Saturday, August 23, 2008

On the Wrong TIF Track

I went back to the capitol with all good intentions to think about my page-in-progress, but life happened.  My paid employment required some serious attention in the way of unpaid overtime (don't ever tell me government employees don't work hard!) and I had the good fortune to get into a fiber class conducted by Susan Lenz.  If you are unfamiliar with her work, she posts at (and I hope this link works for you because I am usually not motivated to provide this depth of detail, figuring that's what Google is for)

There are five of us in the class, which runs once a week for two hours over the next three weeks.  I have been a big fan of Susan's since 2007 when she participated in an open studio event and I dragged myself up to the capitol a day ahead of time to attend.  Her studio was at the top of my list of sites to see primarily because she listed Inaminuteago as a favorite Web site on her blog.  When the Columbia Museum of Art offered a class conducted by Susan, I jumped at the chance to learn some of her techniques.

Susan promised us we will all have a piece of our own art, matted and ready for framing at the end of the class.  She obviously is being very generous in what she calls art, at least as far as my attempts go.

In the first class on Wednesday night, Susan demonstrated the methods she uses to develop the foundation of a finished piece.  The demo took about 20 minutes, at which point she sent us to our tables to make as many foundation pieces as we could complete in the next 90 minutes in order to get a feel for the techniques.   Yikes!  She made it look so easy and it's really not because you have to think about color and line and texture and overall design and what you want to heap on top of the foundation and...

Well, here are my three foundation pieces.

This one was the first and turned out fairly well because I followed the demo to the letter.  But Susan told us we could mix up the order, so I did that on the last two pieces, which I think did not turn out as well as I had planned or as I had expected (and, yes, the photos should be rotated so that readers don't have to turn their heads at odd angles to view them properly, but I always seem to forget this step before I upload the images.)

I photographed this second piece so that you could see the underlying fabric and how the layering of fibers changes the overall appearance.  The little white dots on the black velvet are burn holes which will accommodate beads or other embellishments in the coming two weeks.

And the final photo shows what looks like a turtle, but started out in life as some paisley-printed velvet in the color palette of the strip to the right.  The underlying fabric was from an old stained tablecloth.

Today, I will find some beads and embroidery floss from my stash to continue work on the piece this coming Wednesday evening.  Susan is providing all the materials for the class, so this is probably not really necessary, but she has been so generous in allowing us to use materials from her own studio that I feel compelled to contribute something of my own to the finished piece.  Meanwhile, I will work on the TIF page if I can find the time.  It might take me an extra week or two this month but I wouldn't have missed Susan's class for anything.

1 comment:

Miss 376 said...

What a lovely opportunity to have. Look forward to seeing what happens next