Don’t Tread on Me…

My show is up in Pittsburgh! I’m still hoping to get there to see it, if that’s possible. There are 6 pieces and it’s called Elemental Fiber

It’s in the Society for Contemporary Craft’s satellite space in the BNY Mellon Center at 500 Grant St, Pittsburgh.

It’s an interesting space…open to the public in the Lobby of the Steel Plaza T-Station at Oliver Street and Grant Street in downtown Pittsburgh. The glass also makes it hard to photograph, but I really appreciate their sending me these.

It’s hard to send work off, especially multiple pieces.

It looks good. You should go see it.

I didn’t apply for this show…they contacted me after I didn’t get into another show. Hey, I’ll take this.

I have 6 quilts in the exhibit. I’m not making any comments about the Strip District there. Hmmm. Anyway, if you happen to be in town for Fiberart International…check it out.

I taught the first day of sex ed yesterday…it was pretty chill…mostly looking at what friendship looks like and how you can tell the difference between liking and loving…a difficult concept for many adults. Like that first rush of feeling you have when you are thinking you are falling in love with someone…that’s very different than the love you feel when you have to go through hard shit and you do it together. Or they’re going through hard shit and you are there for them. I think that love is way more important, but I’m not 12. Or an adult who acts 12…most of the time. Teaching middle school means you can access your 12-year-old self quite easily…you see it reflected back at you about 150 times. But in general, in relationships, I don’t do 12.

Tuesdays are long because I do tutoring after school, and then I went shopping for snacks for our state testing days. We asked the principal this year if he could fund the snacks (such a change from the principal who wouldn’t let us have any food or drink, not even gum, because he was afraid they’d get stains on the test booklets)…but there isn’t enough money to do that and pay for the stuff we have to pay for…so every teacher funds that out of their own pocket. There’s no way kids can work that hard for 3 1/2 hours without sustenance. So we feed them.

And then I practiced video editing while cooking dinner…I got my first real Patreon video done and posted. I show the stage I’m at in the quilt and explain a little bit about how I pick fabrics and why everything is organized the way it is. I am still not an awesome video editor, but I’m getting better. It was easier this time. I still watched the instructions video about 3 more times. I’m using Lightworks, which is cool and has a lot of things you can do without a Pro version, but I can’t say it’s very intuitive for a non-video-editing person.

I’ll be doing two videos a month…one kind of a how-to/background of what I do, and one Who Knows What video. I’m thinking art exhibits I go to, or maybe even part of a hike, or watching me draw, or I don’t know. Stuff that fuels the art. I also am writing over there, and people at the $5/month level will get a drawing emailed to them each month. They can stitch it up, make a small quilt (if they’re crazy), color it in, or just stare at it. It’s going to take a little effort to get me on a routine with this, but I’m pretty sure it will get easier with time. It’s nice to make things for people who are helping me make more art.

I did stitch a little after dinner…

I did the arm things…and started the knee things. I’m hoping I have enough green for the rug. I need another bobbin. I should ask about that. I need to prep a new embroidery design for the trip to Boston. I also need to think about packing. Yup.

But last night, I ironed instead…

I have everything almost to the high 600s ironed. I could finish tonight. I think. I’m going to try anyway. This quilt is a little fussy for ironing…there’s lots of little tiny things happening that take some color analysis. Like 12 different blues in one section. Some have to go together and some most definitely shouldn’t. So there’s a lot of staring into space at fabrics. I’m good at that.

Someone sent me this…

Totally feeling it.

Elemental Fiber

I keep forgetting to talk about my upcoming solo show in Pittsburgh. Like many of you, I got a show rejection, not surprising, but then the gallery where that show was going to be contacted me about a solo show at their satellite gallery, and that’s how this stuff happens. Very cool, and I appreciate the jurors who recommended my work for the space. It’s actually a glassed-in area of a public space in the BNY Mellon Center in downtown Pittsburgh (500 Grant St, Pittsburgh, PA 15219), and it’s the satellite gallery for Contemporary Craft. My exhibition, Elemental Fiber, will coincide with Fiberart International at the CC gallery, so that is also very cool. They looked at my work, had some tentative selections, then talked to lawyers (ah lawyers) and picked what they thought would work in the space. There is still nudity! It’s an interesting space, and my goal is to get there in the summer to see it (and Fiberart International, if possible), but I will miss the opening due to my daughter’s graduation from college.

So last night, after tutoring, I managed to pack up 7 quilts, shipping 6 to Pittsburgh and one to Form Not Function. Three boxes, 22.5 pounds of quilts.

It took a couple of hours to dehair everything, cut a few slats, I made a label for one yesterday, to make boxes, and negotiate all the shipping stuff. I’m dropping one this morning, and the boychild has to drive the other two to an official UPS Customer Service Center (only two in central San Diego, unfortunately). Such a pain, but totally worth it. You don’t think about the business side of making art quilts: entering shows, putting pictures up on websites, shipping work, publicizing it etc. It takes time and effort.

Same with the job. Yesterday, we realized we had some lab prep to do for tomorrow’s lab, and panic ensued. We had borrowed a magnetic stirrer (per the instructions) from the man’s workplace (nice of them to loan it to us) and made this stuff…

There’s a great video somewhere of me yelling Vortex! as the powder stirred into the water. Then we needed to make these glue strips…

So between the two of us, I think we have 5 experimental versions of this on different substrates. I finally put one batch in the oven last night, and this morning, I have what we need. But we’re pretty sure if we use the toaster oven that our principal got the school to bake glue that we will get into a shit-ton of trouble. Like that will stop us. Substrates used: white board, plastic covers, parchment paper, tin foil? (if she did it), even thought about wax paper or plastic wrap. Something about the smooth plastic doesn’t work as well…the glue pulls in on itself (“cohesion” and “friction” were commonly used last night in dinner-making conversation, as well as in texts with my co-teacher, which ended with us each buying shirts on Amazon, I think). Wanna nerd out? We can make that happen.

We just hope some version of the lab works. We also have our annual meeting with parents this afternoon to persuade them that their kid should take our reproduction unit (parents have the right to opt kids out)…it’s scary how many parents don’t want their kids to know anything. Plus then I have to place them elsewhere and give them an alternative assignment, which isn’t the easiest thing in the world. At this point, I’m up to 10 of them, which means having to grade all those alternative assignments at the last minute too. Sigh.

I didn’t even finish grading a whole assignment yesterday. I tried, but there was too much management that had to happen. Sometimes when we give them independent work, we end up having to micromanage it so that they’ll actually DO it. Sigh.

After all that, I think I cut out Wonder Under for maybe 30 minutes. But you know what? I cut it out for 30 minutes. That’s a good thing. I’d like the Wonder Under all cut out by the end of my Thursday quilt meeting. Then sort it. Then start ironing to fabric on Friday night. I’d like all the ironing done the following week, because we’re going to LA and I’d like to be cutting stuff out on that trip. Or done! I don’t think that’s a thing. Then I lose a weekend to Boston and the girlchild’s graduation (lots of drawing and embroidery then), but I can iron down and start quilting. Yikes. Time is tight. My phone says I have 44 days to finish, but it needs to go to the photographer before that. I can do it. It’ll be OK.

There are 924 pieces in this quilt, but most of them are pretty small. So it was just under 3 yards of Wonder Under. Last night, I finished the first full yard and did a chunk out of the 2nd yard. Not fast. But progress.

I do have more travel photos. I just couldn’t deal with them this morning. Hopefully tomorrow, but I have to be up early two mornings running for meetings. Woo hoo! Sleep. Ugh. Go to bed early? Get no work done. Go to bed late? Brain stops functioning. Must regulate mood today. Deep breaths. A walk after work with the dogs and the boychild. Looking forward to that.