Our exhibition for the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts for Level 3 Advanced Experimental Stitch is now complete. I say this with a sigh of relief twinged with a bit of sadness. We’ve been in this course for the last 2 1/2 years… meeting every three months and working on homework just about daily during that time. My friends in the class and I have grown artistically through the process that our mentors, Gail Harker and Penny Peters, have instilled as a way of working, applying design and testing to our artwork.
As part of the exhibition, each of the graduates had to give a talk and answer questions on some aspect of their studies or artwork. I spent the majority of my time explaining my process for making my large-scale Stumpwork (or 3D embroidery) heron.
A second assessment piece was a 3D project (the wall piece wasn’t required to be 3D, I decided to stretch my artistic abilities and make it Stumpwork). My vessel based on a wave went through numerous renditions. Perfecting the shape through making models from paper, then from the heavy duty interfacing that stiffens the vessel took much more time than one would imagine. Not to mention all the hours of beading and hand stitching!
We also had two historical projects for the class. One focused on Native American stitchwork and the other on a study of Stitchwork brought to the US from European immigrants. We made artwork based on pieces we found in our research, including some stitched samples.
I’m so appreciative of our tutors/mentors Gail and Penny, who led us on this journey. As I have witnessed from their other class exhibitions, each of us as students were given the same guidelines but have developed our artwork into something uniquely our own. I look forward to continuing on in class at the next level, when it’s offered… but I also look forward to catching my breathe after such a big push to put on an exhibition of this magnitude! Here are some more photos of my work at the show (wish I could fit it all in!):
Last night I attended the preview party for the 2018 Quilt and Fiber Art Festival in Everett, WA. With all the wonderful entries in this large International show, I’m awestruck and so humbly honored… I won 4 awards!
A Best of Show-Mixed Techniques Award Of Excellence for the show, “In Klimt’s Corral”
3rd place for Fiber Art- Mixed Media, “In Klimt’s Corral”
2nd place for Fiber Art- 3D/Sculptural, “Bullkelp Vessel”
2nd place for Fiber Art- Needlework, “Crested Serpent Eagle”
“In Klimt’s Corral” will be included in the “Award Winners: Quilt and Fiber Arts Festival 2018” exhibit at the Pacific Northwest Quilt & Fiber Art Museum from October 17 – November 18, 2018.
Meanwhile, I’ll be scooping up the Bullkelp Vessel and Crested Serpent Eagle pieces to include in my exhibition later this month at the La Conner Country Inn. I’m still working feverishly to finish up all my pieces for that exhibit. I haven’t even taken time to count them all up, but I think I have about 30 pieces. I’ve continued to work many of my pieces to my theme of “the Water’s Edge”, coinciding with all the work I did on seaweeds during my 2 year Level 3 Art & Design class.
I want to thank my family for all the support they’ve given me as I continue on my fiber artist journey. I was so happy have my Mom, husband Randy, and daughter-in-law Zeyneb with me at the preview party last night, and I look forward to our other kids coming to my Advanced Stitch Exhibition. I have to give extra acknowledgement to Randy for putting up with my constant stitching or other work while we spend time together as well as having my art supplies stretching into all corners of our house! I appreciate all the support from both family and friends.
As many of you know, I have been studying at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts for some time… I believe it’s 8 years now. I’m just finishing 2 1/2 years in the Level 3 Advanced Experimental Stitch course. Our class will be exhibiting coursework including assessment items, sketchbooks, presentation books, samples, and historical stitch studies at an exhibition on October 26-27.
Mark your calendars! We will also have an artist talk from 10:30-11:30 am on Saturday October 27.
I’ve been continuing to explore hand-stitch this last week and completed another sampler. I’m not really sure where I’m going to be using this in my work this year, I’m just certain that I am. I’ve seen so many spectacular pieces that were enhanced by using hand-stitch. I’ve also noticed that show judges seem to appreciate the extra effort that an artist has put in, when there are hand-stitch elements. Here are the stitches (on acrylic felt- not hooped):
- Double Knot Stitch (aka Old English knot, Palestrina or Smyrna Stitch)
- Cable Chain Stitch. This is like chain stitch, but with a link in between the chains
- Fern Stitch (aka Fern Leaf Stitch)
- Paris Stitch (aka Open Square Stitch)
- Fence Stitch (aka Bosnian Stitch)
- Tnorn Stitch
- Cross Stitch (aka Berlin or Sampler Stitch)
- Braid Stitch
- Singalese Chain
- Wheatear Stitch
- Fishbone Stitch (on leaves)
- Whipped Backstitch
- Threaded Backstitch
- Double Threaded Backstitch
- Chain Stitch with Backstitch running through center
- Double Knot Stitch
- Petal Stitch
- Scroll Stitch
- Ladder Stitch
- Long Armed Cross Stitch
- Vandyck Stitch (aka Flat Variable Stitch)
- Long & Short Stitch (top leaf in oranges)
- Stem Filling Stitch (bottom leaf in blues)
I’m partially doing this work as I’m taking another hand-stitch course at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts in March. I’m looking forward to getting more ideas in how to incorporate the hand stitches into my work.
Speaking of Gail’s classes, this Thursday, Jan 10 from 5-8 pm, the opening of “Complex Threads: Students of Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts” will be happening at the Schack Art Center in Everett WA. If in the area, be sure to check it out!
|One of the thousands of photos I’ve taken for design inspiration|
- Sewing, piecing, quilting, free-hand embroidery, machine applique with my Bernina 730
- Fabric painting (using brushes, syringes, spray bottles, stamps, stencils, silkscreens) with Jacquard textile paints and Lumiere and using resists with fabric painting (freezer paper or objects)
- Printing on fabric with ink-jet printer
- Intensive and in depth study of color, including color mixing, making tints/shades/tones, color theory, and color combinations (dyads, equilateral and isosceles triads, tetrads, hexads, monochromatic, analogous, complementary, near-complementary, complementary triads, modified triads, adjacent-complementary tetrads, and analogous complementary color schemes.)
- Highly proficient with Adobe Photoshop CS5 Professional
- Immersion dyeing (Procion MX)
- Multiple dye-baths
- Using different methods to create pattern in immersion dyeing (pole wrap, clamping, bunching, folding, pleating, shibori)
- Making printing blocks from found objects
- Stamping and making my own stamps from found objects
- Making thermofax screens and silk-screening with them
- Photography (digital SLR) particularly nature scenes and macro photography (See Skagit Skies and Sunshine and Sand)
Two blissful days of studying and practicing Elizabethan Embroidery… seems a little self-indulgent when I’m not prepared for the upcoming holidays, but wonderful nonetheless. Our instructors, Gail Harker and Penny Peters were wonderful and the class was both intense, yet relaxing. It may not seem like much, but here is my sampler of some of the types of stitches used in Elizabethan Embroidery:
Top row (from left to right)
Pearl Stitch (2 thicknesses of threads)
Stem Stitch with French knots
Satin Stitch leaf with back stitch outlining and vein
Laid-work grid with diagonal couching (a couched filling)
A Plaited Braid Stitch (in heavy wool yarn)
|This goldwork sampler was made by Penny Peters,
one of our teachers:
|Here is another sample by Penny of laid-work:|
You might also be interested in:
More Embroidery Samples
Snowflake Lane & How to Make a Knotted Blanket Stitch (with video!)
|Look at the elaborately detailed embroidery|
Preparations all complete, I’m off for two days to the Gail Harker Center for the Creative Arts to learn all about and practice Elizabethan Embroidery. I’ve really been looking forward to this, as I do all of the classes at Gail’s, partially because so much of my work is done by machine that it’s nice to slow down and have the relaxing experience of hand work, and also because I really enjoy history and costume.
My love of costume goes way back to my childhood. Sure, like many little girls I enjoyed playing ‘dress-up’, but I guess I never really outgrew it! I remember my parents taking us to a medieval faire when I was quite young, and I’ve continued attending many of them throughout my life. When I was 14, I had my first job… working for a private seamstress doing alterations and clothing construction. I tore out and replaced so many jeans zippers with elaborate top-stitching, that I pretty much swore off of garments for some time (and still have somewhat of an aversion to sewing clothing.) When I started in college, I wanted to be a costume designer. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really ready for college at the time, so went off to work after one semester.
|Nikki and I in our historical costume at
Reno Friesian horse show
I did love to dress quite wild, either in vintage clothing or items that could be considered costumes in my early 20’s. Then I started a small business making Rock ‘n Roller costumes for bands and fans, which I kept up for a short time.
Through the vagrancy of life, my main chapter of costumery took a hiatus for some time, though I never lost my love of it. Then I had some fun in reviving this long-lost love of mine, when I had my beautiful Friesian mare and was showing her regularly. From time-to-time, there were costume classes at the horse shows, so we both got dressed up in Renaissance gear.
|My Friesian mare and I in full Renaissance costume|
Now, with my older son being a Viking aficionado and member of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), I get to play at dress-up once again. There’s even a chance that I can do demonstrations of the embroidery I’ll be learning at the “Ursulmas” event in January. I’m so lucky to have two sons who actually like doing things with their Mom!
Well, I’d best be off to bed, as I need to get up early and drive to La Conner for class (about a 75 minute drive from our home.)