French pumpkin herringbone complete, again

The herringbone rope sample that I decided to not use in my trio of ropes has been lengthened to 20″, a length I can wear as a necklace or wrapped three times around my wrist. It is now, finally, time to put these beads away.

I have a new traveling project that includes beads and crochet, but not in the usual fashion, and another traveling project waiting behind it. I have a stringing project that includes some antique beads, and another stringing project following that one. I have a second and improved class sample to make for a class I’m teaching this summer (but a picture for publicity is due sooner). And, what do I want to tackle for my next home project, where I can have bunches of beads out, messing up my cleaned workspace? I think an embroidery project with a fossil coral cabochon I purchased. Or that beautiful piece of larimar?

First up needs to be the class sample. But tomorrow, I plan to weave…

2017 St. Paul American Craft Council Show

One of my jobs is working at the American Craft Council Library, and every year, I get to work in the ACC Library booth at the St. Paul ACC Show. This year, it is the best yet. Forage Modern Workshop has sponsored our space, providing bookshelves, a coffee table, a couch, and fun chairs. We brought a good number of beautiful craft books and vintage Craft Horizons and American Craft magazines (published by the ACC) from the ACC Library for show attendees to browse.

We brought our vintage photograph embroidery project, using extra photographs that were sent with press releases for exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, then a part of the American Craft Council, now its own entity as the Museum of Art and Design.

One of my favorites:

Opposite the Library Lab is the Let’s Make pavilion with local organizations such as the Textile Center, Foci Glass, and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts. Directly opposite is Urban Boatbuilders, a local organization that offers apprenticeships for area youth building boats. They did an ACC Library Salon, and it was such a treat to be able to attend. Check out past and future Salons; our next one is this coming Wednesday, April 12, with production papermaker Mary Hark.

We also brought a small sampling of items from our archive, including local favorites Warren MacKenzie and Joan Mondale.

There are more that 225 top craft artists at the show. I made my main purchase already at the Preview Party this evening, a bronze Seckel pear with a ferric nitrate patina by Laura Baring-Gould.

The patina is extraordinary on this little guy, 2″ from its bottom to the top of its stem. As solid bronze, it weighs in at more than 9 ounches.

I will have more time to browse the show tomorrow, and I will thoroughly enjoy it. The show runs through Sunday, April 9 at the Saint Paul RiverCentre.

North House Folk School at 20

In the classroom my leather tote bag class was held at North House Folk School is a splendid wall installation, with small samples showing the variety of craft at North House. From the information sheet:

In celebration of twenty years of hands-on learning at North House, all instructors, current and emeritus, intern alumni and staff were invited to contribute to [a] group project to reflect the broad range of skills, interest and materials that are part of North House Folk School. The project is comprised of individual pieces displayed as one work – a mosaic of craft. North House is unique in the ever-evolving array of traditional northern crafts that are part of the school and community. The finished piece is intended to convey the individual personalities and interests of the many members of our community as well as a larger sense of connection to North House, the folk school tradition and the northern landscape.

Enjoy the gallery below of some of my favorite selections. Click on any of the images to enlarge, and/or play it as a slideshow.


SAORI One progress

So, I’ve been beading and weaving lately. Here’s how I’m doing with the weaving part. I like this section.

This is what happens when you wind the yarn too close to the end of the bobbin. It tangles in the shuttle.

I’ve moved the loom to a different room; carpet underneath instead of wood. I like this section too.

Green zigzag. Also, I have installed daylight LED lights above me. At night, I can take photos with really great color. Daylight will still wash out photos.

I saw a picture of a way to get multiple colors into a section, using just the bobbins. This was unenjoyable. I want weaving to be enjoyable. I ended up having to rewind two bobbins, and actually cut out a snarl in one of them.

I don’t think it actually looks that good either. I could do a neater job, and I initially thought to do this for several more rows, but I just wanted to be done. So I was.

Inlaying a second color above the weft to get blocks of a different color (at top of photo)? I LIKE this. This was fun. This is definitely a success.

There is still more of this warp. I have three more weaving projects planned already, and I was hoping to start the next one this month. It could happen, maybe? And I have a couple of active beading projects.

French pumpkin herringbone necklace complete

This makes me very happy. This is a project I’ve been beading on and off since last May, mostly as a traveling project as herringbone ropes are great for that. The necklace is 26″ long; the inner rope is four-around herringbone with stripes, the center rope is six-around herringbone with diagonal stripes, and the outer rope is eight-around herringbone with squares of other colors. I’m generally pleased with my clasp solution. I’m not generally pleased with my photography, but that’s okay. It’s done! I did not use my original rope with the wide stripes of all these colors. It’s now my traveling project to complete as a bracelet.

Chiaki O’Brien on Minnesota Original

Minnesota Original is a fantastic Minnesota Public Television show. It’s a weekly arts series “celebrating Minnesota’s creative community, across all disciplines and all cultures.” I believe last weekend was the original airing of episode #805, which features four artists. Two of the segments are right up my alley. One is Sally Power, a paper marbling artist demonstrating at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, something I tried at MCBA for the first time last month. The other artist I was delighted to watch was Chiaki O’Brien. I took my SAORI loom class from Chiaki, and also bought my loom from her. Watch her six minute segment, excerpted from the entire episode, and learn more about Chiaki and her work.

Beads at the 2017 American Craft Council show in Baltimore

The wholesale portion of the American Craft Council show in Baltimore opens tomorrow, February 22. On the 24th, the show is open to retail buyers; some artists do one show, some do both. I did a quick look through the show artists, and look at the bead artists I found:

Some of these artists use more seed beads than others, but if I were there, I’d stop to see them all! The links will show their booth numbers. Enjoy!