In their own words, "Creative Salem celebrates the city of Salem as a hub of creativity, and is dedicated to promoting collaboration, facilitating quality artistic events, and providing contemporary tools for local creative professionals to find and connect with new audiences while encouraging them to apply their skills to help solve challenges facing the community." Last night they hosted a two-part art show to raise funds and showcase some of the more exceptional artists in the community. Part of the event was a 3x5 exhibit where anyone in the community was encouraged to submit up to three pieces of artwork measuring 3" x 5". All of the pieces were donated with the proceeds going to the organization. I created three woven pieces for the show, shown in the not so great photo above. They sold early on, and I was too late to the event to see them displayed (see photo of vacant space). My collages in the past have been paper based, the Matisse lady and Stinker the Cat being the two examples I have retained, and while I won't be giving up my love of the paper collage, merging this interest with my weaving was lots of fun. Hopefully the person or people who purchased them are pleased.
The fabric has been dyed in an old indigo vat, and while it's not quite as dark as I had envisioned due to the age of the vat, I'm liking the washed out nature of the color. Perfect for summer (if it ever arrives!).
Indigo dyed material has always caught my eye. I created my first indigo vat several years back, and to this day I find the process, the color changing right before your eyes, riveting. I am also finding myself drawn to weaving with hemp. Lunatic Fringe has a lovely two ply hemp yarn that comes in an array of colors on 50g cones and bleached and unbleached in 400g cones. With this record setting winter of snow, snow, snow, a vision of an indigo dyed beach cover up began to form in my mind.
This was my first attempt at shibori weaving - a Japanese resist dyeing technique wherein larger, smooth threads are interspersed throughout your fabric and then used to cinch the material together to form snug pleats designed to keep out the dye. I also added space in my warp every inch to form a subtle open stripe in the fabric. I'm really pleased with the results. Next up will be sewing this thing into a dreamy summer dress.
This week I took a trip into Boston to the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art) to view their latest exhibit, Fiber: Sculpture 1960 - Present. Thirty-four artists were represented throughout five galleries. The range of color and material, texture and volume, was vast, and it took several passes through before I had taken enough in to be content with leaving. As a weaver, it was a challenge not to touch some of the pieces and bring my eyes within inches of others. I was so inspired that I purchased the book that was published to accompany the exhibit. Check it out if you can. The exhibit runs through January 4, 2015. You can also view a slideshow and other accompanying media by clicking here.