Sunday, July 31, 2011

Professional Fiber Artist JUDE HILL- Spirit Cloth

I have another favorite fiber artist that I'd like to showcase before the end of this month, Jude Hill, the maker of spirit cloth.  She, like Morna Crites-Moore, I happened upon in Quilting Arts magazine last year and have been following her blog ever since.   Jude inspires me with the incredible amount of hand stitching that she puts into each of her pieces, and I especially love how she incorporates weaving into her quilts by ripping various fabric strips apart then weaving them back together again to form her quilt bases.  Afterwards she embellishes over top with very special images and lots and lots of hand stitching.   I also appreciate how she documents her process and includes her thoughts thru notes she jots down. Jude also has an amazingly diverse flower and vegetable garden and is a fabulous photographer (even though she doesn't think so) and includes those photos into her blog.  Harry Trieu, Mary Pinedo and Gary wait till you see her garden full of goodies!   Thank you for allowing me to feature you on my blog.


"..... 60 years old ...born and raised in new york currently retired and financially stressed, residing on the north shore of long island in the woods with my husband , WAS (the cat) , a lot of fabric and a partial water view. love of sewing started with making doll clothes and then my own clothes.

..... studied children's book illustration at SVA ( school of visual arts) in new york city... quitting before completing in order to get a job and pay my rent... landed a job as a trainee hand weaver for a large manufacturer, the beginning of a love affair with woven fabric design.
.....designed woven fabric for the apparel industry for 25 years, a full time career that required commuting to new york city on a train, 4 hours in transit a day.

.....began sewing during my commute, made my first full sized quilt in 1979. unplugged. queen size.
.....gradually, because of my access to fabric and my understanding of fabric structure, my drawing skills and fascination with story telling... i became obsessed with telling a story with cloth.

.....unplugged for convenience of portability and my dedication to energy conservation. i don't buy much of anything and i hate all the "gunk" that is applied to fabric art these days. it interferes with the nature of the fabric and pollutes the earth. i believe in recycling and re-purposing and my work is mostly given away but i have opened a shop for smaller pieces. hand sewing is meditative and beautiful. i do occasionally plug in but machine stitches are just not the same. pieces evolve through a process of thought catching and what-iffing. each one is a sampler of a kind, containing new techniques and ideas, each a study for the next. i use them as metaphors for change and life's journey. my style is based on layers, the nature of fabric, redefining traditional techniques, unconventional cloth construction, mending and the relationship of sewing to weaving. i call myself an alternative quilter and a folk artist. i would love to be a teacher someday. 
.....started my blog  to record the process of making a spirit cloth, which is always a gift and usually takes one or two years to complete. because these are such long term projects i thought that the process could be interesting enough for posting.
i have been published in quilting arts magazine, artful blogging, and art quilting studio.
.....i enjoy comments although i am sometimes too busy stitching to catch up right away. thank you for visiting.
it seems i might be able to communicate something through cloth making. i hope so. this blog is a personal journey into gift giving and story cloth. one step at a time. and diversions along the way.
The quest.
i have recently experienced a transition where my hobby has become my life. in order to explain this transformation to myself i have set up this blog to record my thought process as i create what i no longer call a quilt but a spirit cloth. my approach is always very scattered and i hope this journal will help me in my quest to understand the nature of my creative thought and the magic it seems to conjure. i am not a good photographer or a writer, but it seems i might be able to communicate something through cloth making. i hope so. 
bear with me if you are reading along. i am likely to make multiple posts per day to keep up with my thoughts."

Friday, July 29, 2011

Clay Masks - Student Work

I received an e-mail today from a ceramics teacher asking about clay masks, so I thought I'd put up the ones my Beginning 3-D kids made this year.  I hope these will inspire your students, I know I'm thrilled with how they turned out, especially this one made by sophomore Rita Labib.  Besides the design being fabulous, check out the metal details below.  She experimented by laying a cloth zipper opened up over top the month area, as well as embedding several metal screws, staples and nails into the plastic clay before the first firing.  LOVE this piece Rita!    
Another favorite was this one above created by senior Tiffany Wang.  Tiffany was one of my top artists this year.  She, like Rita, embedded metal nails and wires into her mask.  Below we have two really fun pieces made by seniors Alex San Pablo and Brenda Yee.  The kids had 4 oxide choices in how they were able to finish the pieces off,  Red Iron Oxide, Rutile, Cobalt Carbonate and Chrome Carbonate.  Some of the kids used several combined together for a greater variety, like Alex and Brenda. 
Above we have senior Anisha Mistry who ended up with an outstanding design and a terrific finish. 
The two expressive pieces above were done by seniors Anika Haque and Elle Quimpo, and the two scary ones below where made by junior Jaimee Chirico and sophomore Shivani Patel.  Love how Jaimee applied her oxides with a lot of overlapping and very little rubbing off.  And Shivani got a really cool crackle finish around her nose by applying the cobalt very heavily, and not wiping any off. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Professional Fiber Artist MORNA CRITES-MOORE

I am so excited to showcase one of my very favorite fiber artists, Morna Crites-Moore, here on my blog.  I discovered her work last school year in an issue of Quilting Arts, and it was love at first sight!  So I immediately went onto her website to see all that she creates.  In fact, I enjoyed her work so much that I required my Beginning 3-D students to visit her site as homework when they were learning how to sew and embellish.  I am especially inspired by her hand stitching, all her tiny decorative stitches, and by the fact that she likes to work with recycled wool sweaters.  Below is a statement of her work that I copied from her website 

"I learned to knit and sew when I was a young girl - and that was when I fell in love with textiles. I am especially fond of old textiles - their soft hand and faded palette, the occasional mended patch. I like to make new things from old things, including a wonderful felted wool which I make from old wool sweaters. I often wonder about the life that was led by the abandoned articles of clothing I use in my work. Does this little pair of mittens have memories of building a snowman? Does that cardigan sweater remember its freshman year at college?
Recently I have been exploring jewelry design and the art of the metal smith. I have learned how to saw, forge, solder and braze shining sterling silver and other metals. It is a learning process which continues, as I discover the joy of working with pearls, crystals, precious stones, and found objects.

There is quite a challenge involved in trying to serve two loves; nowadays my fiber muse and my jewelry muse have little power struggles over who gets to be in charge of my studio, my head, my hands, my heart.

Among the many aphorisms I heard as a child, the one that stays with me best is waste not, want not.I think that's a clue to why I save pretty much everything.
To visit my studio is to be surrounded by collections of all sorts. I try to keep my fabric in order, but the wool, linen, and silk overflow their spaces, wandering into the den next door. And the den is filled with items to sell in my vintage shop. My daughter's room is home to an entire wall of gorgeous wool tapestry threads. Boxes overflowing with sweaters sit in a corner of my bedroom. Back in the studio, dolls and their tea sets share shelves with piles of velvet and lace, cups filled with markers and paint brushes, and jar upon jar of antique buttons. Baskets hold tea bags and their tags, wool roving, projects in progress, wool scraps waiting to be strung as garlands, and bundles of old letters. There is a large drawer devoted to dryer lint and hundreds of teeny containers, each holding a different type or color of bead, pearl, clasp, sit stacked one upon another, at the jewelry table." 

Thank you Morna for allowing me to share you and your work.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fourth of July Roses - My Garden

For those of you still hanging in there with me this summer, please know that I haven't been as disciplined as during the school year about getting my posts blogged everyday.  Lately, I seem to be averaging about once a week if I'm lucky.  And I have so very much left to blog from last school year too, so please be patient with me and check in every couple of days if you can. 
Just wanted to show off my 4th of July rose brush that I planted about 7 years ago at my ex's house.  Since he has taken over the gardening chores there the bush seems to really be thriving.  This is the first year that it's had such a plethora of blooms.  Isn't it incredible?  Good job Inars  :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Felt Balls with Embellishment - Student Work

These fun felt balls were made by my Beginning 3-d students towards the end of the school year.  They always enjoy the feltmaking process cuz it's soapy and messy and we get to go outside to do it.  Inspired by the ball last year's senior Marisela did (click on side bar), I required the kids this year to add a touch of embellishment when the balls were dry.  I also asked them to try to shape them into something other then a circle.  These were my favorites in the bunch.  Senior Brenda Yee did the fabulous one above.  It reminds me of those Ukraine beeswax eggs at Easter time.
These clever cutie's above were done by sophomores Rita Labib and Lorena Morales, and senior Michael Clark.
Above we have pieces by sophomore Shivani Patel, and seniors Tiffany Wang and Shalu Singh.
And lastly we have work by junior Marissa Fierro, sophomore Ellin Li and junior Noel Kim.  I'm so proud of you all for just jumping in and using your newly discovered sewing skills to really make these pieces special.  Fantastic effort all of you!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Nature Inspired Planter - My Work

This was my demo piece that I did for my Beginning Ceramics kids, and I really liked how it turned out. The bird in the center was a result of a hole that occured while I was thumping and dragging the clay slab to stretch it out.  So I took advantage of the rip and inlayed a piece of clay from behind to seal it and when I turned the slab over the tear took on the shape of a bird.  I love when stuff like that happens because it pushes me to go further with my designing.  So I added a twig with leaves and stamped a hole for the bird's eye.  On the back side I put a dedication to our out-going principal, Patricia Hager, and gave it to her as a going away present.  Good luck Patti in your new school district, I'm going to really miss you, and so will the kids.  You were an amazing woman to work under and with.  Love you!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nature Inspired Planters - Student Work

The last assignment every year for my Beginning Ceramics students is to make a functional planter.  And the day of the 4th quarter final I bring in a variety of sun and shade plants, a big bag of potting soil and off we go to the races to get these puppies planted.  These four were the ones that I felt really stood out from the rest.  This top one with the impeccable craftsmanship was made by senior Harry Trieu.  And the beauty below was done by senior Freddy Perez. 
Above we have this lovely planter made by junior Melissa Garcia, and my absolute favorite was this crazy, earthy piece below, embedded with nails by senior Matthew Ramos. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sophie and Her Friends - An Update

Her neighborhood boy toy
and how they quickly became fast friends
and trying to get into the car with her cousin Puck

Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Great Big Thank You

To Bette and Dad for the terrific time all four of us had in Florida with you this last week.  The food was amazing, being able to sleep till noon if we wanted to was divine, just relaxing and spending quality time with the two of you so wonderful, swimming with the sharks so exciting and scary, golfing in the evenings in the rain so much fun, and alligator hunting in the golf cart in the dark- what a grand adventure for my children and I.  But, mostly, I want to thank you for welcoming my two children into your home and making them feel so welcome and loved as if they were your own grand kids.  That was the BEST!!  Hopefully we will be able to come back real soon.  We love you two so much!  And we miss you too Rocco  :)