Not too long ago after spending some time (quality time!) walking through the wonderful exhibits at Visions Art Museum, I went for a stroll through the verandas at Liberty Station and noticed a light and airy shop that had yarn, beautiful yarn. I walked in and was greeted by Sara, the owner of Apricot Yarn. I told her I had just been down the walkway to VAM, she asked if I was a quilter and I said that is where I started but then I had to confess; I’m a fiber artist who can’t knit and can only crochet a chain! Then I asked Sara if she carried roving. She said “No, but maybe they would in the future.” As I was drooling over a skein of thick, rich multi-colored wool and a beautiful knitted cowl neck warmer made from it, she added… “Some people use that to do felting.” I said “I do felting!” I’m now the happy owner of that gorgeous skein and YES, it can be used for felting!
I’m remembering that my grandparent had spinning wheels and probably card brushes as well, but I never thought anything about it when I was growing up. I think my cousins have the spinning wheels now.
Anyway, it occurred to me that in my dusty dancing shoe box there was a suede brush… So I cut several, approximately, 8″ lengths of the yarn in the colors I wanted. Laying them on my design table, I raked the suede brush over the yarn. Combing one piece at a time worked best because there wasn’t a card brush or carding surface underneath. Now you may be thinking that’s a lot of work when a person could just buy roving, but I enjoyed every second of touching the yarn.
I must note here that, of course, this project is not for anyone with wool allergies. Also, using the proper carding brushes would be a plus because I think there would be fewer tiny fibers escaping and proper carding would have made the fibers felt together even better. I made one felted soap and love how it turned out. They make a very fast project and nice gift and if you are planning an art bazaar type sale they may be a good item for that. When I have the proper equipment I plan to make more and try some needle felting too. If you’re a yarn lover I would encourage you to check out the Apricot Yarn shop; Oh, and if you are or will be in San Diego, they have classes too!
I really enjoy the blog …And Then We Set It On Fire…The contributors are individual fiber artists who work in and explore a multitude of surface design techniques and more; sometimes working together. I once had the pleasure of being a guest artist on FIRE!
One of their recent blog posts did more than catch my eye. My interest was really sparked when I read that Kelly Hendrickson and Wil Opio Oguta, the two artists posting on FIRE this month, had been exploring the use of GUNPOWDER on fabric!
I have tried many different techniques over the years, here are some…
stamping, dripping, splattering, flour resist, stencil made on the sewing machine; painted and stenciled onto fabric made on a plastic tarp, rubbings with wax pastels, painted cheesecloth, melted Lutradur, burnt silk, just painting, and lots and lots of hand painted sky and landscape fabric… but never gunpowder!
Kelly and Wil have publish an e-book the explores their gunpowder techniques (I just bought it!), I hope you will visit “…And Then We Set It On Fire…” and each of their websites – I think you’ll have a blast!
Thanks to Kelly and Wil for letting me share their gunpowder post!
I received wonderful responses from the art quilters I contacted with the three questions I posed in my last blog post. There is a great variety of styles between them and their answers are informative and thought provoking. I want to thank each artist for taking the time to reply and for allowing me to share their art quilts. If you aren’t familiar with their art I hope you will hop over to their websites.
Here are the three questions and their answers.
Have you ever submitted an art quilt (for the wall) to a venue that was featuring a variety of art work mediums?
If you answered “yes,” did you (or they) categorize your piece as an Art Quilt or something else, such as Fiber Art, Mixed Media, Textile, etc.?
If you answered “no” to question 1, would you consider submitting an art quilt in to a venue featuring art in a variety of mediums?
My work has never been submitted to or shown in any exhibit other than one for quilts. I think this is a function of one’s networks. I’m a lady of a certain age with no contacts in the local art scene.
Even if I called my quilts fiber art I don’t think they’d be considered art by the art world as my observation is that around here works in fiber are considered craft.”
I don’t think I have had it categorized like that. They just ask for the medium or media, and I say, “Cotton fabric, wool batting.” Or something similar. In other words I have only had my work treated as art in a mixed media show.
I have only once submitted work at a venue that featured a variety of art. I was the only art quilt artist and it was very successful for me as I sold 9 pieces. There were all mediums: photo, ceramics glass, jewelry and a variety of fine art mediums.
They categorized my work as “art quilt”..Altho, I don’t think they really knew what it was all about until I set up and they saw my work in person.
I would consider entering into a conventional show that exhibited multi medias.
Yes I have. In fact, I found that my particular art work was MORE readily accepted in a venue with various mediums than they were in actual “quilt shows” or exhibitions.
It all depended on the venue really. But I believe most often they were accepted as either Mixed Media or Textile Art.
OK…I didn’t answer no but I just wanted to add my 2 cents worth on this topic. I would highly recommend entering art quilts in shows/exhibitions designed for all types of mediums…not just quilt shows. We are making strides in being accepted as a valid “art” form in the non-quilting world. Each time one of us gets accepted there, it validates our genre. And I’m happy to see that we are also beginning to be accepted as a valid part of the quilt world. That took some time as well!
I do this all the time! I honestly think my work plays better in the art world than in the quilt world. I am also a member of a women’s art group where one other woman works in fabric, but most of them are painters with a few sculptors.
They don’t categorize it as anything but art. Most of the art shows just put the name of the piece, the name of the artist, and occasionally a statement or a price. There’s no listing of materials and technique.
I stopped entering “quilt” shows when I started mounting my fiber onto wooden panels. That was about 6 years ago so all the shows and exhibits I do are in art galleries. When I submit to a juried show, it is always an open show of all media and usually, I am one of 2-3 artists working in fiber. The rest would be painters, sculptors, photographers, etc.
Usually, an artist categorizes their own work so you submit a work as 2-D or 3-D and if they have a space for a “medium”, I submit as “fiber”.
Yes I have. I have displayed my work in International Quilt Festival in Houston and in The Festival Of Quilts Birmingham and several other venues.
Yes. I (they) did categorize it as an Art Quilt. Sometimes if there was a subcategory of art quilt like art pictorial, I have chosen it, if my quilt was based on a photograph or a replica of an existing architecture.
I hope you have enjoyed the artists’ contributions as much as I have. We can learn from each other and pass on what we learn, and I think that by continuing to make, show, teach, and sell art quilts, eventually they will gain the respect (and representation) in the art world that we know they deserve.