Wednesday, September 7, 2016

New Color Sampler

For the course I taught at Penland, I had the students use basic stitches and focus on color mixing by using multiple threads in their needle at the same time.  I ended up stitching this inchy sampler while I was there while I demonstrated the basic stitches.  It ended up being very relaxing finishing it up in the evenings and it showed the effect of mixing complementary colors.  Overall, it was pretty fun to stitch this sampler and compare the different rows and stitches to each other.

I used Appletons wool on linen twill.  Bottom line is 1 strand of purple, next row up is 1 strand purple + 1 strand yellow, 3rd row up is 2 strands purple + 1 strand yellow and top row is 3 strands purple + 1 strand yellow.  The stitches are all basic:  bullion knots, straight stitch, running stitch and stem stitch, chain stitch, cross stitch and french knots.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Penland: Working in Lilly Loom Studio

Last week I had the unbelievably amazing experience of teaching at Penland. Penland is just magical.  Truly if you ever have the opportunity to go there- go!  I have never experienced such generosity in knowledge and encouraging spirit in my life.  It will certainly be a memory I will treasure!

Growing up just an hour from here, Penland was always on a pedestal.  Only true artists went there!  It has been a dream of mine to go so to be given the opportunity to teach there was truly unbelievable.  I also got to choose my studio assistant, so I brought my student from NC State, Sydney Jones.  She had been a stand out student of mine in my Color Theory in Embroidery course and I had asked her to come with me after that class.  I think both of us "came down the mountain a different person" as Carola (one of the students in the workshop) phrased it. 

 My workshop was on the top floor of the Lilly Loom building with massive windows overlooking the mountains.  It was incredible because you could work in studio without feeling like you were really "indoors"!   The group of students I had was very diverse.  Two of my students were mothers of two of the other instructors, both of them also artists in their own right as well.  One was a husband to one of the instructors.  A few students were trying out embroidery for the first time.  A few had a good bit of stitching experience.  A couple had never been to Penland before and we had Carola who had been to over 15 Penland summers!  She had also done the workshop with Luke Haynes earlier in the summer and stitched some on her smaller quilt she had done in his workshop.  She was filled with stories, both about Penland and life in general and it was so much fun listening to them all!  
 Michelle stitching away.  She was using french knots mixed with chain stitches in a beautiful way to render water.  It was lovely to see the subtle ripple the mix of stitches created.
 Sydney is one of my talented NC State College of Design students and was an excellent Studio Assistant for me!  I had taken my class over to the "Japanese Binding and Decorative Papers" workshop by Yukari Hayashida.  Seeing the beautiful marbling and papers that her class was making inspired some of my students to try some marbling and rust dyeing. It was really such an amazing experience to be able to go and visit other studios and see how it influenced the students in my workshop. 

 The view from my room window.
  Ann showing her progress during a group show and tell session.  Hillary Fayle was the Studio Assistant for Leigh Suggs' workshop and shared her work with my class.  It was amazing meeting her and hearing about her process of making her embroidered leaves and seeing her new work.  Lots of us are now excited to experiment stitching with leaves, etc.  See Ann's leaf that she embroidered below too!
Kit was working on interpreting the colors of the trees in the woods.  He is married to the incredibly talented Deborah Horrell who was teaching the "Small, Smaller" workshop with Tom Spelth. 
 Helen describing her piece to everyone during a group show and tell.  She had painted a beautifully delicate arrangement of flowers and focused on using 1 strand of floss to add subtle detailing.
 Sydney found an old rag in the dye lab that had some beautiful colors and stains on it so she decided to use it for the ground fabric.  She is using mixes of metal thread techniques and thread mixing to respond to the colors and shapes on the dish rag.  I keep telling her to turn the hoop over because it is hard to see how much she has stitched until you see the stitching on the back! 

 Becky hanging up her silk organza that she has painted on with some pigments.  She also completed a beautiful inchy sampler using colors extracted from a piece of kudzu that she brought in and experimenting with different numbers of strands and color mixing.
To say this has been an amazing experience is such an understatement.  The people I have taught and met at Penland are magical.  Thank you to everyone who has made this time so special.