Nellie"s Needles

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Speaking of Round Robins

... I'm involved in two others. One I cannot show any photos of nor write any descriptions about until it is finished next August. It's called "the Exquisite Corpse" and is the brainstorm of Arlee Barr, a mixed media artist from Canada. She's the leader of seventeen of us from various states and countries involved in this project. Arlee is also one of the artists participating in Susan Lenz's Cyber Fiber invitational exhibition next January. I wouldn't miss reading Arlee's blog with the almost daily revelations about her creative adventures and occasional stories about her job as a florist. Within the last couple of days Arlee was the featured artist profiled in Cyndi Lavin's "Layers Upon Layers" blog.

The other round robin is between me and the young woman who I reconnected with last summer. She, along with her daughter and two other young girls spent a bit of creative time at our cottage. Go here to read about that fun time. Last fall Katrina wrote and asked if I'd be interested in participating in mail art with her. I consented and she suggested that we call it "mailort" since I like to work with scraps and her supplies are mostly scavanged from various sources. In early December she mailed this handkerchief that she's had for a long time.
I cut a backing fabric and a piece of wool blanket for batting. I over-sized it so Katrina could decide how large this piece should be. A piece of hand-dyed cheese cloth that was gifted to me by Beverly of Fiberhart was layered over the bottom half of the hanky to give a definite water area. I then machine quilted around the motifs as well as the water and air. And then sent it back to Katrina in California.
It came back with Katrina's additions this last week. The paper candy (?) wrappers are inspired. That repeating circular purple shape from the hanky filled with oriental writing is great ... let alone the texture and sheen of the paper plus variations on the basic rectangular shape of the whole piece. Then there's the red pompoms. We really needed those placed in those opposite corners to draw the eye upwards and then back down through the piece. And that couched green yarn floating in the air is great.
The piece has been out where I could view it since it arrived in the mail. I thought I'd just look it over before going up to bed at 12AM the other night so I could "sleep on it." Well I got inspired, and finally retired at 1:30. I dug out cut wool strips that a rug hooking friend gave me and my supply of vegetable/fruit nets. I couldn't wait to get back in the studio the next morning to attach all that I'd arranged in place.
Our biggest challenge is pulling the whole piece together. It surprised me that Katrina chose to use all of the space at the top. I hadn't given any thought to proportions when the foundations were cut ... I was just giving her an option of where the top should be. However, I think we're making it work ... that the two distinct sections of water and air are balancing and complementing each other ... even integrating.

This mailort goes back to her on Monday. I can't wait to see what she does next.

Now to get busy on the spiral block quilt. I'll be posting more about the design process and solution to my misplaced blocks soon.


Magpie's Mumblings said...

I love this! What a great use for a wonderful hanky as a jumping off point for a piece of art. Can't wait to see what happens next.

arlee said...

Oh, i bet it's a lot easier to co-ordinate with 2 than 18.....may have to try that at least once too :}!!!! Looking good and isn't it amazing what each person adds to the feel?

jenclair said...

That is a wonderful hanky, and this looks like such fun!

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea! I love that hankie. Thanks for the tip on silk tops on my blog - I hadn't thought of that.

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

Aren't round robins fun? That handkerchief is beautiful. I'd love to see the finished quilt.

Clevelandgirlie said...

Hi Nellie. It's me again. I just wanted to tell you that I referred another artist to visit you who is also in "love" with Lake Michigan as a subject. I told her she should visit your Lake Michigan series. Her name is Allie. I think you two will have alot in common!


teodo said...

First of all let me say THANK YOU for the links.
It's great to see in how many projects you take place! You never stop! :o)
ciao, ciao

ACey said...

I don't often covet but man-oh-man that lotus image has got me literally drooling. Love the way your additions open up a kind of super-consciousness above it.