Celebrating arts diversity – clay, glass, fiber

Vincent van Gogh wrote, “I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.”

Good artists keep refining and redefining their medium, pushing boundaries and asking questions of themselves and their fellow artists. The San Antonio arts community has this kind of commitment – deep roots and diversity that would make any city proud. And they share and collaborate.

This evening, the San Antonio Potters Guild and the San Antonio Glass Art Guild are joining together to meet at the San Antonio Art League, viewing and discussing the work of sculptor and painter James Hendricks. And later in the fall, the Fiber Artists of San Antonio will tour the Art League Museum. I love this city and its multi-talented artists!

Speaking of the Fiber Artists, I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Friday’s opening of the 43rd Juried FASA Exhibit. The photos of the work are amazing.

Here’s a short video of some of the work you will see at Friday’s opening:

Fiber Artists of San Antonio: Preview of 43rd Juried Exhibition from Lyn Belisle on Vimeo.

And here’s the exhibit info – the juror, nationally know fiber artist Doshi, has done a remarkable job in her selective process:

  • FASA 43rd Annual Juried Fiber Art Exhibit
  • Opening Reception: Fri., Oct. 13, 2017, 6-8 p.m.
  • Exhibit on display: Fri., Oct. 13 – Fri. Nov. 17, 2017
  • Semmes Gallery, University of Incarnate Word, 4301 Broadway St.
    San Antonio, TX 78209

Doshi is not only a discerning juror and curator, but a fantastic fiber artist herself. While she is in San Antonio, you can meet her and see her own spectacular work. She creates exquisite hand dyed clothing in original designs that range from contemporary to traditional. Her technique uses knotting, pleating, rolling, pressing or sewing during the dyeing process. The resulting designs are the memories of the method used to resist the dye.

Want to see for yourself? You’re invited!

Art is everywhere in every form. Celebrate it and share it – and even wear it!

 

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The fiber world of Jude Hill – Feel Free

Jude Hill’s introduction photo to her Spirit Cloth 101 free and open tutorial

One of the best aspects of the “gift of fire” that is the Internet is the generosity of artists who share their passion. For free. As a wannabe fiber artist, I happily discovered Jude Hill – she freely gives her expertise, her thoughts and vision, and her extensive library of online lessons about creating personal statements in fiber.

Jude Hill – completed study

Her blog itself is called Spirit Cloth and the free lesson site within it is – Feel Free! It’s perfect for people who want to experience the idea of fiber art by working on small pieces and learning techniques while incorporating interesting concepts. Like cats! Like magic! Like magic cats!

Jude Hill “Conjure”

And . . . she grows her own Indigo!

Samples of indigo – Jude Hill

Take a look around Jude’s blog site – it’s packed with ideas and inspiration, and not just for fiber artists. I found myself sketching some nifty ideas for cat spirit dolls after I looked at some of her creations. There’s a place on her site to donate if you feel so inclined. I did. This is what she wrote about her teaching and sharing:

Here, at THIS place I call Feel Free, I intend to share something beyond the “thing”. Feel Free to look around and use what I share.  Feel free to share this place with others. THIS is my gift. THIS is not a business.

With Trust and Peace.
jude

Isn’t that perfect for a day when we think about the concept of freedom? Free to share, free to learn. Happy Independence Day, everyone.

Color sketch by Jude Hill

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Indigo Blue, Take Two

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The magic of indigo never gets old, even to novice fiber artists like me. Sunday’s workshop was flat-out fun – many thanks go to Mary Ann Johnson, whose expertise in shibori and dyeing greatly enhanced our experience. The weather was perfect – our fabric dried quickly in the breeze and the sunshine on our makeshift clothesline.

Here are the basics of how we did it:
The fabric is tied, clamped, rusted stitched, crumpled – any or all. Then it is submerged slowly into the indigo vat for about a minute. The bound fabric is gently removed from the dye bath, avoiding  splashing or dripping into the vat, as this introduces oxygen back into the dye. The fabric looks green when you first take it out of the bucket. This is when the magic happens (or to be more precise, chemistry). Indigo develops its color when it is exposed to oxygen. Once the fabric is in contact with the air, it starts changing color and turns from green to blue. You can see some of this happening in the video, below.

If you are new to this process, I highly recommend that you start with the Jacquard Indigo Kit. It has everything you need to make true indigo plant-based dye. The video below, from Jacquard, shows how to do it.

Things to watch out for – holes in rubber gloves!  The biggest danger, though, is addiction to indigo dyeing, particularly when you realize it can also dye paper and yarn.

I can’t wait to cover some journals with my indigo fabric, and perhaps combine indigo-dyed paper with encaustic. It’s true blue indigo love!

 

 

A gift from Lorri Scott –

Lorri Scott, wonderful fiber artist and new-found friend

Lorri Scott is a fantastic fiber artist who teaches all over the country. She’s a weaver, a dyer of cloth, creator of altered cloth books and art, and a designer of garments and accessories. When I found out that I had a chance to teach for her at Vivi Magoo because she was facing surgery, I was petrified because she is so stellar and well-known for her fiber art. But we talked, and she reassured me, and all was well – Lorri’s recovering nicely, and I had a wonderful time at the retreat teaching the dyeing classes. I am forever grateful to her for her help.

Imagine my surprise when she send ME a thank you present! Holy posole – there she was, recovering from surgery out there in California, and she took the time to send me a gift for doing something I should be thanking HER for. Lorri hand-felted the cover of the beautiful little cloth book, and her sister fitted it out on the inside as a sewing kit – what a treasure!

Now I can’t wait to take a workshop from her! Lorri, many thanks – hope you’re feeling tons better – you are amazing!

Mood indigo

Part of the fun of teaching a new workshop is the research (aka play) that goes into developing a curriculum and a process. Michelle Belto and I have a chance to teach a class in indigo, shibori and rust dyeing for Vivi Magoo at The Prairie in early November, and we jumped at the chance. I had done shibori and rust dying, but had not worked much with indigo (OK, I so had never worked with indigo, but don’t tell anybody).

Like learning most new things, learning indigo dye techniques was a combination of asking people how to do it and practicing on my own. It’s an amazing substance – this plant has been used for dyeing since 2400 BC, and maybe earlier. Cakes of indigo were used as currency in the Revolutionary War. Once dyed, indigo is so colorfast that it can last for centuries or even millennia. Here’s a video of my first indigo adventure.

I have a lot more to learn about creating color with indigo, but yesterday I worked on learning some basic techniques, mixing the indigo properly, and experimenting using paper and fabric. The deep blue-greenish color is a natural partner for the terra-cotta shades of rust dyeing. I really can’t wait to teach these classes at the retreat and share this wonderful process! Hope you’ll think about joining us at Vivi Magoo at The Prairie on November 3rd. I promise that it won’t make you bluewell, maybe it will.

Monika Astara – a visit to her studio

When I first met Monika Astara at a FASA Runway Show several years ago, I was almost tongue-tied by the beauty and originality of her designer clothing. She was swamped with customers, but I managed to ask her rather tentatively if she ever did trunk shows – she said that she did! Six months later, she brought her wearable art to my Studio, and it was a huge success. We became fast friends and she’s had several more fantastic shows with me – her clothes are comfortable, casually elegant, yet very distinctive. If you are a Monika fan, you know what I mean.

Hoverer, I had never been to HER studio until this weekend, and what a treat it was to see where all of the Monika Magic originates. I got to see her long cutting table where she paints and constructs her garments, the stacks of patterns, and most of all, the fabrics! Her signature fabrics are chosen for their unusual textures and colors and for their practicality – not an easy task.

I took some photos during my visit to share with you, and I hope you will be at her next show and sale at Lyn Belisle Studio in October, date coming soon!

A pretty colorful weekend at Lyn Belisle Studio

32The Studio was awash in dye this weekend, first with Rosemary Uchniat’s fantastic half-day Small Space Dyeing workshop on Saturday, and then my Goddess Banner workshop on Sunday afternoon. Everyone was caught red-handed having fun – and blue-handed, and green-handed . . .take a look at the video!

Both classes will be repeated in case you want to join in. Rosemary’s second Small-Space Dyeing class is October 17th from 1-5. The first one sold out instantly. And my next Goddess Banner workshop is coming right up on Sunday, August 16th from 2-5.

banNow about those Goddess Banners, this was a special small class that was scheduled for a guest from Houston who wanted to take both Rosemary’s class and mine the same weekend. There were four of us, and it was great to be able to work alongside the participants. I had a blast! We transferred images, dyed cheesecloth, created symbols and words of inspiration, and put it all together in the most remarkable way! I just love this project – and it’s three hours, start to finish.

One of my favorite fiber artists, Linda Rael, was in our group – that made it even more fun. She has a great idea for a series of banners, but I’ll let her tell you about it if she actually does it. Hope so! Take a look at the video, and then consider signing up for the workshop on August 16th – you won’t regret it! It’s to dye for. Sorry.

What a show – and tell!

Yesterday’s Show and Tell at the Studio was a mixed-media extravaganza! Each presentation was unique, informative, and fun – and everyone there bounced ideas around like popcorn in a microwave (how’s that for a simile?).

showntellblog

Some of the highlights:

  • J’Cil Horn’s use of a fiber product called Warm and Natural, which is a cotton batting used by quilters that adapts itself to so many possibilities, including acrylic paint and fabric embellishments.
  • Paige Ramsey-Palmer’s fascinating introduction to healthy probiotic foods  – it is a culinary art that had us asking tons of questions as we sipped the lemon and ginger drinks she’d made for us.
  • Christie Smith’s show-and-tell on Gyotaku (fish printing) that she was introduced to the fish printing during the TP&W BOW (Becoming and Outdoor Woman) weekend this spring which was held at the Texas Baptist Encampment in Palacios, and, yes, the fish were real (but frozen). Christie’s shrimp prints were a crowd favorite.
  • Gloria Hill’s insightful presentation on two important mindsets for artists – recycling and stealing. The recycling part means transforming you less successful work into new creations through collage, and the stealing part is the good kind of theft – finding artists’ work you love and being inspired by their techniques. See Austin Kleon’s book, Steal Like an Artist, and read Gloria’s blog, Open Doors.
  • Rosemary Uchniat’s sneak preview of the Small-Space Dyeing workshop she’ll be giving at my Studio on July 18th from 1-5. I posted a rave about this technique recently. Rosemary previewed the technique and results in about a square foot of space. One show-and-teller signer up on the spot. FYI, there are two spaces left.

So now that you’ve read the trailer, see the film! Here’s a short video of some of the great demos from yesterday, and the people who came, learned, ate, sipped and enjoyed the afternoon at Lyn Belisle Studio. Our next Show and Tell is May 30th from 2-4. Be there or be square and creatively unaware! 🙂

Fiber Artists of San Antonio Style Show 2015

fasaWhen I joined FASA, the Fiber Artists of San Antonio, I knew they did more than quilting and knitting, but I didn’t realize that “fiber art” includes basketry, beadwork, braiding, clothing design, crochet, dyeing, embroidery, felting, hooking, knitting, lacework, mixed media, needlework, paper, quilting, sculpture, sewing, spinning, surface design, textile design and weaving. As a mixed media artist, I’ve discovered a lot to learn and love in this group!

Many FASA members create one-of-a-kind garments for the juried Fashion Show, an annual event that is wildly popular and usually a sell-out. I was lucky enough to get a ticket by the stage this year, and happily present to you a sampler of the artistic fashions.  The theme was In Harmony With Nature – and these talented designers combined nature, art, imagination and fashion in their creations. Take a look!      

One last note – the winner of the Walnut Ink Friday Freebie is Jo Etta Jupe – congrats, Jo Etta! Let me know how you’d like to receive your fabulous freebie 🙂
 

 

FASA fun and face shard fabrications

Friday night was the opening of the FASA Juried show – I felt darn lucky to get accepted, but never in my wildest dreams expected to win an award – and for People’s Choice! Here are my pals Sidney and Mary Beth getting ready to fill out their orange voting slips for my piece, “Rune and Relic Bundles.” Thanks, guys (and to everyone else who voted)! And congrats to Susie Monday, Dian Lamb, Linda Rael, and Lisa Kerpoe who won awards from the Juror. It was an absolutely fantastic show. Look below for the video – amazing work from these fiber artists, and SAY SI! was the perfect venue.

FASA1

After all that, I was so inspired that I got to work on some new pieces for the Studio show on December 6th. Here are some work-in-progress pieces and one that I just finished from that bunch. I love making these little Shard beings! Every one of them has its own personality.

It was a busy weekend, but not too busy to draw a name for the Friday Freebie, a small Guatemalan purse from Friendship Bridge with a Shard Face inside. And the winner is . . Zet Baer! I saw Zet at the Fiber Art show – how nice to draw her name. So congratulations! Let me know how you’d like to receive your FF, Zet, and thanks to everyone for subscribing and reading and commenting.

Now, on to thoughts of turkey, dressing, mmmmmm . . . .