BIMA Auction June 2018

The Bainbridge Museum of Art (BIMA) will be hosting its annual BIMA Bash fundraising event on June 8th with music, refreshments and a silent auction, followed the next day by a dinner with a live auction. I have donated a quilt which will be auctioned to help support this top-notch museum right here on Bainbridge Island. My quilt, Ferntastic Star, was made for a Kitsap Quilters’ Guild challenge several years ago. The challenge was to use the floral fabric and make any “star” quilt. I printed the ferns using fabric paints and ferns from my yard. I machine quilted it to accentuate the ferns and flowers on the floral fabric. Size is approximately 45 x 45″.

Suzani from Ukbekistan

While I was in the Portland area to teach in Beaverton, I visited my good friend Nancy Watts, who has worked with me assisting the Mongolian Quilting Center for several years. Nancy had just returned from a Silk Road tour to Uzbekistan and shared her stories. She purchased this amazing suzani at an antique shop in Bukhara. It is at least 100 years old, woven in strips and hand embroidered with silk thread in intricate designs.

Traditionally, brides make these for their husbands. They are used in their yurts as wall hangings, bed coverings, or covers for belongings. The beautiful embroidered motifs all have symbolic significance and meaning: the pomegranate for festivity, peppers to protect from evil spirits, wavy stems for wealth and vitality, tear drops and almonds for abundance, and flowers which are the paradise garden in the desert to bring luck, good health and longevity.

Japanese Kimonos

Last month, I taught in the Fort Worth area of TX and was fortunately to be able to visit the Kimbell Art Museum where there was a special exhibit, Lands of Asia, featuring items from the Sam and Myrna Myers Collection. Most of these sumptuous silk kimonos were made for use in the Japanese theater from the early 1600’s to late 1800’s.

The kimono has been worn by both women and men in Japan since the sixteenth century. The T-shape is made from four strips of fabric folded in half and sewn together to form the sleeves and body of a robe that opens in the front. It makes an ideal garment for embellishment with elaborate decorative motifs.

The weavers in Kyoto produced large quantities of brocade with colorful designs and gold and silver thread. Much of it went to the Noh theater where masked actors performed rituals and dance of scenes of mysterious tales to melancholic music. The costumes replaced the stage decoration and needed to evoke the condition and moral qualities of the characters by their colors and their motifs. They are stunningly beautiful with both woven and embroidered designs.

The picture on the right, immediately above, is an exception. This is a fireman’s coat which is reversible. It is made rather like a quilt with layers of padded cotton (batting) between the outside and inside fabrics, all stitched (quilted) together. These thick kimonos were soaked in water when used in fire-fighting and would have been tremendously heavy when saturated.The design on it is a magic feathered cape, which flies in the sky above a stream like a phoenix. This image is drawn from mythology to evoke the notion of rebirth from the embers.

 

 

Silk Mandala Patchwork

Last month, I taught in the Fort Worth area of TX and was fortunately to be able to visit the Kimbell Art Museum where there was a special exhibit, Lands of Asia, featuring items from the Sam and Myrna Myers Collection. This silk Mandala from Tibet, Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), made from Chinese silk, caught my attention. The simple geometric pattern of triangles made from silk scraps glows and looks luminous. The large scale dragon print in the border is an added bonus.

In Tibet, where imported silks were always in short supply, the practice of making patchwork from silk scraps and recycled donations of clothing became a pious act born of necessity. These Mandalas made from half-square triangles, may have served as sacred diagrams to focus meditation. The number of pieces and their colors and arrangements were linked to numerology and divination. Mandalas were used by Tibetans in daily and religious life for altar coverings and table covers. In the context of Tantric Buddhism, geometric patchworks evoked the matrix of time and space in which the soul was caught in the web of existence.

“Home” exhibit at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (2)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. The exhibit is at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, where it will remain until June this year. The “Home” group exhibit was organized by a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN). On 26th March, I posted a picture of me standing beside my quilt, Trip Around the Garden, in the exhibition hall. Last Saturday, I spent an afternoon there for a “Meet the Artist” event and noticed how the reflection of my quilt appeared in another artist’s work. We were delighted by this fusion of art!

The center of my quilt is reflected in Matthew X. Curry’s piece, Valet 1, made from Argentinean lignum vitae, stack-laminate, branch, oxidized copper, wall-covering, leather and dried ivy root. The surface of the mirror isn’t quite flat in on the right side especially in the lower corner, so notice how the quilt becomes distorted in this section. Thank you Matthew, for permission to post this.

“Home” exhibit at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (1)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. A few weeks ago I posted twice about this exhibit opening at Olympic College in Bremerton, and showed some of the work of the other artists. Now the exhibit has moved to the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, where it will remain until June this year. The “Home” group exhibit was organized by a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN).

I feel honoured to be a participant. As a previous exhibitor at BIMA, I was invited to submit any works pertaining to the theme of “Home”. Interpretation of the theme could be very loose. Two quilts were selected for BIMA. I offered two bed quilts, one contemporary and one traditional: every home needs at least one bed with a quilt! The contemporary one hung in the Bremerton show and BIMA selected this traditional one, Trip Around the Garden, which I designed and pieced. My good friend Wanda Rains machine quilted it beautifully on her long-arm machine. This quilt is featured in my book, Traditional Quilts with a Twist.

 

As for the Bremerton show, my other piece on exhibit is Toto’s Garden, a decorative wall hanging for a child’s bedroom. Toto’s Garden, was made by me to be featured in a special exhibit, Quilts for the Young at Heart, at the Houston International Quilt Festival several years ago. The exhibit was sponsored by David Textiles Inc., who produced a Wizard of Oz line of fabrics and invited various quilters to use these to make Wizard of Oz themed quilts. I was invited by merit of my work teaching children to quilt and several kids made patchwork pillows and one made a lap quilt under my supervision. These all appeared, along with my offering, in the exhibit. Look closely to see the Cowardly Lion’s tail, the Scarecrow’s hat, Dorothy’s shoe, the Tin-man’s axe and the quilted tornado. This whimsical quilt was fun to make and rather atypical of my quilts which are not usually pictorial or applique. I like the way this quilt is paired with colorful glass fused bird houses in this exhibit.

“Home” exhibit at Olympic College, Bremerton (2)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. “Home” celebrates the opening of Olympic College’s Instructional Center and is a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN). The exhibit is in their brand new building, in the gallery, and will be there until 2nd March, 2018. I feel honoured to be a participant. As a previous exhibitor at BIMA, I was invited to submit any works pertaining to the theme of “Home”. Interpretation of the theme could be very loose. Two quilts were selected for Olympic College, and there will be more when the exhibit moves to the larger space in BIMA in March. See my blog last week for my bed quilt and additional pictures of some of the other works of art.

This wall hanging would be fun and appropriate to hang on the wall of a child’s bedroom in a home. Toto’s Garden, was made by me to be featured in a special exhibit, Quilts for the Young at Heart, at the Houston International Quilt Festival several years ago. The exhibit was sponsored by David Textiles Inc., who produced a Wizard of Oz line of fabrics and invited various quilters to use these to make Wizard of Oz themed quilts. I was invited by merit of my work teaching children to quilt and several kids made patchwork pillows and one made a lap quilt under my supervision. These all appeared, along with my offering, in the exhibit. Look closely to see the Cowardly Lion’s tail, the Scarecrow’s hat, Dorothy’s shoe, the Tin-man’s axe and the quilted tornado. This whimsical quilt was fun to make and rather atypical of my quilts which are not usually pictorial or applique. Here are some more pieces from the “Home” exhibit which captivated my interest.

On the left, Cedar Mesa Ruin, by Kay Walsh: scanned 4×5 black and white carbon pigment digital print. On the right, Home, Sweet Home, by Bill Walcott: acrylic on canvas.

On the left, On the Street Where You Live, by Max Grover: acrylic and collage on board. On the right, American Pie, by Karen Hackenberg: wood matchsticks, aluminum pan and scale-model figures.

 

“Home” exhibit at Olympic College, Bremerton (1)

“Home” is a group exhibition featuring twenty-five artists from the Puget Sound Region. “Home” celebrates the opening of Olympic College’s Instructional Center and is a partnership between Olympic College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) and Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN). The exhibit is in their brand new building, in the gallery, and will be there until 2nd March, 2018.

I feel honoured to be a participant. As a previous exhibitor at BIMA, I was invited to submit any works pertaining to the theme of “Home”. Interpretation of the theme could be very loose. Two quilts were selected for Olympic College, and there will be more when the exhibit moves to the larger space in BIMA in March. I offered two bed quilts, one contemporary and one traditional: every home needs at least one bed with a quilt! They chose the contemporary one shown above, Retro-Radiation, made from my original Op-Art Kaleidoscope blocks and quilted by Wanda Rains. Here’s a selection of some of the other pieces from a variety of artists. My second quilt and more of these will be posted in my blog next week. Curator, Greg Robinson, has as outstanding eye for placing different media together into a coherent and beautiful exhibit.

These are the nests. On the left, Fledged, by Kris Ekstrand in charcoal and mixed media. On the right, Nests, by Carla Grahn in hand formed and hand sewn nickel coated wire.

Here’s Bird House, by Diane Bonciolini and Gregg Mesmer of Mesolini Glass: cast, slumped and fused glass work. On the right, Out on A Limb, by Karen Hackenberg looks like a home made by bees. Karen constructed this amazing piece from wooden matchsticks, a madrona branch and scale-model figures.

BARN: Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network

I recently visited the newly opened BARN facility at 8890 Three Tree Lane, Bainbridge Island, and was very impressed. BARN’s mission is to build and support an open, inter-generational community of artisans and makers who are dedicated to learning, teaching, sharing, and inspiring each other with creativity, craftsmanship and community service.

Their goal is to create a true community center, using craft as a magnet to bring together people who would not normally know one another or have opportunities to collaborate. They want to connect seniors eager to pass on skills they spent decades learning with young people just starting out, and longtime islanders with people who have just moved here. Working side-by-side, participants will share tips, ask questions, and lend a hand when needed, gradually building trust and new friendships. Community service projects done in BARN’s workshops will widen the circle of connections even more. The result will be a more resilient community—one where people have hands-on skills and are committed to helping one another.

Years of planning and fundraising went into BARN. The project was initiated by a group of woodworkers who wanted to share studio space, tools and expertise. The woodworkers have spent hundreds of hours making all the cabinets, tables and more. BARN has 25,000 square feet of space including 11 studios: Woodworking and Boat Building, Metalwork, Welding and Sheet Metal, Jewelry and Fine Metals, Glass Arts, Fiber Arts, Printmaking, Book Art, Writers, Kitchen Arts, and Electronic and Technical Arts. Members may use the studio space and the equipment. Classes are open to members and non-members and various organizations, such as the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild, can meet there. This is an awesome place! Here’s a picture of the Textile Arts studio, mostly focused on weaving with several looms available for use. There are one or two sewing machines, but so far, the space is not really set up for quilters and there is no work wall. It’s early days and quilting is not currently a priority, but who knows, one day they might get a long-arm sewing machine.