Thursday, September 10, 2015

Speaking Tonight at Humboldt Handweaver's Meeting at Wharfinger

I am the worst at keeping these Blogs up to date. it is hardly a Blog but yet things are happening up here in my hill studio. I have been busy with commissions this summer and general exploring the studio itself. There is a lot to do and when not in the drying yet gorgeous property I am in the studio.

This is one of 11 fabric panels I did for a wonderful artist couple of whose work I have always admired so it meant a great deal to do some work for their home.

This is a mono print and surely I could not do it again. These works are all signature 'prints' but I must say they are paintings for they work easily behind a frame as well as a cushion cover.

There has been a few nice bits of traveling since the close of the studio in the spring. I am always moved by texture of landscape and my artistic response to it. So as to not bore you.. I will list just a few...
Sydney Australia Fortress walls

The wear of sun, sea, air and time on rock often gives such a sense of spontaneous  design. I am moved by the overlay of natural color and tone. I realize that I am highly affected by this achievement that hundreds and sometimes thousands of years give us. I know this to be a realism I want to mimic and celebrate. The larger pastoral landscapes so many are clever to paint and create are not to be of my first love. The energy I find in the veins of a rock or the fiber of a hand rolled bead from grass astonish my field of vision. It is for this sort of environment I tie up my fabrics, paint textiles, dip dye with plant dyes or surface print with whatever is at hand. I love the surprise that shibori can bring. And I have cultivated my own approach which is anything but predictable. In doing so I hope to maintain a certain energy that is never fully at rest but represents something only the natural environment can give us.
Maori Textile from the Auckland Museum, New Zealand
 It was in Auckland at the Museum where I was surprised to see the Maori weavings and textiles using all native plants and colors of earth that I remembered why I love playing with my personal shibori dye technique on natural toes or simply black with lift off dyes creating the imagery. My style is rather the reverse process but there is still a very organic approach which allows for rich coffee blacks and soft gentle browns.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Perhaps the last opening for many months... 622 Second Street Eureka 6-9pm

Tonight, the 7th of February, I will have a quiet show at the gallery. This is the last show I anticipate for some time. There is a lot of studio work I would like to get back too. There is a sculpture project I have been longing to do for almost 5 years and there is some writing to accomplish. And as always the fabrics to explore and new techniques to put into place.

So I hope to see you this evening or in the near future. I will be closed by the first week of March. These are two months set aside for a sabbatical. Then what? Keep an eye on the blog and I will try to be a bit more consistent.

Thank you for all your viewings and your input and of course for being a supporter and patron.

Cheers, Jen

Before I go too far.. let's look at the gallery

When I spoke of black in the last post... I referred to these pieces that I think have a more Asian quality. There is a certain balance of power between the color and open spaces of untouched black. Each of these cocoons shown hanging are backed with solid black silk that peeks through at the edges when being worn. They can also be worn inside out so that the person wearing the garment has a very quiet look with the excitement of traditional kimono at the edges. Showing on the wall are pieces that primarily use the Japanese shibori technique of stitch resist. It is labor intensive but allows for a very energetic line. It is the movement in surprise and creation that I want to maintain in my work. It is here where I know that none can recreate what nature has done. Each and every piece has been directed and pushed by my design and artistic sensibilities yet they are creatures of their own. They breath, they live and they delight in abstract chaotic beauty.

 By winter time, in late November, I had come across some beautiful Merino wool from a wool coat and vest line I had done in the 90's. This beautiful black wool called to me. Play with me, push away from the slippery silks... so I used some of the shibori techniques and did a small line of pieces that all sold quickly.

These wide scarves shown on Mikaela as skirt and wrap were a nice addition to the light weight of most silks the gallery had been showing. They were perfect for the winter months. I went up to Portland Oregon to purchase a few yards more of their lovely black wools and finished the series. All are gone but the seed is planted for next years cooler climate.

Mikaela Mackey wearing winter 2014 woolens

As 2015 sets in... 622 Second Street Eureka goes on a sabbatical...

I have just looked at the time frame of my last blog... four months ago! It has been a wonderful autumn and I have received good responses and sales. Specifically my silk cocoon wraps did the best. The gallery at 622 Second Street met so many expectations that I had when I opened almost a full year ago.
Now in full winter mode I am looking at the windup or wind down of this lovely old town studio gallery space.

I played with new colors,
moving away from my well known black.
Some nice surprises came with it and creative juices flowed.

I still feel the most connected to the blacks as background with
simple lift off dye techniques bringing three dimensionality.
I have continued to push the idea of adding and subtracting
in my development of design. The surprises that my shibori
techniques bring are most often perfect. But sometimes this intuitive
process brings some sorrow and I am then back at the printing
table pushing to save and enhance an unusual beginning. It is in
the saving of an unwanted offspring that I find some of the most
interesting patterns emerging and new ideas for future projects.

I had the good fortune of a beautiful young model, my niece Mikaela, who indulged my request for shooting these silks in a three dimensional form. Even in my apparel industry days I found that the silks I have always worked with really came to life when the models moved in them. Wrapping and unwrapping of silks can be the most sumptuous of fabric play. There is not another fabric that I have worked with that is so versatile and well received. It is loved for is draping, its warmth, its sensual nature and its durability.

The cocoons have become a piece that can be scarf, dress, wrap, skirt and even in one case a throw of exquisite design for those who have everything.

Mikaela is showing two separate pieces as skirt and wrap. These are approximately 48" by 60". They are very generous by measure and make a gorgeous wall hanging for any contemporary home. This of course also answers the question when men arrive in the gallery and say they love the work but how to manage it, not being the skirt wearing sort... Voila..hang these unique one of a kind pieces. Soften your world and home with a one of kind hand designed, printed, screened silk.