Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guess what I'm reading?

Thanks to a scrap of lovely Tiffany Blue ultra suede, a few eyelets and a couple of my beloved raggedy fabric 'strings' from my stash, only my librarian knows for sure.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Friends journal page

This page used many of the materials and techniques I've been playing with lately:

spray inks

sewn and gessoed magazine journals

altered punches and tags

sizzix diecuts


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Noise of Toronto

Inspired by the first Noise Project prompt, I've been listening to the sounds of Toronto, trying to decide if they constitute noise, and thinking about what noise means to me. I 've been considering dropping out of the project because all of a sudden it hit me that noise is a pejorative and I don't want to clutter my creative process with negativity. If I turn it around and think of it as unorganized sound it becomes much more appealing as a subject.

Toronto can be very grey this time of year and the sounds have the same dull and continuous roar that I associate with that colour. It also has a tremendously vibrant and varied ethnic population and many of the spoken words that stick out of this aural landscape are in languages I don't speak or understand. 

I searched Google Translate for how to write Toronto in different languages and fonts. Writing them multiple times on one page produced this beautiful image:


I was going to do an image transfer into my book but our printer is out of ink (as usual). I used a pigma micron pen to copy each language into my journal and then began writing over and over each word trying to replicate the feeling of hearing something sort of familiar over and over again but never quite catching the meaning. 

The characters of the different languages are so enchanting. They make me long to understand how the shape is made, how the meaning is conveyed, how they translate to spoken word.

This would have been a base layer underneath a grey watercolor wash but I'm kind of loving how it looks all on its own.

Please join me in taking a look at what some of the other Noise Intercepted participants have been working on.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Rough Around the Edges

What to do when you have a pile of old jeans and hand printed fabrics and scraps of batting lying around? Cut them all up into squares and circles, lay them out in a pleasing pattern, sew the circles together, add a wavy line of quilting and then throw the completed rug in the washer and dryer to make it even more faded and ragged.

These pictures were taken before I washed it.

These were taken this morning. We love using this new quilt as a rug in front of the couch. It's hard to say whether we prefer the colourful side or the denim side with all its texture and variations in blue.

The wavy quilting shows up best on the back. It looks like circles have been sewn around each square.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Noise Project

Today I signed up to be a collaborator on Noise Intercepted. 

Noise Intercepted is a series of ten experience-activated noise challenges that prompt participants to listen, observe and interact with their urban soundscape in new and unlikely ways. 

This is how I introduced myself:

I’m a classically trained singer and a mostly self taught fibre artist.

The most exquisitely pure High C I’ve ever heard, the one that transports me into shivers of ecstasy when I hear a diva sing it at the emotional climax of an aria is another person’s equivalent of fingers on a blackboard.

My children are shocked by the annoyance I feel when I hear the remix of their pop songs on the radio. The incessant beat and repeating snippets of music drive me crazy.

Relatives beg us not to give their children noisy toys or instruments yet I was never irritated by my kids’ rattles, buzzers and bells and I thrill every time they practise violin.

Much of the work I do involves the obscuring of text. I take pure unfiltered communication and turn it into the equivalent of visual noise. I’m curious to see how these prompts will affect my practise.

When I make improvisational quilts and journal pages, are the results just messy or are they art?

The image I used for my profile pic is an Instagram I took of a scarf I made yesterday in Karen Chisvin's Fibre Art Workshop at Karma Creative. We explored making Shibori-inspired designs on a silk scarf using Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. I added journalling about the major challenges my aging father is dealing with, making sure to use plenty of rubbing alcohol on the words so that they would bleed and run into the cloth, leaving just an echo of my heartfelt communication. 

The scarf is now scrunched down into my late mother's Waterford(?) crystal vase. An edge or two pokes out of the top like an Easter Lily, like the new growth we long for after a bleak winter.

As Eyal and I walked and talked this afternoon I kept an ear tuned to the hum of the city and wondered how it is going to be represented in my work this week. The response to the first challenge is due one week today. I'll keep you posted.