Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fiberart International 2007

Last weekend in Charlotte, NC, I went to fiber show called Fiberart International 2007 One of the pieces there caught my attention: "Summer's Honey Breath" by Katherine K. Allen. It was not weaving; it was a quilt. Not a quilt for the bed however. Definitely an art quilt for the wall. In fact, there was so little quilting visible that the piece is not easily recognizable as a quilt. The techniques used included mono-printing on the cotton duck fabric, a small amount of applique, hand-embroidery and machine stitchery.

Katherine is an independent studio artist who currently lives in Florida. On her website, she describes her work as "soft paintings." I think on the basis of the one piece I have actually seen, that is a good description. That description would not fit my work. Crackle is straight--edged, hard.

The colors drew my eye because they were used in a way similar to how I hope to weave the next crackle pieces, both the scarf and the yardage for the Blue Ridge show. I was drawn to the piece despite the hard-edged effect of crackle in contrast with the soft effect of Katherine's work. Reflecting on the fabric I am thinking about weaving for the fall show, I thought, why not? Why weave fabric? Why not weave an art piece.

Katherine's was 55" long x 31" wide. I could weave something approximately that size. That would be a good size for the size yarn and blocks I plan on doing. She also had bound the quilt with very fine binding. She had to bind it, because the cotton was backed with silk batting and another layer of cotton. Still, I was intrigued with binding the edges of my weaving. It seemed like such a nice, polished frame.

Actually, I was intrigued as well by the idea of some embroidery and also by the possibility of using silk batting on my piece. Then I might use a piece of silk behind the batting. I would hand-dye that silk. I don't know about these last ideas, but I find them intrigueing enough to investigate them.

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