Monday, August 20, 2012

Step away from old loves to make room for "the one"

"I cut my ex out of my life, and now my mojo's back."

"I like a man with dirt under his nails."

Friday, August 17, 2012

3D Printing - Technology strikes again

A couple of weeks ago, my internal landscape changed when I used an embroidery machine for the first time. Last night, I had another technologically-induced thrill: I used a 3D printer for the first time! A group of designers, educators, and engineers who call themselves the NYC Makery set up shop at the Invisible Dog Art Center on Bergen Street, just a stone's throw away from my apartment. I visited the NYC Makery pop up tech "camp" last night, and they helped me make this small 3D "OMG."

There is what I call a waffle underneath the letters. (One of the Makery folks told me it's a "raft.") The raft/waffle only appears when your object, rendered in 3D software, is above the picture plain. The printer created this lattice upon which my design rests to account for the distance between my letters and the printer base. 

I love the OMG and waffle! I am hoping to investigate 3D lettering and printing in more depth at another time.

The NYC Makery pop up will be at the Invisible Dog through the end of next week...

Monday, August 13, 2012


For a while, I was calling my small-scale embroideries "post-it notes." After last Wednesday's artist talk at the Center for Book Arts, or even before that, I realized that they follow the 140 or fewer character constraint of Twitter. They're embroidered tweets! 

Watch out for the end of September, when I will participate in the Dumbo Arts Festival. 

Saturday and Sunday, 9/29–9/30, from 1-4pm both days, I will conduct the Embroidered Tweet/Post-it Note Confessional. Get your stories, secrets, and wishes ready for me. If you want to get a jump start, send me a tweet now to @IvivaOlenick. Your confession must fit within the 140 or fewer character limit!

More details to come regarding the Dumbo Arts Festival, where I will be collecting confessions on-site and embroidering, adding to a growing on-site installation.

In the meantime, here are some of my latest tweets. As per the one that says, "Still looking for someone who will see in me all the things there are to love. Someone other than my mom, that is," love from Mom can be the best kind of love.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Machine Embroidery — A Life Changing Experience!

I had a life-changing experience on Monday evening. I visited my friend, Antonius Wiriadjaja, artist in residence at NYU's ITP program in Manhattan. He took my intro embroidery class at 3rd Ward, and subsequently invited me to check out his computerized embroidery machine.

One visit, and I'm hooked! Using the pen tool in Illustrator, I "drew" one of the phrases I would normally stitch by hand. I decided to treat the text as a line drawing, which is how I think of my embroidery. Antonius then showed me how to use software he downloaded, which takes the Illustrator file and converts it to a format the embroidery machine can use. The funniest part was seeing how the software made a linear drawing out of my "text," inserting long floats, or trails of thread to connect breaks in my drawing. Normally, one would use scissors to cut these floats by hand. I decided to keep them, because I see them as a map of how the embroidery machine works and thinks. They add to the linear quality of the text-drawing.

Below are two images: the machine embroidery, which is considerably larger and has a playful inconsistency, and my hand-stitched rendering, which has a more private and discrete sensibility.

Many thanks to Antonius for opening my eyes and hands to a new potential format for my work. I am now going to search for grant opportunities so that I, too can have an embroidery machine.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

How I Really Feel

This Wednesday evening, August 8, I am participating in a multi-artist talk at the Center for Book Arts from 6:30-8. The talk, featuring Patricia Dahlman, China Marks, Rebecca Carter and me, is in conjunction with "Tell Me How You REALLY Feel: Diaristic Tendencies," curated by Alexander Campos and Rory Golden. Alexander Campos is moderating the talk. The exhibit is on view through September 22nd.

I made the piece below as the intro for my talk. Want to know more? Come see me this Wednesday.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Craft Spoken Here

The past few days and weeks have been a whirlwind personally and professionally. I have literally had some mini-romantic breakups, some emotional ups and downs, and some excitement. 

Yesterday, I traveled to Philadelphia just for the evening to attend a special curator walk through of "Craft Spoken Here" at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I think I mentioned previously that some of my post-its (or embroidered tweets) are in the gift shop associated with this exhibit.

Elisabeth Agro, the Nancy M. McNell Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Craft and Decorative Arts, officially introduced the show and talked a bit about her curatorial process. I had caught a glimpse of the exhibit when it was still being installed in April. It was a thrill to see it in its entirety yesterday evening after hours. The Museum is nestled in a very lush, green part of the city, and the trip itself was delightful. 

I was very taken with Rebecca Medel's piece, "The One," pictured here. During my visit to the Museum several months ago, it was disassembled and being installed. I am glad I was able to see it in its final incarnation. For a large-scale piece, it has quite a bit of delicacy and grace. The piece consists of single strands of thread tied into repetitive sheet bends, knots used by sailors. I am amazed that the sum of so many small parts creates so powerful a statement.