Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Seeking Photos of Topsfield, Massachusetts

As I've noted before in this blog, my daughter Sonja Lee-Austin and I have a show coming up at the Topsfield (Massachusetts) Town Library  in February of 2013.  Our theme is Wabi Sabi - the honoring of things that are worn by the sands of time but getting better and better with age.  These are things that may be old and frayed, but are still beautiful and dearly treasured.

Having visited Topsfield many times of the years, we know that there are many things and places there that fit our theme.  Rather than just base the exhibit solely on our own ideas of what those things are, we would like to incorporate images of places and things around the town that are particularly treasured by the town residents themselves (or visitors).   We feel like this would be a good way to really share the wonderful spirit of Topsfield.

Here's basically what we have in mind:

Send us your digital photograph(s) of your favorite place(s) in Topsfield along with a brief statement about why you chose that particular place or thing and just what you treasure about it.  We'll print the photo on fabric and incorporate it into an artwork--perhaps adding embroidery or painting, for example.  We'll also incorporate something of your story into the artwork giving you credit for the photo and the story.

Here's a sample of the type of thing that we might do.  This is Sonja's Boston Public Garden Quilt.

Here are some important "rules" for this project:
  • You must have personally taken any photograph you submit and you must be willing to let us use it as we see fit--e.g., cropping it, merging it with other images, etc.
  • We will own the artwork produced.  If the artwork should sell, we would share up to 20% of the proceeds with you or if you wish to purchase the artwork yourself, we would offer you a 20% discount on the purchase price.  (It is possible that we would incorporate images from more than one person into an artwork.  In that case the 20% "commission" would be split among the people whose images are used.)
  • We do not guarantee that we will use all images submitted to us.
  • Images and stories should be e-mailed to Ann@FriendsFabricArt.com by September 30, 2012.
We'll share our progress on this here in my blog or in Sonja's.

Monday, August 6, 2012

From Somewhere on Cloud Nine

My first bit of excitement from the Sunapee fair (League of New Hampshire Craftsmen) came before the show officially opened.  At the preview party Friday night, it was announced that I was this year's winner of the Best in Fine Sewing award.  Was I ever surprised and thrilled.  This award is sponsored by the Portsmouth Fabric Company and the prize is a gift certificate for their store.  This is one of my favorite fabric stores, so that made the award doubly exciting.  I can't wait to redeem it.  I've been spending some of it in my head already.

The jacket that won was Fruit of my Mind - pictured here - in the center.

There is a funny story about this jacket winning the prize.  I had originally submitted Jellyroll Rag for the exhibit instead of this one.  Jellyroll Rag is red and when Stacy Herlitz, the Craftwear organizer, was setting up the display she had a hard time making the red jacket "play well" against the aqua wall behind it.  So she called me up to ask if I minded if she put Fruit of my Mind into the exhibit instead.  I agreed figuring it was much better to make sure the whole display would look good than to work around a specific piece.  Needless to say, I was awfully glad she made the swap.

Here's a closer view of the jacket.  It's made of embroidered silk with layers of couching--bands of plain colored silk, followed by iridescent ribbon, followed by those Stef Francis rayon threads that I love.

(Thanks to Sonja for these pictures.  I was so wound up by all of this that I forgot to take any pictures when I was there on Friday and Saturday!)

I have to say that it was also exciting to see my jackets in the context of the larger display.  Here's a picture of Dance Rhythms as a centerpiece of another part of the display.  The necklace that Stacy chose to put with it also won an award.  The colors coordinated beautifully.
These four jackets were part of the Craftwear Exhibit (i.e., eligible for prizes).  I also have 11 more jackets on a retail rack nearby.  

The show continues through next weekend, so there's still time if you can get there.  It's well worth the time.  There is just so much stunningly beautiful work available, I'm sure you'll be inspired.