Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quilts or Beads or ????

Fiber.Art.Glass is a strange name for a blog. It makes you wonder if I'm making things out of fiberglass. I tried to choose a name that mixed fiber art and art glass, but that may not be apparent.

In reality, I have a decade plus background as a contemporary fiber artist, making quilts meant for the wall (not your grandmother's quilts!) with lots of exhibitions, publications and collections out there to prove it. The quilt here, Enlightenment, is 84" x 84" and resides permanently in the Museum of the American Quilters' Society in Paducah, KY.

Glass has always been a love (I did a lot of stained glass before my son was born), and I started buying a lot of beads and cabochons to embellish some of my quilts. That, of course, led to the notion that it would be better to make my own because then I could have exactly what I wanted. Oh, such innocent ideas! Lately I've made a lot more glass than fiber. And we won't even mention the metal stuff that calls as well.

I've been wondering who visits this blog -- are they fiber art people or are they glass people -- and what the heck do they think when there's none of "their" favorite stuff in sight on the top page. And what do they think of the "other?"

This got me to thinking about the commonalities in the work -- where are the connections between the fiber and the glass? So I thought I'd show a few pieces of each, side by side, to point out some common themes.

Cactus comes to mind. I never understood what people saw in them until the prickly pears bloomed profusely one year and I saw my first Santa Rita prickly (which has pink, blue and purple pads!). Then I got obsessed with the things. I loved the idea of soft, quilted fabric pads with hard metal prickles. So I made a couple of quilted pieces, including a panel for a group piece called "Fauna" with my quilting buddies, which was recently published in Quilting Arts Magazine (see back posts). And when I made beads and vessels, the cactus would sometimes pop up there, often with fauna.

Leaves got a lot of my quilting attention for a period of time. Among many others, there were a group of small, mounted Leaf Mosaic works that remind me of some recent leaf beads. And there were definitely ginkgos in both fiber and glass.

It's interesting to think about the overlap. I'll have to give it more time to percolate.