Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's all about the yarn!

At some events, I have offered a Yarn Tasting, it's the opportunity for participants to see and touch different types of yarn.  I started this because I realized that not everyone is aware of the variety of fibers, yarns and threads that are available for yarn crafts.  

In addition to the different fiber content (cotton, acrylic, wool, Alpaca, silk, mohair, cashmere, etc.), yarn also comes in different sizes.  The size of the yarn will determine which size needles or hooks to be used.  The bigger the yarn and needle or hook, the bigger the stitches and the faster the project will be completed. 

One of the things that I share with students in my knit and crochet classes is that when choosing yarn, be sure to look at the yarn in the same way they'll see it while working with it.  While it may look  pretty wound in the skein or ball, it will look different when it's opened and stretched out. 

I recently crocheted a puppy and it called for a fur yarn.  I wasn't able to find the type that was suggested so I substituted a similar yarn that would still give it a fluffy look.  
I failed to heed my own advice and didn't look at how the yarn would look as I was working with it.  I made all of the puppy parts (head, body, legs, ears and tail) and realized that it wasn't very fluffy at all.  Then I realized that I was using the yarn the wrong way!  I was crocheting it like a 'normal' yarn, working around the yarn, but was supposed to be crocheting through the top track. Look closely in the picture above to see how this yarn is different from the previously pictured yarns.
Fortunately I had plenty of yarn and was able to start over.  Taking out the stitches from the first parts was nearly impossible.
As you can see in this picture, the puppy is light and fluffy as it was intended to be.  And my granddaughter loves it!

Four years ago when I began teaching knit and crochet classes at Michaels, we had the opportunity to purchase and wear t-shirts that said Yarn Expert on the back.  I may not be an 'expert' yet, but I sure know a LOT more about yarn and other fibers now than I did then! 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

How I became a Hoosier Woman in Art

Getting into an art show is not always easy.  Artists have to be strong knowing that they may face rejection..... often!

It begins with an artist call out - art show organizers and curators post information that they are looking for artists to participate in their art show.  There is usually a theme that must be incorporated in the artists' work.  Artists submit pictures of their art and a statement that explains what type of work they do and how it fits what the art show curator is looking for.
Date Posted: 01/07/16
Deadline date: 02/01/16
Organization: Garfield Park Arts Center
City: Indianapolis, IN
Call For Artists
Hoosier Women in Art
March 5, 2016—March 26, 2016
This year Garfield Park Arts Center will revive its annual Hoosier Women in Art exhibition to coincide with International Women’s Day. Local women will share their talents, their stories, and a part of themselves with a focus on the theme “avant-garde.” Submissions are welcomed from all mediums, including but not limited to, ceramics, paintings, textile arts and other mediums. The exhibit will be on display March 5-26, 2016.
Female artists are invited to create and submit 2-3 works of original art for this exhibition.  There is no cost to submit. 
  • Original works must be no larger than 48” x 60” for 2-D and 36” x 60” for 3-D and ready to hang or install.
  • Please indicate your desire to participate in the show by emailing February 1, 2016 or mail a portfolio to The Garfield Park Arts Center. Please include your name, address, phone number, email, a brief description of your work and a short bio. Please also include the samples of your work you intend to submit for the exhibition, either attached to the email or on a CD.
  • Artists will be notified of all decisions no later than Saturday, February 13, 2016.
  • All works must be delivered to the arts center no later than Saturday, February 27, 2016 at 4pm.
  • The GPAC is a family friendly venue so all artwork must be venue appropriate.

Then after waiting, the artist is told that they are accepted... or not.

The art is delivered to the venue and installed.  If you're lucky, you have a say in how and where your art is displayed.

I crochet earrings to match at least one of the pieces for each art show.
 Next comes the big opening.  These are usually receptions which are free and where light refreshments are served.  The artists and organizers invite people.  This is a chance for people to meet and talk with the artists.  As an artist who has worked long and hard on their work, it's rewarding to see people admire, ask questions about and take pictures of your creations.  Artists are also able to meet the other artists.  The art is on exhibition beyond the opening so those who prefer to view art at a quieter, less crowded time have the opportunity to do so.

For this show I created Hyperbolic Crochet pieces.  

I've been accepted for 4 and not accepted for 3 art shows that I submitted to.  At first it's hard because you want to know how someone isn't interested in showing YOUR piece.  But then you realize that not all work is a good fit and that at times the curator/organizer has a specific vision in mind that doesn't include you.

I've learned from each no.  I've also learned from the process.  In the beginning I had no idea what an artist's statement or gallery tags were. But I've been fortunate to some very great and talented artists who are willing to answer my questions and provide me with much needed guidance along my artist journey!

With this latest show underway I'm already thinking and planning for the next one!