27 Jan

Hale’aina

I finished another one! This one started as one idea about four years ago, got abandoned, and then came back to life last year in this form:

Haleainasm

Hale’aina (ha-lay aye-nah) is hawaiian. Hale means house and aina means “of the land.” In the old days, the hale’aina was the house where the women ate. Today, it usually refers to a restaurant. But as most hawaiian language also contains a “secret” meaning, it could be interpreted as “the house that nourishes.” Hale’aina also happens to be the name of the street we live on.

Women, home, nourishment, where we live — how could I not do something inspired by this? I already had the houses (appliqued to a duvet cover — more comforts of home) with collaged floral roots, so I decided to just take it further. I added food themed fabrics, and once I found one with a spam musubi the whole thing shifted into whimsical and allowed me to add other things like a pizza button, a pumpkin bead, two flounder, and a cocktail olive. It’s a house chock full of food, love, hope, fun, and dreams.

On the technical, or construction side, this is all about the contrast between the plain corduroy areas and the richly embellished house and roots area. I had fun laying it on. Every time I thought I could stop, I found another place to add something. This one is very rewarding up close, and I dare anyone not to be tempted to touch it.

The quilt is 25″x37.” Hale’aina is the working title. I’m going to ask a hawaiian speaking acquaintance if it calls for something more poetic. It’s obviously not a hawaiian quilt, so maybe I’m pushing the boundaries already, but that’s at least where the inspiration came from.

30 Jul

Heart House

I put this collage up on Flickr, so I figured I should share it here too. When I re-mounted “Pink House,” I consoled myself by immediately starting in on another collage stitched directly to the canvas. It was a complete coincidence that the only appropriate house I had left was pink-ish too.

heart-house-sm

This was also a great opportunity to work with my new screen printed house fabric from Ink & Spindle. It’s a bit more sparse than my usual, but it didn’t want or need any more. I like it.

Heart House, 12″x12″ Painted fabric house by me and hand printed house fabric from Ink & Spindle, further colored by me, stitched to gallery wrapped unprimed linen canvas, with a few other fabrics and fibers too.

22 Jul

Tears don’t email well

IMG_2704, originally uploaded by Umzavi.

The good news first: these two lovelies were both accepted into the Blurred Boundaries exhibit at the Fabrications Retreat in Kalamazoo Michigan (August 31 — September 4, 2009)!

The call for entries stated:

Fiber artists are incorporating more mediums into their work, creating unique art that reaches across previously defined boundaries. Artists from other mediums are discovering the infinite possibilities that fiber can offer, also creating hybrids that are eye catching and moving. 

… and I knew that these combinations of quilting, collage, embroidery and embellishment, presented on stretcher bars like a painting fit the bill.

Now the reality. Even at a modest 32″ square, “Fairytale Forest” requires an oversize box by mailing standards. It will cost me literally hundreds of dollars to mail it to and from the exhibit. I’m taking a deep breath and chalking it up to the cost of doing business.

But, it got me thinking about future artworks. Do I edit myself by not mounting large works in this manner, even though, in my mind, it called for it? Do I not try to exhibit large works that can’t be folded? Do I stick to small work? As an artist, I don’t want to limit my creative options so I will pay up — but I can sure see why so many painters want to live within driving distance of NY where the galleries are!

Little “Pink House” was not without her hurdles either. I needed to decide how to sign the piece since a quilty label on the back wasn’t necessarily the only option. I opted to sign and title the front like a limited edition print, but once done, it looked awful! I just couldn’t live with the distraction on the bottom of the canvas. So, in a fit I cut the canvas out of it’s frame, leaving the offending name and title behind. I then sewed the art back onto another canvas. It looks much better, but in a way it defeats my purpose of the collage being an integrated part of it’s canvas ground. It is what it is and the imagery is still just as pretty as the original version, so I emailed a photo to the event coordinator (knowing that they reserved the right to reject any art that did not live up to it’s entry photo). She wrote back saying I was much calmer than she would be, and that, of course, the art was still welcome in the show. Relieved, I replied that I only seemed fine because tears of frustration don’t email well! Then, I grabbed another canvas and a pile of bits and got sewing on a new composition.

I’m feeling better already.

09 Mar

Cloud House

Cloud House 18″x18″ ©2009 Kristin La Flamme

A gifted piece of fabric with a sun-shiny face in it called to look upon a house nestled in the surrounding clouds. Gardens grow a bit wonky here, but all is soft and inviting. Textile collage of stamped and commercial fabrics, embroidery, felted wool, crochet and quilting. Mounted on an unprimed, stretched linen canvas.