Saturday, November 19, 2016

Three New Thin Section Pieces

 For several days before I left for Houston for International Quilt Festival, I was pretty restless.  I've been working on a large piece involving banded quartz and hematite.  But I didn't feel that I could give it the attention it deserved, so I decided to "play" a bit and work on several small pieces.

I had been looking at thin sections of banded iron formations, an important source of iron ore.  According to Wikipedia

"Banded iron formations (also known as banded ironstone formations or BIFs) are distinctive units of sedimentary rock that are almost always of Precambrian age.
A typical BIF consists of repeated, thin layers (a few millimeters to a few centimeters in thickness) of silver to black iron oxides, either magnetite (Fe3O4) or hematite (Fe2O3), alternating with bands of iron-poor shales and cherts, often red in color, of similar thickness, and containing microbands (sub-millimeter) of iron oxides."
We have a piece of BIF in our garden.  I collected it on a geology field trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan many years ago. Here it is:
The thin section I used as my working diagram contained banded quartz, hematite, siderite and riebeckite.  Here was my first try:
QMSR#1, 20" x 26" 
For the second piece, I wanted to show the "rhythm" of the banded minerals:
QMSR#2, 26" x 27"
and I was having so much fun, I decided to make a small piece to donate to the SAQA trunk show that will be circulating for the next three years:
QMSR#3, 7" x 10"
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Cross Timbers Studio Tour

Saturday our local SAQA group took a field trip to Denton County, on the north side of the DFW metroplex, for the Cross Timbers Artists' Guild annual studio tour.  
Let me start out by saying that I LOVE to see how other artists work.  It doesn't matter what the artistic discipline is, there is something fascinating about seeing how artists organize their spaces.   And this tour offered a glimpse into the working spaces of potters, painters, jewelry designers, collage artists, furniture makers and, of course, fiber artists.
We started the tour at the studio of fiber artist/art quilter Barbara Oliver Hartman.  Barbara is a friend, a long time SAQA member and one of my quilting "idols."  And her studio, which is spread over several rooms, is wonderful.  
Barbara demonstrated how she creates her "confetti" mosaics.  It's a great technique, but you need to have a steady hand.  And you don't dare sneeze, or you may have to start over.
My favorite part of her "studio complex" is this room.  The warm walls perfectly complement her beautiful quilts.  It looks like the perfect place to do hand sewing or to relax after a hard day of quilting.
After Barbara's studio, we went to the studios of a watercolor and collage artist, a watercolor and pencil artist, a jewelry designer, a weaver and a potter.   I loved peeking into their workspaces.

Eric Orr's studio was wonderful.  He was one of the few who had their studio in an outbuilding.  And it was huge.  He uses it as both a classroom and a workspace.  
We were particularly interested in his Raku process.  And he explained it very clearly.
 I loved the little vignettes in his studio.  You have to love an artist who loves the Cat in the Hat.
 And I may have to print this photo and put it in my studio.  My new mantra....
It was a beautiful fall day spent in the company of some of my favorite people.  Bliss!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Report from Houston International Quilt Festival

I was in Houston last week for the International Quilt Festival.  And it was an amazing, exhilarating, exhausting, wonderful, fabulous trip.  If that sounds like overkill on the adjectives, sorry.  It was indeed every one of them.

I went to the show for three reasons.  First, because I had two quilts in the judged show, one of which had won a prize.  Secondly, to see old friends and to make a few new ones.  And thirdly, to work in the Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA) booth, where we debuted two new exhibits, "Turmoil" and "Tranquility."

We set up the SAQA booth on Tuesday afternoon.  The exhibit quilts were hung by IQF staff, but we had catalogs and small quilts to sell, as well as information about SAQA to disburse.  

Then the fun began.  International Quilt Association (IQA) always informs winners ahead of time, but is very cagy about the level of the award.  Several of my friends had gotten the "you are a winner!" e-mail, and we were all very edgy while we waited for the ceremony to begin.
Waiting to enter the ballroom for the Awards Ceremony
The ceremony itself is very dramatic.  Each category (and there are 21 of them) begins by awarding the honorable mention and works its way up to the first place winner.  Each award winner walks up to the stage and receives a check and a handshake from the sponsor of the category.  When the first place winner is announced, the winning quilt is revealed by raising a curtain.  It's all very exciting, and very nerve-wracking for those of us waiting to see what we have won.

My category was last, which meant that by the time they came to "Art: Abstract - Large" I was a bundle of nerves.  And when they announced that I had won first place, I pretty much shrieked.  And bounced up the stairs to the stage.  It was AMAZING!
The Salt Marsh quilt and me -- I can't get the big grin off my face 
Suzan Engler, a good friend from Houston, also won a first prize in "Digital."
Susan Engler and GMO
And Deborah Boschert, from Lewisville, won a first in "Art: Miniature."
Deborah Boschert's piece, Green Bowl Gathering
My other quilt in the show was String Theory.  It looked great hanging in Art: Abstract - Small.
String Theory
A few random pictures from the actual show.  Kathy York of Austin is the poster girl for Mistyfuse, a fusible web.  Honestly, she is.  Her picture is on the package.
Kathy York and Mistyfuse
Connie Griner bought my quilt, Eastham Salt Marsh, in the IQA silent auction.  Thank you, Connie!
Connie and my IQA piece
I went to several dinners.  This photo is from the "Dinner @ 8" artists' dinner at Pass & Provision, a very cool restaurant.
Dinner @ 8 Dinner
I saw old friends from graduate school, Kathy and John.  They live in Houston and we met for dinner.
Kathy and John
And I have fans!  
And finally, here is the SAQA booth take-down crew.  Tired but happy.
Me, Amalia, Suzan, Maria, Annie and Kim. Photo by Lisa Ellis.
I took pictures of quite a few quilts that caught my eye.  I'll post a few of them another day. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Quilts=Art=Quilts at the Schweinfurth Art Center

Q=A=Q 2016 from stephen achimore on Vimeo.

Q=A=Q opened last weekend at the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, New York.  I am very proud to have a quilt in the show.

The video is the next best thing to being able to see the show in person.  Schist #1 is shown at 00:40, the center quilt in that frame.

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