Yesterday I had breakfast the Mary Jane, widely known among the up and coming short list of knitwear designers. You may have seen her work in the latest, sold out issue of Interweave Knits Holiday Magazine…she created the December Lights Tam on page 38.
We talked about fabric designs (MJ was a trendy designer living in NYC before love and life brought her to the village of Searsmont here in Mid Coast Maine), color combinations, moo cards, blogging and the serious lack of hours in a day when your head swims with creative ideas scratching to get out.
When I spoke enviously of her beautiful blog www.maryjanemidgemink.blogspot.com she confessed that among other things, she’s a professional photographer and a photo stylist for Interweave Press and other media outlets. Without skipping a beat I knew what we needed for Fiber College 2008…and MJ graciously agreed to instruct a class on styling our own fiber art for photographs…who among us wouldn’t like to take better digital photos of our work?
As you may well imagine, our conversation flowed from one subject to another in a sort of stream of consciousness…ideas dropped from the sky like confetti and you’ll need to wait until all of the classes have been posted in April to see what other treats Mary Jane has in store for us. In the meantime, if you’ll please excuse the flash on this picture, here are a few of the moo cards MJ had in her purse…next year we’ll have moo cards for the College too!
Fiber College is never far from our thoughts. We scan every magazine, every book shelf and every fiber related meeting for ideas and people who will make the College even richer with each passing year.
As you can see, we’ve begun changing the website from 2007 to 2008 and will continue to update the site as the new information comes in. For now, we’ll be sending out a call for instructors on January 15th and jury the applications the first week of March. Please spread the word to all of the talented people in your fibery circles.
This is the first year Fiber College will be offering scheduled demonstrations in addition to the informal demonstrations most of the vendors offer at their booths. The intention of both is to give you a chance to touch, see, smell and ask lots of questions. We’ll feel like the College is a success if you walk away with a new appreciation for all of these ancient arts. To make the most of your time with us, plan on talking with the many accomplished artists who give up their weekend just to share their passion.
To help you plan, here is the schedule of formal demonstrations…check on the message board to see if there have been any changes once you get here.
Day Time Slot Location Demo Instructor
Friday 1:00 Demonstration Booth Quilting Mary Ellen Kranz
2:00 Cedar Valley Fibers Booth Spinning on a Wheel Kelly Mc Kenzie
3:00 Spinnakee Farm Booth Credit Card Holder Betty Stover
(rug hooking and embroidery)
4:00 Demonstration Booth Fiber Post Cards Emma Morin
10:00 Demonstration Booth Wool Collage Kelly Corbett
11:00 Pinestar Studio Booth Tapestry Weaving Linda Whiting
1:00 Spinnakee Farm Booth Needle Felting Tea Cozy Betty Stover
2:00 Thistle Woolworks Booth Kuhimo Braiding Carole Presburg
3:00 Cedar Valley Fibers Booth Spinning- Navajo Plying Kelly Mc Kenzie
4:00 Buckwheat Farm Booth Solar Powered Spinning Mill Sara Healy
9:00 Leslie Wind Studio Booth Wire Working for Fiber Artists Leslie Wind
10:00 Demonstration Booth Drop Spinning Susan Dewey
11:00 Demonstration Booth Tatting Beryl Pitman
12:00 End of the World Booth Locker Hooking Katie Jarius
1:00 Keith O’Connor Beads Booth Beads…With Pleasure! Laurie Farrell
2:00 Sock-it-to-Me Booth Knitting Bobbles and Cables Kathy Norwood
3:00 Ackers Acres Angoras Booth Color Blending for Spinning Beth Acker
Please consider this an open letter of invitation to everyone interested in all things fibery…
We’d love to have you come by the College whether or not you intend to take a class. Your $5 entry fee covers parking, admissions, scheduled demonstratations, the Shopper’s Boulevard, the Richard Johnson Sub-Continent textile exhibit, time at the artist in residence tent and of course beach strolls along the Bay.
All we ask is that you leave your pets at home, carpool whenever possible and come with a joyful attitude…we’ll provide the rest!
Fiber Enablers Unite!
Have you ever lived through months when every single day blurs into the next because one amazing thing happens after another? Well that’s the best description for the way Fiber College has been coming together this year…I know it sounds pollyanna but the truth is, fabulous things have been happening so quickly this summer that at the end of the day there hasn’t been time to write about them.
Last Wednesday Emma and I finally had the pleasure of catching up with Mary Ellen Kranz, the well known quilter and author for a lovely lunch in the garden and a long conversation about everything under the sun. We had a little show and tell as we got to know each other. Mary Ellen brought some of her digital quilts, Emma brought her helioprints and I had my nuno shawls. By the end of the afternoon we each had clouds of ideas in our minds of how we could incorporate each other’s techniques within our own art forms.
If you haven’t heard of Mary Ellen, here’s an excerpt from her bio:
As a quiltmaker, teacher and author, Mary Ellen Kranz shares her knowledge of how to combine quilting and digital photography with quiltmakers across the country. Her quilts have appeared in galleries and reflect a broad range of quiltmaking skills and techniques. For the past seven years, Mary Ellen has taught throughout the country at shops, guilds, regional quilting events and national conferences including the AQS Quilt Show in Paducah, Quilting by the Lake and the Houston International Quilt Festival, and Maine Quilts.
Her article, Joyful Image Quilts, appeared in the Spring 2003 issue of American Quilter magazine. Mary Ellen and Cheryl Hayes are co-authors of Blending Photos with Fabric: A Beautiful New Way to Combine Photography, Printing, and Quiltmaking published by The Electric Quilt Company. Mary Ellen was the featured guest of Alex Anderson’s Simply Quilts on HGTV. Mary Ellen’s new book, Blending Photos with Fabric II, published by The Electric Quilt Company, will be available in the fall of 2007. You can see her work at http://www.quiltingimages.com
Although Mary Ellen’s schedule is so tight that she can only make it to the College on Friday, she has graciously offered to participate in the Demonstration tent at 1:00. The title of her lecture/demonstration will be: Blending Photos with Fabric
Using her own work as visuals, Mary Ellen will explain how typically ‘Photo quilts’ often use a bulletin board setting – fabric photos set in a regular pattern on the surface of the quilt. But, there are so many other ways to incorporate your own images into your quilted pieces. She will talk a bit about mechanics of printing from your computer onto fabric. Then, demonstrate a variety of ways to set your fabric photo into your quilt design.
I hope that you can make it!
In our continued effort to get the word out, we’ve mailed over 100 brochures to anyone who filled out an address form last year. This brochure lists all of the 39 classes offered at the College and gives directions to finding the application forms on the website. If you didn’t receive a copy of the brochure and would like one, send us an email at email@example.com and we’ll either send it to you electronically or drop it in the mail…just let us know your preference. We also have posters if you know of bulletin boards in your area that would benefit from knowing about our fiber’holic tendencies.
This dragon fly is an example of pounded garden leaves on fabric embellished with sharpie pens and pigment ink.
This year we’re trying something new…Joan Chellis of N Wayne will be this year’s Fiber College Artist in Residence. An amazing fabric artist, Joan specializes in one of a kind, painted fabrics and heliographs (dyeing prepared cloth using the sun’s energy to imprint the fabrics). Her work is found mainly in private collections and finds its way into quilts and wall hangings. Rather than fill this post with words, I’ll fill it with photos that only suggest the vibrancy of Joan’s work.
As the Artist in Residence, Joan will set up her studio for students to work in two hour blocks exploring techniques in color blending, resists of all sort, nature prints and abstract concepts. Your $45 class registration fee will allow you to choose times that permit heiloprinting if that’s your interest. You are welcome to bring home all of the fabric you create. Joan will be available all three days to answer your questions, guide your explorations and talk about her body of work. For more photographs, visit the photo album.
Welcome artists, dreamers, students and masters…we’re going to use technology to stay in touch with the world outside our fingertips. Fiber College is a more an atmosphere and experience than a simple class or two. Visit a couple of times each month to see highlights of the College planning and in-depth interviews with our faculty, vendors and friends. We look forward to sharing our world with you and hope that you’ll feel free to submit comments, make suggestions and offer insights from your perspective. Stay tuned for more!
Astrig, one of many at Fiber College on Penobscot Bay