A New Series Begun
Last night I finished #5 in a new series that has been percolating for some time. For details on individual pieces go to my fibre art and Quilts Portfolio.
During 2014 I focused on entering mainly ‘juried’ shows and casually pursued some publication opportunities. I was successful in gaining acceptance to all shows entered and had two ‘published’ opportunities – one to be revealed when the book is published in February 2015! Entries for these shows have been larger pieces and took almost all my work time. This year I’m going to turn my energies in another direction.
In 2015, I still have a couple of major shows that I’m aiming for but I’m going to put a significant portion of my time towards work in a different direction. The five pieces that I have just completed are the start of a series that will all be journal-sized pieces (approximately 8.5 x 11) and will capture aspects of my work that I explore, expand, study or ‘discover’ during the year. One of these pieces, now mounted, is the very first crewel embroidery piece that I did as a Home Economics teacher training project in 1965. I know there are a couple of other pieces in my storage that will join it soon. Other pieces incorporate current study and coursework. Not sure what I will call the series yet but I have a fairly clear idea of the direction I want to take and couldn’t even guess where this work will take me!
In 2013 I completed a series of monthly 12 x 12 journal quilts and assigned myself some fairly specific boundaries. In addition to size and frequency, each piece had to have a link to a letter of the alphabet that related somehow to events in my life or my work and each piece had to incorporate at least one technique not found elsewhere in the series. Techniques could be tried and true or experimental and whatever happened during the execution was what got added to the series. I completed the series and in the end bound it into a book, another interest that was emerging during that time.
Last fall I set myself the task of refreshing my hand stitching ‘mind muscle’ . Although I have ’embroidery work that dates back to when I was 10 -12 years old (a cross stitched tea cloth) I haven’t done a lot of hand stitching for many years. In spite of this, over the past two years, I have found myself incorporating hand stitching into my work to create texture.
I am particularly interested in exploring how traditional techniques can be pushed in new directions for a ‘modern’ interpretation. At the same time I know that I learn best by learning how to ‘follow the rules’ before I break them, so some of my journal quilts this year will have a decidedly tradition slant while others will be pure experiment. During the fall I took several workshop and signed up for my first online courses. The samples completed during and after these activities have now become part of the series.
By the time I had completed the first journal book series (2013), I had reached a point where I was approaching my work with much more confidence than when I began. I had refreshed my memory on techniques not used for some time and learned new ones. This year I am not imposing a lot of restrictions other than, as much as possible, I plan to stick to the journal page size. It’s a workable size for experimentation and although some of the techniques already employed have been quite time intensive, the size makes the creation manageable, portable and great for TV time in the evenings.
I wonder where this new series will take me?
Have fun pushing the boundaries with your work. I look forward to seeing the results.