Saturday, September 16, 2023

A Lillian E. Smith Center experience


I was happy to spend several days recently at the Lillian E. Smith Center where I've had many residencies in the past fourteen years. I've gone to the center at least once each year and in a few occasions, a couple of times. The residencies give me a focused time to work on projects. I've begun several design ideas for tapestries there as well as worked on writing and also sampling for upcoming classes.


On this stay I tried a new-to-me medium, gel plate printing. I've been seeing lots of demos of gel plate printing on Instagram. The plates can be made at home but I decided to order one of the commercial versions from the company, Gelli Arts. I can't say I've totally gotten the hang of making (good) prints with it yet but I surely did give it a workout while I was there!

My goal is to use one or more of the prints as a starting point for tapestry design. I think there's some potential in a few of those for that.

I also worked on a few small drawings in the evening:

I was quite encouraged that I could spend the days in the art studio, standing and working on making the prints. That's the most I've pushed my new hip since it came to live in me! I also was able to walk on the grounds without problem, having my hiking sticks for a bit of stability in some of the steeper places.

In a few more weeks I'll be testing my physical limits again when I'm at Arrowmont to teach for a week. I think it will go fine; just have to remember to pace myself. Maybe by this time next year I'll be back up to full speed again! 

One more class is scheduled after Arrowmont. That's at John C. Campbell Folk School. There's still plenty of space left in the class! If you're interested in taking delving into the resources in the fiber library at JCCFS, as well as seeing some of the textiles from the school's archives, join me in mid-October. This will give you time to see books and other materials that aren't often found. And the chance to have the school's archivist share many of the pieces from the early 20th century housed in the collection doesn't happen often at all. The class is Connecting the Threads and is from October 15-21.

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing what you worked on at LES! I so enjoyed going there and hope to go back one of these years. Thanks for encouraging me! I also wish I could take that JCC class. It sounds like so much fun.