I wish you all a wonderful Holiday and Happy New Year! Thank you for ordering Christmas presents for your loved ones from my SHOP. Please note that any orders placed after December 16th cannot be promised for Christmas delivery. Perhaps an order from Pomegranate publishing could do the trick? They have published a puzzle and note cards of my designs! They are also available at Amazon.
One of the recent purchasers of my Lures, Layer Cake Creative here in Denver, requested an interview to learn more about my art making process and my thoughts around being an artist. You can read the interview on their site and discover more about their full service marketing firm, or read below. It's great knowing this piece exists in an appreciative atmosphere. Thank you Layer Cake!
How did you decide specifically upon the LURE concept? Why a collection of giant, playful, colorful – but confrontational, fish bait?
“With most of my projects there is a long period of contemplation followed by an epiphany.
In this case, the venue for the work was different, it being the first time I was invited to participate in a design, as opposed to a fine art, event. My work has been hovering between the two disciplines for a while now, and over the last couple of years I’ve actually been more excited by the possibilities inherent in creating functional design work as opposed to singular fine art pieces. That being said, my design works are absolutely derived from my art, either drawings or sculptures, and without the art practice there would be no product. I really love the interplay.
I initially put a lot of pressure on myself to make some pieces that could become a product line (furniture, home goods, kitchenware), but after months of contemplation and sketching ideas, I realized that I was running out of time and that it would be easier for me to stick to my strengths in fabric sculpture. This lead to considering a line of pillows, a set of small quilts, some woven banners – but all of these skirted the theme of CAST. Eventually, one evening during dinner, I thought of making Lures, and it made me laugh, picturing the finished works. I immediately knew that they were a do-able project for the short time frame and allowed me to work in the familiar while also leaving room for experimentation – elements that would bring me great joy in the making.
As for why they are colorful and playful, yet ‘confrontational’ as you say; this is somehow very typical of my work, and I suppose it’s just inherent. People have thought of my art as both bright and humorous but also eerie, or haunting. Admittedly, I don’t think of my work in this way during the process, but I do see it once the pieces are made, and I like the juxtaposition.”
What was the most challenging aspect of creating these pieces, in terms of construction?
“The level of detail; they were rather laborious. All five of the pieces required a ton of patience but rarely were they tedious. There was a lot of machine and hand sewing, exploration of colors and textures and how they were relating in each work, manipulation of material through cutting, braiding, folding, wrapping, shredding; but nothing was all that tricky. Mostly things just required persistence. The eyeballs were challenging to mount, glitter is hard to confine, really it all just took a lot of time.
In The Marker, the piece you obtained, getting the row of pencils how I wanted it was a bit trying. I drilled holes in the pencils and ran a wire through them into the armature. I tacked the wire every three inches or so, but it kept bowing. Eventually I added a braided green jute on both sides which acted as a sandwich and held the pencils in place. I love the way it looks with that bordering element. These moments are really enjoyable – when necessity is the mother of invention and the piece transforms itself in ways that I hadn’t expected.
I did require a bit of help in the end as well. My husband, Mathias Leppitsch (another Design After Dark participant) crafted the hooks to my specifications and suggested the Plexi stands for display, which he then helped me implement. Installation is often an after thought for me; I’m always running out of time and it becomes a last minute stressful situation. He really helped me out here.”
You are a writer, designer, and an artist who works in multiple media. How do you decide which medium (or combo of them) will best convey a new idea?
“I absolutely love all realms of creativity and unquestionably the best scenarios are those where they all come together. I used to put on puppet shows, and what I liked most about that was working with costume, sculpture, drawing, writing and music. One of my dream gigs is to design costumes and sets for a far-out avant-garde opera.
When opportunities arise with others, if I’m interested, I explore whatever medium is called upon, and I do love collaborating. Mathias and I are continually working on a series of furniture that we hope to launch in the near future.
Typically however, my drawing practice is primary and most everything unfolds from there. Currently, I’m focused on creating surface designs based on my drawings. Sometimes I explore sculpture without an initial drawing but just an idea – that’s what happened with the lures. I’m also very influenced by what I’m into at the time. If I get the idea for a story, then I’ll write and follow that by drawings or dolls. I’ve always wanted to publish storybooks.
See, truly, it’s hard to decide what to work on! My love for making things spreads me into many different arenas, all of which I adore, but at times it can be overwhelming because I want to do them all! I hope you guys are enjoying The Marker and thanks for the interview.”
Here we go! After some time away from making product for the holiday markets, I have restocked my infinity scarves. There are 12 patterns to choose from. All scarves are made from 100% organic cotton knit fabric that has been digitally printed with elements derived from my Powers of Ten series and hand-sewn by me here in my Denver studio. Check out my shop if you are interested. Spring should be nice time to wear them.
Also, I've been working on a new line of surface designs that I look forward to sharing with you in the near future. In the meantime, I hope that you are all well and enjoying the slow shifting season.
This past weekend the "Design Council of the Denver Art Museum had its tenth annual incarnation of Design After Dark, an annual winter party and fundraiser benefiting the Department of Architecture, Design & Graphics at the Denver Art Museum".
My husband Mathias has been participating in this event for six or seven years now. He continuously makes the most amazing pieces for the auction and it always inspires me. This year, for the 10th anniversary, I too was invited to participate along with eight other artists and designers! Hoorah!
I wasn't sure what to make until the two weeks leading up to the event and after much deliberation, I chose to make lures. The theme was CAST. My studio overflowed with fabrics and glass eyes, pipe cleaners and ceramic beads that my mom made in the seventies for macrame, mops and colored pencils - all sorts of random stuff that I've collected over the years for my fabric sculptures. My studio was a total mess, but it all came together and I'm so excited about the end result.
The event was wonderful, and hey, I won Best in Show!!!!!!! I even got this neat-o ribbon.
The last couple of months have been busy making goods based upon the patterns in my Powers of Ten series. These are 19" x 19" feather-fill pillows created from my surface design collections Crystals, Flotsam, Lilypads, Branches, Pinwhickle and Ropes. Each design is digitally printed on a linen/cotton blend fabric, with a linen/cotton backing fabric and piping. All have a zipper closure.
I'll be selling them this weekend at the Horseshoe Holiday Market here in Denver. It's from 10am to 4pm Satruday at Pavilions. It would be great to see you there! I'll also have them for sale on my site soon. Stay tuned.
I'm now selling 8" x 10" archival prints of my art. There are 5 different images from my Masks series, 5 from my Objects in Place series and 5 from my Ropes series. They are $25 each and can be purchased directly from the shop on my website. They are a standard size and can be framed easily. I've gotten great feedback from those who have already purchased them. Thank you!
I'm also interested in hearing what images you would like to see as prints and what sizes you'd prefer. Please let me know by commenting below. Thank you!
If you have a pumpkin you want to carve and you don't quite know what image to make, a great immediate solution is to look at your hands. There's a good chance that within each knuckle, you will find a little face. I had students in my drawing class spend the day drawing their knuckles and when through, they carved their pumpkins from one of their drawings. It's a bit ridiculous, but I wanted to share the project with you. Happy Halloween!
In 2005, I performed a puppet show for PS1's Greater New York: Performance Series. The story is called Can't Find the Bottom and is performed with my fabric characters, fabric collage backdrops, pre-recorded audio and me.
recording was made with the help of the extraordinary Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio. He and I
share the voices of the characters. Tunde did the recording. It was such a joy
creating this with him. His voices are incredible!
This initial story became the makings for a book I've been writing on and off for years. It's about a woman who chases a hot air balloonist seeking a stolen treasure map and a misunderstood perception of love. Throughout the adventure there are pranks, ghosts, cults, muddy hands, dead birds, bandits and old mercury mines. There is understanding, heartbreak, laughter and self knowledge.
Thank you all for coming out in support of me and my work. It means the world to me! Also, thanks for munching on my edible art:
'Objects in Place' Snacks, Firehouse Arts Center, Longmont CO, marshmallows, hard boiled eggs, salt, wonder bread, goat cheese and cucumber sandwiches, yogurt-covered almonds, mints, paper plates and napkins, patterned paper, 30" x 72" x 9", 2013
Click here to see the series, 'Objects in Place'.
UCCS GOCA has a brilliant feedback wall with note cards and a lovely old typewriter. Someone shared their thoughts about my Powers of Ten series on this little note. Thank you!
After a wonderful week in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming I am back to work on my drawings. While there I was inspired by the teepee frame in the meadow behind the cabin where we stayed and the roofs on the ranger station in the distance. These two drawings reflect these forms, abstracted and promoted by the patterns and color that emanate from the structures.
A solo show of mine opens in early August in Longmont, Colorado. The body of work is still forming, but there will certainly be a dialogue between repeat pattern design and drawing and between sculpture and furniture. It's really exciting and important for me to span these disciplines and have the work bridge both worlds.
While working on this latest mask drawing I realized that I was inspired once again by a UFO drawing that I stumbled upon years ago and wrote about on this blog. I am so seduced by the tiny intersecting spot that is created when a round form rests on a flat surface.
As I continue to work on the drawings for this series, I get more and more excited to begin the sculptural realm of the project.
rom 5 yards of striped upholstery fabric I created 125 yards (375 feet) of handmade webbing which I wove onto the iconic Marcel Breuer "Wassily" Chair frame.
This is my first weaving project and it proved more challenging than I thought. The armature created both opportunities and constraints that lead to hours upon hours of trial and error. It was arduous both mentally and physically and infinitely, infinitley rewarding.
A friend jokingly called this project blasphemous. Perhaps in some ways it is, but now the chair is more comfortable than the original and ar more tactile. It has inspired new ideas for original armatures with alternate weaving strategies.
See more here and please post a comment below. I'd love to know what you think.
About two years ago I purchased an old Wassily Chair frame at a thrift store in California, and since then I've been thinking of ways to return the chair to a usable piece of furniture.
The "Wassily Chair" was designed by Marcel Breuer in 1925-1926. It is also known as the Model B3 chair and was created while he was the head of the cabinet-making workshop at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany. Inspired by Breuer's love for his own bicycle, he created the frame of chrome plated tubular steel. The original upholstery panels were made of canvas, but later productions used leather.
Building upon the concepts and materials of the Eames Rocker that I transformed last year as part of BMoCA's and Design Within Reach's White Space event, I've created my own lacing once again to weave upholstery panels in place of canvas or leather.
The project is still in progress, but should be done in a few days. I'll then upload images of the finished piece under the Projects section of this site.