"Welcome to the ramblings of another artist's adventures."

Friday, May 10, 2013

Artastic Workshop- Batik

Greetings!  Well, I've created and held my first Batik Workshop.  I feel like it was a success.  I had six students.  It was a wonderful day of creativity.

Getting ready for the students to arrive, yep, I was a little nervous, wondering (it's only in my garage)---will they really come? will there be a power serge using all those wax pots? is there enough materials?  will they understand me? will they have fun?  Well...
They came! We had power!  We had enough materials. 
They 'got' it. 
We had fun!
Everyone started with paper to practice using the tools and then a small piece of cotton fabric.  After that, it was on to a silk scarf.  I enjoyed watching everyone's thought process and techniques unfold. 

    All of the students were basically new to Batik-a process of wax and dye resist.
Applying dye...
Several layers of wax and dye are applied before the piece is completed.
Letting dye dry before next layer of wax
                                                             Just a little more dye...
Some awesome art...
      The creative juices were flowing!

My goal in setting up this project was to create a place where people could join together, learn and share an art experience.  Enjoy art and self-expression. I think everyone can achieve joy and happiness through a creative process.  I believe we all have an 'artist' within ourselves.  We just need to take a break from the hustle and bustle of life to let our creative spirit emerge.

I encourage you to release your inner 'artist'!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Snitch Knots and Tie-ups

 Well, thanks to fellow weaver's who blog, I learned how to do a snitch knot and redo the tie-ups on my loom which were rotting away with every step.  I ended up using parachute cord. It seems strong enough.  I burned the ends so the cord won't fray.

 I also used a nylon washer on the under side of the treadle to make sure the knot won't pull through.
Yay! It took about an hour to do them all.  Now I'm ready to weave on!  Thanks again to all of you who post advice and instruction.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Artist, Craftsman or Artisan?

Good Morning All!
I hope the new year finds everyone well.  Spring is around the corner.  Yippee!

I joined the local Weaver's Guild last Sept.  I love it.  What a wonderful group of talented people.  This past Sat. we had a meeting where we all watched several excerpts from the series Crafts in America from PBS.  Wow!  There really are so many talented artists in the world...oh, wait-artist or craftsman?  That is what came up at the end of show between our group members.  What is art?  What is a craft?  Are you an artist, artisan, or craftsman? Or do you just 'make' stuff?

That is a long argued question. Some of the responses were that art is something that has no utilitarian purpose, just hangs on a wall or sits on a stand.  Something to be viewed, pondered, invoke some thought from the viewer.  Can't that be considered a utility of sorts?

So, that leaves crafts as something created for some purpose, some function.  If you make crafts, you're supposedly not an artist.  Why, because you are not a painter or a sculptor in the traditional formal sense. It seems the opinion also was that many gallery owners and museum curators feel that way too.  Someone gave an example -a crocheted Kleenex box cover could not be art.   My comment was, well, what if it was created in an artistic fashion?  Still no?  The people that were in the DVD like Ed Moulthrop- a wood turner, Paul Marioni - a glass sculptor, Randall Darwall - a weaver, Lia Cook - a weaver and Cliff Lee - a potter have pieces in galleries. Are they artists?  Is their work art? If their pieces are in galleries and museum, it must be art. Right? Hmmm.  I do agree that all crafts aren't necessarily art.  Ultimately, it is a subjective world.

The discussion turned to how the Fiber arts are viewed.  A craft or art? Or even wearable art?  Most 'artists' don't seem to consider fiber as a means of art.  It seems widely viewed that if you aren't someone like a Monet, a Miro` or a Van Gogh than you must not be a true artist...  As I recall those artists weren't favored in the 'art' world during their beginnings as artists. Is a woven piece created for the wall, meant only to be viewed, not then a piece of art?  I create batiks on silk scarves.  Several people refer to them as wearable art other people see them as just a scarf.  Again a subjective world.

In the end several people decided to say when asked, "are you an artist?", that "they just 'make stuff'".  I love to make stuff and some of it is art.  So, am I an artist? I like the word artisan; it seems to encompass both craftsman and artist.

I decided to look up the words artist, craftsman and artisan in the dictionary.  Interesting.  I found the sources also subjective to a degree.
Craftsman by most sources is stated as a  man/person who practices a trade or handicraft with great skill and expertise.  Also said to be an artisan or artist by Ok, that works for me.

Artist is viewed as one who is a painter, sculptor, or writer even, who is able with imagination and skill to produce works of aesthetic value... a person whose work shows exceptional creative ability and skill...Oxford dictionary says an artist can be "one person who makes their craft a fine art".  Wikipedia says, an artist is a person who creates art and is skilled in some activity.  I liked these too.

Artisan is seen as a person who practices a trade or handicraft; craftsperson; skilled in applied arts; synonymous with artist. Good too.

I thought when I looked up the 'true' definitions (if it's in the dictionary, it must be correct, right?) the answer would be decided for me. It seems that even in the dictionary world, there is no agreement.
So, in the end I've decided that I'm an artist who is trained and creates skillful pieces that fall into several areas...utilitarian, wearable, or just to be.  Basically, I love to 'make' stuff.  It makes me happy.  The viewer can decide if it is art or not!
Who are you?