Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Art School: This book is probably fascinating but the words are too big....

Today is Wednesday, so it was Sustainable Forms Day.
Last week we went to Urban Farm, on a field trip. After that, we were to collect and document our trash for a week, and to take 3 types of items we collected and manipulate them in three ways each.

Or maybe it was three items, one manipulation each. I'm unclear. IN any case, I tried to collect my trash for a week, but Brian kept tossing it out. At some point I said "Look, I'm going to have to tell the professor that my husband threw out my homework, and everyone will laugh at me."  So, for a few days, he'd point to things and say "trash or art?"  Samantha neatly packaged up some snack wrappers for me.

For my samples:

I have a collection of the grey cord that comes on the shopping bags that Apple gives you. If you buy a large item, there are about 4 yards of cord in the biggest bag. I reused the bags themselves without the cord, and then I save the cord.  Sample 1: I wanted to use it as a tracing plate. I spiraled it, then tried attaching it to fabric with WonderUnder. Instead, it melted to itself. Apple uses plastic cord. Or maybe nylon. Not cotton.  Interesting effect. Sample 2: macrame. (Hey, it's cord) Sample 3: coiled a bundle of cord as if it was tiny sailing line.

My second set of samples were pieces of a big yogurt container that I had melted with a heat gun. It shrinks similarily to shrink plastic, but in different ways, as the object was formed differently than the sheets.  The group thought I should play with this idea for my project due in two weeks and several people said they like the giant yogurt too, and would save me the containers. One of the other students gave me three containers right then and there. After class, I washed the containers and put them in my locker. By the time this project is over, I might have a locker full of yogurt containers. But they'll be clean of course. The last time I had a locker was when I had my mammogram, if you don't count that, high school.

We did the sample thing last. In the first part of the day, we discussed a bubble map of sustainable. And then we made rope out of strips of fabric and or yarn. We used big wooden yarn makers. That was fun. I've made cord before, using the bobbin winder on my Pfaff to twist the cord. This was sorta like that, but on a bigger scale.

Besides the "craft" part, we spent a lot of time today discussing sustainability some more.  The students in the class are fascinating. Many of them are world travelers at a very young age. All of them have a really interesting outlook. Lots of piercings and tattoos too! Interesting fashion. It's all very interesting.

One thing that strikes me, because I haven't worked in an office in years so I don't know how the corporate world is: the students do not talk in the elevator. This morning, I got there early, so I went down from the 10th floor to the 2nd to get some coffee. On the way back, I had to wait for an elevator, as it was just before the hour and everyone had to get up to their classes. There was a guy waiting for the elevator too. When the elevator came, the doors opened and a solid wall of people GLARED at me. I didn't move. The doors closed. I said to the guy "sorry, they didn't seem amenable to letting me on." He laughed and said something friendly. Then the next elevator came and I just walked over and got on, didn't pay attention to see if there was glaring. There was a bit of space. I waved to the guy to come into the elevator. He said he's wait.

Now here's the thing. I've been on the Cambus at the University of Iowa. After a football game, I swear they get 50 people on the bus AFTER it appears to be full. We're not talking about standing room, we're talking about people giving up their personal space, no squooshing, but people are close.

We could get double the people in the elevator if those students at SAIC were a little more friendly to each other. Or maybe the Iowa thing has something to do with football games. And tailgating. Maybe the tailgating...

I have to say that when we are a group waiting for the elevator, people are respectful. I'd say everyone is respectful at all times. But just quiet in the morning. I have this urge to get on the elevator tomorrow morning and say "Good MORNING EVERYONE!!! What great day in CHICAGO!" or, I could save it for a blizzard.

And finally, I did mention the loud pants luncheon today. We were talking about the internet connecting "makers". I mentioned the quiltart list, and the tiaras and the loud pants. And how we all communicate with each other.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Back to School Day 2

The day started out with a breakfast reception for the Prior Degree students. And just like they said, I am not the only one my age to be doing this. The reception was held in the Sullivan Galleries, which is an open space in the Sullivan building. There are white walls with art installed, but to me, with a construction background, it looked like an office floor that was in the midst of being renovated. The floor is concrete. The first work on the right looked just like piles of carpet sample to me, without my glasses on. Turned out they were laser cut towels and other fabric elements in stacks. I obviously need to spend more time in the gallery.

The rest of the morning and a good portion of the afternoon were spent in a ballroom with presentations by the department heads. We were told repeatedly that SAIC is different from other art schools, and I'm excited about that. Not that I even have a clue what a "regular" art school is like.

With 3200 students, it's certainly not like being at Purdue with 30,000. No Big Ten football team or anything.

The last event that I attended was the presentation on critiques. Very interesting.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back to School Day 1

Last fall I applied to the School of the Art Institute for the MFA program in Fiber and Materials. I did not get in. BUT, I was invited to take a semester as a Prior Degree student. They said it would make me a better candidate for Grad School, and they said they thought I had something to contribute to the community and vice versa.

Today was the first day of orientation. One of the other prior degree students found his way to me and introduced himself. He's there for photography, but he knows Marianne Fon's daughter Mary, and he's interested in quilting.  AND he insisted we should put our arms around each other during the group picture. So that was very  nice!

Then, a group of 20 of us gathered in the Sharp Building, for our official orientation. I DID make friends and people sat with me at lunch. (OK, we did all go back to the same room, but several of them waited for me and walked back to the auditorium with me. )

After several speakers, there was a vendor fare. I can join a health club for cheap and I got some free markers and a coupon for 30% off at Utrecht. I love coupons.

Here's a picture of my ID, you may have seen the picture before. It's my professional portrait. I"m going to use it, like Ann Landers, until I'm 80.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

American Quilter Magazine: Jinny Beyer

One of the earliest influences on my quilting was this book by Jinny Beyer:

I swiped that image off Amazon's website.  I bought the book back in the 80s. I used to buy her fabric. The first time I won anything, a gift certificate from a quilt shop, for $50, I spent it on long  quarters of Jinny Beyer's fabric. At that point, fabric was cheaper, so I got a lot of it.

American Quilter Magazine has a lovely article about Jinny, with a quick biography of her. And then an article about mixing two blocks in a quilt. I enjoyed seeing that very much. Jinny is interesting to me, because she was overseas, away from other quilters when someone introduced her to quilting. She had to pretty much find her own way, using Indian fabrics instead of American calicos. Her quilts are marvelous. I found my way to my current quilts through studying Amish quilts, and Jinny's quilts and all kinds of traditional quilts.  Jinny's still appeal to me very much, as do the Amish quilts.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wonder-Under is more greener

The folks at Pellon are so good to me. Every year, they send me boltage of Wonder-Under to use for my own work and for my teaching. I love Wonder-Under and use it in all of my work. One thing that was annoying me was the plastic instruction sheet that is wound on the bolt along with the fusible. It annoys me to deal with it and it's plastic, something I'd rather limit to places I have to use it.

So, I'm very happy to see that now Wonder-Under instructions come on a lightweight recyclable paper printed with green ink.

Now I can start thinking of uses for the paper. I don't think it's will be usable as a cover sheet, the way the paper on the Wonder-Under itself can be, since they specifically prepare that, but it will come in handy for note taking while I work on quilts.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

San Antonio/Kerrville Texax

I am now in Kerrville, getting ready to speak to the guild here tomorrow, Monday March 15. Oh no, that's the Ides of March... and apparently today was Pi Day. I was in San Antonio starting on Thursday. Great group on San Antonio.

I would show you a cute picture I took of two women from the guild, who took my class on Friday and completed their samples, but I forgot to ask their permission and get their names. So instead, I will show you a picture of the waffles I had yesterday morning. (And again today). Texans seem to be very proud of their state. Illini, not so much. I have never seen waffles the shape of Illinois.