Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Dog Days

I've been away. It's summer, what can I say. These days are too short and when you try to get every last drop of goodness out of them some things slide. BUT!! I've got LOTS of great things to share including quilts, a fun project I did with kids (and grownups too), a tasty and novel idea for cooking omelets for a crowd, and my workshop with PAMELA ALLEN! As soon as I get my pictures in order (along with my thoughts) I promise something good for those 30+ readers my sitemeter tells me I have daily.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Super Sunday- Part Two

After the visit to the Gallery in Wiscasset we headed up the coast to find two new (2 years old) wineries in Union, Maine. TWO! This was all the signage for the first, Sweetgrass Winery. They produce fruit wines as well as gin and homemade vanilla. Wish I'd taken a picture of the beautiful copper still from Portugal. No tasting here because we were all tasted out from our first stop here:

Wine from hardy grapes. After tasting wine from 7 different bottles, I was SO HAPPY! It just sneaks up on you, those little tastes of wine. So the sun wasn't out, but it didn't even matter! And because I was so happy and maybe a LITTLE BIT less reserved, I did something I would never do under normal circumstances, but proved to be one of the biggest gifts of the day. We passed a beautiful old center chimney cape I've admired forever, and the shed door was open, (as if saying, please come in...) and in the center of the shed, visible from the road, was a dress form with a beautiful white dress on it. So, of course, I had to stop and intrude on this home. I just walked right up there and the man came out, who it turned out was the seashell artist from Maine, Brian White, and the dress was actually made of seashells. Sound ugly? Like something you might find in a tacky tourist trap? Not even close. No picture of the whole dress, but I did get this picture of one of his new works, a series of lobstermen...shirts.

Copper strips and cut shells, over a wire form. He uses found objects like shells to create ingenious pieces that are stunning in their complexity. Next time you're in Rockland Maine, the main entrance of the Farnsworth Museum has one of his incredible stylized dresses.

No full view, (too much sun), but this is the 'skirt' of the dress. Copper again, with shells. And a close-up.

The center of the flowers are small periwinkle shells cut in half. And that leaf is made of two different colored shells. Brian will be having an exhibit of his work at Ten High Street in Camden, Maine this September for the whole month if you happen to be around.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Super Sunday!

This rainy day has turned out to be one of the BEST days this summer. I had wanted to go to the James Patrick Gallery in Wiscassett to see an exhibit by Gayle Fraas/Duncan Slade:


an exhibit that did not disappoint. This is one of the 26 pieces, about 24"x24". Some were larger than this and all were done using the international signal flag alphabet as the "basis for exploration."

For instance, the quilt above is based on the S flag, and titled, 'Watermark-S-Sierra'. And this one, my favorite, is titled 'Watermark-M-Mike'.

As with any show, there were some stunning pieces and some that were just ho-hum, but I attribute that to personal taste, not design. Fraas and Slade are using using computer digital images in a lot of their work, though from the handout one is to believe they are images they've painted first. They say:

" the designs for several of the unframed quilts in this exhibit were assembled on a computer monitor from original drawings and paintings executed in our studio. Two commercial printers were used, both in North Carolina where the textile industry is both academically and physically active. Three different commercial quilters each with different skills and equipment were used to stitch quilts to our specifications, two from Maine and one from Indiana. In Indiana, we were able to produce the completely digital quilt, the sewing machine was computer controlled, doing exactly as we would. While it proves a point and has advanced our technical horizons- for us, computers and printers are just tools."

Huh??? Comments?