Thursday, August 26, 2010
The hours vanish quickly while I'm in the studio. And studio time is something most of us feel we never have enough of, much as we like our social lives and other distractions. "Everyone needs a sanctuary to gather thoughts and apply personal tools. It's in a sanctuary where a sense of self is daily repaired and polished. Things begin to make sense in a sanctuary. Even for the most limited among us, a santuary is where progress is made and work gets done". Robert Genn.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Another Breakfast presentation by Jill Heppenheimer, owner of the Santa Fe Weaving Gallery. Her shop carries one of a kind handwoven garments. What an excellent speaker. I wish we could get her to come talk to fibre artists here. Her talk was about how to get into a gallery, the pros and cons of being in a gallery; of accepting that its never a perfect arrangement but that one should choose stores/galleries that have the kind of work that is compatible with yours, and people who feel a connection to you and respect your work. Your retail price range must also match the stores/galleries price range. She stresses EVOLVING, to not disengage with your work, to feel passionate about it, to feel good about it and what you are expressing.
Tablet Weaving workshop at 9a.m. and Inge Dam, a fellow Canadian is the instructor. Inge demonstrates each step very well. My single biggest complaint about the workshops are that there are just too many registered for each one. Often there are 50 or more and I believe we definitely had that many. I find tablet weaving fascinating, and will be happy to impart what I have learned to others, however, it definitely is not my calling! I felt awkward working with the cards. I'm glad that I understand how it works and for anyone interested, it is amazing what one can create with this technique though you are limited in width.
In the evening I attended the opening for, Dialogues, a group tapestry exhibition at the South Broadway Cultural Centre. A great venue and the tapestries were flatteringly presented with suitable lighting and hanging devices. The work was thoroughly enjoyable by the artists Linda Wallace, Elizabeth Buckley, Lany Eila, Katherine Perkins, Elaine Duncan and Dorothy Clews. Linda and Dorothy had the decomposed/deconstructed tapestry pieces that were featured in FiberArts magazine recently, as well as other tapestry work. I am sorry not to have pictures to present on the exhibition but I stronly encourage people to look up these artists to see their work. Earlier in the week, I went to the New Directions in Fiber Art on Central Avenue in Albuquerque featuring the work of Jennifer Moore, among others.
Day 5: July 24 Saturday and July 25 Sunday
A two day workshop in Natural Dyeing with Liesal Orend of Earth Arts. Sooooooooooooooo much too learn and its helpful if one is chemistry oriented. It was fascinating to see what all the dye plants could do and how colours could be shifted with various mordants. Definitely easier for those of you who are scientifically minded (not I) however I don’t think I will let that stop me from wanting to continue practicing it and sharing it with others. It's amazing what we can do all in the name of weaving that is not directly related to it! Liesel did say that the natural dye plant extracts work quite well and are much less time consuming.
By Saturday I had somehow managed to have laryngitis so I was very disappointed I wasn’t able to take more time to get to know and befriend other tapestry artists at their Enchanted Evening gathering of tapestry weavers, which overall was one of my primary reasons for wanting to go to Albuquerque. There were also a couple of other matters that added to my disappointment in regards to the tapestry situation at Convergence this year. Usually the American Tapestry Alliance exhibit is held at the same time and location as Convergence but this year, the one year I could be there, and in addition a year in which one of my tapestry was selected to be in this year's ATA exhibit, the ATA exhibit will open in Lincoln Nebraska in September! It would have been so wonderful to see the exhibit of all the tapestries selected at this time. I hope that is a situation that will change and some kind of resolution can occur between both parties. It also troubled me to see that there were no workshops on tapestry weaving, techniques that can be employed or even on designing and tapestry.
From left to right: Tori Kleinhart, Kathe Todd Hooker, Diane Kennedy
I had a chance to pop into the William and Joseph Gallery in Santa Fe where the Small Expressions tapestries were on display. One had to go to the very back of the gallery in a small room one does not see from the front door......hmmmm.....I think they deserved more prominence in my humble opinion! They were exquisite and mostly whimsical little gems.
The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario
Thursday, August 5, 2010
DY Begay (centre) is a contemporary tapestry weaver of Navajo origins and in her rug and blanket weaving tradition too, designs and technique were handed down generation to generation. Children were supposed to learn by watching and doing and were not supposed to ask questions. This really resonated with me. For the Navajo weaving was introduced to them through Spiderwoman. Her own interpretation of her Navajo traditions are abstracted landscapes. Colours and motifs are inspired by the land, by her environment. Her work can be seen at the Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona.
My first workshop today: Warp Painting on the Loom with Jannie Taylor. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh....what fun AND it feels so good to be weaving again! I can’t wait to share these techniques with my students and can’t wait to continue exploring them myself. I see infinite possibilities. I made another new friend – Judith Shangold....we initially had talked on the bus for the Santa Fe Opera House and Fiber ArtistTour. She too took the warp painting. I really enjoyed her company!
The workshop took place in a room the size of a football field. About 4 or 5 other workshops were taking place simultaneously. A fellow Canadian spotted me in this melee, Melanie Segal. Melanie and I went to the Ontario College of Art and Design a long time ago! The second Canadian I ran into while I am here. One of the workshops taking place was Rio Grande rug weaving.
Afterwards checked out the various exhibitions of fibre art works and the garments that were featured in the fashion show. Here I bumped into Ted Hallman, one of fibre art teachers from my OCAD days! What a small world. He lives in Santa Fe 3 months in the summer and the rest of the time resides in Philadelphia . Also had a stroll around the vendors hall where I ran into another Canadian, Joyce Newman from the Burlington Spinners and Weavers. Funny....we come all this way, hardly see each other here, and we bump into each other thousands of miles of way!
The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I didn’t sign up for anything for this day. My new friend Jean, started her 3 day workshop with Robin Spayde, whose binder of notes were the most spectacular we have ever seen for a workshop. Robin is a very thorough, organized and knowledgeable teacher and Jean highly recommends her. Bobbie was still trying to recupe so Cynthia and I took the light rail train to Santa Fe and visited the Georgia O’Keefe Museum which had of course, an exhibition of her work. The museum shown here is a good example of the adobe style homes that are the norm in New Mexico. Cynthia had gone on the Ghost Ranch Tour on Monday, organized by Convergence. Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O’Keefe lived and painted for many years before she died. I love Georgia’s spirit and who she was as a person.
We ventured up Canyon road where all the galleries are in Santa Fe. We didn't venture to far into them simply because we had to rush to get the shuttle that would take us to the light rail transit. I've already planned to come back to Canyon Road next week and make a day of it in Santa Fe before heading to Taos.
The Walk In Beauty fashion show was held this evening. I ran into Ingrid Boesel (Fibreworks Software). Some of my favourite pieces were the nuno jacket, with silk rust organza by Susan Bowman; Sarah Fortin & Catherine Pritchett’s collaboration – a brown rust coat in shadow weave; Catherine Pritchett’s woven patches and felted garment; Inge Dam’s skirt made with strips of tablet weaving; and Stephanie Abelson’s window screen bird jacket. Its worth getting a catalogue of all garments exhibited at the show.
The coming days promises much more!
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
left to right: Jean Weems, Cynthia Miller, Ann Bergeron and Bobbie Goering
The first studio we stopped was Rebecca Bluestone. This gave us an introduction to the kind of architecture that is dominant in New Mexico, the adobe style house. They are very charming, cool in the summer, and warm in the cooler months. She does warped faced hand dyed silk wallhangings on a Cranbook Loom with a sectional warp beam and an epi of 8 using a 12/6 swedish cotton for the warp. She likes to weave with a temple because silk is rigid and does not have the give and amplitude of wool, thus its rigidity causes draw-in. Her wallhangings are quite large and to maintain such a straight edge is definitely technically challenging.
Jennifer Moore’s studio was our last stop for the day. The picture are at the top of the page. She creates double weave wall hangings, scarves and shawls. Jennifer’s book on double weave has just come out, and she also sells dvd’s on the technique. I acquired a copy of the book and asked her to sign it! Jennifer’s studio may be small, but she also is incredibly prolific.
I regrouped with my new friends after the tour. Bobbie was fading because she had come directly to Albuquerque from a trip to France, so she didn’t join us for dinner. Jean, Cynthia and I took the bus to Old Town Albuquerque, where shops and restaurants were organized around a very European looking square. We had dinner at one of the restaurants (Mexican). We faded quickly after that.