Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tinder and Sparks

 As a rule, there are in everyone all sorts of good ideas, ready like tinder. But much of this tinder catches fire or catches fire successfully only when it meets some spark or flame from outside, i.e. from some other person. Albert Schweitzer.

Stuart Low, a thoughtful, insightful arts writer from the Democrat & Chronicle, our Rochester newspaper, interviewed me recently because my work is included in the Fiberart International exhibit that will be opening at the Memorial Art Gallery on April 30.

The interview left me revisiting familiar questions, in an effort to flesh out clearer answers. Why DO I work in fiber? Why DO I work with language as imagery? What is it I wish to express as an artist? Why do I make the choices that I do? Talk about an encounter generating sparks. 

As far as I know, my profile will be a brief segment in a larger article about the abundant number of fiber-related exhibitions that seem to be happening concurrently in this area. What light will his summation of our hour and a half talk reflect back to me; how will my work be seen through an arts writer’s eyes?

In and around the enjoyment of being interviewed and photographed and looking forward to a special opening night VIP preview reception for Fiberart International this coming Saturday evening, I just keep working in my studio. I appreciate these interactions and the ideas they stimulate; that energy ignites new ideas and refines existing ones.


The inspiration for the new tube pieces that I’m currently working on is “writing in air.” Here’s the first segment for the next one;. I almost hate to roll it into a tube and attach it to the substrate. Maybe it will stay an open cylinder instead so the substrate is visible behind it.


There is less dimensionality plus sharper value contrasts on this piece than on the first one. The added fragment of found handwriting also is working.


Here’s the prepared substrate for attaching the completed tubes.


  1. gorgeous work. You are so inventive and original. How lovely to have the spark of this man's interest!!! Good luck with the show opening. If you have time to answer, what is the substrate made of? Paper with collage and paint??

  2. Not paper, Suki, it's stretched canvas and gold leaf. My lovely, talented friend Jane Dunnewold offers a DVD that includes a demo on how to do this technique called "Frame It: Easy Solutions for Framing and Finishing Art Work" that is available through ArtCloth Studios. That provides the basics; then you can experiment with it and take it further on your own.

  3. Love the new work! Textile Art Alliance from the Cleveland Museum of Art is putting on Focus: Fiber this December. Dorothy Caldwell is the juror, deadline is extended to May 15. www.taacleveland .org or email me and I will send a pdf. Would love to see your work there. Venue is the Canton Museum of Art.
    Mary Ann

  4. Mary Ann,I printed out the pdf and if I can get these new works completed and photographed in time, I'll enter. Thanks for letting me know about this; between mounting the SDA juried exhibition in Rochester and creating new work for my solo, I haven't been aware of calls for entry.