Taking an intense mark making course with Lorna Crane called “Perfectly Imperfect”.
It began making wonderful crazy brushes. We were to embellish them and I based mine on an imagined Prehistoric Healer as they remind me of funky magic wands, BUT the main purpose is the mark making—getting you out of your normal way of working—the crazy bit is for fun. Mark making is in the next section of the course. After that we will use our marks in making collage, scrolls, books, and finally a vessel. We will be marking with ink, markers, acrylics, stitches, etc. etc. Painting on paper as well as fabric. It is a very busy, involved course and a lot of fun!
In a previous post (titled ‘Heist”) I described a project called “Bound in Place”. It was dyed and then buried as an experiment. When I went to dig it up I couldn’t find it! Hence the “Heist”. Below are images of laying out the rusty bits, attaching them, and adding seed stitching to create texture.
Testing Layout and Stitching
Dyed and Burying Project
I waited until March the dig it up but couldn’t find it, then in late April, I was weeding in this area and there it was, so covered in mud I almost missed it. The poor thing was torn with very distressed fibers. After washing and drying it it was repaired, attached it to dyed linen and backed with a piece of thin felt for stability.
Found and Repaired Project
I’m happy with the result showing the work involved plus a sense of decay—nothing’s permanent. Another time I will bury one in the warmer weather and will mark it better. I’m still interested the effect bugs and other ground dwelling critters may add to the project—and they most likely weren’t at work in the frozen ground!
This work is about 12 x 4 inches, made of cotton and rusty metal bits held between two pieces of cotton, then covered with stitches. It was then dyed with tea in the hope that the metal would mark the work with rusty stains. It’s title is “Bound in Place”
I wasn’t happy with the amount of rust in this piece (the angular rusty bits didn’t react) so I decided to bury it outside and see what the elements did to it. The ground was pretty frozen and I could only go a bit below the dirt but I marked the spot and was very proud of my self that I waited a several months to dig it up. Only it wasn’t there!! I dug all around to no avail. All I can figure is that a squirrel or other critter attracted by the smell of tea made off with it…
Things have been pretty busy and I realized I didn’t post about the catalogs from my exposition at iMPeRFeCT Gallery this fall. I designed them and am very excited how they turned out. The exposition included both paintings and fiber work and was titled, “Beth Emmott: Places.Spaces, Paintings and Stitches”
and two inside spreads:
Samples of Painting and Fiber Pages
If any one wants one they are 8″x 8″ and 48 pages and are available at $15.00 each plus shipping.
For more information contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Again I want to thank iMPeRFeCT Gallery for my exposition!
In the mean time, I finished the Alice Fox workshop. We used our rusty dyed fabrics in finished pieces.
Here are two of mine.
“Yellow” and “Plain and Fancy”
They are small and both used old fabrics from my grandmother’s stash. The yellow bit was weighted silk that was splitting and mainly became a tie-dye from the binding it was wrapped with – there was little rusty marking. It was finished with french knots and a simple running thread. The other work consisted a piece of a cotton napkin and old patterned silk with a couched cord. It was a very fun workshop and a good distraction from the cold weather.
I’ve also gotten back to working on my one-a-day sketch book I stopped in June when I as sick and doing a lot of drawing. Now to get working on my painting!
“Places-Spaces, Exhibition of Painting, Stitches, Etc”, finally took place at iMPeRFeCT Gallery after being postponed last year! It was a crazy time getting things ready on short notice and with additional room to exhibit my work but it came together and I couldn’t be more pleased! Finishing work, framing, designing the space and hanging…Then I was interviewed on Germantown radio. It was very fun. And an artist talk—I was anxious but once I got going all was fine.
Back Room and Hallway
I showed stitching and a series of paintings in the front room, paintings in the back room, and smaller work in the hallway. Oh, and a group of found objects such as sea shells used as small tapestry looms and some of my Tea Bag Tales, they were the “Etc.” part of the title.
Small Tapestries and Tea Bag Tales
iMPeRFeCT Gallery is a wonderful gallery run by Rocio Cabello and Renny Molenaar in Germantown, PA. Over their nine years in Philadelphia they have featured an amazing group of artists, musicians, and poets. I feel so honored to be a part of all this and to have been invited to have my exhibition here.
The final book in the project (from the previous post) is a “Never Ending Book” in that it can double back on itself in a circular fashion, thus “Never Ending”. Constructed like the others, only with seven sections rather than eight, the paper pages are then covered with fabric in a crazy quilt fashion using bold stitches, resulting in a very textured piece.
Fabric and spines in place
Two sections have enlarged spines to accommodate extra pages (I may have enlarged mine a bit much) and the front and back covers are slightly padded. Once the stitching is finished the book is filled with the additional paper pages (not sewn in at this point) and is stuffed with leaves and/or onion skins – I added rusty objects as well, and the whole bundle is compressed between two tiles, tied and placed in a dye pot with boiling water.
Before and After
I used an iron pot and added tea bags. The hardest part is leaving it alone for several days with out peeking. This morning I lifted the bundle out and removed the tiles.
Then the unwrapping begins carefully, opening each page to remove the dye materials and setting the book and loose pages aside to dry.
Drying (The dark bit in the first image is the main book structure. More pages in the second.)
All is currently pretty soggy but I’m excited with the results. Some of these pages were tests and I will now dye some additional pages and then assemble the finish project! That will take awhile and will be in a future post! This has been a very fun project with lots of fodder for future projects.