Sunday, December 30, 2012

inspired by FB

Inspired by a FaceBook share, these aprons were made from repurposed shirts.  My son and granddaughter love cooking together, so I designed the aprons to be complementary but unique. 

The sleeves of the seersucker shirt became pockets on the denim shirt/apron.  Denim (repurposed blue jeans), added to the shirt hems, provides extended coverage.  The iPod pouches are blue jeans pockets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

upload experiment

Today's post is an experiment with uploading photos to Blogger.  

Still unable to upload the last of my pattern/texture photos from 12.12.12, I tried redownloading from the camera, recropping and reposting.  (Imagine loud, game show buzzer sound.)  I even rephotographed the objects. (Imagine unpleasant sound again.)  Is there a gremlin or glitch in my system?  An artist's blog without images wouldn't be much to look forward too.

Drumroll.  Upload success with felt pin pix.  Perhaps Blogger just doesn't like my selection of patterns and textures.  Enough is enough.  I'll give up on them, but I'm happy to know I can post photos.

These pins are made from the trimmings ("waste") from my wool journal covers.  Thrift shops finds were fulled, dyed and embellished.  The pins are backed with leather (also upcycled from thrift shops).  They are approximately 2" - 3".  The photos above were taken on a paper cutter with a half inch grid.

I'm taking a pause in my felt pin making to complete some holiday gifts.  

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday, December 15, 2012

ask and you shall receive, but it may not be the answer to the question asked

In a recent post, I wondered "aloud" how to repurpose the plastic sleeves used to organize/store 35mm slides.   I've been saving/storing hundreds of slides which are now redundant and can be eliminated.  The plastic sleeves I've used to store them could be used for storing and organizing something else.

It hadn't yet occurred to me that I the could/should repurposed the slides!   But .... (drum roll) ...   Within 24 hours of my pondering, a photo of a clever lampshade made from 35mm slides appeared on FaceBook.  Sometimes the universe doesn't answer the question asked, but shows different path.

I won't repost that photo because I can't find the original to credit, but my Google search produced pics of clever uses for old slides.  Maybe in my "free time"....

Take a look at these sites for inspiration if you have stacks of old slides taking up valuable storage space in your life.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

twelve twelve twelve

I love pattern and her three dimensional sister texture.  Whether the simple sequencing of numerals (today's date, 12.12.12 or my son's birthday, 10.01) or visual repetitions occurring naturally or by design, I think my eyes search for order and my brain smiles when it is found.

The first memory of "special" numbers in calendar dates was June 6, 1966.  The radio DJ noted the date as six, six, sixty six and that sequencing wouldn't occur again until July of 1977.  This made an impression on fifteen year old me.

Today, I marked twelve, twelve, twelve by snapping a dozen quick pics of patterns and textures in my environment.

This is a collagraph by local fiber artist and friend Vicki Smith.

There must be a limit on image space per post.  The next six pics will have to wait.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

storage system for samples

A papermaking student recently asked advice about organizing and storing samples of pulps/papers she has made.  Because she is a visual learner, I sent her photos of some of the ways I have organized my samples.  This may be of interest to others, so today is a "share something that has worked for me" day.

My earliest attempt at labeling and keeping samples -- masking tape labels stuck directly on the handmade paper.  I don't recommend this as masking tape isn't archival, but there hasn't been a problem with these which were done in 1994.

For several years I placed samples in plastic sleeeves with a typed tag:  fiber content, processing, drying method, paper maker (I sometimes "traded" paper samples with others in a workshop) and date.  The plastic sleeves aren't archival either, but I haven't had problems with them either.

A plus with using the 8.5 x 11 plastic sleeves is that you can store related paper samples and raw plant fiber samples.  I began saving plant samples in 2002 when a student brought a plant to try that wasn't in my "gathering" area.

In 2001 I began participating in the Yahoo Papermaking Group Swatch Swap.  This is something I recommend for anyone interested in paper variations.  You have to "pay to play".  That is, you send in 2" x 3" samples of a kind of paper you have made (the organizer will tell you how many -- the range has been 55-80).  In addition you give the recipe (kind of fiber, processing, pressing method, drying method, etc.).  Each year the swatch book is different, but in it you receive a sample of each paper submitted and how it was made!  The samples are adhered on one edge so you can feel and look at the front and back.  The books are real treasures.  The 2012 book should be arriving soon.

In 2001 I also got my beater and decided to keep a record of the pulps I made in it.  Again, plastic sleeves in a notebook with fiber, beating times, etc.   My PAPERS FROM BEAR CREEK sample book was inspired by the first swatch swap book I received.

My intentions were good, but my reality is a bit different.  I do save samples of my pulps, but the recipe is "iffy" unless it is a new fiber.  My organized system has devolved, but the important information is there.  (I have narrowed what I think is important.)  That being said, I keep very good notes for samples I make for the swatch swap.

These plastic sleeves are for baseball/sport collector cards.  Artist Trading Cards are the same size as "baseball" cards.  These ATCs were made and traded at a Missouri Fiber Artists retreat a few years ago.  2.5" x 3.5" would be a nice size for samples.

Do you remember 35mm slides?  I have notebooks filled with plastic sleeves (with 2" x 2" pockets) containing hundreds of slides.  Hummmm.  I don't need the slides anymore.  I could repurpose the plastic sleeves for ???????  I'm thinking.  

Friday, December 7, 2012

timless fiber @ third degree glass in st. louis

TRUSSWORTHY (left) and RUBESCENT (right) have been juried into Timeless Fiber 2012 @  Third Degree Glass Gallery in St. Louis.  The Weavers Guild of St. Louis and Third Degree Glass are collaborating for the second year to present a juried exhibition of contemporary fiber art.

From my artist statement:

TRUSSWORTHY is a columnar form of twined reed covered with highly textured cotton handmade paper.  Connecting with the past, the surface is embellished with “women’s” stuff, which I found in my grandmother’s sewing machine drawers.  Many of these things are now, thankfully, considered “vintage”.

RUBESCENT is a columnar form of twined reed covered with highly textured cotton handmade paper.   The surface is “expanded” by cutting through the woven reed wall “exposing” an interior of glass beads.  While stitching the beads, I was reminded of pomegranates and corn, both symbols of prosperity and fruitfulness.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

succulent from timeless fiber 2011

I was reviewing/revising my artist statement for the upcoming TIMELESS FIBER 2012 exhibition and ran across my statement from last year.  Since I didn't post about it then, here it is.  

         I am intrigued by the way light falls on a surface creating highlights and shadow.  My earliest artwork using handmade paper explored textured papers and their edges; investigating the way light and shadow identifies the raised, indented and wrinkled surface.  Twenty plus years later, I am still creating complex surfaces, which reflect light, in rich variations of tone and value.
        When challenged to create work for an invitational exhibition titled, “Xtreme Baskets,” I recognized a subtle shift in my thinking -- from “sculptural basketry” to “sculptural forms with openings”.  This change in approach opened new opportunities, as the forms were no longer “required” to have an opening at the top or to stand up straight. 
        SUCCULENT is a result of this less restrained attitude.  Conceived as a spiral rather than a sphere, the armature began with wire and reed was used to add volume, instead of beginning as a woven reed form.  Heavily textured handmade paper of black denim spans the structure enclosing space.  Many layers of paint embellish the surface.  A second sculptural form of randomly woven reed nests within, acknowledging the intermutual relationships in our lives.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

fifteen minutes of fame

My thanks to Caroline Feeney and Jiaxi Lu, University of Missouri journalism students, for putting together a flattering article and video for VOX magazine published October 25, 2012.

video by JIAXI LU

Leandra Spangler makes art with ordinary objects

Local papermaking artist textures her creations with Legos, zippers and buttons

Outside her studio, artist Leandra Spangler mixes plant fibers and water to create the pulp mixture that will become part of her next paper-based creation.
OCTOBER 25, 2012 | 12:00 A.M. CST
The silver mylar that lines potato chip bags, candy wrappers and the patterns inside security envelopes might be the perfect addition to Leandra Spangler’s latest collage.
As an artist, she finds inspiration in the stuff most people throw away. This autumn, she’s been attracted to the warm colors of the leaves that she picks up and tucks into a notebook. “I never throw anything away,” she says. “Or that’s what people tell me.”
WHAT: In the Spirit of La Vigia: Artist book exhibit
WHERE: Memorial Union, MU campus
WHEN: Nov. 5-17
COST: Free
CALL: 882-2889
In her garage studio, zip bags, thumbtacks, floral tubes and blue pipettes are organized into neatly labeled boxes. Spangler will use these to create her diverse projects from sculptures to books.
Spangler experimented with different techniques during her 25 years teaching in the public school system. She taught seventh through ninth grade art at West Junior in Columbia before she became a full-time studio artist in 2000. She received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in art education from MU and dabbled in many art forms during her teaching career.

But everything changed in 1986 when she took a papermaking class with some of her fellow teachers.  Spangler submerged her hands in a vat filled with pulp. In that moment, she knew that papermaking was her artistic medium and that she had done something incredible. She made something out of nothing.
“Here I have something that didn’t exist before, and then I have a piece of paper,” Spangler says. “And there’s so much potential.”
She began Bear Creek Paperworks in 1993, and two years later she created the Unbarbie Paper Doll Book that features a curvy woman with seven outfit options in response to the unrealistic expectations of the female body.
She also specializes in using basket-weaving techniques with sculptural forms, which she covers in pieces of handmade paper textured with found objects, such as paperclips, Legos, zippers and buttons.
For about 10 years after she began papermaking, Spangler mastered columnar-shaped sculptures. Since then, she has stretched her technique to include wide and oblong shapes, often with cutouts or caved-in walls.
“You have to have the tricks under your skin before you can destroy the perfection you thought you needed,” Spangler says. “Because then you’re confident, and it doesn’t look like a mistake.”
Spangler calls one of her latest works of art “The Oddessey,” a curved structure with tendrils that wrap around the body. The name emphasizes the odd structure, and the style reflects the direction of her newest crafts. Layers of turquoise-blue cover its curves, and intricate purple beading rests in an enclave at the bottom of the circular structure. Although created from handmade paper, the shiny exterior looks like painted ceramic or stone.
In addition to her sculptures, Spangler binds her handmade paper into artistic books. Two of her creations will be on display in an exhibit at the Craft Studio. “There’s a difference between traditional books like you check out at the library and artist books,” says Mary Franco, co-curator of the exhibit. “In this particular show, there’s one that involves scroll, and several of the books have movable parts which invite viewer interaction.”
One of Spangler’s books represents her visit to Ginkakuji, the Temple of the Silver Pavilion, in Kyoto, Japan. The journal is tucked inside a box with a mini Zen garden with white pebbles, sand and a wooden rake.
Spangler admits that she doesn’t always have her projects planned out when she begins. That’s why she never stops looking for inspiration. Her intuition will guide her work, like the unfinished black vessel that rests on a shelf in her studio.
“I have no idea what color it’s going to be,” Spangler says. “But it will tell me when it’s time.”