transformation

I’ve been thinking a bit about how to use this blog while in school. Frankly, the time commitment is overwhelming at times and blogging is often far from my thoughts. I’ve been following recent conversations about slow blogging and thinking about how to make this a meaningful, useful space and keep it somewhat current. I’m still working on that.

In the meantime, I know that ultimately I want to create some kind of a record of my process of exploration. To that end I thought I would begin with a few of the highlights from my fall term, starting with my first weaving project.

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Our first assignment was to create a wearable felt piece that expressed your inner self and could be worn on your head somehow. I tried a number of things before I became interested in headscarves and their use as cultural and religious identifiers. I started looking at the idea of transformation based on association with a particular religious or cultural group. How does identity transform with changes in headwear? Starched lace Mennonite caps, heavy knitted wool mufflers, dense black burqas, and flowing, colourful Romany silks were all part of my research. By looking at them as a whole I discovered a pan cultural iconography that represented my own personal history as well as those that I have encountered through travel.

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I wanted to explore ideas of transformation, identity, transparency and density through the characteristics of wool and through the language of cultural and religious identity as represented in headscarves. By removing colour I intended for this series of three scarves to be culturally ambiguous. Soft Merino fibres allowed me to play with both thick and thin textures while still allowing for structure and shape. I was also interested in retaining the organic natural edges created by wet felting while exploring the wool’s ability to retain shapes created when wet.

Overall, I was super happy with how the pieces turned out and I felt very privileged to have one of them included in the student exhibition at Circle Craft this past November.

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pineboughs

Just popping in to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season!                         Here’s hoping for a year filled with health, kindness and growth for all.

it’s that time of year. . .

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season has begun! We had a wonderful time at the Waldorf school fair this past weekend. I always feel like the holidays have begun with this event. The sun came out and gave us an amazing day. I bought a sweet little frame loom for the boys to use alongside my Archie Brennan designed copper loom. They are still eating up all the new tools and techniques I’m bringing home. We are working on a family tapestry with everyone contributing a few passes of the weft.

Things are still super busy but instead of making for shows, as I normally would be at this time of year, I am working on final projects. A shibori dress, a small tapestry weaving and a carpet design are filling my thoughts and busying my hands these days. I’m glad I have had the experience of pulling together handmade goods for sale and holiday magic for family simultaneously. I think it helped prepare me for this.

While I am not doing any shows this season, Owl+Pussycat holiday items are available at Collage Collage in East Vancouver and Room6 in Deep Cove. Both stores have online shops as well.

You can find recycled wool stockings, wooden snowmen kits and felt ornament kits at Room6. Megan has done a fantastic job curating her shop and it’s so full of wonderful gift ideas. If you haven’t been you really should!

I am also super excited to be working with Erin at Collage Collage on some DIY stocking kits. They come with all you need to design and make your own recycled felt stockings. If you need a little help, Collage Collage is running a stocking workshop with the kits on December 5 that looks super fun! Check out their line up of workshops here.

Now to breathe and get back to making!

time and space

Today I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be. I have been so lucky to experience some amazing speakers as part of our program. Meghann O’Brien came by to share her weaving process. I was spellbound by her delicate treatment and combination of diverse issues like cultural appropriation, materialism, history and tradition and even physics. The way she talked about her journey towards traditional Chilkat and Ravenstail weaving and incorporating contemporary themes was very inspiring. Her fine detailed work and her commitment to her process struck me most.

Image from Meghann’s blog

I held this tiny, delicate cedar basket in the palm of my hand and I could feel how important attention to detail was to her and I was reminded to slow down, breathe and be aware of things a little more deeply.

crazy town

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Just a short post to break the long blog silence. Things are busy. A little too busy I think. We are muddling through it and trying to keep as much of a sense of normalcy as we can. Pumpkins were carved. School projects are underway. I’m planning to do a little first term blog retrospective once the dust settles.

A few things of note in case I can’t be back in this space for a while. I won’t be re-opening the shop before the holidays but I am so happy that our friends at Collage Collage and Room 6 will be carrying some Owl+Pussycat holiday goodies. There will be stockings and stocking stuffers. I’ll share more soon!

Circle Craft Christmas Market is coming up next weekend. I can’t believe how fast these past few months have flown by! The Capilano Textile Arts students will be there. So if you are curious about what I’m up to, head on over. While Circle Craft is going on I’ll be in Mexico for a family wedding. Just cause things couldn’t get any crazier! I’m sure looking forward to that beach!

process

There is so much more to going back to school than simply learning the content. Not that that part is easy because it sure isn’t! Learning to be kind to myself and to accept my mistakes has definitely been the hardest part so far. It could be another three credit course for me. I’m working with all kinds of meditation and cognitive thought techniques but still struggling. Intellectually, I know this is part of the learning process but when deadlines loom and perfectionism rears up it’s pretty hard to remember. Nevertheless, I’m keeping at it. Making lists, putting in as much time as I can muster and trying to work through it. Anyone out there have any tips for defeating that inner critic?

Part of the work I am doing involves going back to the elements of design. It’s pretty exciting to go back to simple forms and really pull them apart and think about them. It’s shape week for me so I thought I would share some of the amazing shapes I’ve been inspired by recently.

Frank Josef

Akihisa Hirata

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I popped into the Silk Weaving Studio at Granville Island the other day. My iphone shot does not do justice to the sumptuous colour and hand of this amazing Noren.