Monthly Archives: October 2009

Fine Tuning

Maquette Number One

Maquette 1: I decided the center panel was too long and flat.

Although the basic forms often come together quickly for me, there’s lot of time spent fine tuning to get them right. It’s important to work these things out in paper even though I’m sometimes frustrated and want to start working on the final. It feels like I haven’t really started, even though I know that this time is the most important. All the fabrics and stitching won’t matter if the basic form isn’t right. I met with my studio mates for a critique last Thursday and they gave me a much needed push to kick these pieces out a bit. Not to stay in the safety zone of symmetry and the lovely curves I’m so attached to. It’s good advice and I’m taking it but it’s not easy.

Macquette 2: Too symmetrical

Macquette 2: Too symmetrical, center panel too short

Macquette 3: Center panel is good but the bottom of the form is too thick, juts out from the wall too much.

Macquette 3: Center panel good, assymetry good, but the bottom of the form is too deep.

Macquette 4: just right!

Macquette 4: Reduced the depth at the bottom and added an inverse curve. Just right!

New Series

octnew2octnew3I’ve begun working on forms and fabrics for my new series, as yet unnamed. The Artifacts series is my jumping off point, but the work is also being influenced by the work I did for MadArt. The shape of the figure is still coming through in these forms and the wall forms are much larger than those I made last Winter. Nothing is set yet, no decisions are final, and I’m still living in this unsettled place of creation. Forms are almost there, and I’m auditioning fabrics, so progress is being made but I know I’ll be happier once I start putting my hands on pieces that will become the final product. Until then, it’s time cutting out shapes, dyeing fabric, and head scratching.

Auditioning fabrics:


New Work

figure1figure3I’ve decided to quilt up two pieces of fabric I printed as part of the series I did for MadArt. (Detail of one above, the full piece to the right. The other piece at the end of this post.) They don’t go with the work I’ve started for the Foster White show but they’ve been calling to me. I don’t think I’ll feel finished with that series until I finish these two pieces.

These pieces are giving me a chance to further explore the unfinished edge. I’m planning on leaving an edge of the dyed batting showing along with the torn edge of the backing. The front is a silk twill which I love to work with. It sews up very nicely and has a lovely sheen. I used spray starch on it to keep it from shifting when I pinned it up and I’m a little worried that with the light color of the fabric the starch will show. I’m liking the way the quilting tames the fabric, and emphasizes the patterning. I’m planning on using much lighter quilting on the figures to contrast with the background, maybe a rayon thread with a sheen to it.


West Seattle Art Walk

WSeattle blogI’m participating in the October West Seattle Art Walk. My work will be at The Body Bar at 4156 California Avenue SW. The show is a combination of work from MadArt with some recent work. It’s nice to see some of the panels from MadArt, which played the part of backdrop to the 3-d pieces, get a chance to stand out on their own. I’ve also included three of the Bird panels from Seen/Unseen from last year’s Sound Transit’s Art on Broadway. Those plus a couple other 3-d pieces make the show. It actually all works together well and is a nice compliment to the business where they do massage, acupuncture, facials, and other treatments.

For more information follow this link.

See you there!

My Studios

estan1I have the extreme good fortune to have two studios, one inside my home where I do all my sewing and one outside the home.

Easelstan, a house converted into art studios, is where I do all my dyeing and construction and also store my past projects. There are five artists with studios in the building and we have a great collegial relationship. We do a weekly crit group, rotating among us. I’m the only fiber artist, but I find the feedback of my studiomates across mediums is really helpful.

My studio is in the converted attic space. It’s about 250 square feet but has several challenges. One is the stair well in the center of the space and the other is the sloped walls. Being short, I have a fair amount of usable floor space and when the owners created the studios they brought the walls in to create storage space under the eaves. This is great  for storing past projects, tools, and extra materials.

Here’s my studio looking West.


And here the view looking East.


Here’s some of my storage.


Some of the features I love in my studios are a sink and exhaust fan for mixing dyes, skylights, and a view of the mountains to the West.


Although the space is divided up, I do have room for a large work area of two six foot tables put together along their length. I use a sheet of vinyl across them to create a smooth(ish) surface. I also have three other tables that I can move around as needed.


I like to keep my studio pretty tidy. I find I need an uncluttered space to be creative, no collections or decorations to distract me. Here are some of the ways I store my materials.



My home studio is where I do my sewing and also does double duty as a guest room.I have a U shaped work area for sewing and cutting.


I have a design wall that I made using a flannel backed picnic blanket. It’s a little less than ideal but I make it work. The door leads to a small office I share with the family where I can catch up on email, blog, or listen to music.


Again, storage is always an issue. Here are some of my solutions.


I hope you enjoyed the tour! I admit that I cleaned up a bit for company.