Frank Memkus, Chicago Art Institute
I have always loved that which the art community deems "Folk Art". I don't know if it is my history as a quilter or that my grandfather's handmade chairs were one of my first sculptural loves. Certainly my Grandmother's rosemaling
talent impressed me at an early age and I was in awe of the painting my older brother did. There was also the magical childs kitchen cupboard, that my paternal grandfather made. My mother made many beautiful things with her Kenmore sewing machine.
I remember watching my father as he made our 1960s basement rec room. His favorite part was the bathroom that he designed to look like an outhouse - complete with a corn cob to pull to flush the toilet!
Or maybe it is because, I still believe some of my truest and most honest art was done in my childhood and teen years.
Growing up, we didn't have a lot of books beyond the World Book in my house. I don't remember ever going to an art museum before the age of 16 (at which time I was brought to tears, but that is another post altogether!). So while I was surrounded by creativity, I was not informed about "art'.
I have such a respect for creativity that surfaces out of human passion. When I see formal art that is minimalist, I am usually left cold... it seems to be an artifact of elimination or denial, rather than of joy. But the same structural simplicity made by untrained, uncomissioned hands communicates its creators' personal passion for me. I talked about this and my trip to Grandview
, a site here in WI, in a post a couple of years ago.
So what made me think about this now? Etsy recently had a blog post, "The Problem with Folk Art"
about museums and folk art. It wasn't the article that got to me as much as this comment:Hazel Deeps from TheDeeps says:In folk art, as in all art made for no specific audience, I see the purest truths, and the most nourishing outcomes.
That comment really resonates within me. While I have been involved with "art" all my adult life; student, educator, graphic designer, photo director, painter, quilter, fiber artist. I have never found an acceptable definition of art or artist. To me we all are simply "makers". We are fulfilling a human need that is as strong as hunger in some of us.
I went to an exhibit of the art created within the Japanese internment camps during World War II. "The Art of the Gaman"
. It was a year or two ago that I saw the exhibit, and I still think of it frequently. It was probably one of the most moving experiences of my life. The artifacts ranged from crude to sublime, but it all was evidence of this creative hunger fulfilled.
On the left are pins from that exhibit: Himeko Fukuhara, Kazuko Matsumoto (Interned at Amache, Colorado, and Gila River, Arizona). Bird pins. Scrap wood, paint, metal. Collection of the National Japanese American Historical Society. FromThe Art of Gaman by Delphine Hirasuna, ©2005, Ten Speed Press. Terry Heffernan photo.
I leave you with this unattributed work that is in the Smithsonian's collection. It makes me smile; Both the art itself, and the thought of the maker who was moved to make it.
Two of my favorite shows of the year are coming up soon!! If the leaves are turning and sweater weather has returned that means the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Holiday show Nov 16-18 and the Chicago One of a Kind Show
Dec 6-9, can't be far off!!
The MMOCA show is a medium sized show with booths scattered through out the beautiful Art Museum public areas. Last year was my first time participating in this show, and so glad I will be back again this year. I plan on not only having a great selection of jill2day sweaters
, but also many gloves, scarves
and even some brand new hats - never before shown anywhere!! All perfect fro gift giving. I will also have many of my afghans
there for you to sample snuggle!!
So start making your list and checking it twice!
Then comes my annual 'booth party' in Chicago!!
The OOAK show is like no other; with hundreds of top-caliber artists and a great holiday atmosphere it is one four day festival of fun in the wonderful city of Chicago! I have a large booth and dressing room - so let the fun begin!! A great opportunity for me to meet many of you, and for you to see my reconstructed garments and reconstructed home goods "in person"! I will have sizes from small to plus size, and lots of scarves for men and teens as well as women! I just received my FREE PASSES to the OOAK show, so if you are in the area, click here... and request your pass(es) now!
The show takes up one whole floor of the Merchandise Mart, and is anticipated by all of Chicago. People come after work, and then back again on Saturday or/and Sunday! It is an annual pilgrimage for friends and families alike.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from last year:
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It is that time!! For the holiday gift giving season, I try to have some items that are more appropriate for gifting that a big sweater!!
One of the items that is always a fun stocking stuffer or "just 'cause" gift are my fingerless gloves.
They been purchased and gifted by and for all ages; for teens who want warmer texting, for everyone for reading or knitting when the heat is down, for arthritis help, and for just plain fun and fashion!!
I have a ball making them. I save small "leftovers all year, then pair them up in combinations and save them for a production spree about this time of year!! Here is a big bunch of them all piled in color ways with coordinating thread. this makes it so easy (and fun) to zip them together and then wash, tag and photo them all. So keep these in mind for those teachers, students, BFFs, nieces, nephews, and kids... and, of course, yourself!!
They will be ready in the jill2dayIMPULSE
shop about two weeks from now! I will announce their debut on my Facebook page
Yesterday was my last day at the beach. The morning was foggy and absolutely beautiful. I had the beach almost to myself - except the seagulls!! The clouds were fantastic and there were "ghost ships" on the horizon. Thank VA Beach... can't wait to come back next year (with some super special t-shirt planned already!!)
I am now in Alexandria surrounded by family and soaking up all the energy I can from my 3 and 5 year old grandkids! This Friday it is set up for Fairfax and show is Saturday and Sunday. I am having fun, but have to admit i am missing my machine. But it is also on vacation at the sewing machine spa! My trusty sewing machine guys at Milwaukee Sewing Machine
are pampering it and getting it ready for the Holiday Sweater and Scarf Marathon that will be happening when I get back!
Just got back to the hotel after three days on the Boardwalk here in Virginia Beach. A little sun, a little rain, a parade of umbrellas, dogs, kids, food on a stick, and interesting people to watch. Fun customers to meet and great feedback on my work. Thanks everyone!!
Tomorrow a day of rest and, if the weather holds, some time on the beach. A real treat. Can't wait to check out the results of the Sand Sculpture contest. Then a couple of days to get Psyched up for Farifax, VA show.!! Hope to meet more of you there.
Arrived in Virginia Beach late last night for the jill2day booth set up for the Neptune festival show
I may have been born and raised in the heartlands, but my soul resides at the ocean side and I know that every time I smell the air and hear the waves. I was up early this AM to welcome the waves, hear the gulls, see the dolphins and fish jumping and the big ships roll on into port. Ahhhhhh Home.
Enjoy the show:
I love doing shows
, I love selling my reconstructed garments on-line. I love creating sweater and afghans and such in my studio. But, at shows, I get to hear the comments, critiques, praise and questions that people have. I get to see if my sizing is correct. I get to interact. I get to test styles. I get to meet so many wonderful people!! But there are two comments that happen at every show, that make me wish I could transport the inquirer to my jill2day studio.
There are many people out there doing reconstructed garments. We each bring our unique expertise to our work. I am a product of decades of graphic design, teaching color and design,and painting as well as art quilting. My love of color knows no bounds! I love the nuance that is color changing in light; how a lavender can change from purple to tan as the sun moves across the sky. The difference a drop of M makes to a CYMK mix
. There are a myriad of blues as the color moves from purple to green. When you add to that the weaves and content of fabric, it really gets interesting!
People at every show comment on my use of color and I am always thrilled that they noticed! But it is no accident. If only I could show them the stacks of fabrics I collect. They should witness all the "auditioning" I do of a fabric before an specific one gets a role in the garment, or the trips I take to find that very specific red that is needed to complete a project!
The second comment is "Oh now I know what to do with my serger. I will make one of these!" More power to them! That is how I started. I had a sweater that was worn but not worn out, so I figured ot a way to give it new life. If I would have known what was involved, I may have gone and just bought a new Liz sweater instead!!
Again, I would take them to my studio. I would show them how for each new sweater I need parts from about five recycled garments. How many times the sweaters don't survive the washer, or how important the length or width of the source sweater is to the finished product. I could show them the difference of a LandsEnd sweater vs. a WalMart sweater. How men's sweaters have subtle colors and quality of weave that is just too rare in women's sweaters! How wool takes color so differently than cotton.
Why am I saying all this? Do I resent comments? Absolutely not! I want to let you all know to ask. We who create realize we might think differently! You should understand what you are looking at, and it isn't just canvas with oil paint on it, or a bunch of fabric. It is a process and a result of both passion and planning. The next show you are at, ask about what you see, it is why handmade is special.
Jill2day will be at three shows
coming up within the next few weeks... Virgina Beach, Fairfax and Newport News, Virginia. ( see links below or on "shows" page) Life is chaos right now while getting ready for them. I will have a great selection of reconstructed T-shirts (Neptune) repurposed sweaters (everywhere) Slazers - a new item that is half blazer and half sweater (Fairfax) afghans and scarves!
Of course everything is recylced fabrics and reconstructed for style and comfort in the whole range of sizes!
Piles of supply sweaters, waiting to be grouped into bundles for sewing.
These are stacks of grouped "parts" ready for sewing. Each of the bundles has parts from about five original sweaters.
As you can see from the above pictures, there is no formal dining happening in our dining room at the moment! These now means that the dining room has joined the laundry room (washing and drying, the living room (tagging and folding, the basement (photos and storage), the garage (show displays) and the studio as parts of our home that jill2day has taken over either temporarily or permanently.
This chaos has also meant I am doing something I have not done often - closed my jill2day Etsy shops and my on-line sales for a while. I just could not do both these weeks. So after October 16th those shops will reopen and will be stock full from then through the Holidays. Thanks for your patience!
I love doing the shows! Interacting with all the people who stop by; seeing the fun as people try on my garments; watching the items head off to their new homes; getting feedback and ideas from everyone... and just traveling to new places! It is all good.
I sincerely hope some of you will get to come see me at one of the shows!
September 28-30 Neptune Festival
, Virgina Beach, VA
October 6 and 7 Fairfax Fine arts Festiva
l, Fairfax, VA
October 13 and 14 Port Warwick Art Festival
, Newport News, VA
It is glorious here in Wisconsin these days! The rains have come back to town and the temperatures are back to Wisconsin-like normality! The farmers' marke
t around the capitol square
is an amazing place to spend Saturday morning!
My husband is a fabulous cook, and so he is shopping for our produce, while I wander in the glory of the event; the smells of bakery, fruits and flowers, the cacophony of color, and the sounds of the people and the musicians in attendance.
This is where cultural diversity really pays off, too! The Amish pies and the Greek baklava are nestled between the beautifully displayed Hmong produce. The cattle and sheep growers have their brats and jerky, and the traditional cheese curds are in abundance at every turn. Not to mention the 470 other kinds of cheese - goat, sheep and cow.
I am amazed at the visual impact of it all and how that changes from early spring to late fall. The predominate color changes, the shapes change and the sun adds to the change as it moves from the cool spring light, through the high sun of summer and enters into the incredible glow that fall brings. Today I decided to make a 'color wheel' for you.
honey, cheese corn, musk melon, chilis, 'taters, straw flowers, peppers, plums, tent, peppers, sweet corn, white eggplant, mushrooms, yarn, and last - but not least - cheese curds!!!
Getting ready for the holidays? Have just a bit of "mad money"? trying to find just that perfect little something to lift a mood (yours or someone elses)? Then check out jill2dayIMPULSE
- my newest Etsy store.
Last year I introduced my pins and rings, but took them off when the jill2day
store got just too busy looking... now they have a new home!
These are just the greatest "little sumpen" type gift. They also turn any scarf into a fashion statement or bring the "bling" to your purse or hat!
Think teachers, sisters or friends when you look through these!
RIngs and fingerrless gloves, and mens and womens scarves will all be represented soon (I just took 172 photos of scarves!!) So check back often to see what is new... or join the Facebook fun at www.facebook.com/jill2dayfans
where I will usually announce additions! Click here
to see my "mini shop right here in the site.