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Archive for October, 2006

Cool! A review of our show by Joan Sullivan in our local newspaper, The Telegram…..

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foiled birches

I haven’t posted much in the last while. Mea maxima culpa, but I have an excuse reason. Since theshow opening, I’ve been getting things ready for the largest provincial Fine Craft Fair in mid-November. This means not only making more stock than is reasonable to make in a month, but also putting new things through the Craft Council Standards Committee. Things I hadn’t even really had time to THINK about. And I had less than a week to get them ready.

So I spent four days madly putting together the ideas that had been percolating in the recesses of my over-worked brain and doing up the voluminous paperwork that goes with such things.

Got stuff done, in and it all passed. Great.

Note: rant below on the idiocy of certain deadlines. Skip at will.

In the meanwhile, there are two big deadlines for October 31st (and art procurement deadline and a workshop submission deadline). I cannot for the life of me figure out why October 31st is so popular in the art community. Every year it’s the same thing. I figure it must have something to do with the trend in Newfoundland to assume that nothing will happen during the summer. When September hits, there’s a mad panic to get back on track, so deadlines get assigned.October 31st must be the default; Sept 30 would be too early and November 30 would mean doing actual work during December, when all one ought to think about is the holidays. Sorry for being so cynical, but every year I get mired in paperwork and deadlines by people who decide in September that things should be done by the end of October. Why not (dare I say it) assume that professional people will meet a deadline of August 31st? We don’t all spend months at a stretch in our cabins. It’d be nice, but most of us work for a living.

foiled birches many

Right. I feel better now. Anyway, those deadlines loom. The biggest provincial hig-end Craft Fair is coming up mid-November. I’ve been running flat-out getting ready. So far it’s going quite nicely. I even have quite a few new products, variations on past years’ ideas and have revamped my paperwork. Finished a brochure yesterday, redid my tags and am upgrading my hanging mechanisms for finished pieces.

All told, it’s going very well, I’m just going out of my head. Luckily lawyers have similar deadlines, so John is keeping me company late into the night.

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It’s a logical assumption that, when you make a pieces of artwork, you will account for how to display it. In fact, if you’re at all canny, you keep this element firmly in mind and construct the piece with an eye to its eventual installation.

One of the parts of designing my smaller, lower-priced quilts and wallhangings that constantly evades me is how to hang pieces elegantly and well, without breaking the bank in terms of materials or time. Let’s face it, if you’re making a 35$ product, there is no sense in spending more time on getting it to hang properly than on creating the visual impact within the composition of the piece. Also, a $50 frame is probably going to cut a goodly bit out of your profit margin.

So I’m always on the lookout for ways that will allow me to streamline the two most proportionately time-consuming parts of constructing small pieces – hand binding and attaching the hanging sleeve.

Wandering around today, I found this marvelous page by Ami Simms, which discusses a myriad of ways of displaying small quilted pieces. The one that caught my eye in particular was the use of fast finish triangles. For small to medium-sized rectangular pieces that are quilted using a traditional top-batting-backing formula, it looks like just the ticket for streamlining the hanging sleeve portion of the process. No hand-sewing required (the stitching is integrated into seams already sewn), stable, doesn’t distort the piece and easy. What could be better?

The originator of the idea is Terry Chilko, who kindly provides further instructions for her triangular tip on her tips page. There’s a link to a pdf of the pattern & instructions on that page.

So that takes care of hanging one portion of my work. Thanks, Terry! I needed a quicker way of going about a traditional hanging sleeve!

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A note on openings

A note to those who are about to have a show: You will be on your feet for three or four hours. For heaven’s sake, wear comfortable shoes. Ones that don’t give you blisters because you haven’t tried them on in a long while and didn’t realise that they no longer really fit. Ouch.

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Nota bene: turn on your pop-up blocker before visiting any of these links!
I was just puttering through my preparations for the local juried Fine Craft and Design Fair and decided to peruse the ‘net and see what new has been written. About.com has come out with a marvelous set of articles about starting and maintaining a craft business. They cover such things as:

That’s only a short list; there are many more such pages. They won’t tell you everything you need to know, but they’re a great starting point and a wonderful refresher for those of us who need one.

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Because many most of you who read this blog will not be spending thousands of dollars to fly to Newfoundland to see the show, I have taken some rather quick pictures of what’s in it and have made a blog page for them. At the time that these pictures were taken, we hadn’t adjusted the lighting. I intend to pop back to the gallery with a tripod and the proper photo lights to take better shots and will upgrade the photos on this page as I do. Also, it is a real nuisance to shoot framed works without a filter and with sunlight streaming in from all angles. I’m not sure how I’ll remedy the glare, but I’ll figure out something.

Those of you who will have the opportunity to come along to the opening or to see the show while it’s up, please be advised that the real thing glows and has a depth that cannot be captured by photography. The dimensionality of the fibre medium doesn’t really translate well into a flat photo. In other words, it’s so much better in person. You might wish to resist temptation and not look at the photos until after you’ve been through.
Swing by and have a look any time from Sunday afternoon onwards!

Devon House Gallery, 59 Duckworth, next to the Hotel Newfoundland/Fairmont.

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Well, it’s up on the walls. There are a couple of things that need tweaking. The lights have to be directed specifically at the pieces and the tags haven’t yet been put on the walls, but the work is hung and looks great.

Here’s the crew at work this morning, day 2. Laurie, the rug hooker and textile artist with whom I’m having the show, is at left. Katherine is busily creating masterpieces on the floor.

Hanging around

And finally, it was all up. Deep breath. Thought I might be able to take an evening off….

Almost Done
… but I still have a speech to write, some other work to take care of and am doing an interview tomorrow morning with Angela Antle of CBC. It’s air on the Weekend Arts Report. Gulp.
Hanging
So there it is. Hung and ready to go.  I’ll post pictures of all the the work as soon as I get all the information formatted.

Done!

 a quickr pickr post

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