Friday, October 24, 2014

Heart & Pocket

Just finished full-time work for the season yesterday, and I am headed to Sackville, NB this afternoon.  I will be participating in the Heart & Pocket Revue, a part of A Handmade Assembly, an annual conference about craft in contemporary art practice.  I'll be selling my wares alongside a selection of other crafters from across the region.  The market will take place at the Legion in Sackville, from 9am - 5pm, Saturday October 25th.




This will be my third time as a vendor at the Heart & Pocket, and both other times have been wonderful.  Sackville is a supportive little town!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

kindred spirit

So, I set myself a big challenge of posting on my blog everyday this summer.  That obviously is not happening!  The summer gets busy and the days roll along....but here I am, remembering to post today.

Last week I received an email from a "fellow weaver and admirer" Robin Johnston.  A textile artist and handweaver living in Asheville, North Carolina (a handweaving hub), she reached out to me because she is doing a presentation about mapping in contemporary textile art and wanted to include my work in her talk.  So I gathered up some high resolution images this morning and emailed them off to her.  What is amazing to me are the similarities in the themes and methods we are both exploring in our weaving/art practices:  handweaving and dyeing as a translation tool for data, charting and measuring time, and using weaving as a slow tool for re-claiming space and time.  Her use of ikat and natural dyeing is beautiful to me and is pointing in the same direction I have been striving for in my own work.  You can see more of Robin's work on her website at:  www.robinjohnstonstudio.com




Thursday, June 26, 2014

findings


Strawberry moon of June, rising above our tree line as seen from our back deck.  Bright and full....


Found at Value Village: large handwoven cotton blanket, rep weave in some kind of diamond or star pattern.

Queen size with a border on all four sides. Warp is fine 2/8 cotton, weft is alternating 2/8 cotton and narrow rag strips of jersey.  The hand of the cloth is heavy and cool - great for summer nights.


Monday, June 23, 2014

away and back again

Since I broke my new challenge of posting on my blog everyday (already, I know), here are three photos instead of one to make up for the last few missed days.  We went to Halifax and back this past weekend.  Summer solstice, longest day of the year, happened on Saturday.  Full social weekend, lots of laughter and reconnecting with good friends.  We took the ferry to and from Nova Scotia (ferry terminal only a 15 minute drive from our home) and the ride back today was glorious and sunny.


Beautiful rolled up rope ladders, in case we need to evacuate the ferry....A few years back, I built a much simplified rope bridge for the Art in the Open Festival in Charlottetown.  Suspended between the roof tops of the Confederation Centre of the Arts downtown, it invited viewers to imagine accessing un-reachable spaces and views of our familiar urban landscape.  Ever since, I've always noticed rope ladders....


The bumper docks at the the ferry terminal in Caribou, Nova Scotia.  Good use of old tires.  If you look closely, you can see a momma and baby groundhog  in the green grass.


Pictou Island, suspended in the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and N.S.  People still live there, though not in the numbers they used to...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

this and that


This seems to be the year for babies in the lives of many of my good friends:  a great excuse to knit up some handspun wool into baby hats.  I love spinning, but I rarely use 2-ply handspun in my work and it knits up so soft and nubbly.  I've also got a decent selection of patterned flannel sheets from this past winter when I was weaving rag rugs - second hand flannel makes great baby blankets, especially when I find great cloud/moon/star patterns.


Trying to use up all my little tidbits of fine cotton weaving yarn, leading to random warp striping for my zippered pouch cloth.  Still sticking with the interlocking Gothic Cross pattern here, which starts to do some interesting things when the warp stripes are irregular.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

a summer challenge

I haven't posted on my blog since April, when winter was still lingering.  Now, summer is here and it is mid-June.  It has been a productive few months: working from home on my production weaving, yard work, gardening, and a few reno projects on the school house.  I start my seasonal full-time work with Parks Canada in two days, which means the pace of my life will speed up. 


I have a few projects on the go this summer on top of working: I am a participating artist for this year's Art in the Open festival in Charlottetown; in my capacity as a board member with the PEI Crafts Council I am organizing a juried craft exhibition for the end of September; and I will be working on a new wall-hanging for a fibre exhibition in Newfoundland about Gros Morne National Park. 

This means I would like to keep an eye on my art practice and weaving to make sure it doesn't get squeezed out because of full-time work.


So I am setting myself a challenge to make use of this blog in a way that is easy and consistent:  each day I will post one photo, with or without commentary.  This blog has been a great reflection tool for my practice over the years, but I have recently got out of the habit of using it, and after getting out of the habit, consistent postings seem like a daunting task....but I can handle one photo a day.






 ....Some snaps for weaving projects from the last two months:  Ikat Swedish Lace Scarves (cotton and dyed silk), and weaving cloth for sewing into zippered pouches (Gothic Cross pattern, cotton).

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.