Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My Constant Companion

I acquired Darcy in 1997 1996. Good grief she is 15 16! She was abandoned in Collinsville and rescued by my niece and given to me when she was only 5 inches long. She had grown quite a bit when this picture was taken.  Because she was weaned so early, she still drools to this day when she is purring.

Related to the early weaning is her propensity to knead and suckle, especially if the surface is furry. This weekend she took to this faux fur like a kitten to her momma.

Darcy wants to be wherever I am. She keeps me company in the outdoor and indoor studios, but never has been one to get in the way. She doesn't jump on the tables (usually). But she does like attention. So periodically I have to stop and play with her, rub her head and talk to her. Many a project has been discussed with Darcy.

UPDATE:  Less than a month after I wrote this post, Darcy required a trip to the vet for an infected wound and it was then that my vet called up earlier records that put her age at one year older than I thought. Now as I write this on April 2, 2013 Darcy is asleep under my computer table while I work (fully recovered from the infection) and is on the verge of her 17th birthday. I recently was shown a chart that estimates a cat's age in cat years--whatever that means. Because she is indoors and outdoors her age is increased rapidly. The chart says she is 144! What the'd think she'd be comatose all the time. But she can still run around like the house is on fire when she has her night time crazies.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Early Days

I've been printing cloth organically for well over a decade the beginning with composting, then adding rust to composted cloth as well as traditional printing (see here and here). In 2006 I discovered Lois Jarvis, a quilter from Wisconsin I've mentioned before and I began to do more and more rusting. I haven't composted since 2007 because the rusting gives me such satisfaction both in imagery and use of time.

These are the very first samples made in 2006 on scraps of silk using Lois's guidelines. And for once, I actually documented what I did (rare occurrence!)

In early days I also worked on cotton and these are some of those experiments. I cannot get the same depth of color I do with the silk-at least in my experiments. Lois gets great results on cotton that she uses in her quilts.  Needless to say, I haven't done much else with cotton except for some very well worn dishtowels that belonged to my mom and that I incorporated into a few quilted pieces, including the newest little quilt that is hanging in the Jacoby Arts Center right now.

One of my goals is to do more quilting. Several people have urged me on after seeing the Collaboration show last year for Innovations. I promise I will--I just have to be in the mood and it also takes a special piece of fabric and lots of staring!

In 2007, I took parts of the sample silk pieces above to create a 12" log cabin patch-my very favorite quilt pattern.  The patch was combined with quilted pieces from several fiber artists to give as a gift to Laura Strand who is head of fibers at SIUE and my former professor.

The red hearth center is a piece of viscose rayon I dyed way back one summer in 1976!!! in a fibers workshop at SIUE with Judy Millis.  No one I know has any idea where Ms. Millis went to.  I'd sure like to know what she is up to nowadays.  I learned a lot that summer.  I think it was the first workshop I took after I started teaching high school art.  Wow that was a LONG time ago.

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