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Personal Experience with Design and Stitch…. Guest Blogger – Linda Ingham

September 30, 2016

Autumn Exhibition – Blog #5  –  Level 3 Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch – Asters

“Level 3 Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch has provided the opportunity to build on the skills learned in L3 and L4 Art and Design and apply them to designing a series of stitched pieces. It is exciting to develop a unique design based on research and personal experiences. There are no limits; the only boundaries are those set by you. It has been a very rewarding journey.”

Take Your Sewing Machine Out of Mothballs

September 23, 2016

A little history – be sure to check out the video link at the end of the post to see Gail making machine lace.

Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts

It seems incredible to believe that Swiss manufacturers were turning out exquisitely stitched machine embroidery to imitate some of the fashionable hand made lace and other embroideries in the mid 1800s.  Elaborate multi needle machines were doing exquisite work.   Soon afterwards  the domestic sewing machine was used as a simpler machine to imitate lace and hand embroidery. The humble Singer Sewing Machine had an important role in the forward movement  of sewing.  The Singer Sewing Machine Company was the first in history to implement the payment plan which was very useful to those who now had this option available to them.   Today, even though the machines we use are more sophisticated in a variety of ways, we still use some of the basic functions of the sewing machine to do free machining. Students are always amazed that they can work on any basic elderly machines and get great results. Of course you can also…

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Fiji Inspired My Art – Guest Blogger – Patti Olds

September 22, 2016

Autumn Exhibition – Blog #4  –  Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch – Asters

My Level 3 Stitch work was inspired by the brilliant sunsets, geometric patterns, marine life and beautiful flowers I have seen on my visits to Fiji. Gail’s classes have taught me how to use color, proportion and complexity in my designs and projects.  Experimentation has taken me to a whole new level and I have learned to see, think and stitch outside the box. I am looking forward to the challenges that Level 4 will bring.

Fabric and Thread in a Non Traditional Way

September 20, 2016

Autumn Exhibition Blog #3 – Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch – Asters

I grew up in a family that encouraged many types of art experiences. Hand stitch and machine stitch were always part of my many projects. As I grew older I kept looking for new challenges that would take me outside the stitch box, I wanted to move outside the lines, to design, draw and create with fabric and thread in a non traditional way. I started with Klimt in this course as my inspiration for my 3D project. As I observed his work I was drawn to the repetitive lines and swirls he used in his pieces. I took small sections and developed them further. Japanese Boro is another inspiration. I studied the colours, aging fabric, its movement and layering – leading me to create my own modern version. Gail’s classes have given me the tools to challenge myself in design and putting a major project together. They have sparked a bigger passion for continued exploration in this exciting art field. I am looking forward to the fourth level!

La Conner Textile Exhibition

September 11, 2016

Autumn Exhibition  Blog #2 – Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch – Asters

Today was the first day of our free exhibition at the center just outside La Conner.  We are also open tomorrow Sunday from 11:00 to 4:00.  For more information, link here .   Thanks to Mary Hedlin from Hedlin Family Farms just outside La Conner (technically Mount Vernon) for arranging all of our bouquets. They are spectacular. There are a few with beautiful fall colors in this blog.

I have included a picture of a stitched textile from Margaret Joseph’s study about jellies in this blog. What an exciting theme. She has a number of them including a 3 dimensional one in this exhibition. Hope to see you.



Autumn Textile Exhibition this Weekend

September 9, 2016

Autumn Exhibition Blog #1     Level 3 Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch…Asters

A group of  7 students – Asters arrived on Tuesday at the studio and are getting their stitched artwork ready for exhibition. Just adding a few stitches here and there and placing artwork up on the walls is all part of presenting their artwork to the public.  Here’s a link to information about the upcoming Level 3 Advanced Studies in Experimental Stitch Exhibition  at our studio on Sept. 10th and 11th, this weekend.  The seven exhibitors are Lynette Barnes, Linda Ingham, Margaret Joseph, Wendy MacKinnon, Pauline Oakey, Patti Olds and Gillian Smith. They are from Canada and the United States.  Sunday morning, they will be each giving a short talk about their artwork. Register for this by email if you would like to attend the talks. Art Themes range from the the Ocean to Flowers, very original and exciting to see. Each student will be providing an art blog describing their journey and often their theme. We hope you are able to attend. Here are a few pictures showing a few of them in preparation.

Pomegranates in Art as Symbol and Metaphor…. Guest Blogger: Deborah Hickey-Tiernan

September 5, 2016
© Deborah Hickey - Tiernan

Summer Exhibition Blog #9 last in a series     Level 3 Studies in Art and Design – Lantana

Color.  Pigment mixed into water, oil, egg yolks, acrylic, wax, alcohol, and dye; pressed into pencils, sticks, crayons, cakes, and markers; brushed, spread, poured, rubbed, scratched, rolled, sprayed, scribed, and drawn fascinates and provides a luscious array of endless possibilities.  Then what???

In this course I have found substantive and reliable teaching that allows me to consider and develop my answers.  The methods and materials, along with the elements and principals of art and design provide the necessary framework for living with the blank surface.  And for the journey from what is imagined to what is made.

Pomegranates feature in a number of my pieces and are a splendid source of inspiration.  From ancient times and throughout the world’s traditions and religions it is beheld as ritual object, symbol and metaphor.  Pomegranates exist in holy texts, myths and stories.  They are imaged in sculpture, architecture, stained glass, mosaics, ceramics, paintings, and textiles. 

Sacred scriptures of Jews, Muslims, and Christians (my tradition) include the pomegranate tree in the Garden of Eden.  It’s no wonder.  Evergreen leaves and glorious blossoms that grow into appealing red spheres which open to display glistening, juicy fruit.  This tree would surely live in any real or imagined paradise.

I chose the shape and dazzling color of the juicy seeds for further exploration in some of my work.  Alcohol inks on Yupo paper were helpful in this effort.  I looked in particular at the monochromatic spectrum of color found inside the fruit; and made two interpretations of the juicy seeds as having a dynamic presence. 

These two views are derived from a Christian perspective.  One sees the pomegranate as a metaphor for Jesus with the bursting seeds referring to his birth and then rebirth in the resurrection.  The other, juicy seeds flowing from a tree, alludes to Jesus use of seeds and trees to teach about God’s inexhaustible grace and mercy 

For me the setting of The Harker Center, the other students, and the very fine teaching offer the opportunity to create an artist as well as art.


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