Thursday, November 18, 2010

Natural Selection

The other artists were a natural fit for this show which opens Friday, Nov 19.  If you live in the area, hope you can make it over to see the work.  The reception starts at 5.

I have known Ron Vivod for many years (as I'm married to his brother!).  I've always been in awe of Ron's work so it is nice to be exhibiting side by side with him.  Though he works with digital technology, his love of nature, textures and colors are a complement to my and Erin's work with natural dyes, materials and rust.

Erin Cork worked with me at my studio in 2006 and 2007 while she was in grad school, exploring organic printing.  Some of her new work incorporates organically dyed fabric.  She does a lot of wet felting and stitching and all the work for this show is 3-D.  You can see more of Erin's work here.

BTW, I somehow wrote down the wrong title when I submitted the image for the poster.  The detail of mine is actually titled Free Association.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I'm back!

Didn't mean to be away so long, but the solo show and ARTEAST snapped up much of my time this fall, and since I last posted I acquired a new computer (the old one died a slow death) for which I have to update the camera software for downloads.  At last one is taken care of, but the bulk of my art exhibits are on the big camera which is still untouchable. 

I plan to share the pics from the solo exhibit on a new page coming soon.  In the meantime I'd like you to see the largest piece I've ever attempted.  This piece was made specifically for the tall wall at Kaskaskia College.  In September I posted about another piece, Round Bales, which at the time was the largest piece I'd made.  This one tops that one by nearly 5 feet. 

Pond Ripples c2010
Shibori rust on dupioni silk
with elderberries and tumeric
173" x 55"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

New Scarves for ARTEAST

Haven't posted in a while because I've been working to get ready for ARTEAST which takes place next weekend--October 16/17.  Lots of scarves-- and some new wall pieces--not quite so big as I made for the Kaskaskia show.  These are easily "house" sized.  Those haven't been photographed yet, but here are some details of the new scarves hot off the scanner.

A little turmeric goes a long way--bright bright yellow here.  I'm trying to figure out a different way of applying it with more control.

This scarf has a lovely purplish cast to it with pinkish gold areas.

I bought a few crepe scarves to try and above is one of them.  The others are all silk satin.

Elderberries have created a spectacular blue, but this piece has not been washed yet.  Not quite sure how much will be retained.  I've been waiting as long as possible before the event.
This is a very large shawl at 22"x90"
It always amazes me when I unwrap the silk to discover what design has been made.  This one was particularly puzzling to me with the oval shapes appearing regularly through the length of the scarf.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sneak peek

The exhibition is open!

Thistle Down hangs on a partition wall in foreground.   Wanted to give you a sneak peek of Farm Girl Landscapes. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

You are all invited -- Farm Girl Landscapes opens September 13

Farm Girl Landscapes at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, Illinois runs from September 13 through October 15, 2010 at the Dee and Sue Boswell Gallery on campus.  A reception will be held on October 9 from 12-4 pm.  I'll be in attendance then and would love to see my friends and family! I'll also be giving a gallery talk to Kaskaskia students sometime before then, date TBA.

Only one little hitch in the operation--the silk will not be installed until Monday morning, but I'm assured the gentleman who will do it is fast and very good at his job...he just happened to be on a well-earned vacation this past week when I delivered my work to the gallery.

The piece shown above is a small detail of a larger work I've titled Round Bales.  You can see and read about how this was made here.  I'm pleased with all the color variations from soft grays to deep blacks with pale gold areas and a few spots of pure rust.  The grays and blacks are created by three types of tea.  I brew loose tea at home and save the leaves.  I also use fresh tea if I want deeper blacks.  Friends save tea bags for me which I empty.  I can draw with the dust. 

Round Bales are of course a staple of dairy farming.  You can't drive through the Midwest without seeing the huge round forms dotting the landscape.  We had a round baler on the farm for a short time-- an old decrepit machine purchased used that my dad had a terrible time keeping in running order.  The bales were much smaller than those made today with modern equipment.

My dad preferred (as I did) the square bales that could be handled by one person and stacked neatly on a wagon and in the barn.  We went through lots of hay for our modest herd of dairy cows and spent many a day during the summer cutting, raking and baling.  Rain was the enemy for those times as dampness would mold and ruin the the hay.  Sadly, my brother missed my high school graduation to put up hay because my dad was convinced it was going to rain that evening.  My brother and I and various neighbor boys helped put up the hay countless times.  It was hot and sticky work and my arms would be covered in scratches by the end of the day.  I just could not bring myself to wear long sleeves in 90 degree weather and besides it was a point of pride to prove I could work alongside the guys.   

The bulk of the work in this show is connected to my growing up on the farm.  The more abstract work always has me searching for imagery within the designs that trigger a memory from that past life. 


What a relief!

Several months ago Diana Hansen invited me to show at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, IL.  I've been working all summer on several large pieces--the largest I've ever done, in fact.  All the new work employs the shibori rust method.  The show will feature some of my older work as well--several prints and collages--hence the need of a larger transport for the big framed pieces.  Thanks to my niece and nephew for lending me their SUV pictured below loaded and ready to go.

It took over 2 hours Wednesday morning to load the art which, due to humidity, couldn't be done the night before.  Some of the framed pieces measure 36" x 50" and I was working alone.  I used every free blanket and sheet I owned I think, along with bubble wrap to cushion each framed piece. 

The silk was pressed and rolled onto 60" long tubes I buy at fabric stores.  I made fleece coverings for each tube so that my silk isn't in direct contact with the cardboard.  In the short term it probably wouldn't matter, but if I must store the silk on the tube for any length of time, I want it protected, so I make the extra effort.

The gallery at Kaskaskia is fairly new on campus located just inside the Lifelong Learning Center.  It is a beautiful but unusual space with floor to ceiling windows on the north and partial walls jutting into the interior from the window wall.

I worked out a plan in advance to help me layout my work.  On delivery day Diana made some suggestions to take better advantage of sight lines and I think it's all going to work out very well.  There is nearly 144 feet of wall space to fill!  I'm also going to have a silk piece on display in the library.  And, I will have a few assemblages on pedestals to fill out the space.  It's really exciting to see it all come together.  Can't wait till Monday!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Welcome delay

It's like a snow day!  I was scheduled to deliver my art to Kaskaskia Tuesday for my upcoming exhibit there, but back to back classes for my friend Diana who invited me, makes it almost impossible to do the delivery at a convenient time for her.  She suggested coming Wednesday instead.  I am ecstatic because now I can finish hemming one more piece and get all the other last minute details seen to without the stress of pulling an all nighter.  What a great feeling! 

Here's a detail of a piece of silk dupioni that was shibori rusted.  The finished piece is almost 15 feet long and 55 inches wide.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back from Nevereverland

I was about to give up and post a message that I can't blog until I get my text formatting buttons back...but curiously...they are back!  

Picked up my work yesterday from Main Street Gallery.  The Elements Show is over.  At this moment I should be pressing and hemming all the big silk I've made over the last weeks in preparation for my one person show at Kaskaskia.  More about that a bit later.  But what the heck.  I want to show off one of my acquisitions.

Went antiquing with a friend a couple weekends ago.  Spent the whole day driving up I-55 stopping at seven antique malls along the way.  I've been looking for a treadle machine for 25 years.  The plan is to turn it into a glass topped table, but I probably won't be able to resist rusting from it before I do that.  I've never seen a frame completely intact.  Something was always missing or hideously  painted or the seller was asking an arm and a leg.  This beauty cost me all of $15, is perfectly rusted and the treadle still works!  Found several other rusty bits that day too that I'm anxious to put to work. 

Now I absolutely must get back to work.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The long soak

I waited till after supper one evening recently (to take advantage of high humidity through the night) to go out to the studio with the intention of setting up a long piece of silk dupion, but I was sidetracked by the discovery that I had a forgotten dishpan under my work table filled with vinegar soaking a few t-shirts, a pair of tights and a fairly big piece of silk habotai.  All was well.  No harm done after 2 weeks of soaking!!  I thought I'd better get those pieces wrapped and rusting instead so put the dupion on hold.

The t-shirt material is sheer jersey cotton.  One shirt was continuously wrapped around my auger.  I was pleasantly surprised by the results and amazed that the color reached through some 10-12 layers.  Also amazed that only a bit of rust shows on one sleeve...the rest of the piece is a soft gray and black.  It has been rinsed thoroughly but not yet washed, but I doubt I will lose much color.  Hope I don't have to eat those words.


The other t-shirt was wrapped on a large diameter pipe and tied very tightly creating a nice stripe resist.

As I've been doing some very long work recently, I rearranged the tables in my studio placing them end to end at an angle so I can walk around 3 sides easily.  Still the 12 feet of table was not enough for this evening's work.  I wrapped 5 yards of dupioni and let me just say it was quite a challenge and required 2 pipes.  I had to move another table at the end to catch the rest of the fabric.  I'll check it tomorrow morning, but probably won't unwrap till later in the day.  It takes a while for the rust to penetrate 8 layers of this heavier silk.

This is the second long piece of dupioni I've rusted.  The first is 3 yards long and turned out well.  That fabric came from China.  Not photographed yet.  The 5 yard piece I wrapped today was purchased locally and though it goes by the same type name, this silk dupioni was made in India.  It's texture and appearance is different from the Chinese made dupioni.  Pictures coming later.  

Just a note about dupion / dupioni.  The online company where I order my fabric refers to the silk as dupion and that is the stuff from China.  Nearly everywhere else I've seen this type of silk it has been called dupioni.  Both versions are acceptable.  They are both beautiful fabrics, but the Indian dupioni has more shimmer and is lofty and crisp--or at least it was before I tortured it around a rusty pipe!  

Monday, August 9, 2010


Did some experiments the other day with 12" widths of silk dupion and hemp silk.  I like the results and am anxious to try some big stuff this week.

Above: Hemp silk shibori rust, scanned  detail.  Love the texture and the gold/bronze color.  The blurry marks are due in part to the texture of the fabric and the high humidity.  The design reminds me of ikat.   The piece was tied, but I chose to scan an area where that's not obvious.

This is the silk dupion sample.  I can't get over how deep the blacks are. 

Both of these pieces were wrapped with 8 layers for the rust to penetrate.  Harder going for the hemp silk, but I thought when I started out that the dupion was almost of equal weight.  I've used habotai for so many years, did not realize the potential of dupion.  

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The longest shibori rust so far

I have been invited to exhibit at Kaskaskia College in Centralia, IL. this September/October.  There is a beautiful gallery there and some large spaces to fill.  I've been working on a few long pieces of silk.  I'm pretty pleased with this one.  It's too long, at 112 inches, for my indoor studio pin board set up, so I photographed it on the clothesline next to my outdoor studio. 

You might wonder how the design came about.  Tried photographing the in process piece in the dark.  The days are getting shorter!  (I can't help it--I'm a night person and it was darn near 9 pm!)  This is just after I finished applying the tea before pleating and wrapping the fabric.  The pole/pipe I used is about 8 feet long.

Two six foot tables are end to end here in my outdoor studio.  The 45 inch silk twill is folded in half for the application of tea.  

A new order of silk arrived Friday.  I've purchased some 55 inch wide silk to experiment with.  Not sure how I'm going to handle it.  I'd love to find a longer pipe too. 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

New direction

New work is actually old fabric, created through composting way back in 2006.  I haven't done any composting since then that I can remember but I have many many pieces of silk that were composted -- some whole cloth, some in pieces that may some day be dealt with.  The silk below so reminded me of the recent oil spill (I hate that inappropriate word) that I felt compelled to work with it for the group show Elements at Main Street Art Gallery.  

I have been making free hanging silk pieces since 2001.  In 2008 I began a series of quilted/felted collages but for this silk I needed a different way to present it.  I did not want to embellish the silk which I felt would take away from the exquisite patterns left in the silk from the composting process.  In the end, I purchased ready made canvas stretchers, covered them with felt and stretched the silk over all and stitched it in place on the back.  I'm a little concerned about the wrap around edges, but I think the pieces turned out well.  

Nevereverland c2010 is 36 inches square. 

Moon Garden c2010 measures 24 x 30 inches.  

Gold Coast c2010 measures 40 x 30 inches.

Frond c2010 is the smallest at 14 x 11 inches.  

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Elements at Main Street Art Gallery

Elements refers to the natural world--earth, wind, fire.  The work done collectively by this particular group of artists, myself included, has exploited metal, clay, fiber, paper, and taken inspiration from nature through photography, painting, collage, surface design and sculpting.  I would enjoy talking about my work with you at the opening.  Hope you can make it over to Edwardsville on July 23rd, 6-8 pm.  Main Street Art Gallery is at 237/239 North Main Street.   

Two of my pieces in this show come from a single length of silk composted in summer 2006.  I originally discussed this bit of cloth in a previous post and recently decided that the skirt must go.  The ripper took out the seams and the silk has been reborn as wall art.  A detail of one of the pieces is on the postcard above.  I'm  trying something new for this exhibit...mounting some of my silk over felt covered stretched canvas to show off the surface designsI'll also have a large free hanging  rusted piece on display.   

Friday, July 9, 2010

Opening tonight!

Jacoby Arts Center 6th Annual Juried Exhibition opens tonight -- July 9 -- with a reception from 5-8 pm.  The show runs through August 8, 2010.  One of my small pieces, Organic Bailout, was selected for the show.  

This piece features both rusted and composted silks along with a piece of rusted vintage dishtowel fabric that had been my mother's.  I did a lot of free motion quilting and embroidery on this piece which measures only 11 x 8.5 inches.  

For those you in the area who plan to attend the opening at JAC, you can gallery hop over to By Design.  Lillian Bates has turned part of her fiber arts and wearable boutique into a full fledged gallery.  Her first show opens tonight too with a reception from 5 to 8 pm.  The show is called Varied Perspectives.

Lillian features my scarves, t-shirts, tights and other wearables in her boutique.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Only saw fireworks on TV this 4th of July.  Too tired to get in the car and drive the 3 miles to see the display in town.  Spent the holiday at the home of friend Elizabeth Adams Marks and got a preview of her new paper collagesSo beautiful.  She and I will be in the Elements show together that opens later this month at Main Street Art Gallery in Edwardsville.  The pressure is on.  Lots to do.  In the meantime I made my own fireworks of sorts with little rusty stars on this silk/rayon blend. 


Thursday, June 24, 2010


I washed the soft gray scarf seen in yesterday's post and the color is warmer now with some pinkish tones.  Interesting, but I wish I could hang onto the cold gray tones.  I have hard water.  I neutralized the rust with baking soda then washed by hand in Ecover.  Will take some experiments to discover why the color shifts.  Not much I can do about the hard water.  Not sure it is the culprit as I do a thorough rinse of the rusted silk outdoors with the hose immediately after the reveal and nothing changes then.  I scanned approximately the same area as before.


A few days ago I wrapped this 60" long scarf on one of my rust rods.  (BTW, this is a scanned detail.)  I rolled one direction then overlapped the next layer going the other direction and still had scarf left for a partial third layer.  The rust does a remarkable job of penetrating the layers, In this case--with pleating, there were 12, but the timing and the 3rd layer resulted in a much lighter toned design in parts of the whole length of silk.

The soft grays come from used tea bag dust, which reminds me I have hundreds of tea bags in a sack that need to be emptied.  I have not yet washed this scarf and I suspect I'll see some color shift when I do.  I'll post the washed pressed scarf for comparison later.

Stripes were created by an auger.  This is a 72" scarf so a portion on either end had to be folded over before being wrapped on the 4' long iron piece which resulted in the chevron pattern.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Rusty bits fresh off the press

Another hour or so and I might have had to kiss this silk good bye--at least for wearing.  I nearly forgot to unwrap the goodies.  Humidity was high and the results are strong.  Silk satin is difficult to photograph--too much shine--and the scarves never want to lay very flat, so I threw these on the scanner and just did details.  All but the last one will be at the EAC gift shop soon.


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Pocket Square

I've spent a good deal of time lately in the garden getting the tomatoes and other veggies in the ground as well as planting flowers.  I just made a list of all the shows I have on the calendar this summer and fall and scared myself silly tonight!  Thought I would post some scans of scarves to prove I've actually been working in the studio too.  This is a detail of a pocket square 17" on a side before rusting.  It was done in the shibori method.  Quite a bizarre design isn't it?  More new work to see in the next post.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Promises, Promises

Here's a detail of a new piece I finished today--a collage of composted and rusted fabrics with free motion machine stitching that reminds me of the ongoing oil spill off the coast of Louisiana.

The title is Promises, Promises. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

For several years I've participated in a small works show titled Fiber Fusion that has run concurrently with ARTEAST at The Quilted Garden in Edwardsville.  Last year unfortunately the show didn't happen, but I understand this year it will be revived.  I'm looking forward to creating something for it.  Below is one of the pieces I created for Fiber Fusion a few years ago.  You can see other Fiber Fusion pieces and small works I've done by clicking on Silk Books and Small Works at the tab under the header of this blog.

Actually this piece has had two lives.  Due to size constraints when first created for Fiber Fusion in 2005 (just after Hurricane Katrina), it was not mounted on the found wood as it is now.  I reworked the piece and entered it in a competition at Art Saint Louis. The silk itself measures about 8 1/2" x 11" and is designed to hang on the wall.

Titled Where Is There Another Place, this book has 8 pages torn from a larger piece of very thin silk that was composted and rusted simultaneously.  Vintage typewriter keys form the title and page numbers.  A seed pod is mounted below.  The wood came from old box I dismantled.  Following is the artist statement I wrote for The Layered Stitched Assembled Show at Art Saint Louis in 2006. 

This little book is an homage to New Orleans, a city I have visited many times in the past and home to a dear friend whose house sits less than three blocks from Lake Pontchartrain.  The news that NOLA had flooded after Katrina swept through was heartbreaking.  When I began to work with this piece of organically printed silk, every page seemed to suggest an image of breached levees and aerial views of swirling water. 

I invite you to lift the pages (very carefully) and "read" about the flood.  These are limp and fragile pages with raw edges and loose apt description of the beloved Crescent City and her people.  Time will tell.  May she rise again, for where is there another place in the world like New Orleans?  Laissez les bon temps rouler

I usually take all photos of my work, but Where is There Another Place was photographed by Joseph Gruber.  

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Looking ahead to ARTEAST 2010

I will be in a new place to exhibit for this year's ARTEAST event.  I am so excited...and grateful to Alison Reeves, my fellow exhibitor who designs and makes jewelry, for arranging it.  Hopefully all four of us who exhibited last year at the winery can reunite for ARTEAST 2010 at the Edwardsville Fitness Studio at 201 Hillsboro Ave, Edwardsville, IL.   

I hope the owners don't mind that I've borrowed a photo of the main room from their website.  I visited today with Alison who takes classes there and she introduced me to the owners, Sally Burgess and George Johannes who are eager to lend the space to us and get involved in ARTEAST.  The space is more intimate than the large high ceilinged room we shared at Villa Marie Winery in Maryville last year, but I think we'll manage quite nicely in the place.  The studio is beautiful! Plus there is a small lobby where we can set up refreshments and another room up front that can be used for exhibit space too. 

Even nicer is the the heart of Edwardsville, and easy walking distance to many other ARTEAST sites.  We'll be just a block from the Edwardsville Arts Center where a large group exhibit will be set up; and a block from Main Street, where several ARTEAST exhibits will take place at various locations.  

The winery was a great place last year and the owner did invite us back...but unfortunately in this economy I'm sure she could not afford to turn down paying customers.  A wedding reception and party were booked in both available spaces there for the same weekend as ARTEAST.   So my little group was forced to find a new place. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fiber: Twenty Ten

Ananas Comosus c2010 by Patricia Vivod was accepted into Fiber: Twenty Ten.

Missouri Fiber Artists (MoFA) is cosponsoring this national juried show with The Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, Missouri.  The exhibition, which was juried from over 300 entries by Kay Khan of Santa Fe, New Mexico, will open MoFA's 2010 conference on Friday, April 16, 6-9 pm.  The weekend will be filled with a number of workshops and Khan will be the keynote speaker at a brunch on Sunday.  I am really thrilled to have a piece selected for this show.  I'll be attending both the opening and the brunch and am looking forward to meeting many other fiber artists. 

Ananas Comosus is a shibori rust piece.  A long piece of silk was pleated and wrapped around a long pipe and tied in place.  As always when I do shibori, I relish the surprise when unfolding the silk the next day to see the resulting shapes and marks imprinted on the fabric.  The rust penetrates the pleated fabric easily and the silk is very receptive to the color.  The mirror image patterns reveal all sorts of little creatures.  A detail appears at the bottom of the page.

Friday, March 19, 2010

SIUE Art Auction Update

The Friends of Art Auction site has been updated with 2010 information.  The cataloging of donated items will be done on the 28th and soon after the entire auction catalog will appear online in a lovely slide show so that visitors can get a sneak preview ahead of the auction which takes place Thursday, April 8.  As of our FOA meeting last night, 145 items had been logged in with many more arriving tomorrow and early next week. On auction night, a preview time starts at 6 PM with the live auction beginning at 7 PM. 
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