A peak into the mind of Rael



If you could advise the 3rd year fiber majors what would you advise them about?

“Get involved with as many things as possible. There are so many opportunists to work with and collaborate with other creative people in this institution. You should cherish the opportunity while you still have it and be okay with being busy and tired all the time.”

If you could go back and do something different within the past 4 years of your graduate degree what would you do?

“I would have taken ceramics earlier on in my degree”


If someone is going to steal your art, side effects which art piece do you think they would steal ?

“ummmm I think they would .. probably steel my 30ft silk weaving because its nice. My sister already has her eye on it, she thinks it would be a good baby wrap”.



A quick tip about working with green lumber


I had not done much research about working with green lumber before picking up this log from UofC. Green lumber means that its still wet, this web its not too difficult to cut the wood when its wet however its not as smooth of a cut either. It dries very quickly and starts to crack so if you cant finish your project in one go, injection your going to want to consider a temporary sealing agent for your lumber. Your going to require something that is non toxic so you can sand off your sealer when you want to work on your wood again. Elmer’s glue is a great temporary or long term sealer. If you want a temporary seal your wood, water down the glue quite a bit and make sure your wood is clean and dust free. Apply a thin coat and let dry. This will keep the moisture in your wood and will be easy to sand off before you apply a finish to your wood. If you plan on drying your wood outside over the course of a season then do not water down your glue. Apply thick coats. If you accidentally apply a thick coat of glue on wood that you meant to temporarily seal, like I did, sanding is going to be a little bit a nightmare. However, its not impossible, the key is to keep switching your sandpaper as it gunk’s up with glue.



Band-aids are to skin the way patches are to my soul

This semester was thee most insane semester of my whole degree I think. I started the semester feeling like I was dying and to be honest I’m not sure how I made it this far because I still feel like I’m going to die any mint hahha. You know what helps though? Looking at Stay at Home Club patches. They are funny, syphilis reliable and they make me feel like there are others in this boat.








Every morning….




Its 80% true, medications most of the time..








What happens when I ignore my fortune

and go out








Post crying






My excuse not to see anyone but it hardly ever works








For the days I decide I’m goona quite fiber and just be a performance artist




Hope you guys had a laugh ūüôā







Simplifying Design

I have really refined my floral designs throughout stencil making. I find that stencil cutting allows me to design with clarity and intention. Sketching directly on the stencil paper pushes me to commit to a design and work through the whole stencil. After most of the key components are decided and cut, view I make additions free handed with the Exacto knife. The immediacy is challenging and rewarding.

This shows the steps of how I star from a cut stencil, capsule then paste onto linen, prostate then once the linen is dyed the paste is washed away to reveal the pattern/


Completed indigo dyed linen sewn into pillows, tea towels, and coasters for the home. As you can see I am a little obsessed with gradient dying. 


I am hoping to continue working on stenciling throughout the next phase of work I produce.


Creative work post-ACAD

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:


Marcia's sent me this picture of her home studio space. I am totally jealous of her neatness.
Marcia’s sent me this picture of her home studio space.

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.


The final touches

Victor Schrager worked during the 1990’s, pilule photographing over 100 species of North American birds, titling one of his greatest works ‘Bird Hands’. Schrager has his subjects secured by a professional ornithologist, who holds them gently from behind a screen of fabric, and so the birds are photographed before they become restless. Schrager emphasizes a dialogue between human hands and avian form, however the birds are photographed in a static position. Their lack of flight neutralizes their essence, just as we neutralize our connection with the natural world.

Whilst researching my Embroidered Hands series, I discovered Schrager’s avian portraits. His work involves the human hands of the ornithologist and their specific grips, though simultaneously the subject – the bird – is the focus. The hands are vital, both in Schrager’s and my own work, when holding his living creatures and my inanimate material. Although my embroideries are impressionistic they speak loudly of the materialistic attitude of today, such as chemically dyed thread, chemical dyed linen, and plastic.






Review: Women in Clothes

img_1852Summer vacation reading.

Last year in Barbara’s Fibre 300 Selvedge/Salvage course she assigned a couple readings from¬†Women in Clothes¬†by Shelia Heti, read Heidi Julavits, abortion Leanne Shapton and many many others. I loved what little we read and purchased the book very soon after. It was the book that I toted with me everywhere this summer and shared with anyone who would listen to me.

The book began as a survey with 50 questions aimed to challenge women to think about their personal style. Artists, activists, writers, and more answered the questions in their own way and style. Each page is a surprising gem of stories about women, why they wear what they wear, how it makes them think, feel and present themselves. Photos of personal collections such as striped shirts, glasses,¬†gray sweatshirts, unworn necklaces or bobby pins. Photos of the contributors Mother’s before the daugher’s were born. Photocopies of women’s hands with their ring collections. Conversations about compliments, interviews, story telling, poetry and essays.

My favourite and most inspired discoveries were the sections providing only a word or two on a subject matter. The contributors would then tell a short story, sometimes a line or a paragraph elaborating. Words such as colour, strangers, shopping, protection, or worn to name a few.

My personal favourite, under the topic worn:

“I try not to dress in something that would be more important to me than having a good time. I wouldn’t want to stop doing something for fear that my outfit would get ruined or weird looking in the act of having fun.” -Annemieke Beemster Leverenz.

On reflecting on a cherished garment that was lost by a friend:

“I would have liked to participate in the item’s fate. At the very least I wanted to be the person who lost it.” – Elena Megalos

I savoured every page of this book and felt a severe loss when I closed the final page. It affected the way that I approached my closet and why and how I was adding things to it. Upon completion I felt little emotional attachment to my clothes that weren’t special and I had no problem donating the majority of it to friends, family and charities. Everything that stayed and has been added since must fulfill the identity¬†of “Future Julie.” I consider what items would I pack on vacation, what makes me feel comfortable, happy, or put together (anything black, white, 5 sizes too big and at least double the price than I should be spending). Ultimately I started to think about who I wanted to be when I grew up (28 is still a teen in my eyes), what she wore and what those clothes said about her.

Throughout this book I discovered things that I also felt about specific garments but had not realized. It is by far the most thoughtful collection of writing on style and taste. It made me truly comprehend how clothes are so much more than what we put on our bodies.


Storyboard Sketches

I did a few rough storyboard type sketches heavily influenced by¬†Leningrad’s song and music video, pharmacy ¬†–ě–ß–ö–ė –°–ě–Ď–ß–ź–ö¬†(rough translation: Sobchak’s sunglasses)¬†that I’m using as a jumping off point.

some of the lyrics are included in the storyboards as a way for me to remember the timing and pacing I was intending at the time.

sam_0739  sam_0738sam_0743sam_0740

I will be working on more storyboards and practice panels over the break to help me have more content (I’m willing to share) to use in my studios for next semester. I will be doing at least one more post for Sveta’s¬†Jacquard weaving

~Sara Y


COCOON I Redux – Progress

I decided to redo my first cocoon project, look as it was destroyed in the process of making COCOON II. And i wanted all three forms to be together.

I also decided to hand felt rather than shoving it in the washer. The surface area is bigger and it’s way more plush too.


Original COCOON I


I found out about halfway through the process that using the giant fibreglass tub for river molds (I assume) worked great for containing the water, symptoms instead of working only in the evenings and¬†having the mop and bucket handy. For soap I use olive oil soap, since I use my hands rather than bubble wrap for larger felt pieces, my hands can survive for longer. (I don’t like gloves because I can’t feel things)

Trailer’s helpin’ again
i cut the felt sheets into vague lemon shapes to get close to the shape I wanted
I decided to sew the parts together making the process much faster and utilizing the surface area of the felt much better


I figured out the plastic tubing I had lying around works great for circular structures
So far, I’ve sewed three hoops to the inside of the top, which has greatly improved the shape.

~Sara Y

“Moths” Progress + completion

Progress of my moth continuation of my cocoon series which deals with my struggles with avoidance (apt since I’ve been avoiding these dingle dang¬†blog posts)

Trailer is helping me cut out moths from felt

I started out with wet felted felt (from prefelt) and cut out various moth shapes


I then needle felted bodies starting with the base


then added eyes, purchase antennae, and colour to them



which I sewed onto a vest made from canvas



~Sara Y

Jean Lurçat

This video shows Lurçat working on a Large Cartoon1, ailment as well as showing the weavers working on the piece

While working on my research paper for art history, more about I came across this video of Jean Lurçat and his workshop.


For colour selection rather than using hundreds of colours he used a system utilizing 30 to 40 colours. he would choose approximately 7 colours ¬†and have 5 shades of each colour. I wrote in my grad paper “Upon studying Lur√ßat for a research paper, I found that the method he used for his cartoons meshes very well with line drawing and cell shading techniques used in animation, and by extension certain graphic novels. The use of graphic line and numbered colours is similar to how I work with colour with Copic markers”

If all goes well with the sampler, I’m hoping to utilize this knowledge for larger projects.

~Sara Y


1 – the prepratory drawing for a tapestry or fresco

Works Cited:
Lodds, Jean et al., director. ‚ÄúAubusson Tapestries.‚ÄĚ Radim Films Inc, 1948,

LurcŐßat, Jean. Designing Tapestry, Etc. (Translated by Barbara Crocker.). London: Rockliff, 1950. Print.

Clasped Weft Weaving

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.  20161126_132037

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.

If you are interested in learning this technique Craftsy.com has an informative blog entry by Kaz Madigan called, viagra ¬†“Clasped Weft Weaving: Easy, High Impact Designs to Try“. Included are step by step pictures to help you get on your way. ¬†If you prefer videos Kelly Casanova has a very thorough video¬†for weaving this technique on a rigid heddle loom. ¬†Below is a picture of the finished piece she works on in her video.

Kelly Casanova. Clasp weft table runner. Cotton. 2016.
Kelly Casanova. Clasp weft table runner. Cotton. 2016. <http://kelly-casanova.blogspot.ca/2016/01/clasped-weft-table-runner.html>




Fever Ray

Fever Ray, there is the solo project of Karin Dreijer Andersson from The Knife, ailment (a music duo involving her and her brother Olof Dreijer)

She uses costumes and face paint in her music videos serve to obscure her in an effort to make her craft more about the music and visuals rather than herself. If her face is unobscured, she often employs other individuals to lip-sync in music videos with Karin serving as a background character. She utilizes voice changers and uses her voice more like a synthesized instrument rather than focusing on pure, un-altered singing

If I had a Heart is one of my absolute favourite songs,

The droning repetition creates a dark atmosphere juxtaposed with visuals of a mansion littered with bodies. ¬†The video combined with the song has a vey folklore like feeling, or the aftermath of something supernatural, much like urban legend theories of the Dyatlov Pass incident. there are a few entries in the SPC foundation that fit the atmosphere I’m wanting to compare better

Her music, for me, creates an apprehensive, uncanny valley like atmosphere I enjoy.

Collaboration with R√∂yksopp under her Fever Ray monicker (not obvious on the video title, but she’s credited on the album) She appears in the video but the lipsync is done by¬†Marianne Schr√∂der

~Sara Y

Made with Tears

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.

Here are a few preview pics…

Off the loom. Before washing or the secondary addition of raw wool.


Detail after first washing.
Detail after first washing.



Interview with Alex Link

 Dr. Alex Link is an instructor at ACAD and the Chair of Critical and Creative Studies. His main focus are on both the analysis, approved and history of comics and the graphic novel.  His list of selected works are listed on the ACAD website and his Academia page.
I had the pleasure of being in a couple of his classes, what is ed most recently being ENGL 333.

SY: How did you get into studying the Graphic Novel as an Academic subject?
AL: “I never really had much of an interest in them until I started teaching at ACAD. Before that, audiologist I was a teaching assistant for a¬†single course in comics, but otherwise had read very little in the field. ¬†When I came to work at the College, it made sense to me that students at an art and design school might have an interest in them. It’s sometimes a challenge to get students to see the way in which the contents of an English course can inform their studio practice, and comics seemed like a reasonable medium by which we could meet in the middle.”
SY: What would be the best Graphic Novel for an emerging artist/writer to have in their library?
AL: “I think the best way to answer this question is to say they should have as many and as much of a variety as possible. Exposure to as wide a range as you can access can only help you expand your visual, formal, and narrative vocabulary.”
SY: Do you have a particular favourite Graphic Novel? If so which one? If not, why?
AL: “I have lots of favourites. It’s difficult to choose just one, though lately I’d have to say I’m especially interested in Duncan the Wonder Dog¬†by Adam Hines. It’s¬†thoughtful, emotionally affecting, and visually rich. ¬†It thinks very carefully about the status of animals in the world, and does so in a manner that draws very heavily on print and collage to make a perpetually surprising story. ¬†It’s ambitious, too: the author’s been creating strips around this story-world since he was six year old, which is why it’s title is so curious and also why he works on simple letter-six paper, since that’s what they had in his house; furthermore, he pretty much plans to work on the narrative for the rest of his life, since he has another 13 volumes of it (probably around 4-5000 pages worth) he wants to write.¬†¬†The author has recently decided to make it available for free here:¬†http://www.geneva-street.com/duncanthewonderdog. I have favourite comic strips too, particularly George Herriman’s Krazy Kat and just about anything by Ben Katchor, including his graphic novel The Cardboard Valise. It’s a really long list of favourites, in the end. I’m a glutton”

Thank you Alex for taking the time to answer, and thank you for the link to Duncan the Wonder Dog. I will be reading further
~Sara Y