Sunday, January 16, 2005

Chompin' at the bit

O! How energized I am finally to get back into the studio tomorrow.
A room full of fusers did the trick. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work with such artful students as I had this week. Their creativity was like a drug and I am now hopelessly hooked. I am dazzled by the way they leapt into the assignments and produced so many clever studies, and some really sophisticated finished compositions.
I will have to raid them for ideas!! Just wait til I get home and post the pictures.

My friend Carol Taylor won two big prizes at Road to California as well as the Best of Show at the Form Not Function show. I must, simply must pay attention to show deadlines and produce some new work of stature. You 'gotta play to win'.
I want to work more in silks and that means I must dye some just for myself. I have sold most of what I dyed for this workshop and haven't much left in my stash at home.

Two things that are on my mind about the quilts I saw. Surface design on the fabrics and tasteful
overall quilting.
Several of the quilts reflected the kind of quilt (stitching) designs I have taught over the years and it is so satisfying to see the continuing use and refinement of these skills.
And I was very happy to see the 'less is more' school of quilting, where the amount of quilting was just right, rather than quilted to death.

The surface design included spraying, discharge, printing, stamping, digital printing, silk screen images and foiling.
Not all of it was wonderful.
There seemed to be some need to overdo the techniques for the sake of piling it on, versus creating a wonderful product. There is a point of diminishing returns, and too many techniques make for a mooshy surface. RESTRAINT was not in evidence. One quilt was painted with thick white paint and then stitched with invisible nylon. The design was interesting, even clever, but the execution was really repellent.
On the good side, several of the quilts were hand dyed cotton sateen and had a lovely glow, which was emphasized by the quilting, both by hand and machine. Helene Davis's hand dyed fabric, although not sateen was especially inviting and inspiring.

Remember the feeling of wanting to touch a quilt? To gather up the fabric and bury one's face in the color? I think that is a secret desire that is not being met much currently. I intend to bring that feeling back. Shimmeringly seductive silk charmeuse, in jewel tones, quilted lovingly, with wide swaths of clarity and elegance in the design...

That's my assignment.


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