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52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 21

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When I enter my studio, I usually listen to music and warm-up with sewing exercises.

These sewing warm-ups are inspired by my dreams or poems I am struggling with for the series.

With this series of transforming wedding dresses into books, I am exploring the idea of love, romance, and passion.  During my warm-ups, I use vibrant colors and extreme manipulations.  For the actual series, I have limited my palette to three colors: white, black, and red.

24 Dollar Wedding Dress

Part I: From Fairest Creatures We Desire Increase The wedding dress is considered the most important dress in a woman's life.  Steeped in tradition, religion and history, its delicate white lace and silk symbolize a woman's rite of passage.

This dress is about love, finding your perfect soul mate, and living happily ever after.  Many women spend thousands of dollars for their wedding dress, and if it is custom made, the price can reach hundreds of thousands.

The fabric, construction, design, and style can tell you so much about the culture, social class, and historic context of the time.

For years, I've wanted to create books using worn wedding gowns.  However, it was impossible to find a bride willing to sell, much less give me, her beloved wedding gown when I told her my plan.  One of my friends even told me, "I'd rather it rot in my cedar chest."

So imagine my delight when I found a batch of used wedding gowns at a thrift store this past winter.  This …

Anselm Kiefer, Rockefeller Center, NYC

Anselm Kiefer ROCKS! Last week I visited Anselm Kiefer's public art exhibit, Uraeus, at Rockefeller Center.   Awesome!  Brilliant!  A wonderful symbolism of the BOOK: elevated to the point of being exalted, with powerful wings (to fly and spread its words, knowledge, history, secrets . . .) Yet fragile and perilous. On view until July 22, 2018.

Color Coded

Hey all,

This is Jennifer Lin from TurtleStitch! Check out my new blog post about what I learned about color and code from Suzanne:

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to meet Suzanne Coley.  She talked to me about how she loves TurtleStitch because of the ability to physically hold onto the coded artwork and how coding is a form of art. She taught me color theory and how the color thread and fabric we choose can have an effect on how the viewer sees the embroidery design.

This is what I embroidered yesterday!  I love the colors of the fabric, which help bring out the design of the code:
the blue on the fabric corresponds with the blue of the threadthe size of the red paint on the fabric is similar to the yellow thread in the center of the code this makes the design pop and is more appealing to the eye

Thanks Suzanne!

Transformation Through Textiles

I've always wanted to capture the spirit of transformation through textiles.  When I created textile books with African garments and fabrics last year, I wondered who wore them, what occasion they were worn and how they were made.  With those fabrics and books, I concentrated on historical, cultural, and social aspects of textiles.  

This year, it is about "soul sewing." I will use the most symbolic garment of love -- the wedding dress and transform wedding dresses into stories of joy, happiness, sorrow, forgiveness and all the emotions that come with being in love.

Life on Cloud Nine

My new series of handmade textile books involves manipulating textiles to tell stories of love and loss.
Ever since I moved to Baltimore, I have noticed used and unused wedding dresses in thrift stores.  Some of these dresses stay there for months before being purchased.

Where did these dresses come from?  How did they end up in thrift stores?  Who buys wedding dresses from thrift stores?  What are their stories? 
For the next year, I will transform a few of these wedding dresses into books.  I will create original designs, poetry, illustrations, and will use various textile manipulation techniques to tell stories. 

Coded Threads

My NYC art residency allowed me to experiment with traditional and modern techniques.

It was great to combine various hand stitched designs with coded and machine stitched ones.   Working with young coders using Turtlestitch was wonderful!  Seeing computer simulations on the screen before we stitched the designs was great.  It allowed us to evaluate, discuss, and modify our designs before printing.   In the end, we experimented with many different designs and fabrics for our final project: A Handmade Textile Book