Thursday, July 9, 2009

June Play Days and July Markets

Megan's work in progress.

Sometimes, it is good to get out of your life and go play. Sometimes, you have neither the time money or patience to do this. Sometimes, you can take a vacation without really going away.

Two weekends ago, I was able to take a workshop with the fiber artist Laura Cater-Woods. The class which was given at Artistic Artifact Annex in Alexandria, was about pushing the boundaries of surface design and embellishment. The concept was to create pieces of art using new, innovative techniques. Mesh, chiffon, ribbon, tissue paper, printed textures, hand crafted silk paper, beads and metallic threads combine to create a multidimensional work.

However, once demonstrations and teaching was over, we played and found our grooves. Laura was wonderfully intuitive about zoning in on what each artist was excited about and encouraging that direction. Some of the group loved the fusing many layers of colors, textiles and fibers. They used some new products to bond together differing textures and add depth to pieces. I literally walked away from this kind of work. While there was a lot of beauty and joy in the work others were doing with this technique, I did not enjoy it or what I was doing.

Instead, I spent most of my days making gelatin mono-prints on various weights, colors and types of fabric. I had such a fantastic time working with the inks, the textures and developing layers of color and interesting interplays. I kept working and working and working and making fabric and making fabric. And then, I made some more!

The inspiration I got from this whole group of artists and the work they produced was awesome! Scroll down to see some of the project the group developed over the weekend.

Some of the supplies we shared, cut up and spread around.

Susan worked on a travel/journal/photo book for her son.

Megan's creations were going to be combined into a small screen. I thought her colors and textures were so beautiful.

Some of the fabric I printed.

Diane's wonderfully simple aesthetic.

Elizabeth's work always reminds me of Monet.

I can't properly express the good time I had at this workshop. For me personally and artistically, I was able to really get out of my life, immerse myself in a different creative endeavor for a little while. The environment allowed for experimentation and *play*. Doesn't that sound wonderful?...

If you are looking for a store to meet your experimental environment expectations, stop by the Artistic Artifact Annex. It bills itself as "your place for creative found art supplies“ and can be a great resource for artists, crafters and designers of all types. Mixed medium and jewelry artists might be drawn to the antique buttons and beads. Scrap bookers might snatch up the hand dyed lace and ribbon. Quilters drool over the vintage kimono fabric. And, textile designers (like myself) might grab the fusible thread and decorative foil sheets.

For more information on supplies, classes and hours of operation, please visit the Artistic Artifact Annex's website at

Sadly, I have not had a chance to really make any bags with these fibers, but I have been working on everyday shopping totes, both in fun fabrics and from recycled tent tops. Also, sun hats for men and women. Don't let the sun get into your eyes!

So, come out to Ballston this Saturday to check these new goodies out.

What: Ballston Arts & Crafts Market

Where: Welburn Square, Ballston, Arlington, VA

When: Saturday, July 11, 10am-4pm

Who: LOTS of jewelry artists including the ever cutie Dawn of Poppi, who will be hanging out right next to us.


See you there~Jen

Green Tip~Pick up a Jen-A-Fusion Shopping Tote
Created from trash picked, recycled tent top, these mid sized totes are tough and ready to haul your veggies from the farmer's market or the milk from the grocery store, or the shoes from the mall, or the wind shield wipers from the auto parts store....I think you get the idea.

Price to move at $8 each alone, or $5 with a purchase of anything else, including another bag. Check them out on Saturday, when they make their debut!

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