My late husband would always get embarrassed and annoyed when he thought I used a word incorrectly or when he thought a word I used didn’t actually exist. In my field we make up a lot of words, because there just isn’t the vocabulary in the English language. And when I use a made up word in one of my lectures, somehow the participants know exactly what I mean. Anyway, early on before Google and smart phones, when we relied on a dictionary for assistance, I used the word ‘ironical’ occasionally. My husband would get annoyed with me, because he said it wasn’t a word and the word was ironic and I needed to learn that. Of course when someone corrects you it is easy to shut down and be humiliated, especially in front of others. I had often thought I had a decent command of the English language, went to Catholic school for 8 years, knew how to diagram sentences, was an excellent speller, and had a college degree. It wasn’t until I started writing for Handwoven Magazine that I found out I could really write, and my confidence soared.
Of course I stopped using the word ‘ironical’, and it wasn’t until just recently that the word popped back into my head and I just grabbed my little smart phone, went into Google and Ha! Not only is it a word, it is a great word, used more in Britain than the US, but according to vocabulary.com, something that is ironical is wryly funny, especially because it doesn’t match up with your expectations.
And that is the whole basis for this blog post. Its ironical…
Back in October I recorded a podcast with the staff of Threads Magazine, episode 13, you can listen/watch it here , and the theme of the podcast among other topics is “Sewing for Competition”. I said a lot of things in the podcast, especially about getting into exhibitions, and all that entails, and one of the things I wanted to really stress was how arbitrary judging can be, having judged many many competitions, and that not getting into a competition doesn’t really mean that your work isn’t worthy. I gave lots of tips and suggestions, but I did say at one point that I could wall paper my living room with all the rejections I’ve received over the years, and that my acceptance to rejection ration is about 1:6. My handwoven clothing over the years has become more predictable getting into shows, though it isn’t always a guarantee, but my fiber art work has an abysmal track record.
There was an unusually large amount of opportunities this past few months for participation in fiber art exhibitions, and a number of platforms that got the word out. Social media really helps. So I dutifully sent in my money, and the requisite images and waited. And sometimes even forgot I applied.
And then suddenly, to my complete surprise, I got in. To all of them. Its ironical! And the success certainly didn’t match up with my expectations. So now, this week I’m scrambling to prep and ship out all sorts of work including three pieces for photography for my next article for Threads Magazine, they went out this morning.
Peters Valley Craft Center is sponsoring this show, bridging craftsmanship and technology. I applied at the last minute, partly because they didn’t mind older work. One of the things I talked about in the podcast was the timeliness of the work. Most exhibits require work that is less than two years old. And you can’t apply to two different shows with the same work if they overlap. It is professional suicide to get into a show and then decline because the piece got into another show that occurs at the same time.
“Nuance: Craftsmanship, Imagination and Innovation” 2019 Peters Valley School of Craft, The Sally D. Francisco Gallery, Layton, NJ Jurors: Maegen Black, Director Canadian Crafts Federation and Sin-ying Ho, Ceramist, Assistant Professor, Queens College, City University of NY. This show runs April 13th to May 19th.
The work that was accepted was an older piece that fit the theme of the exhibition, called Margaret. The images of my mother in law at 20 juxtaposed to her at 90 are printed on silk and then cut into strips and rewoven into a diptych.
“Fantastic Fibers 2019” Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY Juror: Pauline Verbeek-Cowart, chair of the Fiber Department Kansas City Art Institute
This show runs from April 20th – June 8th. The work that was accepted is one of my most favorite pieces of artwork I’ve done in the last few years, and no one has seen it because it has not gotten into any of the exhibits I entered with it, and it is nearing the end of its two year shelf life. The piece is layers of hand dyed wool, wet felted, sliced and needle felted onto a felt backing, and then stitched on the machine. It is called e·vis·cer·ate: verb, deprive of vital or essential content.
“Color: Classic to Contemporary” 2019 The Hudgens Center for Art and Learning, Duluth, GA sponsored by the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild Juror: Kathrin Weber
I found out about this exhibit through social media, and sent my regular garments/yardage images. These two works both got accepted and the show runs from May 11 – July 27th The duster coat is called Autumn Patchwork, and the yardage is called Chaos.
“Transformation: Fiber as Medium on The Common Thread Gallery” 2019 online exhibit Common Thread Gallery https://thecommonthreadgallery.com/2019/04/05/this-is-art/  Juror: Penny Griffin Lutz is the Director of The Gallery at Penn College Williamsport, Pennsylvania
This exhibit is a digital online exhibition. The exhibition runs April 5th – August 15th. Click on the link above to view.
e·vis·cer·ate: verb, deprive of vital or essential content.
“Excellence in Fibers IV juried exhibition in print” 2018-19 sponsored by The Fiber Art Network Jurors: Beth Mclaughlin, Head Curator Fuller Craft Museum; Perry Price, Executive Director Houston Center for Contemporary Craft; Carol Sauvion, Creator, Exec Producer and Director of Craft in America
This exhibit is currently in print, and it was really wonderful seeing my work among some pretty outstanding works in fiber.
“New Directions in Fiber Art” 2019 New Jersey Arts Annual-Crafts, Montclair Art Museum, Montclair, NJ Jurors: Carol K. Russell and Judy Wukitsch
I talked about this exhibit already because I wasn’t able to attend the opening, I was teaching in southern California. I finally got to actually see the exhibit a couple of weeks ago, and took a couple photos of the installation of my work. The work they accepted out of the 8 submitted was not one of my favorites of the group, but the judge obviously saw something else and I was thrilled. The piece is part of my Chromosome series, and it is called 44+XY. The show runs from February 9-June 16.
I have been to the land where it is sunny and warm, if only for a long weekend, I flew down to Orlando about 10 days ago, and absorbed the sun, what there was of it, it mostly rained, and saw some pretty azaleas and tropical plants, some gorgeous views of Lake Yale, and taught a wonderful pre conference four hour class in Turned Krokbragd on the Inkle Loom. I had 16 eager students and they all produced this wonderful little sample.
One of my most favorite students was standing in front of me in the lunch line. I remember her making this the last time I taught in Florida, but I never got to see it finished. Wow, just wow.
And then I taught my weekend class, Fabulous Fit, where students tried on my samples and had a tracing marathon. They learned so much about fit and how handwoven fabric works, and I got lots of emails and thanks after I got home for opening their eyes to the possibilities. I did my job! Of course, I didn’t take a single photo because I was too busy helping participants! Picture the image above, but instead of looms, there were patterns and pattern tracing paper everywhere!
Back to prepping and shipping artwork, taxes on Thursday, bills due Friday, and I have to clear one of my looms by April 1 so I can photograph the yardage for the next exhibit at Peters Valley which is the faculty show. Since I’m on the faculty there this summer, well, of course I have to put something in. I’ve run out of yardage to display there, and so I wove something new. Meanwhile, the big news in this house is that Brianna, my lovely creative daughter, whom I talked about in the last blog post, was accepted as the Fiber Assistant for the summer at Peters Valley, from May through October. She will live out there and assist with all the fiber classes. And I’ll be teaching a yardage class  this summer, and I just adore when I open a magazine and there in full color and all its glory is a photo of me and my illustrious students!