optimistic, hence the sunrise/set sky of the cotton warp.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

plodding and postcards



I had to get a run of postcards printed today to promote my attendance at the Atlantic Craft Trade Show (ACTS) in Halifax next week. This involved some adventuring up and down the hills of Corner Brook in -25 degrees celsius blustery weather. Brrrrrrr. Damien and I jazzed up the original postcard that the government of NL designed for me, making it much more representative of what I do with nice tight shots of piles of Marshall Arts scarves in addition to the lovely model.

Monday, January 26, 2009

winter influence


another week, another work. this is another piece in progress, depicting a graph based on the change in use of chemicals in commercial agriculture in the Atlantic provinces. the blue warp is from the indigo dyeing I did this past Friday. I am obviously being influenced by the winter colours, the covering of our landscape in snow, ice and a cool palette. natural fertility masked.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

scarves in waiting


As I put my time and energy into the creation of textile art pieces for upcoming exhibitions, my scarf production has finally been put on hold. scarf production has dominated my weaving practice for the past couple of years as I've embarked on my own journey of self-employment and self-generated income. I will be going to the Atlantic Craft Trade Show in Halifax at the beginning of February as part of the NL government booth, in the hopes of attracting a few more wholesale buyers (ie - retail shops willing to purchase my scarves right out to then sell in their stores).....we will see. in the meantime, my inventory or scarves is sitting on a shelf, waiting for their next chance to be seductively shown off.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

indigo

My first indigo dyeing project: I wish the colour was deeper, but for my first time, it was a very cool process - magic really, watching the first oxidation happen changing the fiber from green to blue. Next time around, I will do some more research to learn how to get a deeper shade (more dips?....I'm thinking that the dye bath itself starts to oxidize and maybe lose it's strength). This is a warp with some tied ikat for my next inlay work, tied to looks like star or clouds in a winter sky.

Friday, January 23, 2009

it's about time


well, finally - while I'm preparing fiber for my first time ever indigo dyeing - I am taking the time to set up a blog. This is exciting! This blog will be about my practice as a textile artist and a production weaver, and give me the chance to sit back and digest my activities, thoughts and inspirations revolving around my metier of handweaving. I have many friends in the art/craft community who have blogs and I check them often to keep my finger on the pulse of their practices, feel a sense of my community and comraderie, and stoke the fires of my conceptual and aesthetic stimulation.....
for starters, i am posting a photo of my current project. from new body of work I am creating for a four person exhibition in Halifax, NS from February 26 - April 12 at the Mary E. Black Gallery. I have been pouring over population statistics of Atlantic Canada, specifically to do with health and environment. I turn these numbers into graphs and them weave the graphs as landscapes, bringing in the visual influence of my coastal surroundings. This weaving in progress is depicting rates of cancer on Prince Edward Island juxtaposed with the use of chemicals in commercial agriculture......