Sunday, March 28, 2010

Get stitchy in April

Over the course of teaching the past few years, I've created numerous stitch samplers. I have also discovered which types of stitches seem to confound and confuse, and which bring nearly instant delight and gratification. I like to challenge and reward my students, and I always learn from them. 

By the end of a single, 3-hour class, students are able to embroider their names using a combination of different stitches, and begin a portrait or drawing.

If you'd like to learn with me, here are some workshops in April:

1. 5 weeks of studio time with Iviva - The Embroidered Art Journal class at Pratt Center for Continuing and Professional Studies (14th Street and 7th Ave in Manhattan):

5 Wednesdays:
April 21 - May 19th, 6:30-9:30pm


After mastering a dozen stitches for decorative and practical use, we will explore a range of methods for interpreting photographs as embroideries, drawing with thread, and transferring images and text onto fabric.

The goal is for each student to embark on a personal project that incorporates embroidery and narrative. Mixed media projects are encouraged.

Previous students have worked on a wide range of pursuits: one is in the process of making a book for her soon-to-be grandchild, another did preparatory work for exhibition pieces for a show. Students experimented with non-traditional materials, like sewing on bubble wrap and other forms of packaging. Some created sculptural "landscapes" by manipulating fabric and thread. Others reinterpreted their own drawings and illustrations using fabric and thread.

The possibilities for this class are endless...

2. Saturday, April 3rd (next weekend!!) 3 hours of studio time
3rd Ward in Williamsburg, Brooklyn
For more info and to register: 3rd Ward

Get an early start to the evening by joining me for a 3-hour embroidery-athon.

In addition to tackling stitches from the sampler up top, we will review methods for transferring images onto fabric, and for interpreting graphic images and photographs as embroideries. 

I will supply materials. Come with your favorite fabric, a piece in progress, and any questions you may have. 

Final art-fair ready version of Bygone Brooklyn

Here is the final version of "Brooklyn of a Bygone era." Muriel Guepin, my gallerist (of Muriel Guepin Gallery in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn), thought the piece needed a little more visual information on the top right corner, which I added in as narrative. I also removed the graffiti. I knew she would prefer the sign without it!

The Affordable Art Fair is from May 6-9th in New York City, and I am nearly finished with piece 4, which I will post soon. 

In the meantime, I have been working away at some FiberGraf pieces (check out FiberGraf's blog here) in preparation for an application due this hot minute...I am also set to teach every Saturday in April. More info about that imminently.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Strange world of blogging

Just a quick post to say that I am pleased to have found a mention of my blog and artwork in Philadelphia's Citypaper blog. Here's the link:

Citypaper picked up on me after the Philadelphia-based clothing company, Free People, mentioned wereisobesotted in their blog.

How did these internet elves find me?

However they found me, I must thank them for the publicity. 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Tied in Knots leaves its post on Court-9th Streets

I was surprised and flattered to discover that one of the signs I posted along my running routes, "You tie me  up in knots and I'm not ready to be tied down," remained at its post on Court and 9th Streets for months. Someone had actually wrapped tape around it and the light post to keep it intact. Thank you kind stranger and friend to public art!

I went to visit it yesterday, and found it filthy, battered, tattered, and blowing in the wind. I decided it was time to take it down. I am excited to have it, and to see the signs of wear. It held up pretty well. It has small holes in it, but the text is intact. It is also covered in New York City dirt, which is probably mostly car exhaust.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Urban images - signage, graffiti, FiberGraf

This piece at left is the latest in my collaboration with graffiti artist, Jon Baker. He has provided me with colorful images, like the one at left, which I transform into embroideries. This one is from his black book, a sketchbook graffiti artists use to perfect their tags (signatures).

This one is nearly finished, although I would like to add more French knots to some of the smaller squares of ink above the "Hens" tag (Jon's tag).

I usually post this work on another blog, but wanted to include this here, mostly because I find myself very drawn to urban imagery lately, as evidenced in my previous two posts about "Forgotten Brooklyn" signage. 

I also discovered that another fiber artist, Marie Elcin, recently created an embroidered graffiti piece. You can see it here. 

Thanks, readers, for your feedback about "Forgotten Brooklyn." I appreciate your honest comments. 

Friday, March 12, 2010

But does it need graffiti?

 Added in a drop of graffiti that appears on the sign. Not sure it is needed in the piece. It is a separate piece of shear fabric that can be removed...

I liked the idea of layering the old, original sign with the more recent graffiti.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Forgotten Brooklyn - 5th Avenue and 16th Street

A few weekends ago, I took a walk down 5th Avenue all the way from Gowanus to Bay Ridge to buy running tights at Century 21 on 86th Street. It's a great walk, taking me through many ethnic enclaves, including neighborhoods that sell roasted, salted, and buttered corn grilled on the street, and bakeries with pita bread. 

Along the way, I stopped to photograph signs and buildings that looked out of place, remnants of forgotten businesses. The piece pictured here, "Forgotten Brooklyn, Berkley," is my rendering of a sign left over from an old and now defunct business on the corner of 5th Avenue and 16th Street, the edge of Park Slope before the Greenwood Cemetery. The sign is stained with rust and has graffiti, and the fluorescent lights are literally falling off. I chose not to render the stains or graffiti...but I may go back in later and add these. I like the layering of text. I also appreciate what happens when you embroider architectural images - there is a distortion and rounding out of shapes because of the nature of fabric and how it buckles and bunches under tension.

This is the third Brooklyn piece in my series...I have one more "official" piece to create for the Affordable Art Fair in May. I hope to resolve this soon, since there are phrases dancing in my head that would like to be embroidered.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Getting closer

I am almost done with my third Brooklyn piece, which is a bit of a departure from the first two. I will post it within the next few days, I promise.

In the meantime, I thought I'd give a brief review of this past weekend's art orgy, otherwise known as too many art fairs hit New York within a 3-day period. After teaching on Saturday morning and having a brief brainstorming session with my gallerist, I dragged myself into Manhattan to see Independent, which had no cover charge, and an array of artwork from all over the globe, much of which felt clinical to me. I did not feel much inspired by the work, but was pleased to run into art critic Jerry Saltz, who I find to be hilarious and incisive. As his Facebook friend, I also find it entertaining that he is a poor speller, yet gets his point across quite clearly. Thank you, Jerry Saltz, for adding your voice to the contemporary art world.

I also had the pleasure this weekend of seeing the work of a new friend, Anita Walsh. She is showing a series of "living drawings" in Park Slope at Picada y Vino wine shop on 5th Avenue and 3rd Street. You can see more of her work here. The piece at top is hers, too, entitled "Living Drawing Series I," rubber and brass on white birch. 

I love the woven quality of the rubber bands as thread, and I love the organic decay that occurs. I feel as though I've discovered a new textile artist, and I'm thrilled!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Baker's Dozen

About two months ago, I sat down with my friend, KC, a poet and collage artist. You can see and read her work here. She gave me some poems to read, and I gave her some of my artwork to look at. We decided to try to combine our artistic voices.

At top is an image of my embroidery of one of her poems, "Baker's Dozen:"
Pretty is a pat on the head,
The folds of the body she swims in
and from which she is fled.
Pretty is a pat on the head.
It isn't the form that locates her dread,
it's the distance from whom she's been.
Pretty is a pat on the head,
the folds of the body she swims in.

We did end up talking a bit about swimming, which is a sport I have no talent for (I think you all know by now how I feel about running). We agreed that an undercurrent of water ran through a few of the poems. 

I stitched this poem on a piece of an old bathing suit that never quite fit. I actually have had it since I went to summer camp as a teenager. It always seemed old fashioned to me, and was intended for a body with more curves than mine.