Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NEWS 2011

I want to share some images from NEWS 2011 (New England Weavers Seminars) with you before my next activity (Michele Wipplinger's Color Institute) fills my head. NEWS takes place every other year and is held at Smith College in Northampton, MA. There were exhibitions (a juried gallery show which I co-juried with Laurie Carlson and Carol Birtwistle; a faculty show; the static fashion show; a special exhibition of ethnographic textiles; and guild table exhibits); half-day, full-day, and multi-day workshops (I taught both a half-day and a full-day workshop on Photoshop and woven design using techniques described in The Woven Pixel); Vendors Booths selling items (yarns, Guatemalan products, tools, dyes and books) and publicizing places (The American Textile History Museum); and there was the fashion show one evening and a lecture by Laurie Carlson on the last evening. Of course there was also lots of comings and goings, meeting with old friends and new friends, meals in the cafeteria or downtown, and just wandering the campus and visiting their wonderful gardens. Many of the attendees have attended many of these gatherings. It was my first, and I really enjoyed how friendly everyone was so no matter where I went I could enter into an interesting conversation. There are some amazing weavers in New England as you can see from the images below.

Top Left: Brenda Rosenbaum of Mayan Hands, a truly remarkable and compassionate woman; Top Right: a view of the Faculty Exhibition with my weaving Continuum on the table and Sara Goodman's stitched, dyed and pieced work behind it; Second Row Left: some of Sara Goodman's samples of natural dyed fabrics on a table in her workshop; Second Row Right: Jody Brown and Norma Smyda standing in the inspiring Special Exhibition that they organized of world textiles; Third Row Left: Co-First VP Programs Ruth Ward and Virginia Coolidge standing in front of the display of the American Textile History Museum which was enthusiastically manned by Linda Carpenter, a trustee of the museum; Third Row Right: a table runner by Janney Simpson of Connecticut that was entered into the table runner category of the gallery show; Bottom Row Left: an image of the gallery show; Bottom Row Right: some of the new weavers setting up their first weavings in Carol Birtwistle's class.

Top Left: Best in Show was given to Scott Norris of Pioneer Valley Guild in Massachusetts for weaving these incredible linen towels; Top Right: Jurors Choice and Peoples Choice both went to this fascinating shawl woven by Suzi Ballenger of RI (it was woven in plain weave but had variable denting that changed in the cloth creating undulating stripes that reminded me of Syrian textiles); Second Row Left: Michele Belson and Deborah Holcomb in the Lunatic Fringe Yarns booth near the beautiful natural brown cotton yarns they are selling (I thought I was going to get some linen this week but when I saw this yarn I just had to have it--it is called American Maid Yarns); Second Row Right: a detail of the Guild Booth supporting breast cancer research; Third Row Left: Dorothy Solbrig of the Nashoba Valley Guild of Massachusetts entered this colorful deflected double weave to the gallery show; Third Row Right: Carol Birthwistle showing two of the new weavers how to do something at the loom; Bottom Row Left: Diane Villano taught several workshops on polymer clay and in the one depicted students made buttons with wavy marks that reminded me of marbleizing; Bottom Row Right: another view of the Faculty Exhibition showing my weaving Mindscape on the table with Laurie Carlson's optical fiber sculpture in the background.

Top Left: Wonderful scarf by Norma Smyda of RI with undulating threads shaped by the special reed she uses (some scarfs were in the fashion show, shown here, and others were in the gallery show--it was the weaver's choice were to enter them); Top Right: Marjie Thompson of NH is a legendary weaver in these parts and you can see from this image of a table runner that she entered into the gallery show why she is so revered; Second Row Left: a lovely space-dyed scarf shown in the gallery exhibit by Carol Wooten of Cranberry Weavers of MA (Carol too is well-respected and she won prizes in both the gallery and fashion shows); Second Row Right: another scarf by Carol Wooten, this one entered in the Fashion Show and Static Exhibition; Third Row Left: Laurie Carlson Steger helping one of the students in her workshop, Carolyn Wetzel, weave fiber optics on a backstrap loom; Third Row Right: a close-up of the fabric Carolyn Wetzel was weaving which lit up when finished; Bottom Row Left: the table display by the weavers who were supporting breast cancer research; Bottom Row Right: a fantastic textile in the Special Exhibition (which I think was woven in Peru).

Woven Pixel Almost Sold Out

After five years of wonderful support from our customers, both editions of The Woven Pixel are nearly sold out. Alice (co-author of The Woven Pixel) and I have three copies of the book remaining in its physical form. When these are gone, there will be no further copies printed. If you have been thinking of purchasing the book, act quickly! Plans for making the book available in digital form are in discussion, but as yet we haven't made a firm decision.

To order the physical book and accompanying CD of illustrations and pattern presets, see information on the sidebar or go to my website by clicking here.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Preparing for NEWS 2011

Rain by Bhakti Ziek, 2011

I am preparing for NEWS 2011 which stands for the New England Weavers Seminar. It is being held at Smith College from July 14-17, 2011. I'm doing two workshops and also co-jurying the gallery exhibition. I'm putting some images of my new work in a powerpoint presentation--so I thought I would share them with you too.

Detail of Constellations by Bhakti Ziek, 2011

These weavings are done on a warp painted with natural dye extracts (from Earthhues). I wanted more texture in these pieces and have been using boucles and novelty yarns.

Detail of Vowels by Bhakti Ziek, 2011

Vowels is still on the loom but here is a preview.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Erratic Blogger

Mark's Woodpile Summer 2011

Maybe you noticed I added something to my blog heading--"erratic blogger." I thought about sporadic blogger but decided erratic was a better description of me. This way I can blog daily if I want to, or monthly, or as it seems right now, not even monthly. I think about it...but I don't seem to get there. Mark's summer woodpile shows the seasons here. Another round has started and we are drying out the wood we will need over the winter. Last year we actually had enough wood in the basement to skip a new pile, but this year's stack seems to be generating lots of neighborhood comments. All positive--it is an impressive form.

Jessica Smith and Bhakti Ziek

This week seemed to bring Lawrence, Kansas energy into my life. I realized that I am living my Lawrence, Kansas Victorian house dream in Randolph, Vermont. A good example of not getting what you want when you want it, but if you persevere you might get it in another form down the road. I love this house, and the way I am working in it -- seriously creating new work absolutely reminds me of my days as an undergraduate in Lawrence. Something about working in such a diligent way brings so much hope and insight into my life. Jessica Smith, who teaches at Savannah College of Art and Design was one of my graduate students when I returned to Lawrence in 2000 as a teacher at the University of Kansas. She came up here to hike and I was lucky to have visits on both ends of her camping trip. I loved having her be the teacher now, and me the non-teacher. Her work is amazing and I am going to show it at the workshops I am teaching next week for the New England Weavers Seminars (NEWS). So I guess sometimes I am still a teacher, but not too often.

Mark Goodwin, Bhakti Ziek and Gail Moran

Just after Jess left to continue her travels, our friend Gail Moran showed up. We know Gail from Lawrence, Kansas also--but from those undergraduate days in the late 1970s. We remember going to a waterfall with her in 1983 in New Mexico, when we were travelling across country after 16 months in Asia, and she was living in Albuquerque. She doesn't remember that but remembers visiting us in Philadelphia when her eldest son was a baby and her 18 year old son wasn't even born. We remembered that visit but not the Philadelphia part. It was so great to catch up, and also go down memory lane. She said I was passionate about weaving back then, and I still am. In fact, I just finished a weaving today that I am really excited about. I am working towards an August two-person show that will be at BigTown Gallery. I will post about that later, sometime, sooner than later.

Randolph's Fourth of July Parade

Like the woodpile, the Fourth of July Parade is another marker of time. The parade comes right past our house so we always have front row seats. This year seemed especially nice--and though the oxen were missing, there were a few small horses, chickens, and sheep, as well as tractors, old cars, and lots of fire engines. I told Gail she was going to experience quintessential America in this parade, and I think she wasn't disappointed.

Did I ever announce that I finished a website for Mark? You can click HERE or go to this website if you want to see his work.

Later this summer, or early fall, after the workshops at NEWS, after Michele Wipplinger's Color Institute Workshop which I am taking at Long Ridge Farm in a few weeks, after tutorial teaching, and after my exhibition at BigTown, then I plan to do a new website for myself. Maybe I will blog in there too--but now that I am an erratic blogger I won't feel guilty that my posting is unpredictable.