Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We're everywhere

When we travel fiber people are on the lookout for what kindred souls are doing with their skills and stashes of yarn.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Talk about the big bucks (or not) we make at our art

I wanted to add those who didn't get their information to me before my last post and add some fun quotes.

This from Janet Barnard:
I started as a typesetter and eventually became the Art Director for the same printing/advertising company. Those were the days when cut and paste actually meant just that.

Joan Hutten
Right out of college I became a flight attendant with Amercian Airlines
making $495 per month plus expenses. I would need a big raise to net that awesome salary now.

What if we're still doing it ? I'm a violinist and teacher. I played in the Richmond (VA) Symphony for 13 years and currently play in the National Gallery Orchestra among other gigs along the East Coast. I also specialize in historical violin performance practice (i.e. baroque violin). When gallery visitors are watching me at work with my beads, I tell them my my day job is as a freelance violinist (from one highly unstable source of income to another, haha). Also, everyone always asks me how I can see all those tiny beads, and I tell them that beads are the same size as notes, but come in much prettier colors

Carol Holmes

A college professor, I taught English Literature. In my college as in most colleges, the English Department got the worst offices, the smallest number of supplies, the least amount of attention. So, when I took up fiber art in retirement, it was no surprise to me that I was once again at the bottom: in the art world, oil painting and sculpture is at the top and fiber art is often not even recognized. However, I have had a most fulfilling life practicing both of my vocations.

Merle Thompson

I was a Washington Intern in the 1980s way before Monica Lewinski made it a bad idea.
For twenty years I taught social studies and am a School Counselor.
I have knit since the age of six and my colorful knitting patterns influence the design of my art quilts.

Alice Lee Timmins

And last but not least, Larry Novaks comment sums it up for most of us

I was a systems engineer and software project manager, mostly for scientific
and engineering applications. There's not much humorous about my cut in pay
as a weaver but the more than commensurate cut in stress is well worth it.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Who we are

It is a pretty well known fact that artists aren't making much money for the hours we put into our work.  We have to love what we do or we'd go back to what we did before because it no doubt was more lucrative than making art.  The following is a list of what some of our members did before they started making art.  Come see us in Studio 18 in the Torpedo Factory Art Center and see if you can relate the former (and sometimes current) jobs with the Art.

Zita Simitus--Chief Psychologist of the Army

Joanne Bast--taught zoology, biology, botany, human anatomy and physiology at              the college level.

Carol Bodin--computer systems designer

Mickey Kunkle--mortgage loan officer

Jeanne Bohlen--physics major who ended up in a number of libraries--public,  for              profit business, non profit organizations.

Lynda Prioleau--still working as a meeting and conference planner

Cindy Grisdela--financial journalist

Eileeen Doughty--cartographer supervising a number of people some of whom were           deaf so she had to learn sign language

Claudia Levy--reporter and editor at Washington Post

Betty Ladd--computer programmer (now office manager at architecture firm)

Ruth Blau--technical writer/editor

Merle Thompson--professor of English Literature

Clara Graves--freelance graphic designer

Roz Houseknecht--swim instructor both then and part-time now

Kay Collins--art teacher, business owner, sex education counselor, and lots more--             very varied jobs

Fran Spaeder--30+ years at the CIA in information technology

Larry Novak--systems engineer and software project manager--scientific and                           engineering applications

Anne Sanderoff-Walker--registered x-ray technologist and used CT scans when                    they were fairly new

Diane Mularz--currently employed as software systems engineer

Debra Lee--managed programs to integrate technology with business systems

IMG 0034

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Conferences and why we go to them

As artists we spend a lot of time alone in our studios.  We all love what we do but the reality is that much of our time is spent by ourselves.  As humans we also like to spend time with like minded individuals and groups.  This is where conferences come into the picture.  Equate going to a conference to being in the best play group in the world where you get candy all the time and no one takes your crayons.  You get to talk all day about what interests you the most and no one is bored by your conversations.  Then there is the aspect that all of your new found friends are full of ideas and want to hear your ideas.   What could be more fun than that.  You come home full of new ideas and way more plans than any sane person could carry out in a reasonable time.  But some of those ideas become reality and that's the best part of all.

Here are two pictures that Floris Flam took when she attended the Quilt/Surface design symposium.  The first is the design that Floris chose when the teacher said that each person should choose a neutral three or four letter word and the second is what happened to the letters "CITY" when they were modified by the hand and mind of the artist.



Image 1

Many of the chosen fabrics were hand dyed by Floris and some of them were done by a technique using oatmeal as a resist.  More about that later.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spring Cleaning

As you can imagine with more than 60 members, organization can be a problem. Thayer aspect would be bad enough but Potomac Fiber Gallery exists in a space far more suited to a bowling alley--11.5 feet wide and 44 feet long. Couple this with the need for extreme flexibility in display equipment and you have the makings of a mess.

Over the years, two days a year were set aside for reorganization and cleaning. After the gallery re-do (forced on us by a flood) the carpet was replaced by faux wood flooring which didn't need a yearly shampoo and a day to dry. That didn't mean that equipment would be put away where it belongs though. So every year in February, you'll hear the cleaning crew saying things like, "so that's where that (insert object) got itself to. Then there is the inevitable dust that being a fiber gallery brings and that needs attention beyond the daily sweeping and dusting. Was a good time had by all? You be the judge