Artist : Fog Linen Work

For the past few years, I've been coveting from afar anything made by Fog Linen Work, a Japanese textile design company.

Image courtesy of Fog Linen Work
Yumiko Sekine couldn't find affordable, every day linens back in 1993 so she tracked down several linen producers in Lithuania and had them produce her own designs. Amazingly, I have yet to find anyone else in the world who offers such beautiful, simple designs of such high quality.

Image courtesy of Fog Linen Work
Every now and then I would find her wares in the States but I recently learned from Arounna that you can now order directly from Fog Linen Work's website! I immediately placed an order three days before the devastating earthquake. I received an email two hours before the quake that the items I ordered were to ship out shortly. Needless to say, I didn't expect to see them anytime soon. But, amazingly, they arrived two weekends ago, less than a week later. My package contained two beautiful tunics which I have been thinking about for several years.
Images courtesy of Fog Linen Work
I couldn't resist these two scarves, it was hard to choose between them all. The quality and colors are impossible to see through a photo. I've never seen such high quality linen.
Left image Kathryn Clark, right image courtesy of Fog Linen Work
I also succumbed to  the wonderful Around Linen catalogue which profiles artists who showcase the linens throughout their homes and studios, pure eye candy. Peruse online now for some instant gratification.

Image courtesy of Fog Linen Work
Check out their website here. Happy shopping!


a typical day

Anna Allen's studio in Iowa. This pretty much sums up my day, except I get to walk through a garage and I make art, not clothing. It's a beautiful video of the daily ritual and solitude of most craftspeople and artists. I like those parts of the day the best.

See more of Allen's work here and here.


Infinite Variety : Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts

The American Folk Art Museum  will share 651 red and white quilts from the collection of Joanna S. Rose. When asked, Ms. Rose says “I’m not a collector.” Ummm, beg to differ there.

American Folk Art Museum, Photo by Gavin Ashworth
The exhibit is a 80th birthday gift from her husband who asked what could he give her that she had never seen before. She realized she had never seen all of her quilts hung together.

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
The exhibit is up only briefly from March 25th to March 30th at the historic Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Read more here and here.


Foreclosure series so far

Hat's off to Kitty for reminding me that I've been sharing too many bits and pieces lately, nothing overall of my work. It's been a busy year so far and this is the first week I've been able to really spend 100% of my time on my Foreclosure series again. So here's a recap of what I've accomplished so far sharing my latest piece to the first inklings of the idea.
Cape Coral Foreclosure Boro, 2011. 30" x 44" embroidery on voile and linen.
The exciting thing about blogs is you can see the artist's twists and turns as they make decisions leading to the ultimate path that becomes a series. This is certainly a case in point here. It has been a series of explorations with various fabrics that have been discontinued (argh!) while trying to figure out the most powerful way to expess my message of how pervasive this problem is here in the US.

Las Vegas Foreclosure Boro, 2011. 12" x 36" denim and cotton on linen.
I needed to finish something since the quilt below was taking so long to make, so I made these 12" x 16" experiments with pojagi to play around with the idea of having smaller pieces surrounding a quilt in a gallery.

Foreclosure Pojagi, 2010. 12" x 16" wool and linen.
And back to that quilt. I am still oh so slowly working on it.

Las Vegas Foreclosure quilt, 2010-11. 48" x 72" embroidery on wool scrim.
Anyone who has made a quilt knows how there are starts and stops and slow progress. So while I slowly make my way through cutting holes into the quilt top, I'm focusing on the boro for the next few months and see where this leads. I have finally found enough of a particular linen and cotton I'm happy with (yeah!) to make a series of six or so boro pieces. The first one is in process right now, here's a little peek at my test sample.

Today I'm working on Modesto, California where the foreclosure rate went as high as 20% in some neighborhoods. If you want to read some articles on foreclosures, check out my Foreclosure page.


work table : cape coral foreclosure boro and ?

Back from a stormy weekend in the wine country. Saturday night was so windy and stormy, I stayed awake just so I could get my storm fix since we rarely have weather like this in San Francisco. I was back at work today wrapping up a couple of projects, including the Cape Coral foreclosure boro.

It's finished! The Kindergarten quilt and framing all those pieces for the show took me away from this for the past month.

I'm still experimenting with materials and presentation but I like the moodiness that the dark blue linens brought to the piece. I'm leaving it loose and unfinished to emphasize the point of these neighborhoods falling into disrepair after the foreclosures spike.

And then there's this on my work table.

It might become the very beginning of a fun new project I'll be starting soon. More on this in a few weeks.


Still thinking ...

about Japan and some memories I brought home.

Outside a shrine, Kyoto. 2001
Just everyday scenes that remind us of what beauty has been lost.

Ladles, Kyoto. 2001
Outside of restaurant, Kyoto. 2001.
Near a garden, Kanazawa. 2001
In a ryokan, Kyoto. 2001

I took these photos in 2001 in Tokyo, Kyoto and Kanazawa. A most memorable trip that I hope to relive soon.

If you would like to help Japan, here are some places to visit.
A talented artist, wsake, is making a HELP JAPAN NECKLACE. 75% of the proceeds will go to the Japan Red Cross Society (25% are for materials). A stunningly beautiful piece.

W+K Studio is making a help Japan print with 100% of the profits going to The Red Cross.

You can also donate for direct aid to Japan to MercyCorps here.


Artist : Paula Leen

I came across Paula Leen's work a few years ago in one of my numerous design mags I'm addicted to. It was her converted barn in Friesland, Netherlands that first caught my eye. 
Vogue Living article, Nov/Dec 2008.
But once I realized all that amazing fiber art throughout her home was hers, I knew I needed to dig up more on her. What is it about you Netherlanders these days? I'm just loving the work coming out of your country!

She is one of those rare people who breathes, eats, and lives her art every day. Her pieces are the most beautiful functional artworks I've come across.

Her wool is sourced locally and back in 2008 when I read the interview, she had hopes of raising sheep herself.

She makes throws, wall hangings, rugs, lampshades, cushions, etc. You name a home product and she's made an amazing interpretation of it.

Read an interview with Paula here, see her website here and buy her work here. I have no idea how much her wares cost but I suspect it's a pretty penny ... and it's worth it!


Inspiration : Japan

As most of you know, I am a true Japanophile. So hearing about the earthquake on Friday breaks my heart. What is reassuring to know is that the Japanese will get through this, their buildings have been built incredibly well, they are well prepared for situations like this and they form a tightly knit community and help each other in situations like this. I have tremendous respect for them.

"Through", by Miyoko Murata.

In addition to loving the Japanese aesthetic, my sister-in-law is Japanese so I feel a strong connection to Japan since we last visited the country for the wedding. We are looking forward to spending an expended period of time exploring Japan next year and introducing our daughter to their beautiful culture.
"Through", by Miyoko Murata.
These images are from the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival taken by Jennifer of Moving Hands blog who lives in Tokyo. I visit her flikr quilt show page often for inspiration, I hope you will as well.

"Through", by Miyoko Murata.


foreclosure : (re)new

It's incredible how a kick your butt yoga class, a talk with a wonderful friend about courage and a book on Buddhism all in a week can make you question your direction in your art, but sometimes that happens. And it did to me, last week. It all started with that yoga class. Afterwards I mentioned to the instructor, a dear friend, that I have a really hard time with the balance poses (am I alone here?!). He said it all boils down to one word, fear. True, very true. I am proud to say I did manage to do a handstand on the wall that day.
Glow and Fade, wax and watercolor on scrim, 16" x 16" each, 2009.
I've been spending a few moments every day looking at the bigger picture of how all of my work relates to each other. What is missing from my current work and what work has fulfilled me in the past. I realized haven't shared any of my Open series which was my transition into fiber a few years ago.
Open Series, 2009
The Open series and the pojagi I've made keep nagging at me and I think this is how to proceed with the Foreclosure Boro. I'm exploring the idea of these neighborhoods becoming ghost towns, hence the translucency. I'm not sure how it will evolve but I'm looking forward to the challenge. See more detailed images of the Open series here.


work table : Kindergarten quilt

The Kindergarten quilt is finished!
Presidio Hill School Kindergarten 2010-11 quilt.
I plan to show the kids next week and I so hope they like it. We shall see what they have to say.


upcoming show : San Francisco Perinatal Associates

I've finally been given the chance to hang all fifteen of my Idiom series in one place. The show will be at San Francisco Perinatal Associates at One Daniel Burnham Court, Suite 230C in San Francisco. I'm hanging the work on March 13th so I've been busy mounting and framing thirteen more pieces this week. I finished the Kindergarten quilt last week, woo hoo. I will post pictures of the finished quilt soon! It goes up for the school's auction on March 26th.

It will be nice to get back to working on my Foreclosure Boros and Quilt after the 13th. I have so many new ideas on how to proceed and have some great new blue linens I've managed to track down. You can see all of my Idiom pieces here.


Artist : Sergej Jensen

I discovered Danish artist Sergej Jensen's work last year. Recently, the gallery owner of Romer Young reminded me of his work. Incredible work.

Sergej Jensen, Sail, 2008
Sail and raw silk on linen
114 3/8 x 256 inches, Courtesy Anton Kern Gallery, NY

Untitled, 2008
Palette Head, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2005
Untitled, 2011 Sewn fabrics.

Sergej Jensen, installation view, Anton Kern Gallery, New York, 2005
It's the subtle simplicity and honesty of his work that draws me in. But the witty titles and materials are what I love the most of course. See and read more here and here.


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