Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tying Up Loose Threads

On Thursday we put up the New Age Looping exhibit at The Dining Room at 209 Main in Monticello, Wisconsin. This should explain why you've heard nothing from me for so long. I taught the weekend of the 16th, which was wonderful, then spent the next few days scurrying to finish work for this show. Here's a recap of recent events.

A few weeks back as I was working on pieces for this show, I blamed not sleeping on monsters under the bed. Then I remembered that I have tools for overcoming that kind of anxiety. I outlined a plan that would keep me on track for this deadline, and mostly it worked. I went back to using creativity warm-ups regularly, and that helped. I went to bed at a reasonable hour (although I was waking up at 4 am to get back to work). I think I was pretty reasonable in my critiques, even though it might not sound like it since I cut up one piece twice before I came up with something that worked.

I asked for help, and help came. My husband, bless his heart, took off on Tuesday to drive up to McNaughton and get a piece from Joan Molloy Slack from a collaboration we did last fall. I used that piece to replace one I had done for the show but just didn't seem to fit. Bill came home with Standing Stone, plus Oreos, chocolate ice cream, Hershey's Extra Dark chocolate and Gardetto's (I'm all about balance, and you need salty and crunchy to go with sugar and fat). On Wednesday, I called my neighbor Barbara with a plea for help and she was there in five minutes. Despite my intention to do all the stitching by hand (mindfully, you know), we excavated the sewing machine and Barbara spent a helpful hour cutting, pressing and sewing a pillowcase backing for a piece that needed that to help anchor it. When she left to go back to work, I was all set for the hand stitching that melded that piece and the backing. I finished stitching at 9:30 that night.

Bright and early the next morning, Sue and I left for Monticello. It was through Sue that this exhibit came about, and we both have work in the show. Sue is a friend and neighbor who learned looping from me but has evolved a style that is uniquely her own. It was not an oversight that we left home without any of my artist statement or info for labels. I hadn't written them yet. It's embarrassing to admit that I went so unprepared, but that's what I did. I promised to email the info on Saturday, which I did, and the world did not stop rotating on its axis. Go figure.

Sue and I made it to Monticello without any problems from the threatened freezing drizzle. Ruth Knight Sybers of Knitters Treat was there to welcome us, and Rhoda and David Braunschweig were all set to hang the show. We met Wave and Jane, the owners of The Dining Room, and had a lovely meal that evening. Chef Wave's food was the perfect antidote to all the frozen pizza Bill and I ate while I was madly stitching. In the front of the house, Jane is lovely and gracious. I can't imagine a more perfect setting for conversation among a group of fiber artists -- or anyone else, for that matter.

We spent a peaceful night with Sue's college friend Polly and her husband, Jim, in Madison. Polly took us to the Knitting Tree before we headed back north. Honestly, how can you not buy a silk yarn called Ruby Slippers?

For this show, I wanted to illustrate looping's versatility. This collection contains five paired pieces. Each pairing explores a theme with one piece worked in two dimensions and a second piece worked in 3D. There's one additional 2D piece -- sort of a quilted journal page. I've posted the images on my Facebook page, with privacy settings that allow public viewing. If you'd like to see the pieces right now, they're here. Last night I finally got the label info and artist statement sent the Ruth. As soon as she can get them on their web site, you can find them here. In the meantime, check out their past exhibits at the bottom of the Textile Displays page. There's a wonderful piece by Mary Jo Scandin in the front window that makes you want to soar.

New Age Looping will be up at the Dining Room until mid-May. I'm pleased with the work, delighted to have met some wonderful people, and basking in the pleasure of having a big project completed. Now that I have these loose threads tied up, I just need to clean up the mess in my studio (there was sort of a thread explosion in there on Wednesday), and get ready for my next adventure.


  1. Donna,
    Virtually every woman at the table enjoying the awesome meal at 209 Main works with fibers, and I mean in-depth.Your knowledge of artists, basket types, fiber sources, etc. was equal to that of the magnanimous PhD.'s with us... I have a deeper more overwhelming appreciation for you and your work. I am just a needle nodding learner... and that in itself is so very satisfying!
    sue of the locket pockets

  2. You're kind, but I know there's much, much more I want to learn. What an inspiring group!

  3. Thank you for your very kind comments. We are thrilled you are sharing your work with us and I'll look forward to the additional info ( pricing) as I've already had at least one inquiry. The guests seem to be facinated by the technique of looping. Jane

  4. Thanks, Jane -- you made my day!


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