Friday, February 16, 2007

fiber art and such

Question: Several people recently asked how I've progressed with my comprehension of, practice on and actual use of Photoshop and/or Illustrator computer programs.

Answer: I haven't progressed much at all. Regressed is more like it. Most everything I learned a couple years ago (in a basic Photoshop/ Illustrator/Painter class) is largely parked far off and away in the back 40 of my gray matter.

I've long neglected my techno studies.
When I acquired the applications for my computer, they were the latest and greatest versions - which are no longer up-to-date, of course. To be expected when one has not paid much attention for a year or two (or more). Ah well. I'm not one to keep abreast of all-things-techno anyhow anyway.

No matter. The basic programs are still sound. My problem? If I want to do this at all, I just have to stop procrastinating and make up my mind to devote some serious study to re-learning the basics, and possibly going a bit beyond. Lord knows, I'll have to Rob Peter to Pay Paul to manage it, as my time has been otherwise occupied: with tactile artsy and crafty things like yarns, threads, fabrics, beads...

At this juncture, I could care less about the computer stuff (save for researching craft techniques on the web)(and blogging, of course).

I'm taking a 'Hands-On Art History' class. The lectures/demos have me plenty excited about traditional North, Central and South American fiber arts. In the last few weeks, we've studied the Cuna of the San Blas islands (molas), the Navajo (weaving) and Mayans (calendars, alphabet, sculpture, architecture, numbers).
I'm luvin' this stuff!
Art n' craft of indigenous peoples of the Americas. Yeah!

Our weekly homework assignments are to create an art project based on the week's topic. Students may interpret the theme using any medium (not just fiber).

With all the tiny stitches involved, a week wasn't nearly long enough to start and complete even the simplest of fabric molas, so I opted to use colored cardstock for my mola. I designed, cut and pasted. For texture, I sewed a bit of embroidery floss and metallic thread throughout. My paper mola actually looks like fabric, doesn't it?

Last week's assignment: Navajo weaving. I went this route - a small pouch woven on a small cardboard loom (fun!)(time-consuming!)(I'd do it again!):

After weaving the pouch, I added a crocheted handle, let the fringy things hang free, added beads and a handsewn fabric lining. A bit hippiedaze, but it works. I now understand the simplicity/complexity of warp and weft, and better appreciate that even the simplest woven item is a labor of combined love and patience.

As of this writing I have no clue how to approach the Mayan theme'd project. I'll get an idea sometime late Tuesday eve (just call me '11th hour B'). At that time, the creative juices will bubble over and flow...I'm sure of it.

I've stated it before and I'm stating it again:
Life is just too short for all the crafting there is to do (and all the books to read)!
Then, Good Grief! there are all those art-based computer programs....which I will get to....someday...


jessierose said...

ooh! pretty mola, momma.

Anonymous said...

you are the queen of things artsy! i love the mola you did. i can see that on notecards or something of that nature. maybe that has already occurred to you? equally impressed with woven pouch. i have no patience for anything like that though. i am looking forward to what you come up for your mayan project. i'm sure it will be something fantastic!


justducky said...

I've studied native weavings.

You did a wonderful job.
You're right about the time consuming molas. Wow! But with your sewing skills, I hope you try it one time...even a small one.

baffle said...

You are all tooo tooooo toooooo kind
with your compliments.

The best thing about this class and doing these projects is that it gives me an understanding and appreciation of handmade items and the people who make them - how time consuming and difficult this kind of crafting is, yet so satisfying.

My humble attempts don't even touch the tip of the creative iceberg...