I had a great time visiting with the Art Quilt Elements committee in Philadelphia this last weekend. I toured the Wayne Art Center where the 10th anniversary AQE exhibition will be held next Spring – two gorgeous galleries and lots of lobby space too. Even if they hang my quilt in ladies’ loo, I’ll be quite happy because it’s also super!
As well as seeing lots of quilts and indulging in lots of quilt chat and gossip, I was also introduced to the best f**ing I have ever seen!!! As you know I’ve always eschewed this activity with great vigour but now I have to rethink having seen Cindy Friedman’s shadowscapes.
Cindy fuses silk organza onto pieced silk backgrounds creating glowing light filled scenes. There is none of the flatness and glueyness that I have seen in other fused work. The hand of the quilts is soft and luscious and the fabrics work together as one beautiful surface. Cindy achieves this by going over the fused piece three or more times to remove every last trace of glue that is not absorbed by the silk fibers. The work is meticulous and gorgeous! She very kindly and generously showed me step by step just how she achieves this – not that I think I could ever come anywhere near her expertise (she’s been at it for a long time, she told me!).
Here’s a detail:
On the left is a typical first piece. Cindy collects photographs taken in strong sunlight – many from her frequent trips to Botswana – which show deep clear shadows. The image is converted to a silhouette so there are no distracting details. Then using Photoshop she can play with the secondary designs created by the pieced backgrounds and the repeats of the figures+shadows (as you can see below). Do check out her website for more detailed pictures.
I was also exceedingly well wined (well actually beered!) and dined by Deborah Schwartzman and, very excitingly, taken sailing on the Hudson River by New York City by Carolyn Lee Vehslage – what a great weekend!!
I was in Philadelphia because I was privileged to be a member of the jury for Art Quilt Elements 2012 with Sandra Sider, president of SAQA, and David Revere McFadden, chief curator at the Museum of Art and Design. It was a really great learning experience and I’ll be writing more about it later. Suffice to say – if you didn’t enter this show, you should have! It’s the leading East coast quilt show and 2012 will be the best ever. This year there were the greatest number of entries they have ever had - from many US states and several foreign countries. SAQA and SDA plan a joint conference to coincide with the opening of AQE 2012 at the end of March and Philadelphia will be bursting with fiber art!
And now, to take off the six (yes, six!) layers of clothing I wore for the sailboat, don my wig and dark glasses and head down to the local quilt shop. So, if you have been, thanks for reading!! Elizabeth