Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy Holidaysay, fiberart

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I hope everyone has had a happy holiday season and is preparing for a momentous new year. As artists, our work never ceases. Once one show is juried, the preparation for the next begins. Our next jury day at the Potomac Fiberarts Gallery is January 9 and will feature silk, lustrous silk. Have a great new year's celebration and think silk! Joanne

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

More on Artists Community Service

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Continuing on in the Saga os the Soles, members of the Potomac Fiberarts Guild Felting Study Group felted innersoles to warm the feet of the homeless and otherwise needy.

Hand felling new felt to be cut into inner soles for shoes:

More cutting:

Organizing the soles by size:

82 pairs of soles, ready to go:

The delivery was today to the Homeless Center in Rockville, MD. Happy Holidays to all. Joanne

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Artists Community Service Continued

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My felting study group (a subgroup of the Potomac Fiberarts Guild) decided for our December meeting to apply ourselves to a community service project. We all decided that we had failed felted projects such as purses, wall hangings, etc that just didn't come out right but would be perfect for cutting up into innersoles that would provide warmth for the feet of the homeless or otherwise needy people. So we organized shoe patterns in various sizes and began by cutting up items that we had already felted. We continued by making more felt from odds and ends of wool to provide more felt for soles. We ended up with over 80 pairs of warm wool innersoles to be distributed by local charities.

Cutting soles out of previously felted failed projects:

Laying out wool for new felt:

A quick trip through the needlefelting machine:

Wetting down the wool:

Rolling for wet felting:

Wetting and rolling the needlefelted piece:

Unrolling and rolling in the opposite direction:

Some help from the rolling machine:

The Saga of the Soles will continue with the next post. So long for now, Joanne

Monday, December 19, 2011

Artists Community Service

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On Dec 15, 2011 the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild Felting Study group gathered at a member's home to create felted soles for the homeless. Most of the members of the study group are also members of the Potomac FiberArt Gallery. Nine women worked for nine hours, using already felted fabrics (basically failed projects they donated to recycle into insoles) as well as creating new fabrics. We had a cutting table where three women cut patterns and soles; a layout table where fibers were added to wool batts; another station had two women creating needled fabric using the FeltLoom, which were then felted in the rolling machine, fulled by hand, dried, then ultimately cut into more insoles. By the end of the evening, 82 pairs of wool insoles were made. On Wednesday, Dec 21, 2011, these soles will be delivered for distribution to the homeless. The wonderful women of our felting study group who shared their talents to provide a bit of warmth to the souls of mankind left tired, but with happy hearts, knowing that we gave our time to provide a little bit of joy to the less fortunate in this season of giving. I will follow with photos. Happy Holidays to All!! Joanne

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

and again: Continuing Education for Artists

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I have only touched on the available opportunities for continuing education for artists. The Washington/Baltimore area is loaded with Museums. In addition to inspiring exhibits, many have classes. The Smithsonian and the Renwick are leaders in the field. Area colleges, art schools community and art centers also have adult education opportunities. There are nationally known craft schools such as Arrowmont, Pilchuck, Split Rock, Peters Valley, Penland and Haystack to name just a few. There are annual regional and national gatherings that offer classes and vendors to help keep up with new products and techniques such as Sheep and Wool Festivals, Surface Design Conferences, Bead Expos, and Felters Flings. Many of our members have attended sessions at such craft schools and/or events.

There are also specialty guilds such as weavers guilds, beading guilds, embroidery guilds, etc that many of us belong to as well as on line groups to discuss processes and problems. The opportunities to grow as an artist are endless, but nobody makes us do it. As artists we have chosen to be self directed, which can also allow us to be lazy or not. This is Joanne Bast signing off as your blogger for November and passing the baton on to the next in line for your December sessions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

More Continuing Education for Artists

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All members of the Potomac Fiberarts Gallery are also members of the Potomac Fiberarts Guild (however, not all members of the guild choose to be members of the gallery). The Guild meets once a month and usually has a speaker/program that often includes a workshop. The topics vary from month to month and include the whole range of fiber techniques. In addition, we have several study groups which also meet separately from the whole guild at varying schedules and locations that focus on more narrow fiber techniques. Examples of study groups are clothing, felting, color, design, dying, knitting, weaving at several levels, fiber techniques in metal and more. Sometimes study group members alternate presenting programs, sometimes we follow a published workbook, sometimes we critique each other, sometimes we take field trips and sometimes we hire outside teachers. It is up to ourselves to keep up with our chosen craft and the Potomac Fiberarts Guild is one way that we do this. In some cases, new work that we show in the gallery comes directly out of such new learning experiences.

Some workshop examples:

Learning about silk:

Clothing from Handwoven Fabrics:


Felted garments:

Felted Hats:

A color study in machine embroidery:

There are also many guild in the midatlantic area that relate to more specific areas of fiberart. Baltimore and Washington DC have guilds that specialize in weaving, beads, knitting and crocheting and many more. State guilds such as the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen have craft guilds that offer classes not only in art forms but in business practices for artists as well. Local areas such as townships and counties have art societies. All of these provide opportunities for artists to improve themselves and keep up with their art forms. But in all, it is the initiative of the artist to partake of these and to drive to excel in what we do. For now, Joanne

Monday, November 21, 2011

Is Not Gold; Holiday Show

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To continue with the treasures that abound in the Potomac Fiberarts Gallery this month, here are the jewelry cases:

We have an array of bracelets in felt, beads, fabric, and wire.

And a bounty of necklaces:

The small item wall; earrings,brooches, barrettes and more:

Hand Made Cards for special notes.

Eyeglass cases,

And hand dyed yarns for that special project or for gifting as is.

Hand made books for journaling or sketching or just making notes as well as pillows, bowls and much more.

I find my days working in the gallery like sitting in Aladdin's Cave. I almost never come home without bringing a purchase with me that I just can't resist. Happy Thanksgiving. Joanne