Tag Archives: fiber art

Conference: The National Needlearts Association Tradeshow

When I was leaving my internship last summer at The Grove, Susan informed me that she would be more than happy to bring me along to the National Needlearts Association Tradeshow the following February!

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I was so excited about this opportunity because the tradeshow is really only open to designers and retailers! So last February, I drove myself over to San Diego to tag along with Susan and Judy to Long Beach.

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We received our badges (I was pretty ecstatic that it read that I was a retailer for The Grove! Obviously it had to, but still!) and show materials to navigate the different booths.  We sat down and made a game plan of the booths Susan absolutely needed to visit.  So many names I recognized!  This truly was a fiber high if I ever felt one.

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Apparently, this show was a lot smaller and didn’t have as many people attending as in previous years.  That was a little sad to see, but that didn’t stop us from gawking at all the beautiful colors and touching all the amazing yarn and fiber!  I also found it very exciting that I knew some of the reps from some of the yarn companies from when they came into the shop last summer.

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We made it through the show in a couple of hours and by the end of it, we were all pretty tired.  Who knew looking at yarn was so exhausting!

I want to thank Susan ever so much for bringing me along to the show.  I hope that the show continues successfully so that I might be able to return…maybe if I have my own shop in the future?  Who knows!

Gallery Show: Subtextiles follow-up!

Whoo, boy!  This semester has become quite busy as it comes to a close!  Here is a little snippet of how the show opening went.

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My work up on the wall!

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This woman is the best mentor and professor anyone could ask for. I’m so blessed to have been able to study under such a wonderful lady!

 

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Fibers loves Clare!

It was a very joyous night for the eight of us in the show.  Many people stopped by to check out what was a very successful show for the Fibers department at ASU!

Gallery Show: Subtextiles

Greetings!

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I’m excited to announce that my Senior Exhibition show, Subtextiles, is up right now in Gallery 100 on the ASU Tempe campus!

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My classmates and I put it up on March 8, but it is only open this week, March 18-22, Mon-Thurs 12-5 and Fri 12-3.  The reception is tomorrow evening, Tuesday, March 19 from 6-8pm.  I hope that you stop by to check it out!  It’s a wonderfully put together Fibers show.

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Afternoon with an Artist

I had my first artist play-date today!  A little over a week ago, while eating sushi with Erich and his mom, Colleen, we connected with the people sitting next to us at the bar.  Long story short, I connected with Catherine Newhart.

Today, we spend some time together.  I got to see her storage unit studio and its set up (very clever!), looked at some of the books she had on hand, and got some free supplies.  We had a late lunch and coffee later and ran errands.

The three books Catherine pulled out for me to look at were Creating with Paint, Creative Stamping with Mixed Media Techniques, and Creative Embellishments: For Paper, Jewelry, Fabric and More.  All three are by Sherrill Kahn.  I found the most inspiration from Creative Embellishments, however, all three had some fabric/fibers included.

Image from Impressmenow.com

It was a wonderful time and I’m looking forward to spending time with Catherine again!

Living My Dream Goal: Internship in San Diego

This is my summer.  As of Saturday, May 19, I have moved to San Diego for three months!  I am interning at a shop called The Grove where I am working with one of the co-owners, S,  in the yarn and fiber department, assisting customers and overall learning how a yarn store (with other vendors) runs.

I apologize ahead of time for the nature of this post.  I just want to catch you up a bit on what I’ve been doing so far!

Tuesday, May 22, I worked my first day.  Though I was very tired at the end of it, it was a blast.  I got to know the yarns, made an alphabetical list of all of them, did an inventory of the needles on hand, and even ordered new needles over the phone! I am certainly learning a lot in a short period of time.  I started a sample for a future class being held in June called the Baby Chalice Blanket.

The next day, Wednesday, I learned how to do receiving for products and print labels.  I also made labels for the yarn shelves, making them more uniform looking.

I didn’t have to go back in until Saturday when the other co-owner, A, was working.  I basically just straightened up the yarn shelves, did some receiving, and sat and knit all day long.  I got to help out a couple of customers and one even sat and knitted with me for the last hour I was working!

Wednesday, May 30, there was a class in the evening which I was going to sit in on.  It was for a lace scarf or shawl pattern called Claire.  I helped to wind yarn from skeins to balls and got to start the project myself.  It’s a super easy repeat to remember.  I asked if I could pay for the yarn I was using and S said that she wanted me to have it because I’m doing so much for her.  I guess I’m being paid in yarn!

Thursday, May 31, I got to learn how to use the register!  That made things a lot easier on both S and I because then if I was working on the computer, I wouldn’t have to stop what I was doing to find her so she could check out customers.  I’m still a little awkward with it, considering I’ve never had any previous retail experience.

Friday, June 1, I was sick.  Honestly, it sounded worse than it felt, so I went ahead and went to work.  I did some receiving and made some signs for the store.  I got to meet the vendor who takes care of the fabrics and helped her with little things she needed done.  By the end of the day, I was not feeling good, but I made it through the workday.

Saturday, June 2, I manned the desk while S worked with a customer who wanted to learn more knitting techniques.  It was funny because my voice was messed up from being sick, but at least I felt a LOT better.  Business was pretty busy in the morning due to the Burlingame Home Tour.  Burlingame is a historic neighborhood in South Park.

Sunday, June 3, was  a shorter and more quiet day.  I think due to that, I don’t remember much of anything interesting or exciting that happened.

The Grove is closed on Mondays.

Tuesday, June 5, I worked at the desk and helped a customer find her next knitting project.  S also left me alone with the store for about 40 minutes so that she could go home to eat lunch.  She was so excited to get to do that.

Wednesday, June 6, was pretty slow, but S and I started working on a physical inventory.  She is so happy to have me around helping out.  And of course, I’m more than happy to be there because I get to work with the yarns and knit at the end of each day.

This summer, I plan to keep my blog updated on happenings at the Grove, things I learn, and projects I accomplish while in San Diego.

Shibori Stitch Resist and Indigo Dye

For Advanced Surface Design, I proposed my next project after the reliquary to be creating a rock garden using stitch resist and Indigo dye.   I planned to cut a piece of fabric into three pieces, stitch resist them separately, dye them, and then sew them back together again.

The stitch resist took about 5 hours alone.  I stayed up till 3:30am for the first one.

One part already stitched up, two waiting.

After all three had been stitched and the stitches were pulled tight, I put them in the indigo dye.

The one closest has only been dyed once. The two in the back had been done twice.

The most rewarding part of this project had to be when I was taking all of the stitching out after dying each piece and seeing the resist lines on the fabric.

It was also fun to watch my hands turn blue.  There’s something so rewarding to me about getting my hands dirty in the creative process.

This was only the beginning…they were much more blue after all three pieces had been totally undone.

I had made a plan of how I was going to get the entire project done before the critique.  However, the critique was changed to an in progress critique and so we did not have to have our projects completely finished by March 26th.  On that day, I simply had a piece of blue fabric that had been stitched back together with some shibori on it.  Clearly, it needed something else.  So I decided to start making french knots all the way around to make a simple border.

After that, it still needed something.  I consulted with my professor and we decided it needed something to break up the middle ground: red stitches.

And then after I was finished with that, it still needed something, didn’t it?  Another simple border.  I dyed a piece of cotton navy blue, but it wasn’t dark enough for my liking, so I put it in the indigo dye a few times to get it an even deeper blue.

And then, it was done.

Tomorrow We’ll Go to the Faire: Faires, Festivals, Conventions and Conferences

Since coming back to Arizona to attend college, I have frequented different art fairs with my aunt and uncle.  While we see a lot of the same artists at most of them, every once in a while someone unique appears.  Sometimes it’s nice to know who will be at an art fair, but other times, it’s fun to browse and see what you can find.  I always think about how working one would be challenging, but wonder if it would pay off.  I have worked a booth at the Sunnyslope Art Walk in Phoenix and while it’s only 3 hours, it’s a lot of work to set up, break down, and to be perfectly honest, it’s a lot of work to smile and be pleasant to everyone who passes (even when you are not getting a lot of sales).

When thinking about faires, festivals, conventions, or conferences that I’d like to work or at least visit, I have a hard time deciding.  In class, we learned about Unique LA.  I had never heard about it before.   A place for all things creative and unique?  Totally!

I’ve always heard about Maker Faire from various blogs I read, especially, of course, the Craft and Make Magazine blogs.  Maker Faire’s happen all over the US and are a couple of days of creatives and inventors making unique and interesting things.  I’m not sure I’d participate in it, but I’d love to attend!

Another sort of convention I’d be interested in attending is The Bizarre Bazaar.  Again, I’ve heard about this one from craft blogs and podcasts.  According to the website it “is a unique marketplace featuring hundreds of exclusive exhibitors selected from the best craft and gift shows in America.”  I think it’d be chaotic to work because it has grown so large, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to go sometime!

The National Needlearts Association recently had their Winter Trade-show here in Phoenix.  They have trade-shows around the country and I would love to attend one sometime to check it out, especially if they come back to Arizona!

While I’m interested in attending the previously mentioned conventions and fairs, and, if I built up a brand, possibly work one or two, one that I could see myself both attending and working at for sure is called The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, or as it’s more commonly known by fiber enthusiasts, Rhinebeck.  I’ve heard so much about Rhinebeck from various knitters, spinners, and podcasters that I feel like I’ve almost been there once.  Worse on the pocketbook than any fiber or yarn store, this festival has everything from workshops, vendors, and fleece sales, to sheepdog trials and fiber animal (sheep, goats, llama, alpaca) shows.

Photo by Garett C. Lown

Many knitters and fiber artists use Rhinebeck as a meetup.  I know that the knitting (and crocheting) community website, Ravelry, usually holds a meetup there.   (While I’m not totally immersed in the Ravelry community, maybe I should become more involved.  I’ve been on it a few years.  Who knows, I could network there!)

So, what would I do at Rhinebeck?  As a vendor, I think I might like to sell yarn I’ve spun and dyed.  Now that I have a spinning wheel do to that, why shouldn’t I put it to use?

Photo by Garett C. Lown

I think that maybe if I made more felted creatures, I could sell those, too.  I’m sure that if I went to Rhinebeck and walked around, I could come up with something else I could make and sell.  But until I do, let me tour the festivals!

….Alright, confession.  I’m not all Fiber and Art.  I have a geeky side, too.

I happen to love Doctor Who.  (And lots of webcomics.  One of my favorite webcomic artist was there that day and she gave me a sketch!)

This was taken at Phoenix ComicCon.  Someday I’d love to go to ComicCon in San Diego (maybe when I’m living there?) but for now I’m content with wandering the Phoenix one.