16 March 2008

The First Step

Open Studios are coming up soon so I now that the overtime is slowing down at work, I can drag myself into my studio and start pulling my creative self back together.

You wouldn't think it, but five weeks of OT has resulted in my studio turning into this:


This is my patented "Dump and Hide" method of cleaning. Anything that manages to escape from the studio while I'm going through a particularly busy (insane) period, gets shoved back into the room and the door is closed so that the mess is not visible. Efficient? Yes. Does it fix the issue? Not so much. But it gets stuff out of my way and contains the mess until I can get to it.

Unfortunately, it also makes it a little hard to think about making anything. Next weekend is for tidying but I decided to go root through my bins to find my starting points for my art quilts that I want to work on in Open Studios.

What I'm going to show is what my article was about, which is designing an art quilt with a found object/embellishment as the beginning point. Its kind of like working in reverse so I thought I might show you the process of how I do this. The first step involves picking out objects to design around.

Behold the bins that contain all my junk (said with great affection):

I really dig these. Its the Trofast organizing thingie from IKEA. Its from their kids section and I was especially attracted to it because those bins come in different sizes that will all fit in this frame. I plan to get more once I get my own place and have more studio space.

I used to keep all my junk (said with great affection) in little embroidery thread organizer boxes. But it was tedious to keep them organized and incredibly uninspiring. So I bought the frames and the bins and did this:

When I told my friend Jackie I did this I thought her eyes were going to fall out of her head. She just kind of stared at me and said, "But how do you know how many of something you have?" I don't. And for some reason I like it that way. These guys look like they are having a party in the bin as opposed to looking like they are trapped in jail in those little bitty compartments in those boxes. Life is short, everyone deserves to party.

Here are some of my other bins:


Letter Bin




Skull Bin




Whatever Bin
(they don't all have specific themes)



I came across this guy while I was rooting around. I love him. He is currently being repurposed. (Which is the polite way of saying he was originally part of an assemblage piece I got tired of looking at, took a hammer to and pried off all the stuff I wanted to keep before cruelly tossing the rest of it.) I forgot about him, I'll have to do something fun with him.

So the First Step in designing these type of mixed media art quilts is for me to sit on my studio floor, pull out all my bins and start pushing stuff around in them looking for anything that catches my eye. Which is sometimes a dangerous task since I collect pretty much anything, including sharp pointy things. There is sometimes blood shed and almost always cussing involved in this step of the process as I stab the heck out of myself on porcupine quills and metal hunks.

Here's what I pulled from amongst the lovely mess:


The clock faces are compliments of Leann. The felted ball/bead thingies are from ArtGirlz. Only God remembers where I got the other stuff. Some of this will not pass the second round of choice since they are a little too 3-d. I have trouble with art quilts sometimes because...well...they are so darn f l a t. That leads to much chopping up of items and gluing to attach things and me creating stuff that is technically an art quilt only by the most basic definition (two layers of fabric held together with stitching.)

I have more planning to do and it will most likely happen next weekend when I'm off for four glorious days from work. (Can you tell I'm looking forward to it?) I'm still trying to recoup from work, I kind of crashed on friday and I've got a little cold working so I've made a point of not doing much this weekend. (Although my cold is not as bad as Leann's. I'll spare you the details, her description of the swollen gland in her neck should not be repeated in polite company. Just be glad she is feeling better.)

More to come on this, I'll show you the whole process and you'll get to see how my insane creative mind works out the details...

3 comments:

sion said...

ooh, love the bins. Esp the skull bin & the whatever bin. I keep making great starts on organising all my bits & pieces like that, and then I do a few things, and then my daughter does a few things, and then I have to speed-tidy for a last-minute visitor, and before I know it my entire house has become a whatever bin.

I don't believe I have any dismembered hands glued to round thingies (coasters?), however.

Anonymous said...

My eyes didn't roll! There was no rolling!

Martha said...

....I like your fiber art. It always inspires me to see someone elses work..I saw your cute westie, I have one too and he is from Fenton, Michigan. He doesn't appreciate it the Texas heat.