Metamorphic Exhibition and Workshop in Ellensburg, Wa.

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“Stone Mother”, 2013, archival ink jet photograph on rag paper

Now until April 29th, I have an exhibition of work up at Gallery One in Ellensburg, Wa. called Metamorphic.
Here…let me quote myself from the Gallery One website!

Mandy Greer is a Seattle-based multidisciplinary artist who works in a symbiotic way with fiber-based installation, photography, film, performance, and social and environmental interactivity.  For Metamorphic, Greer presents a collection of works from the last several years that explore the connection between the flux of our inner life and the geologic, translating the upheavals of stone, ash and magma into soft and malleable fiber that becomes a shadow of the domestic.  This exhibition spans several bodies of work, and has been informed by an on-going series of residencies Greer does with her family in remote or isolated places, distilling into artworks imagery that questions assigned roles, the social and intimate projections on the family, and the boundaries between body, environment and imagination.

Greer centers mothering as a generative and artistic medium for her work, and challenges the dominant notion of the ‘solo genius artist’, rather focusing on the symbiosis within groups and defacto collectives.   The maternal becomes a map for approaching social and ecological healing.  Caring for and carrying children becomes a way to understand the collective body, the family as body, the body as ever-changing environment.

Transformation is central; chaos is woven  into order and back into chaos.  Using the physicality and metaphor of weaving, the subtle metamorphic passage of flesh  and time is represented in glittering stone, erupting ash, dust, animal and flesh again. Greer transforms the detritus of our contemporary textile waste stream into timeless, elegant and raw conglomerations of inscrutable nature and the underbelly of human ceremonial imagination. By reclaiming the cast-offs of ‘fast fashion’ and reinvesting the material with painstaking hand-work, we are invited to enquiry on how value and meaning are ascribed, erased and altered.

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Double Green Man, 2011

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Snaefellsness Glacier Boy, 2012, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Needles and Thread at Gallery One

This  show also  coincides with another show that I juried, called Needles and Thread, a national juried fiber show that I feel quite proud of!  Many tender and strong artworks, so please visit if you are in Eastern Washington.

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Needles and Thread at Gallery One in Ellensburg, Wa. now through April 29, 2017

AND I will be traveling to Ellensburg on April 22nd, to do a Wall Weaving Basics Workshop at Gallery One.  I’ll be featuring a sampling of Icelandic yarns from local farm Green Bow Farm.  I just heard that it is sold out (yea!) but if you are interested, please contact them anyway and get on a wait list.  Or you can encourage them to invite me out again!

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Gallery One

11:00AM – 5:00PM

408 North Pearl Street, Ellensburg WA 98926
509-925-2670

Green Bow Farm visit, in Ellensburg, Wa.

I also wanted to share some pictures of just a really happy day!  When I drove my work out to Ellensburg, I was able to stop by and meet Farmer Christina of Green Bow Farm!  I adore all their products; in Seattle you can meet them at the West Seattle Farmers Market, as well get their incredible eggs at The London Plane. 

Anyhow…my real goal was to meet George Costanza!  One of the charming Icelandics in GBF’s flock who is Instafamous!

And I did!  The sheep were all sheared, so not as photogenic but definitely comfortable, but follow GBF on Instagram at @greenbowfarm for some truly lovely pictures of farm life, especially now during the lambing season.

Farmer Christina took time out of her busy day to show me around their new farm, a huge project restoring an old family farm back to its natural functionality.  The snow was just beginning to really melt, so the land was like a sponge;  dried dormant plants beginning to soak in huge water flows.

I am thrilled to get to use their yarn!

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George!!! I love you!

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Brown and dormant, but full of spring snow melt. Green Bow Farm

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Restoring a family farm…

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Many curious and many pregnant ewes…

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NEW: Weaving Wall Hangings Workshop

EDIT:  Find all current scheduled workshops HERE

We are innately drawn to the charms of weaving, evocative of so many rich metaphors –bring disparate parts into a whole, interlacing of ideas, the inter-dependency of the communal. It’s a human technology that has been around for 27,000 years –even before agriculture- and still captivates us. In the ancient Greek mind, weaving was linked to singing and storytelling, which makes sense when you sit at a loom, the strings not unlike the strings of a lyre. It is an archetypal coming together of human necessity and creative expression, and represents the cosmos in many cultures, infinitely expanding order out of chaos.  For Homer, it represented intellectual activity, and the subversive way women claimed agency and legacy. Weaving goddesses ensnare and trap, measuring out the fiber of being.

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Let’s weave together.

The woven wall hangings so popular today are a throw-back to my own youth of the 70’s.  But sitting at a loom for a devoted period of time seems to kick up ancient memories. Weaving was my gateway drug to fiber arts, when I was 8 years old and had the chance to weave on large 19th century looms in the attic of an old Girls Scout lodge in Virginia.  I felt something mysterious had been revealed to me.
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Since then, I’ve longed to have my own loom, but been daunted by the cost and space. Yet people around the world have created weaves on the slightest of looms, and I challenged myself to create a communal experience making this practice easy for anyone.

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I’ve broken it down into simple steps that I can teach to any beginner, but will guide students to make a complex and rich work with plain weave, sumac stitch, basket weave, poofs, tufts and angles. We’ll work on easily-built basic looms and you’ll get instruction on how to build your own low-cost, low-tool loom at home.   Come join in the warm studio atmosphere, with tea and snacks, and conversation with others in the class as you create. This is a 5-hour class, we’ll take a short lunch break at noon, so bring a sack lunch. I’ll have homemade muffins and hot chocolate. Don’t wait to the last minute to register! Classes are cancelled a week before, if registration isn’t met.

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MATERIALS: I have some incredible luxurious and organic materials for you! I have acquired a HUGE lot of samples from a Tibetan rug making company, with 100’s of colors in earth tones and jewel tones, and we’ll reclaim this amazing hand-spun and dyed wool to create our tufts, fringes and weaves. The yarn is not overly processed and still has some lanolin in it, and has a natural character to it.  I also have many many skeins of natural colors of wool in Icelandic and unprocessed Merino wools, as well as many colors of roving, natural jute-type fibers and reclaim cotton knit. All tools provided.

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DATES/TIMES:    CLICK ON DATE TO REGISTER WITH PAYPAL

EDIT:  This post is from 2015: Find all current scheduled workshops HERE

 

ON-DEMAND WORKSHOPS:  Don’t see a date you can do?  Get four friends together and I will schedule a workshop that works for your schedule on most days Then I’ll promote to fill the class.  Have 6 or more friends?  Schedule a private party and get a big discount.

COST:   $70 per person, ONLY 10 SPACES PER CLASS.

You must pre-register and an Informational Email will be sent to you approximately 7 days before the class. Classes need 5 people minimum to run.  So spread the word to friends!  In the past, I have run classes under-enrolled, but can longer afford to do that.  If you want to have your class run, you need to invite friends along!  You will be notified 7 days before class if it is canceled, and a refund will be issued.

Not eligible for the 3-class $90 discount package. If you have purchased a package, you can apply $30 to this class fee.

AGE/ABILITY: Great for beginning weavers!  You can do this!  It just takes dedication.    For adult learners,  and children 12 and up who have an interest in weaving, and ability to focus for 5 hours are welcome to attend alone.

WHERE:  At The Silver Studio in Columbia City, Seattle (my studio)

WHEN YOU REGISTER:

-Be sure your contact email address with Paypal is correct. That is where I send the “Informational Email” (class confirmation, material list, where to buy them, and the studio address).  If you want a different email used, contact me.

– If the class you want fills up, please email me your desired day and I will put you on the waiting list and/or notify when I hold another series of workshops.

– One week before your class, workshop fee is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another person.

Private Parties: Weaving Private Parties are available in my studio only. Up to 10 people for 5 hrs, for $500, plus a material fee of $10 per person.  Contact me for availability

GIFT CERTIFICATESGive studio time as a gift!

OTHER FIBER WORKSHOPS

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Join me in the Wilderness for Wild Times Project workshop! Hosted by The Frye Art Museum

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Snoqualmie Pass, on the PCT

sno sign        I’ve just returned from a location scouting expedition in the Snoqualmie Forest for a project I’m so looking forward to with the Frye Art Museum’s presentation of Susan Robb’s Wild Times Project,  coming up on the cusp of summer, as it heads towards fall.  I’ll be facilitating an experimental sculpture and movement workshop that combines many things I love, many things that define me as an artist, and sharing this with a de facto performance company of people who come together to go on this journey with me (sign up!).  The description provided by the Frye is rather small, and I’m getting so many inquiries about the project, so I want to go into more depth and background about just what it is we’ll be doing.

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Denny Creek

First off, the timeline details! 

This will be an immersive workshop from September 3-7th, 2014.  Wednesday 3rd-Thursday 4th, we will be working together at the Frye Museum Studio from 10am – 4pm, in Seattle.  Then Friday-Sunday, the 5th-7th, we’ll head to the wilderness of Snoqualmie Pass, and camp together, work together and share food together on the banks of Denny Creek.  We’ll use the natural environment as studio and backdrop and collaborator.  Among other things, our activities will include a day hike to Franklin Falls to use as a performance site.  And then our final day, we will hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, performing “Trail Magic” – acts of simple generosity for Thru Hikers.  We’ll end our time together about 6pm on Sunday the 7th, but participants are welcome stay the night, departing our campsite on Monday morning.

On the banks of Denny Creek

On the banks of Denny Creek

Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls

So What’s this all about?  What Will We Do and Why?
This project will be in conjunction with The Frye Museum’s presentation of Susan Robb’s ‘Wild Times’ project on the Pacific Crest Trail, which if you haven’t been following along on her blog, do that now!  My contribution to a variety of programming for her project  with the museum,  grew out of a conversation this past winter with Susan, who was taking a workshop at my studio and everyone was very excitedly asking all sorts of questions about her impending adventure.  Clearly the desire to seek wildness, both internally, in our daily lives and to literally disappear into a space unknown hit a nerve with everyone, including me.

Susan Robb on the PCT, well actually summiting Mt. Whitney!

Susan Robb on the PCT, well actually summiting Mt. Whitney!

My work has often been about the anxiety and desire of the human animal, teetering on the boundary between the chaos of the natural world and our constructed follies of civilization.  I’ve examined our tenuous and ambivalent relationship to nature through our myths and fables, our creation of gods and goddesses to harness, tame and understand the brooding magic that calls to us from the dark boughs of the forest (or the desert or the mountains or the moors).  The earliest expressions of art, movement, voice were grounded in ritual that both attempted to repel the chaos and strengthen communal bonds to insure survival, and to revere the majesty of the life-force of everything wild, and usually these shamanistic activities were joined in by the community at large, ordinary people slipped in and out of identities of the natural divine.  We fear it, we long for it; this is the subtext for so many human activities, and certainly a continual thrum in the pulse of the spirit of why I am a maker.

'Conjuring" 2014, archival ink jet on water color paper

‘Conjuring” 2014, archival ink jet on water color paper

Dark Ferns, 2010, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Dark Ferns, 2010, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

So, like the pensive seeker who follows the White Stag into the wood — to either be healed and emerge, or be lost forever — since 2010, part of my process of making has been to take myself and family into remotes parts of the world, where we make things together and respond to what we find there, where the small community I am bound to by blood and love becomes my subject in performance, film and photography.  I have always been aware that my aim was to get us lost, so that we could find each other.  In extreme or raw circumstances, we find what is most essential to bring us together.

Double Green Man, 2011

Double Green Man, 2011

 

Snaefellsness Glacier Boy, 2012, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Snaefellsness Glacier Boy, 2012, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

This Trail project will be a way to share this somewhat private process with a larger group, to make you who join me, our interactions with each other as makers and with the wild, the subject matter of a new film and photography series I am working on, as well as a laboratory for developing movement ideas and motifs for a larger installation/performance series I am just beginning to develop for the future.  I’ve wanted to knit together this process I have taken on with my family, as well as my sometimes-role as teacher, and also as a facilitator of communal space that has taken shape in my social practice works.  I’ve seen it countless times in these spaces I’ve hosted; people making together with their hands breaks down social barriers, begins community.

Community Crochet at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta

Community Crochet at Agnes Scott College, Atlanta

Community Crochet at NEPO 5k, Seattle

Community Crochet at NEPO 5k, Seattle

Making things, making community:
For this project, we’ll be making a wearable ‘headdress’ out of collected natural materials, hand-dyed vermillion silk ribbons and vermillion dyed wool.  Each participant will gather natural materials from their daily life, moving through their own natural/urban thresholds finding unseen bounty in forgotten places.  I’m collecting piles and piles of waist-high grasses and ivy vines from an overgrown lot in my neighborhood, not seeing it as trash but raw materials.  I’ m also collecting sage and lavender from my garden, thistle pods from an abandoned round-about, and rowan berries from a neighbor’s yard (with permission, of course).

raw material!

raw material!

Furnal, 2014, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

Furnal, 2014, archival ink jet on watercolor paper

I’m asking participants  to move slower through their surroundings, move with a Dérive state of mind, shift off your predictable paths and be gleaners, find the raw materials that are free and plentiful around you.   We’ll bring in things to share from our lives, and share over tea and handwork.  I’ll be teaching crocheting chains and the more complex crochet ‘mandala’ forms prominent in my work.  We’ll stitch, sew, twist, knot and tie to make structures to alter our bodies, our movements, our human identities.  I’ll also be making vermillion silk tunics for everyone, to wear with our headdresses in the woods (easy to stuff in our packs and take out to look amazing!)

Disappearing into a small wild place, forgotten, unbridled...

Disappearing into a small wild place, forgotten, unbridled…

 

harvested!

harvested!

The headdresses will become tools, not necessarily the end goal or product, but the vehicle to get to the goal: developing a responsiveness to one’s own body in relation to the natural site and to the other participants through slow process.   As I have observed time and again in my community-based projects and workshops, making with our hands slows the darting mind down, loosening up the social interface, creating a space where people who do not know each other can slowly and intuitively learn about each other, even with times of comfortable, thoughtful silence.  I’ve also seen a sense of camaraderie develop through making, where people often slide into archetypes depending on who else is there: as example ‘elder’, ‘seeker’, ‘survivor’, ‘witness’, ‘wounded’, ‘teacher’, ‘child’. I will guide participants through movement, writing and vocalizing, to cultivate this example of how community germinates and ritual persists.  We’ll use who each of us are to create our movement scores.

Poppy Sister, 2014

Poppy Sister, 2014

These are the ‘tools’ I use when developing my own performative and site embedded work.  For instance, we’ll follow many of the same steps I took with my collaborators  in crafting the “Saltus Chori Aevum” performance, which is an apprenticeship model.  I’ve lined up several really incredible guest Seattle-based performance artists who will share with us their techniques for digging deep, including the incredible Jessica Jobaris, the choreographer of “Saltus Chori Aevum”, and luminescent multidisciplinary performance artist Kate Ryan, founder of the Jakku House Communal space project, among many other things!  We are so lucky to work with these incredible culture-makers.  With their guidance, we’ll be creating individual scores and motifs, using writing, movement, and vocalizing, but working with the umbrella of concepts and structures I’ll bring to the table to combine these elements into group performance.

Jessica Jobaris in "Saltus Chori Aevum"

Jessica Jobaris in “Saltus Chori Aevum”

Kate Ryan's Jakku House

Kate Ryan’s Jakku House

Then in the woods, we’ll play with our scores by exploring the forest, the banks of the creek and culminate with a day at the base of Franklin Falls, where we can wade in ankle deep and sing and shout to the roar of waterfall.  The Falls are a curious place, a meandering hike deeper into the forest, climbing around a rocky cliff to a private cove, but also just above the falls is a black swath of Interstate 90, as if right there the two forces of wild and civilization battle it out.  But then they harmonize.  The roar of the river and falls blend with the roar of the trucks, and it all sounds like water! It’s a perfect place to realize this project.

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I-90 looming above the falls

to the falls

the final approach to the falls

One more idea we’ll explore that fascinates me ;  abandoning the idea of audience, for a time.  Like Sacred Harp singers, who sing for themselves, the spirit and the group facing towards each other.  We’ll be each other’s mirror.  I have often found something absurd and freeing when I am both filming and being the one filmed for a piece, switching between roles where they just start to blur.  Nature will accept our song.

 


Getting Lost to Find Something. In many ways, I see Susan’s journey and the journey of all thru-hikers reflecting this idea.  Maybe it is entirely different.  I’m so grateful for her efforts to share this journey and instigate ‘wildness’ in others.  Though they all walk the same path, each journey is their own deeply personal exploration of the self in communion with the extreme, but also a shifting and almost esoteric community that moves along the spine of the continent.  They become the Hero to each of their own stories, and an internal language develops.  We cannot know what they know or be a part of that community, but I have the desire to take on the role of another archetype, that of the Helper.

Susan on the PCT, on the way to Forester Pass

Susan on the PCT, on the way to Forester Pass

We’ll use the Hero’s Journey story structure as a jumping off point, as well as ideas of caretaking, pilgrimage, sanctuary/shelter, and the practical purpose of ritual.  We’ll spend time together making smudge bundles for fire ceremonies, explore knot magic, the importance of the ritual of sharing food, and an afternoon making flowered standards in Alpine meadows.  Lastly we’ll honor the actual journeys of the PCT thru-hikers by carrying delicious treats, water and small bundles of generosity up to the trail – Trail Magic-  moving beyond thoughts and ideas towards simple and profound acts.

Our hearth, we'll do night-time fire ceremonies with talismans we make.

Our hearth, we’ll do night-time fire ceremonies with talismans we make.

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Beaver Lake, outside of Snoqualimi Pass….one site for our Trail Magic

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Gathering wildflowers bundles to make flower standards (yes, those are ski lift chairs!)

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Sun-soaked alpine meadows (or almost-alpine)

Some nitty-gritty details:  You don’t have to be a performer or sculptor to join in, just be a willing adventurer, curious and creative!  I am most happy as an artist when on shaky ground trying something new, and learning to use it as new vocabulary.  This will be exploratory for all of us!  Join in!  Sign up here with the Frye Art Museum!
You do need to have some experience with camping and some experience with day hiking.  If you have never done either, this might not be the project for you.  We will be going on several day hikes; you need to be capable of going round trip 5 miles easily, carrying a pack of what you need for the day, including your headdress.  When we hike the PCT 4 miles, we’ll also be carrying up the ‘Trail Magic”.  I have hiked all the trails we will be going on, they are relatively easy but with some up-hill and down hill, and they are very well marked and well cared for being so close to the Pass.  I am not a wilderness guide, so we will all be responsible for our own needs.  Once you register, we’ll supply a list of what you will need for camping as well as the class.  But please don’t hesitate to send me messages with any questions!  The folks at the Frye’s Public Programs can answer registration questions, including how to get credit for this class from SPU.

With the camping, we will be at the group site of Denny Creek Campground, which has water, a pit toilet at our site, a regular bathroom a few minutes walk away, fire-pit and two grills, and even an electrical outlet.  It is drive-up! (no back-packing tents!) No showers, but I found a quick dip in the cold river a few minutes walk away to be quite refreshing! With this workshop potentially having up to 12 people, participants will need to be okay with sharing space, potentially sharing a tent with one other person, and carpooling. The site will not accommodate 12 cars.  We’ll also need to car-pool to the PCT trail head, 3 miles from the campsite.  All those details we will figure out as a group, but should not come as a surprise as you register.  Also all camping equipment, hiking equipment and food is supplied by you, but we will talk as a group about sharing things like cook-stoves and all that stuff, so if you need to share, we’ll make it happen through self-organizing with the other participants.    It will be a wonderful time!

Denny Creek peaking through the trees, a perfect place to jump in, in the morning!

Denny Creek peaking through the trees, a perfect place to jump in, in the morning!

Denny Creek through the trees

the trail

Denny Creek Campground

Denny Creek Campground

‘Les Pom Poms for Paris!’ Open Studio Sale Fundraiser and Pom-Pom making workshop!

April 12, SAT, 12-6pm
April 13, SUN, 2-6pm

At: The Silver Studio

5264 39th Ave. S. Seattle , Wa. 98118

Come in the Big Silver Doors! Please park across the street.


Join me in my studio for a sale of photographs and neck-pieces, tote bags and catalogs. And stay to make yourself a few pom-pom accessories using my stash of hundreds of skeins of yarn. For a $5, $10 or $20 donation (your choice), I will teach you to make a richly textured pom-pom wristlet or headband or neckpiece.

If you don’t want to make one, I can make you your own bespoke pom-pom!

Also there will be wine, tea and treats!

SM_green pom-pom wreath
I’m raising money to fund my recent project in Paris and a residency in Normandy. Wait…didn’t I already raise money for this? Yes! I spent this past winter teaching and fundraising, but about a week before we left my house and studio was broken into and robbed. Thankfully no one was hurt, and luckily we had insurance. But my car keys were stolen, among other things and the insurance refused to pay to have my car re-keyed. The cost was the same amount I had raised for the trip to Paris, $1200. This unexpected unfortunate event meant all my money was gone before I left, and with the $1000 deductible it has left me scrambling financially. So when times are hard, MAKE POM-POMS!

All of my works will be at studio prices, very affordable, with smaller framed works and older pieces an additional 50% off. I’ll also be having a 40% sale on all my prints available to order these two days from me in the studio and available to pick up in 2 weeks. I’ll also have some new larger unframed prints from Iceland, beautiful sewn paper photo collages and many fiber neck pieces.


If you can’t come and still want to donate to get a pom-pom, donate right here, and tell me what color pom-pom you want.

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I can ship you pom-pom for an additional $5 or you can pick it up at my studio. Don’t need a pom-pom, or print, or tote or catalog and still want to help out? I’ve had several friends offer to help out but don’t want anything; You can use this donate button as well, but just message that you don’t want a pom-pom. I would be so grateful!

Get your own Pom-Pom wrist-let!  Make your own or have me make one!

Get your own Pom-Pom wrist-let! Make your own or have me make one!

 

I had an incredible time in Paris, and was able to share my installation and performance with an entirely new European audience, including a well-attended press preview and even the mayor! I also had the chance to create a new costume in Normandy and have several photo shoots and many films to work with these coming months, as I prepare to show them at The Hudson River Museum this summer. Any amount you can contribute will help me fund this work, and important exposure for it.

Our performance and installation at Le Beffroi in Montrouge, Paris

Our performance and installation at Le Beffroi in Montrouge, Paris


The 10 day residency in Normandy also provided the time for my husband, artist Paul Margolis, to begin a new crocheted suit, and continue working on his photo project “Invincibility/Invisibility Suit”, which has traveled to Iceland, Italy and now France. You’ll be supporting both our works! Prints of the Invincibility/Invisibility Suit will be available as well.

Come find a great piece of art and have some fun hanging out in the studio with me.

I accept cash and credit card (and a check if I know you!)

FBSM_pink crosspompom

pom-pom headband, Come make your own!

pom-pom headband, Come make your own!

pom-pom necklace, Come make your own!

pom-pom necklace, Come make your own!

Cowl Making Workshops in Seattle, 11/3, 11/4

See new WORKSHOP tab!

I had such a great response to my recycled fiber giant Cowl Making Workshops at last January’s ON/OFF festival — with them selling out in a few hours — I’ve decided to offer them again in Seattle at The Silver Studio (my studio), in Columbia City.  And it’s finally cold enough to wear them!  I’ll have tea and some brunch-like snacks, you are welcome to bring something to share.  Read below the Registration to find out more about the workshops!

FOR COMPLETE BEGINNERS, really!

DATES/TIMES

– Nov. 3, SAT, 2 – 5:30 pm (2 SPACES LEFT)

– Nov. 4th, SUN, 12 – 3:30pm  (SOLD OUT)

COST: $20 per person, ONLY 11 SPACES PER CLASS

MORE CLASSES TO COME LATE NOV / EARLY DEC

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TO REGISTER:

-Choose below the day you want and click the corresponding PayPal button

-Be sure to include your contact email address and name in the “note to merchant” box if different than the email you use for Paypal, so I can send you class confirmation, material list, where to buy them, and the studio address.  If you don’t see the box, send me an email with it.

– If the class you want fills up, please email me your desired day and I will put you on the waiting list and/or notify when I hold another series of workshops.

– 48 hours before your class, workshop fee is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another person.

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NOV. 3, SAT, 2 – 5:30 pm

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NOV. 4, SUN, 12 – 3:30pm   (SOLD OUT)

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The Cowl Making workshop comes out of a a project called “Gleaning, Redeeming, Surviving and Thriving”, where I’ll be facilitating for workshop participants the process of taking discarded cheap materials, investing them with one’s time and creating an amazing wearable piece.

We’ll be investigating slow process, re-thinking use, and re-examining self-esteem via self-sufficiency rather than purchasing power.

You’ll be gathering your own materials, engaging with a site of contemporary gleaning: the bins at the Goodwill Outlet.“  The Bins” are an overwhelming striking visual scene of our contemporary way of life of intense consumption, of using goods for a very short time, discarding them before they are worn out, and the massive amount of energy spent on just what to do with this constant flow of fabric.

Our cultural critics today tell us we have moved from being people who can produce to people who only consume.  During the course of this project, step back and examine this, examine the art of ‘gleaning’ and slowly making something from the leftovers of our over-buying and over-production. Participants are asked to spend an afternoon at “The Bins” before attending the workshop, picking through the mountains of discarded fabrics, choosing about 5-8 garments made of  ‘t-shirt’ knit material.

Using handmade looms that are adaptations of a childhood craft called spool knitting — rake looms from Germany date back to 1535 –  I’ll be leading participants through the gleaning process to creating ‘yarn’ to creating a dramatic handmade wearable work,  a giant cowl scarf.

This workshop is an homage to the anonymous gleaners and artisans who continually make amazing things from the discards of our throw-away culture.

Despite the transition away from the slow process of harvesting, hand spinning, hand weaving and hand-sewing of cottage industry textile making to the mass produced textiles that so marked the age of the Industrial Revolution, a long-surviving culture of inventive hand-making of usable goods continued, particularly among the textile workers of these massive mechanized factories.   To survive, to cloth their own family, warm their own floors, to have pride in their own resourceful creativity, these workers gleaned the wool scraps and selvedge edges, the cigar wrappers, the broken buttons, the extra thread, the used burlap bags, to create remarkable works of art.

Some Happy Campers!

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