Tuesday, June 2, 2009

"Off the Grid" Conference Highlights: Daniella Woolf

I traveled to Kansas City for "Off the Grid", the Surface Design Association Conference this past week, May 27-31st.

Off the Grid featured lectures, demonstrations and workshops at the Kansas City Art Institute -- and included exceptional displays of fiber art in the city's crossroads gallery district, where old commercial and industrial buildings house diverse gallery spaces, like the buildings pictured above.

Daniella Woolf taught encaustic for fiber artists as one of the conference workshops. She also gave a demo on encaustic during the conference and her exhibition, "Away with Words"is now on view at the Blue Gallery in the crossroads district May 25 - June 25.

Encaustic is a layering process using a special beeswax and dammar resin mixture and encaustic pigments. When papers or fabrics are dipped in just the mixture, they become transparent. Daniella first learned this process in 2000 and has been captivated by its possibilities ever since.

This was one of my favorite constructions in her exhibition. "The Tape Modern", 2006, is constructed of many elements that are precious to the artist; remembrances, shredded paintings, love notes, her mom's S&H green stamps, tea bags, leaves, petals of favorite flowers and to-do lists. These elements were sewn together and then dipped in encaustic medium.

"Spinetale" by Daniella Woolf, 2005, 10" x 10", encaustic, mixed media.

"Spinetale" gives you an idea of how the encaustic pigments can be combined on the substrate with collaged elements.

Here is Danella's artist statement for the exhibition:
"Integral to my practice is my ongoing ritual of handwritten journaling. I deconstruct this information, fragmenting and restructuring language. The secret contents are intact yet indecipherable. In merging these two disciplines I create a newly formed vocabulary. Within these structures I explore identity, privacy and memory. This amalgamation of processes allows me to transform remnants of time, personal history and the environment into a language of artifacts, creating a personal archeology."


  1. It was great to meet you. I knew you would love Daniella's work.

  2. Loved meeting you, too, but I knew I would. As far as Daniella, I'm fighting the urge to order encaustic supplies and dive in myself. Since we're heading across country, I'll have that all important cooling off period and can decide when I get home whether I want to try it myself.