I know it has been almost a month since I have posted here. I have received a number of emails and even a few calls wondering if all is well. Yes, all is well. Thanks for checking in! This is a very busy time of the year for anyone who calls making their full time gig. Not to mention the gift making for family, friends and family and friends OF friends. Aside from that, I just haven’t been in the mood for blogging. It’s a bit like being under the microscope and sometimes I just don’t feel like it. Besides it gives me a little more time to read all YOUR blogs!
This is also a time of year that I like to take and reflect on where I am, where I’m going and all that. Brian and I use to religiously close down the factory from around the 20th thru the 1st for our own sanity and those of our employees (they needed a break from us too!) We’d take a trip to somewhere and do a little year in review. It was always a very good process for us.
In order to recharge my own internal creative batteries, I need to have some serious quiet time in my own head for reflection (hence no blogging). So many things go through my head during these times. What is it to be an artist/craftsperson these days? It’s not about just making things to give, sell, or exhibit. I wonder what role we as artists/makers have in our communities? What roles are we being asked to have by those around us? What role do we ourselves want to fulfill?
This year, I’ve done my reflection a couple of weeks earlier and after looking over the events and progression this past year I’ve come up with some thoughts, ideas, and even some cold hard facts that will mold and encompass my direction in the coming year.
Surprisingly, it looks like I will be doing more teaching in this coming year than I anticipated. In fact, when I started out on all this, aside from teaching in the 4th grade classroom, I didn’t anticipate teaching at all! Now it seems that teaching will take up at least 20% of my time. I have enjoyed teaching the ribbonwork classes on Joggles.com and have been invited to teach at the next Houston Quilt Festival for the Silk Experience. I am entertaining other offers as well and will do some workshops to promote the shibori ribbon. Looking back, I realize I have been a teacher all along! Not only to my kids (of course) but during 30 years of porcelain studio work I taught every day. I taught my employees to duplicate my designs in a production setting. I created artisans of people who had never touched clay or had any previous art training. It was part of my job. I just never thought of myself that way until now. Go figure! One main difference I notice between teaching the public and teaching employees is that the public will say “I can’t” and an employee won’t. Of course the public isn’t going to loose their job if they can’t! I always approached teaching an employee a process with the understanding that if I could do it- there wasn’t any reason they couldn’t do it as well. Nothing special or different about me. Everyone found their way to learn and became a specialist of one thing or another around the studio. Many became better than myself at certain things by virtue of the fact that they were doing it more (as in practice!). Anyway, I digress. The teaching is in for 2008.
I have also come around to the realization that what I like about shibori is the texture. Take away the texture and suddenly I’m not as interested. I also appreciate a piece of shibori if I can’t figure out how it was done. But add some dimension to it and suddenly it comes to life! I never quite understand why someone would create pleating using the arashi method and then remove it to appreciate the dyeing pattern only. I love itajime but am always tempted to add texture over it and usually do. I’ve spend countless hours photographing the pleating and shaping of my shibori, some of which has been posted to Flickr. I’ve enjoyed and been inspired by so many of you sharing your work through your blogs, Flickr, and beyond. speaking of Flickr- I started a new pool over there for dimensional textiles. This group includes textured shibori but is wide open to any form of textile manipulation that results in a sculptural form. We’ll just see where that leads! So far we have 8 members and only myself and Danny Mansmith have been posting to the pool. It may turn out to be the sound of one hand clapping but hopefully others will be inspired to create new work and share their work which fits the genre.
I was able to take a trip to Eastern WA to visit family over the holiday and was treated to a wonderful change of scenery! A brilliant view of white snow capped mountains of the Cascades and the Columbia River every morning. Also diving into a photo project which had me spending hours at the scanner scanning old family photos for the family’s blog and Flickr site. We were truly a Brady Bunch family– 2 families married together combining kids age 6-16. My dad was a photography buff and when we lived in Japan we had the luxury of our own darkroom which we were allowed to use. He used slide film almost exclusively and we are one of those families that have 1000’s of slides in carousels which now need to be transferred. Additionally, many of the slides are annotated and all are numbered! There are some stunning photos of remarkable places in Japan taken from 1965-1972. (not to mention hilarious photos of us kids in the late 60’s-and we thought we were so cool!) Imagine moving to Japan in 1965 with 6 kids ages 6-16! We were very lucky children. This will be an ongoing project for 2008.
My mom will turn 80 next year and we are already planning the celebration. My dad is struggling with a bit of memory loss so time is of the essence.
OK. I know this is getting rather lengthy. My immediate concern is to finish my preparations for the upcoming Pasadena Bead and Design Show at the Pasadena Hilton Jan 17-20th. Check out the workshop list! Lots of interesting artists and teachers presenting. I was invited to teach a ribbonwork class and I’m feeling a little intimidated by the experienced faculty. There is a french ribbonwork class I’d love to take but won’t be able to as it is all day long and I will be working my booth (International Room #107!) My class will be held on Saturday 1-3 PM. Cost is $75 and includes all materials. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 274-1123 to sign up.
A new Joggles class starts February 14th. More designs for shibori flowers and ribbonwork will be presented. This is a 3 week class.
Then there is the Los Angeles Cherry Blossom Festival. I’ve been invited again to present my work and teach at the Historical pavillion.
I’m also set to do the upcoming West Coast Quilt Festival in July in Long Beach. Exciting to see that Quilts Inc. has chosen Long Beach to hold this first West Coast Festival. Get out your sleeping bags girls-sleepover party at shiborigirl’s! There will be a line for the shower.
And another blog to keep up to date! (how does Jude do it????)
There you go….enough already! On to ACTION!