WireKnitZ® – new to the fiber world
Here’s our story…
We may have thrown some unsuspecting beading and jewelry artists’ a curve ball based on the last three newsletters sent earlier this month about the quilt show we attended in Grand Rapids, MI! What is life without a few curves?
My good friend, trusted cashier and traveling companion, Sheryl Lamarand, introduces new customers while our new friend and WireKnitZ® devotee, Liz Hummer stepped in to share her knowledge at the demo table. Thanks ladies, you’re the best!
Quilt Show??? Well, Toto we’re not in Kansas anymore! ;D
By definition Art Quilting is an art form that uses traditional quilting techniques to create art objects. Not the traditional quilt, this quilt is generally either wall hung or mounted as sculpture. To introduce the Grand Rapids quilting community to WireKnitZ®, we used the term “art quilt” very loosely, giving each contributing artist creative license to design whatever their heart desired, as long as it included fiber and WireKnitZ®. We also have future plans in the Grand Rapids area…so, more details to come!
Many of us started our artistic adventure as finger painters, Play-Doh sculptors, or maybe stringing popcorn and cranberries for holiday decoration. Through education and life experiences we develop our artistic expression in various disciplines and fortunately for us, many of our customers work and play with different mediums, including WireKnitZ®! As materials and techniques are explored in mixed media, and projects grow in popularity, we strive to reach folks working in various mediums from wire, metal, fiber, paper and plastics, to name a few. So my friends, we will continue to bring you new jewelry and Art-wear designs made with WireKnitZ®, and as we introduce WireKnitZ® to the fiber textile world, we will aspire to bring you more works by art quilters, art doll-makers, felters, milliners, surface designers, and a multitude of other disciplines, from both professional and occasional artists.
Demo, demo, demo…the table has been rarely clean! Boy did we have fun…several customers returned many times to play and learn!
As many of you know, this was our first quilt show and we didn’t know what to expect. Would this audience be interested in a copper wire tubular knit? Well, we’ll be attending the Grand Rapids AQS Show next year, so I guess that answers that question.
WireKnitZ® captured the fiber arts community’s attention and many were interested in the KnitZ reaction to machine sewing. Fortunately, Leisa Rich provided several examples of free motion stitching and manipulations with WireKnitZ®, Fosshape™, vinyl, faux fur and fiber.
To see the newsletter about Leisa and more images, click on the picture below.
Several attendees knew Jane Dunnewold, the President of the Surface Design Association and proprietor of Art Cloth Studios, admiring her fabric foundation, which was dyed and abstractly printed. Jane cut the wire mesh in length, opened the tube, and said “I stretched it over the surface to affect the color below – almost like a shadow. Then I got the idea of putting holes in it, which really pleased me. So in the end, the integration occurred when I layered the wire mesh pieces over the original dye work and created holes in order to maximize the potential for depth.” You can see more of Jane’s work at artclothstudios.com
To see the newsletter about Jane, click on the image below.
Surface Design refers to any process that gives structure, pattern, or color to fiber & fabric. These include spinning, felting, papermaking, weaving, knotting, netting, looping, dyeing, painting, stitching, cutting, piecing, printing, quilting, & embellishing.
Maggie Tomei created two playfully whimsical art quilts that caught everyone’s attention. The colorful designs and interplay of needle felting, vintage lace, ribbons, beading and the wire mesh was more than some could stand, and they had to touch! It was such fun to see their reactions and brought the child out in many! Contact Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org
To see the newsletter about Maggie, click on the image above.
To our surprise, Bea Grob, mailed this little art quilt (below) from her home in Switzerland and it arrived just in time for the Grand Rapids show! Only 8.5 x 8.5″ in size and a delightful example of a traditional approach with a very contemporary mixed media twist. Artfully hand stitched and machine sewn, Bea included fabric, paper, cardboard, UTEE, Angelina Film, metallic paint, beadwork and of course, WireKnitZ®!
Because there just wasn’t the time to honor Bea with a dedicated newsletter prior to the show, I’m including it here.
Besides being a good friend, Bea Grob is a hand-weaver and mixed media artist with a passion for color and structure. Aside from producing art to wear, she teaches in her own studio and travels to teach in public schools, shops and other venues in Switzerland, Germany, Holland, in Phoenix at the Arizona Desert Weavers and Spinners Guild and joins us in Tucson, where she teaches classes with WireKnitZ®. Bea is also the president of the association “Handwerkkunst” which is devoted to the organization of shows and exhibition for Art and Craft www.handwerk-kunst.ch.
Well, transforming any kind of material into cloth, painting, textile collage or jewelry sometimes seems magical even for me. But working 30 years in a range of different media gives me tools for expressing my ideas. I work quite deliberately with traditional and innovative techniques in all different media to achieve the result I’m after.
Materials can be anything from precious metals to fabric, yarns or even cheap plastic. It is the process rather makes things precious.
Usually I have a fragment of an idea, a color combination I’d like to try or a certain structure that intrigues me. Lots of these things happen first in my head, sometimes I go on and make some sketches, sometimes I just start playing around with the materials.
Inspiration comes from everywhere, it can be nature, but also urban life has influences. All kinds of books and magazines I read and especially enjoy exhibitions, which makes me reminisce of my childhood.
Living in a world that seems to become more and more nasty, I try to make little signs about the good things in life, we most still have. If I can raise a smile on peoples face I feel great too.
Thank you for your gracious gift and contribution to our display Bea.
And last but not least is Vicki Holloway
Vicki, a friend of Sheryl Lamarand, lives in a small rural town in Northern Michigan where long winters are common and one reason she started quilting. A self described free motion quilt nut, she has made several commissioned quilts, and published in the May/June issue of Quilty magazine. Vicki was also a semifinalist in the AQS Grand Rapids Quilt Show this year!
Sheryl kindly shared her WireKnitZ® stash with Vicki and she was inspired to not only play but blog about her experience, too. Vicki’s inspiration for this piece came from her grandmothers and her mother, as they all wore brooches for every occasion on both dress coats as well as formal wear. Vicki constructed 7 WireKnitZ® brooches with various items from her craft bins, such as yo yo’s, vintage buttons and a few of her Zentangle Tiles, and then attached them to a stretched quilted sample.
Vicki’s testimonial…For those looking for a product to make jewelry and beads, this is for you! For those looking for texture and layering in multimedia art, this is for you!
Thank you Vicky for sharing your many talents with everyone at our first quilt show and your glowing WireKnitZ® review on your blog!
You can read more of Vicki’s personal thoughts about WireKnitZ® by visiting her blog at http://mycreativecorner3.wordpress.com
Our youngest fan came to the show with her grandmother and after reviewing her options she decided which color and Series she wanted to design with. We’re hoping to see her again and what she created with her purchase. If we do, we’ll ask if we can take a picture so we can share it with all of you! Here she is modeling Arbel Shemesh’s headdress…Could she be any cuter?
So much to be thankful for…
My heartfelt gratitude goes out to all the artists that gave of their time and talent to contribute to our first quilt show, to Sheryl for making that long drive every day to and from E. Lansing, and of course, we wouldn’t be able to return to the show if it wasn’t for the friendly and enthusiastic response from our new customers and friends. We hope you’ll stay in touch, drop us a line, share photos of your designs and tell us about your experiences with WireKnitZ®.
Until we meet again, I wish you health, happiness and nimble fingers!