Saturday, April 30, 2016

A little here and there

Repurposing old art to serve my inability to stop making hanji dresses! Endless delight. If my eyes and fingers held up longer, I'd stay up and sew and sew and sew.
Plus newer pieces of suminagashi tests.
This has been in the works for a while but subject to weather, completely. The good news from PT is that I am to take two weeks away to take care of myself on my own! On Wednesday, I gave a lecture to the Rowfant Club, which was received so heartily that I was somewhat surprised (it's not always easy to stay awake on hump day after dinner and drinks). It was a pleasure, though, and I got to see wonderful things on the brief tour of the buildings when I arrived. Even better: Dard Hunter was a member and they own all of his books! So I will get to spend time with at least one particular book to do some nice quiet research with volumes that are usually in special collections that are far away from me.

What else? Hand Papermaking's auction ends tomorrow, and there are still so many chances to get rare books, special papers, artifacts, studio time, subscriptions, and more!

Also, to support the Textile Society of America's scholarships (they have someone willing to match $10K raised in the next month!), click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Long-term loose ends

I decided last night that I had to finish this teapot that has been going on for longer than I'd like (due to interruptions).
I tried to repurpose an old piece but still need a lot of practice making things without patterns. I already got a comment about it looking like a straight jacket, so I'll let it sit for a while before I go back in to rework it.
Not perfect (a VERY tight fit inside), but done! I do need to finish it but maybe I'll save that for when I teach so I have a sample to coat.
Since I hate to leave scraps alone, I used the bits leftover from the lid (which had been leftover from the body of the teapot) to make this little one. It was going to be a full bird and then I thought, eh, chess piece is fine.

The Hand Papermaking auction is still going! I'm a little surprised there haven't been any bids yet on this tapa from Tonga, but it's also possible that people are waiting until the last minute (this coming Saturday) to sweep in with bids. Browse often and bid soon!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

And another and another

I can't stop! They bring me so much joy. Finally, a use for this dyed hanji that I've had laying around for a few years, and a new pattern (for a 2-year-old).
The light switch is for scale. I still have NOT figured out how this pattern works, after three rounds. But I also love that I got to use this paper (dahlia and persimmon).
Improv based on the other patterns. After pulling out lots of stitches, I figured out how to finish it without a machine. Again, so satisfying to use this paper. I had expected to get other kinds of work done this week, but after a zillion medical visits, I decided at the last minute on Friday to sew. Yay for that decision!

Also, bidding has begun for the Hand Papermaking auction!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

One after another

I can't stop making paper dresses, with three more ready to sew and ideas for so very many more. There's been so much activity (and recovery) in the past week that lays the groundwork for future richness. Yesterday, I de-installed a local show and was happy that some of the harder to transport work sold, making hauling a little easier. I am excited to cannibalize the older work to make new dresses.

Almost all of my artwork is home after lots of travel, though things have been damaged, gone missing. I'm amazed by how eventful my last few shows have been in terms of problems on the host end, and realize that a show like the one I took down yesterday is rare: timely and accurate communication, proper contracts, enough people to do the job, no damage because the work is treated respectfully. One site cut up my hanji without notice and threw away the cut-away pieces! It reminds me of how much more work remains, because most people don't understand what goes into that one sheet of paper.

On that note, let's support two great organizations that strive to expand awareness of and possibilities for handmade paper:

1. This Saturday, the annual auction for Hand Papermaking begins! (hanji is included in at least two items!)

2. IAPMA is celebrating it's 30th anniversary with a beautiful bulletin (for which I made hanji) that includes handmade swatches from around the world!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Whoosh go the days

I had the most marvelous weekend of unstructured play and rest and lack of electronic devices (and excess of junk food). It involved sewing at Angela's house and coming up with this new dress.
[Immediately after construction is done, before I found the buttons, at the most comfy and well-loved home I've been in in this town.] The number of things to do each day has picked up a little too much and it makes me weary but I hope it's a good weariness. I had a breakthrough today, where my PT kept repeating: you need to let this sink in. Your big joint problem is resolved. This is huge! And he smiled and gave me two thumbs up, which is so unusual because I often think I am his biggest disappointment and that he can't wait to be done with me. He's the best PT I've had because he doesn't let me take the easy way out.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Spring fever diagnosis

Velma very wisely reminded me that my desire to run outside and be close to water and not do my work was the adult version of spring fever. She is right! These are geese and it was chilly, but I made it to a little bit of water that day, even if it wasn't a balmy beach.
This was the doll's dress I made from a new pattern with scraps from the last dress (which was made from scraps from the first dress).
And of course I can't leave any scrap unturned, so I made a new one (I tried suminagashi on the interfaced hanji but it picks up the dots of the adhesive). I was so tired that I had cut the pattern pieces correctly but didn't think I did, so I ended up mangling an entire half of the bodice and getting pretty far before realizing my errors. At least paper is easy to glue and piece together.
I decided not to put the sash on this one. The pattern is about 30% smaller on the top than the bottom than the first doll's dress.
I did this for scale but then was encouraged to do a whole series of domestic apparatus.
Wohoo! All ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

To not do

I went back to the fabric shop and got a pattern for a doll's dress. Once I finish that tomorrow, I will finally be almost completely free of hanji scraps! I've been very unmotivated to work lately, which is a good indicator that I didn't properly rest after all my intense work last month (or really, all year so far). Today I wanted to get close to water but once I realized it was still cold and windy, opted for lunch with a friend instead.

Pictures of new ducks here (click on the image to see the rest)!

My tiny shoes, too!

This weekend, Korean TV aired a show about my hanji work and NYC exhibit/events. It's mostly in Korean but there are a few bits in English and you can just watch to see the visuals of the actual gallery:

Friday, April 01, 2016

The long slog of catch up

The bigger dress was the one I did last year. The little one I just sewed up this week, a size 5 for a child, to use up the last of the interfaced hanji from the first one. I can't stand having leftovers. Though this one ALSO left scraps, so I guess a set of doll's dresses must be next on the agenda (unless I hide them well enough in my flat files so that I forget about the scraps for a while).
The front is finished with a hand-carved wood button by Jim Croft.
It took forever to find the right buttons for the back, and I was looking at the wrong pattern so first I bought only 4. I walked back to get 2 more, only to find I needed 7 total. Oh, well! It's going to be a button short, which doesn't matter because this is really only for display and not for wearing. Thank goodness for my three friends with sewing machines; it takes a village, always.
Meanwhile, my other piece that has been SLOW going because of all my traveling, is finally moving along. I began the teapot in hopes of bringing it finished to Michigan. That didn't happen.
But the problem with stopping and starting a piece is that things get really wonky. This is a teapot trying to become a pumpkin or something else entirely.
It almost killed me but I finished the spout last night before I went out for dinner.
You'd think I was done, but I still have to make the lid! The agony of these pieces means that the next piece I make must be 100% no expectations and 200% fun. The bad news from my PT is that the weird band in my hand is not a tight muscle but scar tissue. I must have torn something, probably while cording or twining. Next week I'll ask the physical medicine doctor for more insight. I'm not crazy about this season of endless doctor and PT visits, but I feel fortunate to finally have enough coverage that it's even an option to seek help!