Winding down a crazy year with a final studio update. I thank you for following and look forward to the possibility of seeing you in the new year! K.C.
I’ve been busy with several strands of work since the year began. Each have, in their own way, been integral to my overall practice. Some of them will continue to be so. Here are the highlights:
Natural Dyes. In keeping with my work earlier this year as well as in previous years, I continue my deepening understanding of natural dyes and their applications. In recent months, I have worked in a more focused way with yellow and brown tannins (Cutch and Pomegrante primarily). By blending these tannins with Indigo, and shifting them with iron, a surprisingly wide range of surface design possibilities exist. You can see some of my recent results with Pomegranate rind in my Instagram/FB feed.
Stitching. The work I have been doing with stitching has proved to be incredibly beneficial as a centering practice, as calming as it is creatively stimulating.I recently posted on a diptych I created for the 2020 Hambidge Auction. These stitched works began as modules for a natural dye sampler quilt. As I began to stitch more frequently, I realized that their creation offered space and time for intentional grounding. To that extent, the modules have become elements of a personal time capsule – part of the narrative work that will mark my pandemic experience. As both singularities and parts of a larger composite, they tell me a story of an effort to find some sort of stability in a very unstable, uncertain time. Hand stitching, especially the running stitch, can be deeply spiritual in its repetitive, focused, quiet rhythms. I have found in “stitch space” a calm refuge – necessary more than ever right now.
Artwork: 3-D. I have also begun building 3-dimensional “containers” or “vessels” which I am collectively calling “Receptive”. They are slow-going and emerge when the time is right. 2-D – My work with Black Walnut Hull and other inks continues, as does my work with enhanced monoprints. I will have more to say about these streams of work in the future.
And finally…Petal-Una Collection. Petal continues to be a destination for much of the naturally dyed/painted/printed cloth I produce in the studio. While it has been a slow year, I still managed to pull together a diverse collection. The images below include Cutch, iron-modified Cutch, and Indigo-dyed pieces. I am already brimming with enthusiasm and possibility for the 2021 collection! Visit Petal-Una Collection.
This year, I was invited to submit work to The Hambidge Center auction (www.hambidgeauction.org). If you don’t know about it, Hambidge is a non-profit arts center in the North Georgia mountains offering short-term residencies, as well as other programs and events. I have not yet experienced a residency, but my work has – in years past, I have had pieces in the Weave Shed Gallery at the mountain campus; I’ve also had work in past auctions. I have always felt honored to be included with the amazing and diverse group of artists featured at each auction.
While an historically live event, things are a bit different this year. Much of the process will take place virtually. As an adjunct to that, I thought I would tell you a bit about the pieces I have in the auction. Bidding started on 10/9/20 and will continue until 9:00 pm on October 24. Typically there are two components to the auction – one, a fixed-price gallery with 2-D works and then the auction itself.
My offering for the fixed-price segment is entitled “Network One” – Monoprint on paper, enriched with ink, pastel and gold leaf. It is a stand-alone artwork part of a larger and continuing series of pieces with the same character and foundation. I was trained in a discipline (Landscape Architecture) which, at the time, relied on hand-rendering/2-D graphic skills for project design, process mapping, and previsualization. (I went to school during that window when working in CAD was an elective pursuit!) Fast-forward, as a textile and fiber artist I continue to spend a certain amount of time working on paper. Much of my 2-D work now is still rendered by hand and is primarily process sketching. Occasionally though, the results become part of a different sort of thought process. The idea of “networks” is not a new one in art, and especially not in fiber art. This is my contribution to that conversation. This work is on-going. Check out more from the series here.
My main piece is Sheltering in Place: A Meditation Series – Weld Appliqué Diptych This project was launched at the beginning of “lockdown” (March, 2020) as part of an on-going exploration of natural dyes. As time passed, the repetitive rhythm of hand stitching became a source of daily calm during the anxious early days of the pandemic. As a diptych, they are metaphorically “hinged” by process and intention. As part of a series, they are a witness to the moment and reservoir of hope for the future.
I continue to work with natural dyes and create these modules. While I have several other pieces along these lines, the fresh, Spring-like, warmth of the Weld color feels the essence of hope as we continue to slog our way through this current version of normal. I hope you will visit the auction and support the Center (www.hambidge.org). Here is a video short I put together about the Sheltering piece and process.