THERE IS ONE WEEK LEFT TO SUBMIT TO THIS YEARS MINIATURE SHOW / SILENT AUCTION
Please consider donating.
The ACAD Fibre program is seeking submissions for the 2017 Miniature Show / Silent Auction.
Funds raised support visiting artists, search workshops and student-initiated projects in the Fibre program. Students, alumni, faculty and friends are encouraged to donate work for the show.
Works restricted to 12” in any direction in all mediums will be accepted.
All work must be accompanied by a submission form and dropped off at the Fibre Program office, Rm 414 by Monday, January 30th, 2017.
The Miniature Show will be displayed from February 6 – 16th. The closing event will be held Thursday, February 16th from 5.30 – 8 pm with closing bids in at 7.30 pm.
My biggest fear post-grad is that I get busy with family, erectile work, emergency life, etc. and break the habit of making. I know from experience that the practice of making, if not nurtured, will slowly wither away. I abandoned my creativity once and I don’t want it to happen again – ever!
I posed this question to a few of our recent Fibre Grads: “What have you been doing post-ACAD to maintain and nurture your creative process”? I heard back from Marcia and Madison and this is what they had to say:
With the help of Levi we have cleared a space in our little home so I can have a small studio set-up. This has helped immensely with maintaining my practice; the desire to make is always there but the follow through was inconsistent without a proper space.
Also, I have placed a sketchbook beside my bed so that I am more likely to work on ideas and mess around before bed/ in the morning as opposed to going on my phone. This has been the most successful practice for small, everyday work.
Other than that, I could always be doing better and working on my practice with more dedication. I think the major culprit here is self discipline.
Since graduating, what have I done to nurture my creative process?
Well! Since my graduate program is geared towards administration and policy, I have been working on research projects and a community-based business development group project for the last four months. Because of this, I have been attempting to explore exactly what my creative process has become since leaving a studio-based undergrad program. While I still work on embroidery projects at home occasionally, I have become more interested in how my creative thinking can function as a tool for my current creative process. This has taken the form of practicing different forms of communication (both in the realm of leadership and networking), as well as how I can use writing to express my ideas in a creative way. I am working as a writing tutor and find the brainstorming aspect of this incredibly creative.
Thanks again to Marcia and Madison! I miss seeing your faces and really appreciate your time and perspectives. Creativity will take many forms once we leave ACAD. Like Marica, I know that self-discipline will be essential. Without instructors and constant deadlines I am in serious danger of floundering. Making art will have to become a habit that is fully integrated into my daily life!
If I hear back from anyone else I will post and update.
In my latest piece I was using the clasped weft technique as a way to interconnect two different types of threads in the same open shed. In my case, discount I was using cotton and wool roving yarn as a way to explore the different ways these two materials shrink and behave after washing.
However, pilule the most common use for this technique is to have two different colors or textures of yarn in a single row of weaving. This really is a simple technique with limitless design potential.
Never have I cried so much during the making of a piece.
I have cried out of complete frustration but never from sadness and loss. I miss my auntie and making this piece about her was hard. Throughout the process, stomach I was flooded with memories of her, her beautiful smile and how she stayed a bright light until the bitter end. In the moments when I felt like I was going to get emotional I just walked away and took a break. However, the process (and emotion) caught up with me last week. I had just thought gleefully to myself, “The end is near!” and, as if on cue, warp threads started to snap. 1-2-3-4…and finally 5. I lost it. Emotion gushed silently out of my eyes.
I now find myself in a position of unknowing. This piece is raw and ugly. I don’t think I like it but it is over. I am relieved.
It amazes me what I can find online when I am supposed to be doing something that I don’t want to (i.e. writing my grad paper). This morning I watched many, visit many, many weaving videos in Italian. No, I don’t speak Italian but that didn’t stop me. Eventually I stumbled across a few videos with English subtitles. The two I am sharing are both about the Luigi Bevilacqua Company in Venice, Italy. Remarkably, the Bevilacqua family can trace their velvet weaving history back to the 1400’s. The equipment and workshop space is breathtaking. If you feel the need to squander some of your time visit their website. It includes videos, a catalogue of their fabrics and a blog.
To this day, the Luigi Bevilacqua Company weave their velvet, by hand, on Jacquard looms from the 19th century. They create their patterns by hand and transfer the designs to punch cards! Crazy.
Yesterday in our Directed Studio class we were reviewing our artist statements and having a fairly good discussion about “our voice” as it pertains to “our work”. Honestly, viagra dosage my voice can be a little meek, drug a little understated. I have a hard time telling people why I do what I do and what it means. Generally, info it’s personal and I don’t want to talk about it. Actually, I do want to talk about it but it makes me feel a bit squirrely, I have a hard time keeping eye contact, I do weird things with my limbs, my thoughts get swirly, I ramble. It’s easier to make “the thing” and leave it out “there” so I don’t have to talk about it with actual words.
I have been told so many times that you can’t tell people what they are seeing or tell them what they should be feeling when they experience your work. I took that to heart. I never speak for the collective, I speak of myself. Yesterday, a classmate and friend, said to me “Change some of your I’s and My’s for We’s and Our’s”. I found something powerful in that very simple correction. Yes, our feelings and motivation for creating art are own but we do exist as part of a collective whole. When we put our work “out there” it is bound to connect to someone.
(Like how Moby, my friend Layne and I all connected today. Oh, and I’m totally the little bald kid in this video.)
I won’t lie I’m a bit of a perfectionist with my work. When I have a picture or idea in my mind for a piece I set out to create it – EXACTLY. Are my pieces always perfect when I am done? Not yet and probably never. Perfection is unattainable. I don’t actually believe “perfection” exists but, website
that doesn’t seem to stop me from trying to find it. To avoid disappointing myself by the minute I have come to define perfection as those things I am able to accept and love as “perfectly imperfect”.
In my most recent piece, The unfinished business of a near perfect mind, OR, Portrait of a Boy, my struggle with perfection is different. I intentionally set out to make this weaving “imperfect”. In fact, in order for the piece to be “perfect” it couldn’t be. The struggle to intentionally pull threads out of place, to purposely leave broken threads as they snapped, to beat unevenly all tortured me throughout the making of this piece…until it didn’t.
At some point I stopped fighting and just accepted what was happening. I realised that I can’t really control the imperfect. I can’t plan to make mistakes beautiful or mishaps easy to deal with. I can only try to work with them and adapt to the challenges as they arise. The thing about life, and art, is there is always beauty to be found. The trick is being brave enough to have faith that the “perfectly imperfect” will be exactly what you need.
Creating festive and fun variegated yarn using the slow cooker method is super satisfying and only slightly more difficult than dyeing solid coloured yarn. The only difference happens at “Step 2”.
For this process I prefer to use the Clubhouse dyes because they are so easy with their little squeezy dropper bottles. The Wilton Icing Gels can also be used as long as you thoroughly mix the gel with a bit of water before adding it to the slow cooker. Remember, website the Wilton dyes are really concentrated so you will only need the smallest amount for this technique.
While your yarn is being pre-treated select a few colours you would like to work with. I usually choose 3 or 4 colours I know will be friendly with each other. Carefully drop one colour into the slow cooker at a time making sure to leave ample white space. Here are three examples of colour combinations I have used:
Once you have your dye in the slow cooker, carefully place the lid on top and leave it for at least 2 hours. It is very important that you don’t stir or bump the slow cooker. If you do, your dyes will meet and mingle and most likely ruin your variegated intentions and leave you with a yucky, muddy colour.
After the dye bath has been exhausted I like to poke around a bit to ensure there are no undesired chunks of white yarn. If I find some, I carefully rearrange the yarn, exposing the parts where the colour hasn’t reached and add some more dye. Pop the lid back on and let the slow cooker continue with its magic.
Continue with Steps 3 & 4 and enjoy your lovely art yarn.
Slow cooker dyeing is really easy and can lead to some very satisfying results. I can’t be bothered with the measuring, abortion weighing, approved math and babysitting involved in traditional dye methods so I will leave that to the Fibre Witches. If you, illness like me, are half-assed about such things I suggest trying your hand at slow cooker dyeing. Here is summary of the process I spoke of in my PechaKucha last week.
The Essential Equipment:
skeins* of yarn (Protein fibres only!)
synthetic kitchen dyes (i.e. Club House Food Colouring, Wilton Icing Gels)
* If your yarn is in a ball, that sucks. You need to make it into skeins.
Other Useful Equipment
Step 1: Pre-treat Your Yarn
Place your yarn in the slow cooker and cover it with cool to room temperature water. I always push the yarn to the bottom of the slow cooker to ensure that it is saturated and as little water is used as possible. Now add some vinegar. I use a splishy-splash for a small amount of yarn, a splash for a bit more yarn and a couple of glugs for a bunch of yarn. Place the lid on your slow cooker, turn it to high. Leave it for about 15 minutes or until you can see condensation building on the lid. Once this happens you know your yarn has been pre-treated.
Step 2: Add Your Dye
I don’t really measure my dyes but you can be as particular about this as you want, especially if you are hoping to replicate exact colours. When using Club House dyes I would start with about 3/8 of a teaspoon and maybe a skimpy 1/8 teaspoon for the Wilton dyes (they are very concentrated). Give the water a quick swirl, if you like the colour you see put the lid back on the slow cooker and walk away for 2 or 3 or 5 hours. It doesn’t really matter.
Step 3: Check Your Yarn
Generally, I check my yarn around the 2 hour mark. If it looks like your dye bath exhausted – great! If not, put the lid back on and check again in a bit.
Step 4: Rinse, Spin, Dry.
Once the dye bath has been exhausted you can take your yarn out and give it a rinse. I usually dump the yarn into a strainer and let it cool down for a while. Once I can comfortably handle the yarn I give it a quick rinse, a squeeze and a few spins in my salad spinner. The salad spinner is totally optional but it really helps get the excess water out of your yarn. Now you can hang your yarn to dry. Done. Easy peasy.
Below is a shot of the different greens I was able to achieve using the Club House greens in “Neon” and regular and the Wilton dyes in “Leaf” and “Moss”. To get the pastel mint green on the far right I dipped just the tip of a butter knife into the Leaf Green and swirled it into the water. I have had less success making pastel colours with the Club House dyes.
As some of you may or may not know I really struggled with choosing a major. I went back and forth mentally (and physically) between Sculpture and Fibre for over 2 years. I loved the ruthless, impotent heady space of sculpture and felt it was a comfortable place for someone like me (someone with no particular skill set, cardiologist an aversion to paint and a tendency to think too much).
After a couple years of gearing myself towards a Sculpture major I took Mackenzie’s Weaving I class for some “material therapy”. I just wanted to make something beautiful and useful. I wanted to make something I didn’t have to explain to my Mom. I made a scarf and some pillows. I fell in love with weaving.
I was completely torn between conceptual art making and the idea of functional craft. It took me another year to realize I didn’t have to choose between the two and that fibre work could be just as conceptual as any other type of art. Had I found a book like Jenelle Porter’s Fiber: Sculpture 1960 – Present earlier I might not have struggled so terribly with my decision to stay in Fibre.
I found this book quite by accident one day while browsing my life away on Amazon. I saw the title and added this 256 page beauty to my cart with little hesitation. The inclusion of Eva Hesse as a fibre artist is what pushed me to the “checkout” button.
The first half of this book contains several essays and is absolutely busting with full color pictures from over 30 artists. The second half includes a one page write up on each of the artists as well as more photographs of their work. Although I have yet to read through all of the artists essays I do enjoy looking through it with some regularity. I find it a great source of inspiration!
Unfortunately, our library doesn’t own a copy of this book but if you see it sitting on my desk feel free to have a look at it.
Last year I took a huge leap out of my comfort zone and enrolled in 3 ceramic courses at ACAD ceramic courses. At the time I was looking for a challenge, more about I left as if I had become too comfortable in my textile work and was no longer feeling a need to push and develop ideas. I was lucky enough to have Katrina Chaytor as my Introduction to Handbuilding instructor, and Robin Dupont as my Introduction to wheel throwing instructor. I remember my very first throwing class feeling as if I would never be able to move a 1 pound of clay into anything resembling a vessel, but still managed to accept the challenge it presented.
What I learned in that semester was not only a multitude of skills and practices that I will carry throughout my life, but also the to practice care. To do the things you care about, to cherish new obstacles as an opportunity to grow as an artist and a person. I think what I learned the most is that the work I care about most is the work that doesn’t sit on a wall in a gallery, it is the work that I get to touch, use and cherish every day. Art can be enjoyed not only intellectually and visual but also physically. As I seek to develop more functional work for the use in the home exemplifying care has become an essential part of my practice.
There are two things about weaving supplies I would like to share with you all right away:
Shuttleworks is CLOSED!
Cal and Diane will have a final “last chance” sale starting Thursday, prescription
October 6. Check out their newsletter for the details.
A & B Fiberworks
This summer I discovered A & B Fiberworks at the Calgary Crossroads Market. Ann and her husband are the new local distributor for Maurice Brassard yarns (these are the same cottons that both Shuttleworks and the bookstore carried). Their store space at the market is small but they have most of the 2/8 cotton colorway in stock.Ann has all of the sample cards from the Maurice Brassard collection (bamboo, more about
boucle, cottolin, etc.) available for perusing and she told me she would be happy to order in anything that you may need.