April 21, 2009

The Dillerville Rail Yard Bridge

To feed my growing obsession with old rusty bridges, I stopped in Lancaster (PA) to photograph the footbridge over the Dillerville Rail Yard.
The bridge was originally built to provide a walkway over the tracks between several industrial/factory buildings, including a large Armstrong Cork complex. The industry is gone, and Franklin & Marshall College has expanded their campus at one end of the bridge. The rail yard is now in the process of being relocated and the whole area will be redeveloped with athletic fields for the college and facilities for Lancaster General Hospital. Below is a view from up on the bridge looking towards the center of the city; in the far right you can see the new convention center building. (If you are new here, you can track back my series of works based on this construction project by clicking on "Watt & Shand" under Labels in the sidebar on the right.)

The bridgework is rife with textured rusty patina:

Cool angles:

And great silhouettes:

Here's the view looking back across the bridge at the new F&M student housing. On the ground floor is a row of shops and businesses that includes the Iron Hill Brewery, and after my stroll on the bridge I meet friends to enjoy good company, a Biere de Mars, and a fine meal.

April 14, 2009

"Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2009" Acceptance

I am very pleased and excited to announce that Big Root Geranium has been accepted into "Art of the State: Pennsylvania 2009", June 28 - September 20 at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. This wonderful museum is located across from the State Capitol building in Harrisburg, PA. The acceptance letter states that there were 157 acceptances, in Paintings, Works on Paper, Sculpture, Craft, and Photography, from 2,179 entries. The juror for Sculpture and Crafts was Theodore Hallman, Jr., Fiber Artist, former Chairman, Textiles, Moore College of Art and the Ontario College of Art and Design.

To say I am thrilled would be an understatement. The opening reception is June 27th; I'll be there!

April 13, 2009

Testing--New Fiber Postcards

I'm playing around with the new machine, learning what it's capable of, and resetting my muscle memory reactions to match its speed and sensitivity. Just for fun, I did a short set of new fiber art postcards. I'm calling them "Testing", and that's number #1 matted above. Below is the set of all six.
These are similar to a set of Recycled cards I did last July that I enjoyed making, and people enjoyed receiving. I keep a fabric and batting "sandwich" next my machine that I use to test out stitches, threads and thread tensions, etc. After a time it get covered with experiments and I start a new one, but the old one has such cool random colors and textures it cries out to be used. In this set, I layered yarn, strips of netting recycled from prom dress alterations, and a layer of thin chiffon on the sandwich, then tested some different threads to see how the machine handled them. I added stiffener and a backing, cut them to size, and stitched the edges. The machine performed wonderfully, and the cards turned out well.
I'm starting to think about amassing cards for the upcoming swaps at Postmark'd Art and Art2Mail. They are a nice way to try out ideas, a lot of fun to make, and I love exchanging them. Plus, some of the extras will likely end up over at the Studio Sale Blog.

April 12, 2009

It's All New

Watt & Shand #3 is newly bound and almost finished--I still may add some beadwork. Binding is usually my least favorite part of the process, because my mind is racing ahead to the next project and I'm anxious to be done. But today it was made more exciting by sewing it on with this:
I've treated myself to a new Janome 6600. I've been working on a lot of large pieces lately, and I wanted a machine with more room in the harp. The harp is the area under the arm to the right of the needle, and this one is luxuriously large. Compare it to the harp space in this one:

That's my old workhorse, a Pfaff 2042. I've had it for 8 years and used it hard, and it's performed flawlessly. I'm going to get it serviced and keep it around for backup.
I've been working with sewing machines since I was a small child. I remember putting phone books on the chair so I could reach up high enough to operate an old cast iron White machine, which was run by a knee lever. And except for freshman year at college, when I was in a dorm, and a semester spent abroad, I've always had a sewing machine with me. Most of them were reliable but not ergonomically friendly, and I developed a lot of coping skills to manipulate the fabric the way I wanted to. The new Janome keeps surprising me by how thoughtful and considerate it is. I think it will save me some time and frustration. I'm proud of my level of craftsmanship, but I'm always looking to improve it.
And finally, the daffodils are newly opened, despite the continuing cold and windy weather. Here's one of my favorites, the cultivar "Albert Einstein". I planted big clumps of them just because of the name, and they have been very reliable, and beautiful, for over 20 years.
Another view of Albert:

Here's "Ice Follies":
This one was in a mix, so I don't know its name, but I'm ok with that:

And finally, I'm blogging from my new laptop. The old one crashed unexpectedly, and it's been a bit traumatic and time consuming getting everything up and running on the new one. I was backed up fairly well, but I could have done better, and some things are just gone.....If I owe you an email or a response, please remind me!

April 3, 2009

Denver National Quilt Festival Acceptance

I'm happy to announce that Big Root Geranium has been juried in to the Denver National Quilt Festival, April 30 - May 3, in Denver, CO. It features cyanotypes on silk--I was so pleased with the way the prints of the delicate blossoms turned out--along with handpainted and commercial fabrics in silk and cotton, and a lot of hand beadwork. I think it does a good job of capturing that moment in late spring/early summer when the perennial geraniums bloom, so the timing of the Festival seems especially appropriate.

This is the first quilt that I chronicled in detail as a work in progress; you can read about it by clicking on Big Root Geranium under Labels in the sidebar at the right.

April 1, 2009

Quilter's Heritage Celebration

QHC opens in Lancaster, PA, tomorrow. If you get a chance to go keep an eye out for my work! Mystery Fern is in the "Wall" division, hanging in the Lampeter room in the Host hotel. Sycamore is in the "Pictorial" division, hanging in the tennis court/exhibit hall.
And last but not least, Tall Blue Lettuce is hanging in the Professional Quilter booth, also in the tennis court building., just inside and to the right as you come in the door. Make sure and say hello to Morna!
This is my hometown show, so I'll be stopping by a couple of times. I'm looking forward to seeing all the quilts, and doing a little shopping, and hopefully saying hello to friends old and new.