I went on an excursion in the rain to the Michener Art Museum in Doylestown to hear a talk by Kaffe Fassett about color. The first book I owned about mosaic was by Kaffe Fassett, and I was drawn to his use of color. Fassett has created art in many mediums from knitting, fabric design, quilting and mosaic. Someone in the audience asked him if he had a favorite medium, and he said no, that it was all a vehicle for playing with color, that he calls his studio a color laboratory. He sees color choices as an intuitive process, trying out different combinations of fabric on flannel “audition” boards until the colors vibrate or click. Fasset’s first medium was painting and painted only in shades of white! Another audience member asked if this was his preparation for moving to color, and he said yes, it was a kind of palate cleanser.
My first medium was collage, and color was my love. A friend asked if I had thought of being a painter because of my use of color, and it hadn’t occurred to me. I just wanted all the color. Looking at my photo from my previous blog post, Verve Patchwork in Orange, I recognize both a kinship with quilts and with collage, particularly the wood collage from another exhibit at the Michener, Pattern Pieces.
Look at this quilt-like patchwork of orange by New Jersey artist Laura Petrovich-Chaney. She created a series of sculptures using wood salvaged from homes after Superstorm Sandy. Watch this moving interview with Petrovich-Chaney on the Weather Channel about her project.
For a winter infusion of color and joy, be sure to get to these exhibits. The Fassett quilts are inspired by historical quilts and are laid side by side to see the new interpretation of amazing quilts from the past. I had to detour myself around the gift shop, since there were many tempting books by Fassett as well as ribbon from collection with Brandon Mably and Kaffe Fassett Studio. I was knitting while waiting for the lecture to start and the woman next to me said she wished they were selling yarn as well. I would’ve bought yarn.
Brandon Mably introduced Kaffe at the beginning of the lecture and told us how he helped yarn store owners learn to pronounce his name, “You have a safe assett with Kaffe Fassett.”
Another pleasure at the Keystone Quilters 2015 Show was coming across a Rainbow Log Cabin made by Dorothy Fravel. For my kindred spirits in Log Cabin Love, I just finished a Rainbow version of my own the week before, and look forward to sharing it with you.
Driving to the Keystone Quilters Guild 2015 Quilt Show, Stratoz and I got a bit turned around, but the leaves were gorgeous and snuck in when we weren’t looking. This Bright Star quilt by Jamee Pemberton caught my eye, with its autumn orange, those little sawteeth along the border. She made it for her nephew Shaun.
Here is a beautiful piece by pianist Catherine Marie Charlton called Stars Awaken from her Riversong album. I imagine an awakening star to look something like Jamee Pemberton’s Bright Star.
Pieces that are spiral shaped, fabric with spiral prints and overall quilting in spirals ~ layers of spirals. Quilting allows for the imprint of spirals that create texture and flow. So cool.
When I went looking for the quilt photo, the Life Spiral Mandala came up on the screen. My friend Suzanne Halstead created this with crayon, over a chafing dish, so it melted as she swirled. This technique leaves it’s own imprint as well. I created a mosaic frame to go with it.
In the Fabric’s Path was one of my favorites at the 2014 Pennsylvania Quilt Extravaganza. Orna Shahar belongs to the Israel Quilters Association, and also to Encounters Art Quilt Group, with 16 Israeli quilters who meet to learn from each other, and learn from other art forms such as origami, ceramic, metal, papercutting, and glass. Quilting has been an inspiration to me as a mosaic artist, so it is cool to find quilt artists who explore other art forms.
My mind is percolating on how to make a spiral with bundles of vertical lines. The Red Tail Rainbow Mandala I made in 2011 has a black background. I just had to look up what the name of the shapes I used ~ apparently I am partial to scalene and right-angled triangles and quadrilateral polygons of the kite and trapezoid shapes. In the process I found Paul Calter’s Squaring the Circle: Geometry in Art & Architecture, the chapter on Polygons, Tilings and Sacred Geometry.
Looking at the etymology of geometry, it originates from “measurement of earth, ” or Old English “earth-craft.” I imagine the idea of surveying the land in the service of beauty.
B.J. Titus started with one triangle and then randomly chose pieces from her stash of fabric scraps, and the quilt began to take on a life of its own. Random Acts of Piecing is akin to Random Acts of Kindness. Both are about mending and transforming fragments.
This quilt introduced me to the concept of Miyabi, a traditional Japanese aesthetic combining elegance and sorrow. Matsuko Shiraishi describes how the quilt is made of wedding Kimono fabric, and that wedding ceremonies are a combination of those two emotions. To see the whole quilt, which takes on the shape of a Kimono, there’s a great photo of Matsuko Shiraishi’s work on the gladiquilts site.
Having words to describe different forms of beauty helps me look at things more closely and contemplatively. I have written about Wabi Sabi and Hozho, and the beauty of imperfection, but Miyabi was new to me. The Kimono fabric is definitely elegant, with metallic thread and a silky sheen.