Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Jewelry Blast!

 What do you get when you put a group of teen girls, a slightly anxious teacher, recycled materials, beads, stones and jewelry findings in a room together? The answer is a day of pure joy for the teens and instructor...who had a jewelry making blast! 

Mind you, this was my first time tackling the teen group during the Ohio Craft Museum's Young Masters summer program but was up for the challenge. The day would prove to not only take me out of my "comfort zone" but to serve as a reminder of the many hours I spent as a teen simply "making things" during those long hot summers.  It was really satisfying to see how hard the girls worked during the two half day sessions...when something didn't work the first time around...they just kept on going and worked it out!
Beautiful necklace from upcycled leather belt
I look forward to working with the teens again as we continue to learn from one another during the "Project Accessories" workshops at the Ohio Craft Museum.

This summer the workshop will expand to  3-half day sessions as we dig through bins of unusual materials just waiting to be re-purposed into jewelry, pouches and other wonderful things that teen girls will enjoy. 

These pink cuffs are hot!
Soda can upcycled into a cuff
Amazing button ring
Bottom bracelet made from hardware tubing
Buttons, buttons and more buttons!
Another upcycled belt bracelet

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Paper Plate Weaving

Here's some paper plate weaving that we created with our Art in the House K-2nd grade students. The pieces remind me of nests...nests of spring...spring of growth and an end to the cold of winter.

Love the colors

Individuality is welcomed!
 It's great to see how far so many of the young artists have come since the program's initial inception in 2008.
 New materials that were once met with skepticism have now been replaced with much enthusiasm and excitement.
 Love hearing those awesome five words, "What are we making today?"
I have truly been blessed to share my passion for art with children through Art in the House(AIH) for the past five years. Thanks to Tim Katz, Jim Arter, Oulanje Regan, Jackie Calderone with Transit Arts, Ohio Alliance for Arts Educators(OAAE), Greater Columbus Arts Council(GCAC)and all funding sources and partnerships!

Monday, March 4, 2013

"Queen Mother" Mixed-Media Work

Close up view
 Had this collage and painted face of my great grandmother, Julia Jackson, hanging around my studio for a while and realized a smaller format might work instead of the full body originally envisioned. "Muh" as all the grandchildren fondly called her was a tailor of men's suits by trade so in this piece I've included the old wooden spools of thread at the top. Other items added were pattern pieces( in dress and halo), antique packet of hook and eye closures(she kept the family together), a piece of cloth my friend Debbie Jackson brought back from Ghana(Muh was a Garveyite but never got to return to the motherland of Africa) along with a cowrie shell at her neckline.

"Queen Mother"
 What I'm realizing is that I'm still not pushing myself enough in some of my work...this feels like it's missing a lot. The background could stand to be darkened...her birth date might lend itself to the story. In terms of subject matter, I have probably used "Muh" as a repeated subject more than anyone else...actually she's the only one that has been reworked. Maybe I'll take some photos of the other variations through the years and share here.

Would love some feedback on this piece as I hope to make changes and post the photos side by side...as before and after

Loving the journey!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Art Masks

Kraft tape mask with chicken wire armature
I was downloading photos from my camera and suddenly realized how many projects were in my studio during 2012.

Side view
Here's a large mask constructed for Tapestry Performance Arts Company but later decided it reminded me of something used during Mardi Gras and left it in the garage.

Paper mache masks
These masks are in the early stages of development and would eventually end up being worn during the performance of "The Awakening of Art-Volume 1 at the King Arts Complex, Pythian Theater, September 15, 2012.

Completed mask worn during the performance of "The Awakening of Art-Volume 1" September 15, 2012 Janet George, photographer.


These large masks were simply held by the dancers during the performance. For photographic purposes they were placed on a painted background.

In all there were about twenty masks I made for Lori Wallace and Tapestry Performance Arts of varying sizes. Some worked better than others as was witnessed by the bird headdress(not shown) that I'd formed on a wig stand and when complete could only be worn by a pre-schooler. It was especially funny when I asked my husband to try it on for me and realized it may not work!  Lesson learned...measure each individuals head in advance, there is no one-size fits all in the noggin department. Afterwards I remembered that wigs have elastic sewn in them...hmmm.
Mask on right made of glue soaked muslin strips over chicken wire armature

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ta Da! First Art Quilt

Piecing it on my design board
Hmmm...trying to figure out the rhythm

Detail of the finished quilt

Crib size completed art quilt

Quilt hanging in the Elijah Pierce Gallery at the King Arts Complex May, 2012

In January of 2012 I re-discovered my Bernina Pearl which had been patiently waiting  for me in the corner of my studio. After an unsuccessful attempt to sulk over my empty nest the eventual hum of my sewing machine was the cure much needed. Soon I would discover a free quilting class with @Amy Gibson at Craftsy.com and combined that with the exhilaration of strip quilting suggestions found in @Rayna Gillman's "Create Your Own Free-Form Quilts"...freedom best describes the rush that followed!

Didn't finish the class with Amy after my surge of creativity but do plan on completing it sometime in the upcoming months (the beauty of this on-line course is that it's done at my own pace and available anytime).

Once started on this journey I discovered a delightful quilt shop in Mt. Vernon, Ohio called the Paw Patch, co-owned by mother/daughter team, Jean Hunter and Carol Skinner, respectively. After checking around on-line their shop was the only place that carried a line of Australian aboriginal prints...the same as that sample piece I'd purchased years ago at a local quilt symposium. Carol was able view the tiny phone images of my pieces ...get excited about it and make sound suggestions. Thanks Carol, I did end up hand tying the quilt!

What I learned from this experience is: 1) I'm not good at "pity parties" 2) Internet instruction can be awesome 3) Quilting is in my blood and I need to honor that inner desire to work with fabric! 4)Don't listen to "naysayers"...some think quilting can only be approached from a certain way...hmmm...interesting.

This year try to work in a different medium or at least experiment with an on-line class to challenge yourself!