Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

14 Artists/3 Days – Please come!

November 26, 2016

Coming up next week!
I’ll have many small mounted (affordable!) pieces at this wonderful, annual show and sale put on by Brattleboro West Arts. I’ve made some new work for this event including this here gem, Biome V.

There will also be oodles of yummy gorgeous art created by my brilliant fellow artists.
A wonderful opportunity to peruse lovely artwork, find unique gifts and support local artists.

118 Elliot St.- Brattleboro, Vermont
Friday      December 2    5-8
Saturday  December 3   10-6
Sunday    December 4   11-5


Small ones-in progress

October 15, 2016


I’m  digging through my stash, rediscovering some buried pieces of lovely silk I dyed and putting together a group of little creations. These 10″ x 10″ pieces will be mounted onto 12″ square black gallery wrapped canvas. I’m hoping to create at least eight and they all will be available at the upcoming Brattleboro West Arts annual first weekend of December show.More on that later!

Working at such a small scale gives me space to play with new ideas. Like did you know that embroidery thread can be curled on the edge of a scissor blade -like ribbon on a present??


My solo show at Gallery Walk…

September 1, 2016

…Main St. Bratttleboro, VT.
I’ll be there at least most of the time! Stop by Mitchell Giddings Fine Art gallery Friday between 5-7ish if you can. This exhibit will be up until September 18th.

Alsa, I’ll be giving an artist talk at the gallery with Jackie Abrams:
Saturday, September 17th at 5!
Seed Dreaming VI 72

“Hidden Agenda” opens tomorrow

August 17, 2016

The opening reception is tomorrow, Thursday, from 5-7.
Mitchell Giddings Fine Art
183 Main Street, Brattleboro  Vermont

I’ll be there! All that’s left for me to do is decide what to wear…

Seed Dreaming V 72
Seed Dreaming V  will be there,too!

“Hidden Agenda”

July 20, 2016

I’m excited to announce that my solo show with the catchy title above (courtesy of my son) opens at Mitchell Giddings Fine Art gallery in Brattleboro Vermont on August 18th ! It will be up until September 18th. I will be giving an artist talk (along with my friend and basketmaker extrordinaire, Jackie Abrams, on Saturday, September 17th 5-7.

I spent yesterday morning getting new work photographed by my wonderful new photographer, Al. I was impressed with the results! Here’s one of the new pieces that will be hanging in the show.
Seed Dreaming VI 72
Seed Dreaming VI

If you can, please come see the show and to my talk and let me know what you think!

A Deadline Motivates!

July 4, 2016

The opening of my solo show at Mitchell Giddings Fine Art gallery is 6 weeks away. Despite trying to balance my day job and my elderly Mom here for the summer, I find I’m being much more productive during the precious minutes of studio time I can carve out.
big seed 3 detail2
detail-in progress

No dilly-dallying! No endless indecisiveness and tortured second guessing! It all feels a bit scary but so satisfying!

The first two large convex seeds are mounted (with rigid rug padding inside) and the third one is mostly finished. I’ve also simultaneously begun working on several smaller pieces for the show. This is all such a revolution in my usual only-work-on-one-piece-at-a-time style.

Once the show is hung and my mom has left, I wonder if I can somehow keep myself creating in this way…

My new fiber love

November 6, 2015

Mulberry Bark.

Well new to me anyway. Apparently it has been used for hundreds of years in Japan and elsewhere in Asia. It’s also referred to as kozo and is used extensively in papermaking.

I got some bleached and then dyed it with Setacolor.

dyed mulberry bark

dyed mulberry bark

I’m a sucker for the texture which is irregularly grid-like but can be teased into curvier lines that form around serendipitous holes. Very fun to play with. It’s quite stiff and when wet and shaped will dry to that shape. Folks, like this woman, make delicate bowls with it.

Me, I will dye it, pull the fibers into the pattern I want and stitch it down. That’s the plan anyway. I think it has great potential to add interesting organic surface texture.
Have any of you used it?


October 13, 2013

I really never thought I’d be using this blog to recommend a computer game but this is art related and all about COLOR. The game is Blendoku:

It’s a free puzzle game that, I find, strengthens my sensitivity to subtle shifts in color. Here’s a screen shot:

blendoku screenshot

blendoku screenshot

Of course it starts easy and gets more challenging. As a dyer who will not follow recipes and who is always playing with figuring out what blends make what hues..this game is perfect. It’s totally right brain which I find soothing. And I don’t feel guilty playing it. If you try it (free on apple or android!) please let me know what you think. Am I deluding myself to justify frittering away chunks of time…? Do I want to know the answer to that…?

Batiking in Ghana 3

September 1, 2013

It’s been decades since I’ve experimented with stamping with wax but Dan was a patient teacher. I tended toward being heavy handed.

Karen stamping

Karen stamping

Here is Dan’s assistant, Elizabeth showing how it should be done!

Notice how she doesn’t even look at the vat of hot wax as she dips. I, on the other hand, had a number of hot splatters on my hands and feet!

The fabric was hung outside for the wax to dry-it took only a few minutes in the sun.

Meanwhile, Dan helped me mix the vat dyes we would use. He shares my style of mixing dye-no pesky measuring spoons.

mixing dye

mixing dye

I had never used vat dyes before-it apparently involves some nasty chemical reactions. so I was grateful for the mask.
Next came the actual dyeing…a lovely blue:



Then, letting it dry in the sun while greeting neighbors…



…then stamping with block 2 ( I was a bit smoother that time), mixing my next color-purple- and the overdye.

Next post: the results and more about Dan’s process!


Batiking in Ghana 1

August 27, 2013

I just got back from a transformative four weeks in Ghana, West Africa!  It was jam-packed with extraordinary adventures that I’m just starting to digest! Here’s a fiber related one. It will probably take a few installments.
Nearly everywhere in Ghana are women (often carrying large loads on their heads and babies on their backs!) wearing boldly colored batik dresses and head wraps. I tried not to stare but the intricate fabric designs, the complicated cuts of the dresses AND the ingenious way yardage was skillfully used to secure those babies was a visual treat. Some of that fabric was cheap fake batik imported from China. But I sought out where to buy locally made batik. I had been given the name of Mercy Asi Ocansey from a friend as the place to see the most beautiful and interesting hand made batik in the area. I finally found both she and her small shop in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

Mercy and I in her store

Mercy and I in her store

She is retired and the designs and fabric are now being created by her son, Daniel Tekper Baflo (much more on his amazing craft later!) She asked me to wear one of her batiked shirts for the picture. This photo does not do justice to the  multilayered unique designs on all this fabric. Needless to say I left with a lighter wallet though it was agonizing to pick what yardage to buy.

Dan and his sister

Dan and his sister

I returned a few days later to work out a plan to be able to observe her batik workshop (outside of the city) and create some fabric myself. This involved lots of misunderstood English, laughter, many cell phone calls to “the boy” (her son, Dan) and polite price haggling. My friend and I left with very rough directions and a plan to travel there the next morning. I also, of course, had bought more fabric : ).

More in the next installment!