27th May 2008

A Flower Girl Dress

At long last, after seeking fabric and notions all over the state and the internet, I have spent the last two days working in earnest on a beautiful dress for Nora to wear as she plays the role of flower girl for her uncle’s wedding in a few weeks.

I’m using the Pascal/Alice Blue Gown pattern from Sew Beautiful (second cover down on that page), but without the smocking. It was my intention to smock the bodice, but then I realized what a pain hand-pleating the fabric really is and decided to embroider it instead.

The fabric is silk dupioni, in a sage green color. It looks alternately gray or gold depending on the light and presence of a flash, but outside in the sunshine is definitely green.

Here’s the bodice marked up with tailor tacks for embroidering:

Beginning

And two perfectly piped sleeves that I finished today with the help of a Threads magazine article on how to get your piping to stay flat (lots of hand basting, but worth it!):

Sleeves

And here is the back of the gown, folded in half — the amount of skirt you can see is only a quarter of the fullness. You can vaguely see a picture of the back of the original dress in the magazine on the table.

Dress Back

There will be embroidery on the back bodice as well. More on that process as it progresses this week.

The goal is to get it done to the point of handwork finishing this week, as we’ll be spending next week with my parents for some much-needed rest and relaxation.

Posted by Jess under Fabric, In Progress | No Comments »

03rd May 2008

The Road Ahead — Finished!

The Road Ahead

“The Road Ahead,” fused and quilted fabric collage mounted on canvas, acrylic paint

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Jess under Challenges, Fabric | 3 Comments »

22nd Apr 2008

Shape and Light

These are some photos I found when looking at shapes, and the use of blank space.

Splash and Dash by Michael Slezak

Splash and Dash by Michael Slezak, via Flickr, released under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons license

I love that I can’t tell water from sky, or if there’s a horizon line at all, but the orientation is still perfectly clear.

Empty Spaces by MarieM

Empty Spaces by Marie M (doozzle), via Flickr, released under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons license

The absence of color makes the shape of the doorway compelling — what if the lighting were reversed?

Inverted Light by Jan Tik

Inverted Light by Jan Tik, via Flickr, released under an Attribution Creative Commons license

The shadows are more interesting than the trees themselves, and the way they cut the gold on the ground into abstract shapes.

Black & White Girl by Mr Blue Don

Black & White Girl by Mr Blue Don, via Flickr, released under an Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works Creative Commons license

This is a manipulated photo to blur the image purposely. I like that the shape is somewhat vague, and yet you still know exactly what it is.

Posted by Jess under Eye Candy, Inspiration | No Comments »

21st Apr 2008

Color

I’m looking at color-scapes, as I ponder my next stole.

Shelter by Jens Aarstein Holm

Shelter, by Jens Aarstein Holm, via Flickr, released under an Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works Creative Commons License

The lighting in this one is particularly striking, especially on the grass.

From the stage #47 by Dave Walker

From the Stage #47, by Dave Walker, via Flickr, released under an Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike Creative Commons License

I love the use of focus here, and the red reflected on the microphone.

End of the Day by CreativeSam

End Of The Day, by “CreativeSam,” via Flickr, released under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons License

This one grabs me because it is the absence of color and light that create the focal point.

Painful Backache by BaboonTM

Painful Backache, by “BaboonTM,” via Flickr, released under an Attribution-Noncommercial Creative Commons License

And then there is the effect of one single solid color to make a statement. . . hmm, how would I quilt that damaged wall?

Posted by Jess under Eye Candy, Inspiration | No Comments »

12th Apr 2008

Thoughts on the “Art Machine”

Friendship Quilt made for Ella Maria Deacon

Friendship Quilt made for Ella Maria Deacon 1811–1894, United States, New Jersey, Mount Holly, from the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago

A while back on my Journal blog, before I started this one, I wrote about my consternation with the presentation of the Gee’s Bend quilts at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe. Basically, I found the “art-speak” surrounding the exhibit as an unwelcome distraction from the quilts themselves.

Yesterday, my husband and I went to the New Mexico Museum of Art looking for inspiration and some soul-soothing, and found more of the same pretentious commentary rather than a straightforward, intelligent presentation of works of art.

Perhaps we were spoiled by our former membership at the Art Institute of Chicago. But when the plaque on the wall, rather than simply presenting information about the artist and the materials used in the work, interprets the work for me in condescending, practically meaningless double-speak, I’m offended. Especially when what is written there tries to hammer home the “significance” of a piece due to the maker’s membership in a “movement” of art, whether or not the piece itself can stand on its own as any kind of statement to its viewer.

It’s one thing to offer context, information about the environment in which the artist made something, or events in the artist’s life and history, and quite another to explain a work’s “rich and important” symbolism or interpret an artist’s intent.

The presentation of the exhibits we saw yesterday practically screamed, “VALIDATE ME!” I wonder if this is a new trend in curating — preemptively defending the choices of particular pieces by “selling” them? Or is it a way of dumbing down the presentation of art to make it seem “Important” to a broader audience?

Whichever it might be, I find it disturbing both as an art-maker and an art-lover. Art is a dialogue between artist and viewer. It shouldn’t need a go-between.

Posted by Jess under Eye Candy, Inspiration | No Comments »