Tag Archive for quirky objects for making art

Contest Still On – What’s the Quirkiest Thing you Have in Your Studio?

Smashed battery waiting to be embellished on an art quiltThe contest is still on until the end of October 31, 2012 for you to comment on the original blog about quirky, embarrassing things, and tell us what is yours in your studio. Photos not necessary, just give us a description of what is unusual, embarrassing, quirky… you get to define it. (However, if you send me a photo at info@fiberfantasies.com, I’ll make sure it gets posted in a future blog.) I thought I’d post a photo here of one of my finds that some people would find embarrassing, but I’m actually rather proud. It’s of a squashed battery that I found in the street. (It used to drive my ex nuts when I would pick up “trash” from the street!) The label is worn away and the top where the terminals were is detached from the casing so it looks like a face. The edges of the rim split, and look to me like little hands. This is actually the second squashed battery that I’ve found. In my blog about a small art quilt called “Heart Tribe“, the third photo down, on the left, shows how I fastened on one of the batteries as if it’s a papoose.

So, join in the fun. Go to this blog and write a comment about what you have in your workspace that somebody might find unusual. I thought it might be fun to hear what other people think is quirky. In the comments section, please tell us about the most embarrassing thing that you’ve kept for a future piece of artwork. I’ll award prize(s) for the ones that I find the most compelling/unusual/quirky. The contest will run until the end of Oct 31, and the prize(s) will be a small stash of some of my treasures mailed to you for you to include, or not, in your own medium. Since here in the States, Oct. 31st is Halloween, I think this would be a great time to be a little wild and crazy. Want to play???? Tell us about one of your most embarrassing saves for some future art/creativity project and receive a stash of my trash (I mean “treasures”!)

So, please join in and tell us what you have that might fit into this category. I promise not to tell any of your relatives!


You can see more of my art work on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it), my healing work at www.hearthealing.net and can find me on Google + , Facebook (for Transition Portals) Facebook (for Fiber Fantasies),  and Twitter.

To find out how to buy my art work, please check out “How to Buy my Art Work” in the “Pages” section to the right of this blog.

Personal Archeology(2)

Yarn embroidery on burlap backgroundWith this blog, I’m continuing on my quest for documenting my own Personal Archeology, otherwise known as cleaning out the studio. I’ve had a long connection with textiles over the years, as evidenced by this very crude embroidery that I did in late high school/early college. I remember that it ended up on the walls of my first apartment, and was sort of indicative of that rough,untutored style of the early 70s. Everybody was into a lot of macrame and we crocheted with our fingers. Those “hippie” days were about being in touch with ourselves and the materials and craftsmanship was not much of an issue.

The large stitches on the gold burlap backing didn’t fare too well over the years. The untreated, stained wooden frames that stretched the burlap gradually leached tannin into the backing material. Conservation and composition wise, this piece was a disaster, but maybe it spurred a few conversations over some nice dinners.

Felted wool sample from a workshopHere’s another piece that I’ve been keeping maybe twenty years to include in the right project. It hasn’t come up yet. To the untutored eye, it might appear as a pile of colorful dryer lint. It’s actually a felted wool sample made in a  felt making workshop I attended years ago. Some colored wool roving (strands of wool not plied or woven yet) was dampened and compressed under heat to make this base. You can see where a few black and white strands of plied yarn were overlaid to outline some of the areas before the heat was applied. The result, to my eyes, is an amorphous blob that never inspired me to do anything else with it. There are some amazing pieces of art work being done these days with felted wool, but in my opinion, this sample was not one of them, so it stayed in a drawer until my recent cleaning campaign.

Weaving sample from a Smithsonian classThis weaving sample will probably still stay on the wall of my studio where it has lived for over thirty years. About 12″ or 30.5 cm tall x 10″ or 25.5 cm wide, it’s the result of a six week long class that I took at the Smithsonian in the early 70s. Their Smithsonian Associates Program has taught fantastic art classes for over 40 years, and the products of those classes were a great way for me to build my portfolio to get into graduate school at the Maryland Institute College of Art. This particular class involved having someone shearing a sheep for us, then we carded the wool and then hand spun it with drop spindles to make the yarn. Natural dyes such as various flowers and onion skins were utilized to color the yarns and then finally they were woven into this crude sample. (Hippie days weren’t over yet, remember?) This small output of six weeks worth of work just made me grateful that I didn’t have to depend on my own devices to clothe a family, as they would have had to go naked most of the time if it had been left up to my efforts.

I’ve dabbled in a lot of different media over the years until I finally settled on art quilts as my fav. However, perhaps if I had practiced more on other techniques they would have become more developed. It certainly has been interesting as I’ve been opening boxes and drawers in my studio to give myself some sense of control over my stash. Control however, can be just an illusion, but at least I feel better about having less “things”, as not as many boxes are crashing to the floor these days.

What kinds of former creations have you found lately and what feelings did they evoke? Any regrets as you cull your stash, or have you found a successful way to re-purpose them?

Why not leave a comment as to your thoughts on this posting. Please take a minute, fill out the form below or by clicking on the “comments/no comments link” at the top of the posting, and then share your ideas with the rest of us. We all grow when we share our thoughts and impressions, so why not join our growing community of those who appreciate art quilts and textile arts. We’d love to hear from you!

You can see more of my art work on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it) and can find me on Google + , Facebook,  and Twitter.

To find out how to buy my art work, please check out “How to Buy my Art Work” in the “Pages” section to the right of this blog.