Archive for the ‘art pottery’ category

Climbing back on board…..

May 25, 2008

(after a detour on the Procrastination Express!)

Well, since last posting, life has been dragging me around by the hair:  knitting (of course), juggling projects at work as we settle into a newly renovated building, spending more time with friends, participating in swaps of various kinds, keeping up with my correspondences, and…did I mention knitting?

Although I have been knitting a lot, the skirt mentioned in my earlier post has not been one of the projects:  the more I knitted and looked at those horizontal stripes circling (or spiraling, since I was knitting in the round), the more I could see them on my hips, moving toward the real horizon to the ends of the earth, taking the visual perception of my hips along with them. No.  Couldn’t have that.

So the partial skirt in the photo now only exists in that photo. The yarn is now a big fat ball waiting to be repurposed.  I love that yarn and will have to let it rest for a while until inspiration for its next incarnation hits.

TRIPS TO THE FROG POND

I never mind frogging a project that needs frogging:  better to frog than feel that mounting sense of forboding as the project goes farther and farther down the road to project disaster.  For the non-knitter reading this, “frogging” is knitspeak for undoing (or ripping out) a knitted project. 

One of the wonderful things about knitting is that it is so forgiving.  If you don’t like something, or get tired of what you have made, you can recycle the yarn into something else!

My father was always horrified to see me frog a large piece of knitting. However,  I never get that attached to anything I knit unless it is finished and right.  Frogging is kind of Zen, as is knitting.

So after making more dishcloths and scrubbies for some of the numerous swaps I had joined, I decided to make something quick and fun…well, there isn’t much that is faster to knit than a dishcloth or a scrubbie, but this time I got the urge to try a recent kit I had bought on eBay.

A FUN, FAST-TO-MAKE, AND UNUSUAL KNITTING PROJECT:  Lu Top

Some time ago I fell in love with this top and finally bought the kit for it.  If you click on the link under the name and description, you can look at pics of some of the alternative ways to wear the top.  I chose a wool/silk blend bulky weight yarn, Fleece Artist Scotian Silk in a browns/greys/blacks hand dyed colorway called “Earth.” Yum! 

The skein included with the pattern specifies a 6mm/U.S.#10 needle (I used a circular) with a gauge of 14st/4.”  The skein contains 250g/375 meters or about 9+ oz./410 yds.

Here are some pics of my version: 

Lu top, front view

and here:

Lu top reversed (but not pinned) 

Here is the wrap laid out to show the shaping and construction. 

Lu top laid flat

 

I think the person wearing the top in the distributor’s photo must be very tiny indeed.  I wear a size medium, and although I like the way that it fits me, it is definitely different from the way that it fits the model. 

This little garment, which is sort of a cross between a shrug and a wrap, has some lovely details in the shaping, the stitch, and in how it can be worn.  You can wear it upside down or backward and not look as if you should have had supervision when you got dressed! 

The stitch pattern, called “Turkish Stitch” is a variation of many lace stitch patterns with that name to be found on the web and in stitch pattern dictionaries.  It is a one-row reversible pattern worked over a multiple of 2 stitches (I think it should be worked over a multiple of 4 stitches plus 2 stitches for the selvedge).

The best visual I could find for this version of the stitch is here.  It is in the March 2, 2007 post on that blog. Scroll almost to the bottom of the page and look for a close-up shot of the green lace swatch.

The shaping involves short rows and I had to play with them for a while to figure out how to get it just right for the yarn overs, but the instructions are good and after you get a rhythm going it is really a fun garment to make. 

I tried it on over my one “little black dress,”  love the look and now can’t wait to take it out on the town!

I also want to try making Lu in some other colorways. I trimmed mine with black on the two edges where you cross the garment: it looked more finished to me that way. 

One word of caution:  if you (or the person for whom you’ll make this), are busty or wear a larger size, consider increasing the number of stitches at the cast on edge to avoid a “shelf” effect on the person.  Lu is worked sideways so it is pretty easy to adjust the length if necessary.  I am about a medium size and did not adjust for this first try…I might do so for the next attempt.

Comments from others who have made this design, also from the kit, have indicated that there is a choice of sizes but the kit I bought was “one size fits all.”  There is enough yarn in the kit to make it a bit longer (a few inches), but you might consider purchasing an extra skein if you want to enlarge much beyond that.

FAMILY MATTERS (JUST A QUICKIE…INDULGE THE PROUD GOGO!)

Here is a picture of my little grandson, asleep in his daddy’s arms:

Sleeping angel in daddy's arms

 Born 10 weeks early at 2 lbs. 12 oz., he arrived on January 16th, although his due date was April 7th. 

Thanks to his tireless parents and the incredible NICU Staff at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Denver, he is now a robust baby boy who laughs, like this: 

Happy Baby Boy

at everything his self-named big “stister” does as she sings and dances for him.  She now has her own little groupie!

Here he is with their mom:

Julia and son
His mantra is:  “Feed me!”

and here he is with his big “Stister” (as she calls herself), the self-named Queen Isabella shown elsewhere in this blog (See It’s in My Genes! on the sidebar):

Big

I am told that she is devoted to her baby brother, and he loves his big sister!

Recently there have been lots of birthdays among my friends and family. I know an incredible number of Taureans and seem to be meeting more all the time.  My birthday is May 4th and I have gone into two shops in the last few weeks, one of them on my actual birthday, and as it turned out, the people running those shops had May 4th birthdays, too.

Lots of opportunities to misbehave with the eating of cake, cheesecake, and any cake! 

Here is some cybercake.  Have a piece!  Cybercake

It won’t taste as yummy as the real thing, but it is the best I can offer! 

If I lived in Cincinnati, I would be in even more trouble with an uncle, an aunt, my dad, a cousin, another cousin (my cousin’s younger son who shares my birthday) all there, and all with Taurus birthdays…and everybody requiring a celebratory cake of his or her own.

All of those birthdays are not excuses for not posting here.  I have just done my usual procrastination…well, let’s just say that I post in my head!  Of course that is only good for other people if they are psychics!

MORE ART FROM MY PARENTS

My mother is no longer living, but her art still deserves to be shared.  At some point I will upload some of the images from the art exhibition held posthumously last year in Bermuda.  I was unable to attend, but my my uncle’s wife Sandy, who is very good about staying on top of family photography, took photos of almost everything.

In the meantime, here is a self-portrait my mother Gwen Cann painted in 1957.  It is now housed in my small collection of her work, but will soon be sent to Cincinnati to be housed in my father’s extensive art collection along with the painting of me done the same year….keep scrolling and you’ll see an image of that one, too.

Gwen Cann's Self-Portrait

Here is the painting of me:

Dehbi the Free Spirit.

I think these paintings should be together, don’t you?

MORE WORK FROM MY DAD

He won’t like it if I get more specific, but let me say that Daddy, an octo-something, spends 30 hours a week in the studio working with clay and producing ever cooler art pieces like this:

Small batter bowl

I have had this bowl for a whle and use it for making pancake batter, or for holding teabags and such on the kitchen counter.  It even has a built-in pour spout.  Its diameter is between 6″ and 7″.

This bowl will be sold…and I am reluctant to part with it, but I will.

Medium sized ornamented bowl

The diameter of this larger bowl is about 8″.  It has a nice heft and the texture is a visual delight.

MY LIFE AS FURNITURE FOR THE CAT

Casanova (his real name), decided that I needed some extra weight on the bridge I was forming as I arranged myself over the exercise balls in class a couple of weeks ago.  He jumped up there and immediately a cell phone camera and a digital camera appeared out of nowhere and voila:

Casanova and Dehbi

This photo was taken by my wonderful friend and yoga buddy, Gabby M.

That’s all for now.  In the near future, perhaps my next post (but no promises!), I’ll write my reflections on creativity.  The purpose will be to inspire.

Until then, have a terrific day off  Memorial Day tomorrow!

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Time for an art pottery break….

April 19, 2008

Time for a little departure from fiber/textiles talk.  Tonight I’m unveiling some of my father’s latest creations. 

At 85 years old (86 within weeks!), Daddy spends 30 hours or so in the studio, making very inspired artworks in clay.  Like his mother and siblings, and his only child (me!), Daddy was born under the sign of Taurus. 

Taurus is an earth sign and Daddy’s connection with clay, always very strong and a real constant in his life, is providing him with one way to be the artist he always wanted to be in his youth. 

His was a generation that did not really see “artist” has an honest profession and so he dutifully got a good education, worked hard as a social worker, hospital social work director, and mentor to many comingup in that profession….but he has always collected art, married an artist, had many artist friends, and promoted art whenever he could.

When he was finally able to create as much art as he wanted, he made beaded jewelry of African beadstuffs bought from the Gambian traders who criss-cross the U.S. in their overladen vans, sharing their contact lists. 

I once went with Daddy to see one of the traders who was in Cincinnati during one of my visits there.  Going into that room where he had set up his temporary “shop” was like a visit to a treasure cave.

Beaded jewelry is still a passion…and I am slowly working my way up to setting up an Etsy shop for his jewelry, my knitwear patterns and finished art-to-wear, and his art pottery, like this guy:

Nariz in Profile

Nariz, another view

Nariz, full frontal!

“Nariz” is one of my favorites.  Lots of detail and even more attitude!

Daddy doesn’t usually name his pieces, so I decided to have fun with this.  This one’s name means “nose” in Spanish. 

Here is another piece with a lot of personality:

Thespian

This mask makes me think of a production of Oedipus Rex that I was taken to see by my mother, a thespian herself.

“Dermie”

Dermie needs help!

His name is “Dermie” because he looks to me as if he needs to go to dermatologist like, yesterday. 

Dreaded contemplating his wardrobe

This is “Dreaded,” who is trying to figure out what to wear today.

rear view...and I do mean

Dreaded ‘s rear end

I’ll put more of Daddy’s clayworks up in later posts.  I will showcase items for sale, as well as items from my own collection.  They won’t be for sale, but they should be seen!

 

Clay sculpture by Herbert J. Allen of Cincinnati, Ohio 2008

Photo images –  Copyright Deborah A. Fleming 2008