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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fiber Artist or not?

As I have noted in earlier posts, I have been struggling lately with my quilting. Often, I question whether or not I can really call myself a fiber artist or art quilter. Laurie Gravley-Novello of Laughing Girl Quilts blog fame says it's a block. If so, this "block" is more like an apartment complex for the length of time my frustration has been going on.

Then, I have to look at this silly piece which is on the wall in the family room. In 2000, I was asked by the Noah Webster House and West Hartford Historical Society to review, research and catalog their collection of quilts. At the end of my work, the Society decided to mount an exhibition and have Ed Johnetta Miller curate it.

Ed Johnetta came in and we pulled the quilts and she looked at my notes then pretty much chose all of them to be on exhibition. I wrote the label copy. At the reception, Ed Johnetta was surprised to find that I quilted as well and encouraged me to come to the workshop she was leading the next day.

You don't say no to Ed Johnetta, even if you wanted to, not that I wanted to. Ed Johnetta's quilts are in the African American tradition and she is as exuberant as her quilts. Take a look at her website if you are unfamiliar with her work : www.edjohnetta.com Her quilts have been exhibited around the world and her list of awards is staggering.

So, I went. Ed Johnetta had brought bags of snippets and sweepings from her workshop. She dumped them out on the tables and provided anyone of any age who came in rectangles of cardboard and glue and encouraged everyone to make a collage.

I seem to recall working with an 8 year old....and Ed Johnetta came around and was sort of...um...stunned at what I had done. I have to say, this piece was made entirely without thinking. Every once in a while instead of making a planned or sketched piece, I work entirely by improvisation. I just put my thinking mind aside and just let my hands go. I suppose you might call it working by intuition.

I like this little piece, paper snippets and all. I love the colors and I have a soft spot for fishy things. I had it mounted on suede mat board and framed in a shadow box as the dimensional items would have been flattened any other way.

So...sometime soon, I hope to put aside all the concerns of the day and just let my hands "do" instead of thinking it all out.

1 comment:

LaughingLG said...

Just letting your hands "do" is a great idea. Can't wait to see what your hands come up with.