Kettlecutting thread lake smaller 3 2

 

 Textile Evolution

Liz Kettle Artist, Author and Creator of the Stitch Meditation process

Stitch Journeys

Exploring life with needle and thread.

Order out of Chaos?

studio chaos sm edited-1

I am surrounded by studio chaos! That is how it is when I am fleshing out a new class. Creating a new class often takes up to 6 months of thinking, experimenting and talking to the dumb little scoundrel that whispers in my head. I thought I might share with you my process for developing a class.

I start out with some great ideas

I research, experiment and play

I think, ohhh what if...

I get distracted by more ideas

I get overwhelmed by ideas

I can't possibly fit all this in one class

Who the heck wants to learn this weird assortment of techniques anyway

no one is going to like this class

but, this thing is really cool

and maybe this one

a new round of research, experimenting and playing

how can I make this all look good together

why do I do this

this is never going to work

no one is going to like this class

oh, wait, what if I do it this way...

that's a great idea

just how much can I fit into 6 hours ~ can I make them skip lunch

ohhhh that is really cool ~ they will love this

what if...

and so it goes......

 

 

 

Continue reading
  2282 Hits
  1 Comment
2282 Hits
1 Comment

What's in a Name?

I have had a horrid cold, the sort of cold that gives you 'break your ribs' coughing fits. Yuck! I am not too sad though because I think this means my immune system is getting back to a more normal baseline. The only benefit of a Wonder Woman immune system is that normal colds just don't have a chance. LOL As much as I love Wonder Woman I would rather have a non-superhero immune system. So please forgive me if this post is a bit rambly. 

Modern quild challenge quilt

Since I can't get much computer or studio work done I have spent more time than usual reading. I spent quite a few hours checking out reviews of Quilt Con and I came across thisblog postby Thomas Knauer. I have never heard of him before that but found that his post really resonated with me. Basically, he writes a 'mini manifesto' about the words we use to describe what we do. Does it really matter if we name what we make traditional, contemporary, modern or art quilts?

If you have even been to a modern quilt guild meeting you mght be surprised to see english paper piecing-by hand, quilts that look more like contemporary art and traditional patterns being done with 'modern' fabrics. As someone who has been hanging out in the quilt world for more years than seem possible, I am always amused when the modern quilters act like they have discovered something totally new. I amuse myself when I peruse old stitch books and find that what may be called contemporary hand stitching or embroidery has been done before. And, do you remember the hoopla the first time a machine quilted quilt won first prize in Houston? As if quilters hadn't used their tredle machines to quilt before. It is always great to be reminded that just because something is new to you it doesn't mean it is new to the universe. 

Now don't get me wrong. I love the modern quilt movement. It is bringing energy and enthusiam into the quilt industry like a breath of fresh air. I love the new highly graphic asethetic of the new designer's fabric. I love the colors, and wish I could snap my fingers and swap out my stash of muddy tones for all those yummy bright new fabrics. I remember when solid fabrics were 'in' the last time round. I just wonder why we feel the need to distance ourselves from each other. I have made quilts in all these styles, and love each quilt faction equally. I have heard negative remarks from all the different quilt camps about all the other quilt camps as if it were better to belong to one over the other. When you get right down to the bottom line we are all just making stuff!

That is the clincher. What is really important here is the 'making' not the end product. Making connects us with our selves, with our soul and with each other. It doesn't matter if you are making 'fine art' or a quilt that will be drug around by a toddler. The magic, the juicy goodness, is in the making. 

When I crawled into bed at 8pm I had run out of novels to read and my Kindle was being glitchy so I dragged out an old book by Michael Gelb. It is one of my favorites, How to Think like Leonardo da Vinci. The first part of the book takes you through the Renaissance (quickly) and I was stopped dead in my tracks by the following:

"we owe it to ourselves to ask if we can afford to let the authorities of our time---whether church, goverment, or corporation----think for us."     Michael Gelb

Wow, I would have smacked my head but it already hurt! This is what I have been talking about! Who cares what the quilt police, the modern guild or the art world thinks about what I make. Labels can help us define our tribes, find our friends and our place in a huge world. Labels can also fence us in and allow us to let the group tell us how to think and create. Creating and making are too important to let anyone tell us how we should do it. The flip side being everyone's creative expression should be honored and accepted...even when we don't understand it.

If we choose to let what other people create open doors to conversations that connect us more deeply does it matter what we call it?

 

Continue reading
  2127 Hits
  1 Comment
2127 Hits
1 Comment

Creating for Pure Pleasure

Creating for Pure Pleasure

When was the last time you created something for no good reason?

 

ATCs Feb thermofax

I love creating Artist Trading Cards aka ATCs so much that quite a few years ago I started a trading group here in town. ATCs are made for the pure fun of it. There are no rules except the size. There is no reason for them to exist except for personal pleasure of their creation. I haven't been able to attend much the last couple years because of my busy travel schedule. But, this Saturday I was in town and made the commitment to myself to make ATCs to trade.

I had so much fun and it only took a little over an hour! Often it is difficult to give ourselves the precious gift of time to create and play but the rewards are so much more than the 'thing' we end up with. I felt happy, energized and relaxed all at the same time.

To create these cards I started with some gelatin plate printed tissue papers I had made. I stamped the tissue papers with half circles using Colorbox Mica Magic stamp pads. Then I screen-printed the flower seed image using one of my thermofax screens and black paint. I added one more layer of screen-printed flowers with a pearlescent paint from Stewart Gill. I cut the tissue papers into the 2.5" x 3.5" ATC size and fused them to Peltex stabilizer. For the backs I used some of the remaining tissue paper or some dyed paper towel fused to the back of the Peltex. To finish the edges I rubbed on the same metallic ink from the stamp pads. Signed and numbered them and done.

I challenge you to carve out an hour to play this week. No need to create a finished product or even strive for something beautiful; just play. You will be so glad you did.

Liz

 

 

Continue reading
  2412 Hits
  0 Comments
2412 Hits
0 Comments

Remembering to See

Remembering to See

Quite a while ago I wrote a post about Seeing. See was my word of the year in 2010 and it was a good guiding word for me. I did pay more attention to what and who was around me. I became more mindful and my art work benefited from that.

dead trees in Breckenridge

In January I was in Breckenridge for a long weekend and I realized on the way home that I hadn't really taken time to 'see' what was around me. I didn't even notice the millions of dead trees in my vision. You see, I had become accustomed to them. They had become the new normal in my visual field so I no longer saw them. I no longer mourned their loss or savored their sad beauty.

Today, a month later, I looked out my front window and discovered a huge pile of bird feathers from some unheard battle. Tiny down feathers were attached to all the bare branches. How long had they been there? When did this altercation take place? It could have been yesterday...it could have been a week ago. I had no idea.

bird feathers caught in bush

No blood was found and I imagine a bird was trying to snack on one of my plentyful pocket gophers and met a coyote intent upon the same purpose. Hope one of them got a few of the gophers. Don't think poorly of me...those gophers have killed my garden and my passion for it. Grrrrrr..

At any rate...these two incidences combined to give me pause to consider if I have been taking time to 'see' lately? When I haven't been on the road these last 6 months I have been living in my head. Reading marketing, business and how to make video tutorials. Way too much time in my left brain. I have not made anytime for art. I have not taken the time to slow down, breathe and be mindful of my surroundings.

feathers from yard battle edited-1

I need to bring 'seeing' back into my life as a daily ritual again. So, I have added it to my calendar and task list. I have also added time for the studio. I will be down there all weekend exploring techniques, asking 'what if' and most importantly of all playing. Perhaps these feathers I have collected will find their way into my art.

What reminds you to slow down, be present and see?

Continue reading
  2027 Hits
  0 Comments
2027 Hits
0 Comments

Creative Silk Challenge ~ Chase Away the Winter Blahs

Creative Silk Challenge ~ Chase Away the Winter Blahs

Liz Here ~

Are you ready to get back into the studio to play but find that you just don't have any ideas or motivation? That is what happens to us after the busy fall show season followed by the holidays. Ruth and I get the January creative blahs. We were thinking about this problem when we visited Treenway Silks recently where we became totally enamoured with their Creative Silk Packs. Such delicious colors and textures! Thus, our Winter Creative Challenge was born.

treenway berries     treenway green    treenway coastal

 

treenway midnight    treenway peach    treenway fields

Do you want to play with us? You can get your own yummy package of goodies from Blue Twig Studio or Treenway Silk.

The rules: In the spirit of keeping this totally fun and playful we don't have any rules! We do have a due date so we don't procrastinate forever...you know how that happens! Due by March 15. Get your Creastive Silk Pack and make something. Make a couple somethings. Share your photos with us and we will feature you and your work on our blog and Facebook. e-mail either of us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ruth picked the Wild Berries pack and of course I choose Eat your GreensI started playing with mine yesterday. When I opened my package it looked like this:

treenway silk pack green

So much possibility!

A few hours later it looked like this:

treenway silk pack phase 2

I added in some Treenway hand dyed silk ribbon. Then I started stitching but don't have a photo of that yet. I have to say I barely made a dent in the contents of the Creative Silk Pack so I know I will get at least 2 projects out of it. I wish the photos really showed how awesome the colors are.

We will both post photos of our progress.

So, come on...Jump in and play with us. Let's chase away the winter blahs together.

Continue reading
  2451 Hits
  0 Comments
2451 Hits
0 Comments

Demystifying Bobbin Case Tension

One of the frequent questions I get at any lecture or class is about that pesky bobbin case tension. It seems to make smart women doubt their skills and abilities. It isn't really very confusing but we have been told to keep our hands off that bobbin case tension screw! We might mess it up. Really? How tragic could it be? It is one screw. Righty tighty lefty loosy. Pretty simple.

for those of you who aren't quite sure why you would need to adjust your bobbin case tension well, I have a few words for you: uber yummy ultra heavy threads!

Farm Fresh Tencel-bobbin work close up sm

I chanllenge you all to make friends with your bobbin case tension! Be brave! There is nothing more staisfying than knowing you can make your machine do what you want.

Today, I am sharing my video that tells you just how to adjust that bobbin case tension.

Now that you have concqured that fear head over to Textile Evolution to create with us in our free on-line book studies. There is one for Fabric Embellishing: the Basics and Beyond and one for Threads: the Basics and Beyond. You do need a copy of the book for the details but the book study is totally FREE. Ask us questions, share your work.

Continue reading
  2356 Hits
  0 Comments
2356 Hits
0 Comments

Creativity ~ The New Super Power!

feet in the ocean water

2012 was a wild and crazy year for me. It all started with my word of the year for 2012. Empower. I spend a lot of time empowering my students in classes and empowering the stores and companies I work with spreading product love, inspiration and understanding. But, I wasn't spending much time empowering myself.

The crazy thing about picking a guiding word for the year is that you are never quite sure where it will take you and how it will manifest. I always write my word on a few post it notes and put them on my computer, in my studio and wherever else I need one. Last year I should have put one in my Kindle because I was on the road so much! This word, empower, took me down paths of discovery that I had barely known exhisted. This word made me stretch and grow and feel a little pain too.

You see, along the empowerment journey I found myself smacked in the face with the fact that I have been playing very small in my task here on earth. I have allowed myself to simply put my feet in the ocean rather than diving into the waves. I let myself be convinced that what I do isn't all that important. Sure I got great feedback from my students and I LOVE teaching and talking about creativity. I get such a rush from inspiring someone but is it important to anyone but me? Does anyone care about making art that speaks from their heart and touches their soul? Art that allows them to tell their story? Does anyone really care about being creative?  I guess you could say I was losing my passion. I was in a rut.

But then came the challenge. I wasn't diving into the deep end. I wasn't being authentic. I wasn't letting you know just how passionate I am about teaching creativity. I was holding back because it is scary to let strangers and even friends know how much I care about creativity. They would think I was nuts.

Could I really say out loud that I believe that creativity is what will save our country? Save our planet? Save our humanity?

If I was brave...I could.

So I did.

To a room of non-creative people.

I was scared I would sound stupid but nobody laughed.

They wanted to know more. They wanted to learn how they could be more creative.

I know how to do that! That is what makes my heart sing.

Are you ready for my word for 2013? ACTION. I have new classes in the works and some exciting projects that will take a bit more time but will allow me to spread creativity far and wide.

I am excited.

I have found my passion again.

Come along with me and we will change the world and have so much fun creating while we do it!

Continue reading
  2261 Hits
  0 Comments
2261 Hits
0 Comments

Clutter Wars

My friend Lisa Call wrote a great blog post the other day about clutter. Specifically she wrote about the cost of clutter. The cost in time lost managing the clutter. This got me thinking about my clutter status. Have I made any progress controlling the chaos or am I just making excuses, creating justifications and reasons? Going totally naked here folks...

Creating Art Creates Clutter

My art creates a lot of clutter. It can't be helped when you work in collage. I am sorta kind organized in the studio. The tables are cleared off except for current projects and things are mostly put back in their places. I go through fabric, mixed media stash and tools at least once a year and pass on that which doesn't serve me anymore. I use a lot of it in classes so there is a lot of turnover. That clutter is at it's manageable best. Not great but not drowning me either and I can find what I am looking for quickly. My studio may never be clutter free but in the rest of the house I have been eliminating clutter over the last year. I have conquered most of the kid clutter now that 2 of them are out of the house and off creating their own clutter. I have gotten rid of books that were just collecting dust, clothes that don't fit, misc. stuff that was just collecting dust. Pretty good here too. My desk is a bit cluttered but I have made great progress in this arena over the last couple years. I am a visual organizer so I will always have papers and notes on my desk but I do clear it down to wood about once a month.  I was thinking just how great a job I was doing patting myself on the back and pulling out the gold stars when I thought about my computer. There it was smirking at me...that sneaky time stealing clutter.

Facing Reality

My in-box and Outlook files are a hellacious mess. Let's not even get started on my document files, photo files or my desktop (yikes!). I keep saying I will get to that but I never seem to get caught up. Seriously that has been on my list for over 2 years! I have 3 different e-mail accounts to keep up with. I know I have well over 1000 e-mails (maybe even 1500 ok, ok, 2000+) that need to be dealt with: filed or deleted. I waste time trying to find a specific e-mail. I lose important ones that need replies or follow up. That's really bad right?

The Challenge

So, I am embarking on a 30 day computer clean up! Anyone want to come play with me? Beginning today (I know September 1 would be a better start date but I better not put it off one more day!) I will spend 30-60 minutes focused specifically on computer clutter each and every day. I will keep you posted on my progress each week. If you have any great tips please leave a comment. I need all the help I can get!

Continue reading
  2951 Hits
  0 Comments
2951 Hits
0 Comments

Dyeing With Johann Dippel


Ihad the pleasure of spending last Sunday dyeing fabric with a bunch of great friends. I don't know why dyeing is so dang exhausting but it has taken me a few days to get my fabric rinsed and dried. As you can see from the pile above that there is still a lot of untangling, ironing and folding to be done. And that is only the reds pile. I have a mound of blues and greens too. I keep coming across this quote lately; 'how you do anything is how you do everything', and my dye day adventure made me realize just how true it is. You see, I am completely unable to plan and fuss with my dye color choices. I rarely pay attention to the rules for more than 15 minutes. I don't approach it or any other part of my life in an organized or methodical manner. I approach dyeing more like a mad scientist. A little red here, a little orange there...ohhh what happens if I add in brown? Maybe a little violet or how about some blue?  Now that I think about it, I cook the same way too.

 

Johann Dippel
Johann Dippel is the classic mad scientist! Dippel was born in Castle Frankenstein and it is suggested that Mary Shelley modeled at least part of her infamous book on Dippel's adventures. In addition to his experiments in alchemy, anatomy and his quest for the elixir of life, Johann Dippel is credited with the formulation of the first chemical dye that we call Prussian Blue. He discovered it by accident. He was supposedly trying to make red. Sounds like my dyeing misadventures. Now, the problem with this approach (some would say) is that I can't replicate anything. Ever! I so admire friends who can plan to dye certain colors and actually end up with the perfect color for their needs. I wish I could be like them. But, I can't. I have tried and it just doesn't work out for me. I start off with intention to create yellows, oranges and blues. When I finish i realize that while I have a few of those, I also have a pile of unintended greens, purples and reds. I get into the zone and forget all my good intentions. The same problem presents itself when I am advised that I must create a cohesive body of work if my art is to be taken seriously by others. Really? I am totally out of luck then. I am way too interested in telling stories and communicating ideas to limit my tools, media and techniques enough to create this cohesive body of work. I would love to be organized, have carefully laid out plans for the future and have a place for everything with everything in its place but I have made peace with my unruly ways and organized piles that threaten to topple over. It has taken me longer to come to terms with the way I approach making art. However,  I now know that my eclectic way of creating art is just as valid as those who can pull together that cohesive body of work. Deep down I know that a few of those organized artists I wish I could emulate probably wish they could work more like me. Maybe I should get a lab coat. What is your working style? Mad scientist or organized surgeon?    

Continue reading
  2045 Hits
  0 Comments
2045 Hits
0 Comments

Needle Felting Winner!

And we have a winner! The random number generator picked #3 That would be the lovely and talented  Jan DeBellis!! Jan and I first met IRL at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach. That was pretty funny since we both live in Colorado. I have e-mailed you Jan and your goodies will be in your hands very soon.

Continue reading
  1816 Hits
  0 Comments
1816 Hits
0 Comments

Needle Felted Cuff

I got my copies of Quilting Arts today! I never get over the thrill of seeing an article I wrote in print! This embellishment issues is chock fill of great stuff so be sure to check it out.

 

My article about creating Needle Felted bases for embellishing. I made cuffs out of mine but the same techniques can be used in a wide variety of projects. I love needle felting! Have you tried it yet? It is perfect for creating luscious textures and layers of color that blend and flow together. This project can be made with hand needles or with a needle felting machine.

How about a giveaway? Anyone interested? I have an extra copy of this issue to give away and I will make up a goodie bag of fibers for you to create your own cuff! Leave a comment below to enter. Tell me what your favorite color or color combination is. I will use a random number generator to pick the winner on Aug. 19 2012.

Continue reading
  3065 Hits
  0 Comments
3065 Hits
0 Comments

Jumping Back into Art

A sneak peek inside my book



I have just sent in the final samples for my newest book about beading on fabric! I am excited that it is finished except for the dotting of the 'i's and crossing of the 't's. It will be making its debut at Quilt Market in Houston this October. When I am writing and creating a book I am a bit prone to hyper-focusing. Everything that is not 'beading' gets less of my attention. Beading took over my life. How fun is that? I especially loved the part where I took over the entire kitchen table because it was too chilly in my studio to bead for hours on end. The family is happy I am finished too!!

Anyone else see strands of beads here?



When I come out of that hyper-focus mode I have a difficult time transitioning back into my art...my art that isn't beading. Somehow it seems easier to stick with the left brain tasks on my computer than head down to the studio to begin a new project.Fortunately my friend Jill Berry suggested a sketching date at the Denver Botanic Gardens! It is unusual for us to both be at home the same week so we were thrilled to easily find a day we could meet up.

The weather was perfect and the wave after wave of garden color was delicious. We were more than delighted to find an incredible installation in bamboo. Words are not adequate to describe the intricate weavings and sculptures created by artists Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik. Jill and I sketched their amazing forms and wondered for hours soaking up their shapes.

I left the Botanic Gardens full of art inspiration and color excitement. I will be diving into the studio this weekend refreshed and ready to create. What do you do to get your creative mojo flowing?

 
Continue reading
  0 Hits
  2 Comments
0 Hits
2 Comments

Jumping Back into Art

 

I have just sent in the final samples for my newest book about beading on fabric! I am excited that it is finished except for the dotting of the 'i's and crossing of the 't's. It will be making its debut at Quilt Market in Houston this October. When I am writing and creating a book I am a bit prone to hyper-focusing. Everything that is not 'beading' gets less of my attention. Beading took over my life. How fun is that? I especially loved the part where I took over the entire kitchen table because it was too chilly in my studio to bead for hours on end. The family is happy I am finished too!!

 

When I come out of that hyper-focus mode I have a difficult time transitioning back into my art...my art that isn't beading. Somehow it seems easier to stick with the left brain tasks on my computer than head down to the studio to begin a new project.Fortunately my friend Jill Berry suggested a sketching date at the Denver Botanic Gardens! It is unusual for us to both be at home the same week so we were thrilled to easily find a day we could meet up.

The weather was perfect and the wave after wave of garden color was delicious. We were more than delighted to find an incredible installation in bamboo. Words are not adequate to describe the intricate weavings and sculptures created by artists Tetsunori Kawana and Stephen Talasnik. Jill and I sketched their amazing forms and wondered for hours soaking up their shapes.

I left the Botanic Gardens full of art inspiration and color excitement. I will be diving into the studio this weekend refreshed and ready to create. What do you do to get your creative mojo flowing?  

Continue reading
  2880 Hits
  0 Comments
2880 Hits
0 Comments

Neverending Spring

I have been experiencing a never ending Spring. In late March I headed to VA and VA Beach to teach first at Artistic Artifacts and Art and Soul...spring was just beginning.

Carol Sloan, Judy Gula and I made time for a sunrise walk on the beach. Art and Soul was amazing as always. It is so inspiring to be surrounded by so many creative people who love the same stuff you do. Every classroom I peaked in was a hive of energy and filled with the joy of creating. I didn't get to take a class so I am treating myself to a trip to Vegas for the next Art and Soul retreat! Happens to be in my birthday week! Come and join me!

I am always wowed by what my students do with the techniques I teach them. Susan is showing off her beautiful needle felted book in this photo. Each student's book or purse was completely different and each exquisite. Look for some more needle felting classes coming this summer. The Simplicity felting machine is so easy to use and I have a few for my classroom.

I was home for a few days before I headed off to Lancaster PA for the AQS show. Spring was just arriving with tiny bits of green on the trees and beautiful blossoms just beginning to peek out on the bushes. I worked this show with the great folks from Havels Sewing. I adore their scissors and it was a lot of fun to share these great tools with quilters at the show.Robyn Reed and I are enjoying a moment of quiet before the show opened for the day.

Back home for a short rest and then I headed off to Barcelona Spain. During our 9 days there we saw the leaves begin to unfurl and blossoms burst forth. AWESOME! Best describes the trip. My friend Cass Mullane went with me to help translate in my classes but we first had 6 days to explore Barcelona. I took about 1000 photos so I will do a separate post with some of my favorites. I was thrilled to be teaching teachers and store owners as well as a few artists. These talented ladies stitched their hearts out and bravely tried every technique I threw at them. Their students are in for a treat as they share their new passion for thread. The flowers above were growing in a yard in Sant Cugat. We passed them on our way to and from the train station. I don't know what they are but they are so cheerful.

Home for 4 very short days and then off to Cincinnati for Spring Quilt Festival. I actually flew to VA and drove with my friend Judy Gula of Artistic Artifacts to Cincinnati-don't ask why I took this round about route. The drive was spring in reverse starting out in VA with the azaleas in full bloom, snow in West Virginia and the very beginnings of spring in Cincinnati.

We stayed at a hotel near the convention center so we were able to walk to and from the show every day. Cincinnati has some great architecture and we loved these Rookwood tiles in the Carew Tower. I am so happy to be home for an entire month. There is the Mancuso show in Denver in May but I will be able to sleep in my own bed. Spring has finally come to Colorado too.  

Continue reading
  2798 Hits
  0 Comments
2798 Hits
0 Comments

Metal Play

Spring is a busy travel season for me and it seems like forever ago that I was in VA and taught my Metal Mesh Magic class at Artistic Artifacts. In fact it was exactly a month ago. We had so much fun with creating patterns on metal, using patinas, embossing an

d torching.

We made a bit of a mess everywhere as we learned how to transfer images and emboss. But what is creativity without a mess? We played with thin metal shim-colored and natural too.

We took full advantage of the amazing warehouse space to spread out our work as our patinas developed. It is much easier to work with Liver of Sulfur indoors when you have a really big space...not quite so stinky!

Most of the students had never used a torch before but once they tried it they were hooked! Many thanks to Carol Hamilton for allowing us to use her torches and for the safety lesson for everyone. Carol is an amazing jewelry artist. Check out her gallery.

I have a new piece that features metal mesh but it is for a special exhibit so I can't even give you a sneak peek yet. You will have to take my word that it is beautiful. :-) I am off to Barcelona Spain tomorrow to teach my three day intensive thread class, Stitch Journeys. When I get back I will catch you up on Art and Soul as well as my trip to Spain.

Continue reading
  2494 Hits
  0 Comments
2494 Hits
0 Comments

On-line Classes--Tell me what you think...

Continue reading
  1839 Hits
  0 Comments
1839 Hits
0 Comments

Art and Soul Blog Hop ~ Leslie Brier

I have long been a fan of assemblage art but have not taken the leap yet so I was delighted to be able to introduce Leslie Brier to you. As an avid collector of cool stuff that might come in handy some day I fear for my pending storage space problem after looking through Leslie's blog.  My husband doesn't understand my why I keep bringing home more  rusty stuff but, how can I throw anything away now? Leslie's work has been featured in Somerset, Cloth, Paper Scissors and Inspired Ideas.

What type of classes do you like to take at Art and Soul? When I first went to Art and Soul, I took classes where I felt I could be successful and come home with a nice, finished piece.  Then, I took a class that really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I realized that I could learn a lot by being brave. I didn’t always come home with a perfect, finished piece of art, but the skills I learned were invaluable, and I found ways to incorporate that new knowledge into my work. The classes I’ve taken at Art and Soul have really helped me to grown as an artist. What aspect of teaching do you love the most? I am amazed that a group of students can start with virtually identical materials, and within a few hours, an amazing variety of work will be created. Each student interprets what you teach and puts their own spin on it. I also love the fact that teaching doesn’t feel like work! I end a day of teaching feeling energized and inspired. That wasn’t always the case when I was working in the corporate world.

Do you work in a planned or intuitive way?  How would you describe your approach? I start out with a plan, but it is rare that a piece ends up exactly as I originally intended. I work with found objects and I find that they once I get them into my hands, the objects themselves will lead me in directions that I hadn’t thought of in the sketchbook phase of the project. What did you do to discover your creative voice and personal style? I did jewelry and graphic design for a long time, but my heart was leading me toward assemblage. I was afraid of ruining the objects I wanted to use in my art. I also was used to charging by the hour for my graphic design work, and I didn’t want to put a lot of time into a piece that might not turn out the way I wanted it to. I had to overcome those fears, and give myself permission to fail.  Eventually, I realized that no time spent in the studio was wasted time Taking the time to develop my own techniques has been invaluable. I learned to trust my instincts, and that’s when my own individual style emerged. What advice do you have for someone beginning their art journey? Dive in! Be fearless! You have absolutely nothing to lose, and so much to gain. Allow yourself the time and space to practice what you are interested in. You didn’t learn to read or write in one day -- it took time. The same applies to your artistic skills. Also, seek out like-minded people. I remember going to my first Art and Soul, and how good it felt to be surrounded by people that were interested in the same things that I was.

You can take a class from Leslie to learn all about her creative creatures at Art and Soul in Va Beach in March!

Pick ME! Pick ME!

We have another giveaway for you! Another chance for one of Artistic Artifacts awesome mixed media prize packs including some fabulous batik fabrics and lots of ephemera.  Leave a comment below...share your favorite place to find awesome stuff for your collection! Come on Share! There is plenty of great stuff for all of us. We won't buy it all!

Continue reading
  2317 Hits
  0 Comments
2317 Hits
0 Comments

Art and Soul Blog Hop-Jean Van Brederode

Welcome to your first stop on the 2012 Art and Soul Artist Interview Blog Hop! I can't wait to read all the artist's interviews...what fun to peek into their creative process. I am excited to introduce you all to an artist I first met in Portland last fall, Jean Van Brederode. I love Jean's enamel jewelery work. It is so fun, unique and almost all of it has some yummy fibers attached! Gotta have those fibers. I received a MAPP gas torch for Christmas so I see some enameling in my future! I just need to decide which class to take now...

Artistic Artifacts-the official Art and Soul on-site store has put together awesome mixed media prize packages for each blog on the hop. leave a comment at the end of this post telling me your current favorite technique. I will draw for the winner next Saturday January 28th.

This is a sampling of all the delicious stuff in the blog hop prize packages. Judy at Artistic Artifacts has all the good stuff Be sure to check out the next artist interview on the Art and Soul hop! Sunday features Barbie Saint John's interview on Kari McKnight-Holbrook's blog Now---here is Jean!

What teacher (s) lit your fire to be an artist?   I started taking classes at Art & Soul in 2005 after I retired from teaching 8th grade English for 34 years.  Art has always been my passion, and my goal was to find the art form that would carry me through the rest of my life.  What a wonderful adventure!  The journey was well worth the effort and expense. Instructors who have made the greatest impact on me are Susan Lenhart Kazmer, Jane Wynn, DJ Pettitt, Richard Salley, and Linda and Opie O'Brien.   Enameling teachers outside of Art & Soul include Linda Darty, Averill Shepps, and George Waricher.  Their dedication to their craft and excellent teaching skills led me on a path to enameling which is now my passion and life's work.  The things I learned that impressed me the most are that experimenting is incredibly fulfilling, "happy accidents" happen for a reason, and failures do not exist.  Even if you trash a piece, you still take away ideas to use in your next project.  

What 4 tools can’t you live without?     The four tools that I couldn't part with would have to be the enameling kiln (what a surprise), the Bonney Doon 20-ton hydraulic press, a set of Fretz hammers, and a pencil which I use to create designs in my journal.  

Why do you love to teach?     Since I used to teach 8th graders in another time of my life, it delights me to instruct a roomful of students who are all eager and active learners!  After I retired from teaching, I didn't realize how much I had missed the process of instruction like preparing lessons, gathering materials, creating worksheets, and researching background material.    

Do you have a favorite technique?    My favorite technique was shown to me by George Waricher, a college professor who taught enameling for over 50 years.  One method that he often used was writing and drawing on enameled pieces with enamel-bearing oil.  George can no longer practice his craft due to health reasons, but I am honored to carry on this fascinating technique

Classes I am teaching at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach- March 1-6 2012

VA179 Enameling: Necklace Roulette - Thursday, March 1

VA180 Jewelry Applications Using the Hydraulic Press - Fri Eve March 2

VA181 Nesting Instincts - Thurs Eve March 1

VA225 Bird Nest Enameled Charm Bracelet - Saturday, March 3

 

More of Jean Van Brederode’s work can be found at: Charmed I'm Sure – http://charmdimsur.etsy.com The Village Artisans Gallery, Boiling Springs, PA. Jean's Etsy shops - Art Girls Tools - http://artgirlstools.etsy.com - dedicated to selling jewelry-making tools that I personally recommend. Charmed I'm Sure - http://charmdimsur.etsy.com - an outlet for my many enameled jewelry pieces. Enamel Warehouse - http://enamelwarehouse.etsy.com - As a Thompson enamel distributor, I offer opaque and transparent enamels and enameling supplies and pass on an attractive discount to my customers along with enameling tips and advice. Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a mixed-media prize package! Just click on the comment link below.

Continue reading
  3379 Hits
  0 Comments
3379 Hits
0 Comments

Plaster and Tarts

I  belong to a couple local fiber art groups that are a lot of fun. Some are technique driven, some more focused on the journey of an artist and they all included amazing wonderful women. Last night was the monthly meeting of the Tuesday Tarts. This group in particular laughs a lot! We were missing a few members because of the holidays but that didn't make us any less noisy! Silly laughter is so good for the soul!


We focus on a different mixed media or textile art technique each month and this month was my turn to demo. I was inspired by the book Plaster Studio by Stephanie Lee and Judy Wise.  I found all sorts of great ideas in this book for adding texture to mixed media pieces.

Using plaster wrap and cardboard we created bases for further embellishment. We colored the bases with Gelatos and Portfolio Oil pastels. Both products worked really well and are so convenient to use. The Gelatos are a bit easier to mix and spread with just your fingers because they are so soft. I will post a photo of these and some of the other girls work when they are finished. We brainstormed a few ideas of how to use these techniques in our textile art and mixed media art. I get so much energy from these groups! If you are in the Colorado Springs/Monument area join us! If you aren't, create your own group and make some happy fun.
Continue reading
  0 Hits
  0 Comments
0 Hits
0 Comments

Plaster and Tarts

I  belong to a couple local fiber art groups that are a lot of fun. Some are technique driven, some more focused on the journey of an artist and they all included amazing wonderful women. Last night was the monthly meeting of the Tuesday Tarts. This group in particular laughs a lot! We were missing a few members because of the holidays but that didn't make us any less noisy! Silly laughter is so good for the soul!

We focus on a different mixed media or textile art technique each month and this month was my turn to demo. I was inspired by the book Plaster Studio by Stephanie Lee and Judy Wise.  I found all sorts of great ideas in this book for adding texture to mixed media pieces.

Using plaster wrap and cardboard we created bases for further embellishment. We colored the bases with Gelatos and Portfolio Oil pastels. Both products worked really well and are so convenient to use. The Gelatos are a bit easier to mix and spread with just your fingers because they are so soft. I will post a photo of these and some of the other girls work when they are finished. We brainstormed a few ideas of how to use these techniques in our textile art and mixed media art. I get so much energy from these groups! If you are in the Colorado Springs/Monument area join us! If you aren't, create your own group and make some happy fun.

Continue reading
  1890 Hits
  0 Comments
1890 Hits
0 Comments

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://textileevolution.com/

Login Form