Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Budget Deviation: An Improved Hanging Technique

My original plan for hanging the fabric pieces was to stretch them on canvas frames.   The grant budget reflects $338 for thirty eight 30" x 30" canvas frames.   I've stretched fabric before, own tacking spray and swing a mean electric staple gun.   It was a workable solution.

Happily, I've found an even better method for my purposes.   Recently, Jane Dunnewold produced an Interweave Press video titled  "Felt-Backed Textiles: A Contemporary Finishing and Hanging Technique with Jane Dunnewold Video Download".   The surface designed fabrics that I create will be hung as part of a museum exhibit, then be sewn into tote bags to donate to the museum store.   Jane's solution is especially useful in this case where the fabric needs to be unmounted.

If I use the canvas hanging method, then I'll need to mount the fabric onto the canvas, take the fabric off of the canvas and figure out what to do with thirty eight large empty canvases when the grant is completed.   Think of all that staple picking...  Yes, I'm actually thinking ahead!  
If I use Jane Dunnewold's method, then life is simpler.  The fabric will be backed with felt before hanging which will get me one step closer to creating the tote bags.   It will be far easier to mount the fabric on the supporting bars than to stretch fabric on canvas.   Removing the support bars takes less than 30 seconds and no staple picker required.   The bars that support the fabric are thin and will store much more compactly than canvases once the project is done.   Also, the bars can be cut smaller, so have more potential for reuse.   I'll be saving time, effort and storage space.   The trade-off is money.  I estimate an additional $100 for the aluminum bar, felt and other supplies.   I've decided that it's worth it for the convenience.  

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Collaged and Stitched Practice Pieces a la Christopher Alexander

Artists create sketches and practice pieces to internalize subject matter and audition ideas.   I am enjoying the exploration of Christopher Alexander's 15 properties of wholeness one small stitched collage at a time.  After reading up on each property I get to create something.   Two sources inspired me...

One source is a guild member who shared her embroidery class samples in hot pink and golden shades.  Yum!   The colors were cheerful and energizing.   They stuck with me.

The second inspiration is an ongoing project by my design group.  We're working thru Gwen Hedley's book "Drawn to Stitch:  Line, Drawing and Mark- Making in Textile Art."   Hedley's use of common papers as collage fodder has led to trying many different materials.   Printed tissue papers are a favorite.  Look for the Totes umbrella logo below.   I love the design group because the viewpoints from different artists using different media add up to broader critiques...in a very safe space.   I'm looking forward to sharing my takes on these properties of wholeness by Christopher Alexander soon:

Levels of Scale

The Void
I've been thinking about each of the properties separately, but once I started stitching the lines between them blurred.   The Levels of Scale piece was first.  It was straight forward.  However, once I read about Roughness I realized that the first piece represented Roughness too..   I eyeballed the scale of each flower which shows the "hand of the maker" clearly.   There is Roughness in everything I make by hand.   The Void piece was created third and incorporated Roughness and Levels of Scale.  I'm sensing a pattern.

Shortly after my revelation, I received an e-mail from an inquisitive guild member asking how my one-property-at-a-time approach was working out...   Her understanding was that things of beauty incorporated multiple properties or perhaps all of them.   Having fellow guild members guide you on the path to wholeness is beautiful too!   A guild is a powerful tool for learning and sharing.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Klout = Being Home Schooled on Blogging

I am fortunate to have a daughter majoring in communications and economics.   She gave my blog a critical review...and now I'm being home schooled.   She asked about my bounce rate and Klout score.   Color me clueless!   I don't have enough data for a bounce rate yet.   My Klout score started at a 10 out of 100, but went all the way up to 22 today.   The average Klout score is 40 according to several on-line sources.   Once you join Klout, they start sending you helpful, *short* bites of advice on improving your social media skills.   Before you race off to check your Klout score, consider these two helpful articles "Klout Uses This Trick to Make You Feel Bad About Yourself Don't Let it Ruin Your Life" from Forbes Magazine and "What Your Klout Score Really Means"  from Wired Magazine.  They give very different takes on Klout!

Additional feedback from my daughter is that my posts are too long - I'm allowed no more than 300 words per post.   Also, I should move the grant application (of 10 pages...) from a post to it's own page to improve the blog structure.

I need more photos for visual appeal too.  What?  No selfies?  Is that me in the photo pondering the age gap and my Klout score?  

I have failed to comport myself as an expert on the subject of grant writing, museum research and being an artist.   Well, yeah...!   The premise of this blog is sharing the learning experience on all those topics...including blogging.

Am I out of words yet?  Blogging is not for the chatty after all.   Thank goodness I didn't ask her to assign a letter grade!