Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Harmony

by Misik Kim
"Harmony" ©2015, 17" x 42"

During this work, I was thinking a lot about the harmony.
Some swatches from the market, and old fabrics …….
These fabrics are so strange to me
I was piecing these fabrics with familiar techniques.

I think ……

The harmony of Familiarity and unfamiliarity

Saturday, June 27, 2015

HoneyBee Armageddon

This report just in from sometime in the near future.

In response to the recent honey bee colony collapse across the US, Congress, sitting in emergency session,  has authorized the use of drones.

Diane  Wright
Honey and Pollen News Times
HoneyBee Armageddon

The QRCode links (with permission) to Dr. Maria Spivak's TED talk "Why Bees Are Disappearing".

Magical Neon

Cauldrons are black and skillets are copper, but my representation of them is in bright neon-like colours. 

In old times, the nourishing aspect of cauldrons was mixed up with magic and witchcraft.

Neon lights are magical to me.  They feel like the product of witchcraft or alchemy, even if I know well that there is a scientific explanation for their brightness and sparkle.  They illuminate dark nights and add a touch of magic to city centres.

“The Witching Cauldron” is made with fabrics hand-dyed by myself, using fused appliqué and machine stitching.  42” by 31.5”.

If you slide the photos up and down the page a little, with the cursor on the slider, some of the colours seem to flicker and shine.


"Weekend" ©2015, 42" x 19"

I live in a relatively small town with a large university in California.  The sun shines most days making bicycles a viable means of transportation for students, faculty, and other residents.  On peak days, there are 20,000 bikes on campus, so I have no shortage of inspirational material.  I frequently walk through campus and have grown accustomed to the rhythm of the days, the quarters and breaks and summers.  I know not to expect to cross the street easily at 8:50 am.  But weekends are different.  Staff and faculty are gone, students sleep in, and a lone bike sits in the sun outside of a closed dining hall.  The cycle of cycles - - I have my theme covered!

Hsin-Chen, this was a really fun piece to create and using a palette I like, but don't usually use in my work.  I like the results - it reminds me of happy things.  Thanks for the challenge!

"Weekend" was created with commercial fabrics and hand-dyes layered with organza.  The foreground is raw-edge appliquéd and machine quilted.

"Weekend", detail

Night Swimming

Night Swimming

I love the movie “Finding Nemo”. One of my favorite scenes is when two fish, Marlin and Dory, are swimming through a smack of jellyfish and risk getting stung. An encounter with a jellyfish could mean death and both fish are naturally frightened. Dory keeps them focused and helps to overcome their fear by saying “Just keep swimming; swimming, swimming, swimming!”

Just keep swimming. How simple! When faced with difficult circumstances, focus on the one thing you know how to do and just keep doing it. Eventually you’ll emerge on the other side. Brilliant! 

In addition to the underlying wisdom of the scene, the jellyfish are beautiful. I love their luminescence, they almost glow in the dark. When Hsin-Chen posted the challenge (neon), I thought of my theme (water) and immediately decided to depict jellyfish.

“Night Swimming” is my tribute to Dory the fish. The background is painted on a piece of white muslin. I embellished the jellyfish with yarn, bobbin work and dimensional paint. It was Kate’s hummingbird piece that inspired me to experiment with yarn and embroidery floss. Thank you Kate!

I “distressed” the yarn by unraveling, pulling and fraying. I laid the center yarns randomly, adding pieces when I thought I needed more color. The outer tentacles were more planned but they’re not fully stitched down so they can move and simulate the flow of the water.
This challenge was great fun, Thank you Hsin-Chen!

the Abyss

The Abyss

Had a great time with this one.
I used acid dyed silk habotai, and stenciled deep sea creatures on it with Shiva paintstik.
I tried to capture the transparent nature of these animals by letting the dark background show in the center.
Some battery operated rice lights were stitched underneath the silk, and I hand bead quilted the rest.
There's additional couched neon cording, and glow in the dark paint of course.

Here's a closeup of the big gulper, he's actually kind of made up- I used a couple of plastic toys as models.

this is what it would look like if you were really down there!

Rock Star

This challenge was really fun.  I got off to a late start, thinking and trying several ideas until I came up with this one. "Neon" reminds me of nightclubs, bar signs and sometimes the your-name-in-lights idea of fame.

I ran upstairs and recruited one of my favorite "models" to pose for this portrait. I used a desk light to create a single light source, to resemble a stage spotlight.  He was already playing guitar so he didn't really have to work too hard. LOL

To fulfil the challenge, I used neon-colored fabrics in green, yellow and red-orange, as well as some neon blue and pink threads.  For my overall theme of "reflection", the shiny metal surfaces of the button on the guitar strap and the tuners seem to fit the bill.  Reflection could also refer to the way Graeson turns to music when he wants to chill out alone.  He becomes absorbed in the music as he improvises melodies.  Not having any musical ability myself, I find it fascinating. It seems like a form of meditation or mental escape.

technical details:
finished size 28"W x 42"H
cotton fabric, hand cut and layered and secured using raw-edge applique, quilting with hand-guided free motion stitching, rayon and polyester threads

Bubble Tea

Bubble Tea
26"W x 41.5"L
Pearl or bubble tea is a drink that originated in Taiwan and is popular in my neighbourhood. I am always amazed and surprised by the variety of flavour and jelly combinations available, for example taro milk tea, green apple or lychee with pearls, rainbow or mango jelly.
The neon colour challenge encapsulates the variety of colours displayed on the drinks menu.
Materials; cotton, batting, thread, textile ink, fusible, cord, beads
Techniques; hand painted, hand couched and beaded, machine applique, machine quilted


by Lin Hsin-Chen
According to previous experience of visiting mountain environments, people mainly dressed in earth tones to try not to disturb natural ecology. Things are not what they used to be. Recently, I had a chance to go hiking. I noticed that groups of hikers dressed in shiny fluorescent colors. How did the situation change? The idea of respecting nature has replaced by a people-oriented world.

I hope such "self-contradictory" is a reminder. My imagination goes wild: I try to put neon-colored roses on a dark background, and to sew elegant chintz which was published in the 70’s on the shining background; I add flowering sky and shimmering silver stream to natural scenery; I dress up in bright and luxurious clothes, and I decorate all the things greedily. Of course, most people are self-awareness and they don’t treat the environment selfishly. We understand that letting fluorescent color get into forest is only a self-secure protecting behavior.

The 70’s is a shining era that neon colors appear in the dark at night to impress people. Today, shining colors are everywhere and anytime. It’s a fast-paced world driven by technology as time progresses. "Habit" is a horrible thing. When we live in an ill environment and completely ignore the existence of ecological environment, over time, we forget what the normal environment is. Obviously, the idea of “respecting” environment has been distorted. Last time I went hiking, a friend who lived in the mountains told me that birds used to fly away when they saw shining neon colors, but they don’t now. Moreover, their feathers are less colorful than they used to be. Creatures also have the right to protect themselves, as time goes by, people may no longer see the true color of the beautiful natural environment in forest.

I ponder that while following fashion trends, we are also blinded by the temptation of fashion. Thus it would cause harm to nature. Causing light pollution and disturbing vision. I have been thinking… when we have something, do we lose something else? “Self-contradictory” is my second work for my Thinking Series. It’s a confession of compunction about nature.

p.s. my Viewpoints 9 pin is broken. It can't be worn anymore. So I decide to put it in the work to show its beauty in a different way! Hope Martha will agree with it. Thank you!

Materials: satin brocade, brocade with gold thread, knitting wool, jacquard plush, voile, acetate cloth, warp sateen, chintz of the 70’s, Indian silk sari, Indian cotton sari, gold thread, silver thread, beads
Techniques: hand pieced, hand appliqué, three-layered hand quilted, embroidered
Size: 26”W x 42”H

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Shining Era

by Lin Hsin-Chen
I have been fascinated with a series of eye-catching colors recently. They are so special, attractive and dazzling. Neon pink, yellow, and green colors are flaunting themselves before us and showing their vividness. People look breezy in them and young people look stylish in them. Then, how about creating a quilt with neon colors?

Photo Credit:
According to what I look up on internet, neon colors are popular in 2012 and 2013. What if neon colors, sequins, beads, buttons…or any other shining materials show up together on quilts, will it reveal quilts’ distinctive charm? As an artist in this ever-changing era, it must be very interesting to challenge new materials and catch up with fashion trend.

So, in the second challenge of V9-3, please create within your theme and use “neon color fabrics and sequins, beads, buttons…or any other shining materials”. The vertical dimension should be 42”, and please choose your horizontal dimension between 18" and 54"). Happy creating!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Dongdaemun Market

From Misik Kim

It is a very interesting challenge.
I think it is the the opportunity to use materials I did not use before.
When I went to the market to buy some fabrics, I sometimes get swatches of new materials that I am interested in.
The market is an interesting place for me.
In particular, Dongdaemun Market is a special place that has everything I want.
It is a place gives a lot of ideas to me.
So l love to go there so much.

Thanks Hsin-Chen...........

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ditto Here, Betty!

Bright is delight-ful.  This is a very exciting challenge posed by Hsin-Chen!  Maybe it's working with all these bright colors.  Thank you for this opportunity to brighten things up a bit.  Can't wait for reveal day June 27!

Small sampling

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I'm so excited!!

What fun this is going to be!
I've incorporated actual lights in a few pieces so far, and am using Hsin-Chen's great idea for a challenge to do so again- combined with glow in the dark and neon.
Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Better in colour

The world would be a dull place without colour and a touch of neon is so bright and pretty. Miss 5 must have thought so too as she played with my i pad.
Interesting to see the world through the eyes of the young. Thanks Hsin-Chen, I have had a lovely time with this challenge as I love bright colour too.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Neon Memories

When I think of “Neon”, it reminds me of my first car.  A 1995 Dodge Neon in ‘Electric Metallic Blue”. I loved that car! I admit I drove way too fast back then, but it felt like such a shame to drive conservatively in a superhero colored baby like this.

Every day I drove an hour to work and an hour back home, singing along with the radio at the top of my lungs.  Oh yes, I’m a great “car singer” – similar to a “shower singer” but with less water. The year I bought the car, I was a twenty-something girl with a little money in my pocket, good friends and (much underappreciated) free time.  I collected a lot of memories and a few speeding tickets during the Electric Metallic Blue reign.

I put over 100,000 miles on my little Neon before it was time to trade her in for a more “grown up” Honda Civic. By then, I had the same job and same great friends, but I also had a child seat in the back and I obeyed the speed limit.