Monday, February 22, 2010

Playing with jello!

If you were to ask me where I've been and what have I been doing, one of my answers might be - playing with jello! Not the gooey bright green, harrrowing yellow or terrifyingly bright red stuff of childhood delights. But the plain old, unflavored gelatin.
About a year ago my friend Colleen introduced me to "Gelatin Printing" following a reading by her of an article, by Jenn Mason, in the Jan/Feb. issue of 2008 periodical Cloth, Paper, Scissors (pages 14-16). Colleen is an amazingly creative paper artist who has a fabulous sense of color. Under her tutelage I began to play with this medium and after trying out paper images, I switched to making monoprints on fabric - I was hooked ... ( that terrible hackneyed expression follows) ... and the rest is history.
The accompanying images are of a garment I called - "Veiled and Unveiled" - (created for the competition mentioned in my previous entry) at the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley Community College tiitled "Nature by Design: New Directions in Fiber and Jewelry. At this time I remain in the dark about whether or not my pieces were accepted. However the fun for me was in pushing myself to do something new and different. I usually avoid slithery fabrics like the plague! They have a mind all of their own underneath the needle of the sewing machine. The fabric is silk organza ( doesn't get much more slithery than that) and the cloak is meant to convey my thoughts about the amazing mysteries that go on inside our bodies ( design by nature) that we mostly are unable to see or feel or even know about. Just one example: one doesn't see the blood circulating through veins and arteries or the exchanges of nutrients or any one of millions of "events" going on constantly.And what is it that is allowing me to sit on this chair and tap my fingers on this keyboard? Not any one thing for sure ... but millions of events and most of us don't give a thought to any of these ongoing events.
Printing bodies and a few parts of bodies on gelatin and then onto the fabric gave very interesting images, which I found quite wonderful, and my delight was furthered by attaching them to the inside of the cloak - seen and unseen events going on "inside" - and hand stitching connections to the various body images. Difficult to describe but very challenging and in the end fun to do. Whether or not the jurors will think it's worthy of inclusion really doesn't matter - it was the pushing myself to do something new and different that made it all worth the effort. And the gelatin printing is an incredibly fun and inventive way to play: check it out.
And the other answer about what have I been doing - designing, cutting and sewing long hours for the RAGS, Wearable Art show and Sale to occur March 12,13,14 at the Mercedes Benz dealership in Fife. This event raises money for the Domestic Violence Programs at the YWCA Pierce County in Tacoma - our 16th year of raising funds for these very worthwhile projects. Hope to see you there.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pushing one's own envelope further out ...

The Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley Community College is calling for entries in a competition titled "Nature by Design: New direction in Fiber and Jewelry". I have previously entered this gallery's every other year Art to Wear competition and even been accepted several times. When the prospectus dropped out of the pile of mail my interest was tweaked. Reading the jurors comments my interest dropped into the garbage bin of my mind ... "show me something I haven't seen.........." she asked. My immediate thought was ... there's nothing that hasn't been done already by one of the amazing, way more talented than me, creative fiber/textile artists I follow in the media. I put the idea aside.
It took driving on a rainy day through downtown Bellevue to re-tweak my interest and resurrect my curiousity from the bin! For days now I have been transforming photographs into printable sizes, running silk fabric through my ink jet printer to capture the images and sewing, sewing sewing. This has been a very new adventure for me ... certainly pushing my envelope way out. One garment is finished, working from images such as the one captured here. It certainly looks like Nature by Design to me. Now to work on the other one. Wonder what the jurors will think?