A love affair with metal and textile

IMG_20190410_132901069.jpg

Mobilia Gallery, Cambridge, MA on a sunny spring day in April. A group of Boston MFA curators and textiles lovers converge on this gallery. Artist Hanne Behrens has flown in from Denmark to share her artwork. It was a love affair in the making. Woven metal! Yes, a Hanne is a goldsmith that has practiced her craft for years. She has created textiles out of metal.

Here is a picture of how it is done. Held in a vice, the metal is folded over left to fight (every other) and a cylindrical piece of metal is then threaded through. The textile metal then comes out in a long straight piece that Hanne molds into different shapes. The artistry and jewelry is beyond imaginably beautiful.

Hanne’s passion for her work is evident. She is continuously challenging herself with new methods and creations. Her newest method is knitting metal. The colors are bold and striking.

Knit metal

Knit metal

Working form her farm in Denmark, Hanne quest is to pass on her techniques. She currently has an apprentice working with her two days a week. Hanne’s next goal is to write a book that outlines her methods and ideas.

Thank you Hanne for sharing your passion. It was amazing to meet you!

IMG_20190410_134648920.jpg

Hanne Behrens and Julie Wood
Yes, that is an original pin Hanne created and is wearing. Woven gold and a found shell from Spain!

Hanne’s collection at Mobilia Gallery of both woven and knit designs in earrings and pins.

Hanne’s collection at Mobilia Gallery of both woven and knit designs in earrings and pins.

LuAnn Nigara Live

Excellence is a Decision…LuAnn Nigara

….And requires a strategic plan followed by a support system that rocks.  Well I found more of my support system at the LuAnn Live event this weekend.  I sit here writing on the last day of this conference having experienced two days of jam packed Amen moments. 

Need I say more?

Need I say more?

Owning a business is both challenging and amazing.  Thankfully I have a passion for what I do.  I am able to get up every day with a smile knowing that I have a business that is thriving and allows me an avenue to use my talents. Talent does only get you so far, the rest is pure grit and determination! 

The panelists at the LuAnn Live conference had words of wisdom that will help me improve a myriad of aspects in my business.  I pride myself on continuing education.  This education allows my business to stand apart from others.  It also gives me a sense of the path I am following, outline the goals that I want to achieve and the clarity to set the goals and conquer them.

The rock star!

The rock star!

I have big goals for my business this year.  Create a larger revenue stream, tackle five full home projects and find peeps that get just as energized about textiles as I do are the big umbrella goals for my 2019.  (Oh and throw in a 5K in November.)  My plan has been set and I have made the decision to be excellent as I execute this plan.  Thank you to LuAnn and all the co-authors of her book “A Well Designed Business”-The Power Talk Friday Experts.  You all rocked it!

 

 

 

The Art scene in Portland, ME


Color, pop and sweet ideas abound in the new hip Portland that has come to being over the last few years.   I had the chance to experience all of this and meet cool creative people.  I made a new friend at Portfiber, a weaving studio, with the owner Casey Ryder.  The experience was colorful and rejuvenating.  My excitement at seeing an entire wall of hand dyed wool would have made my husband weep from embarrassment.  (Insert a smiley face here.)

Hand dyed wool ready to be spun. A rainbow of options.

Hand dyed wool ready to be spun. A rainbow of options.

Why did I travel to Portland?  Well, I did this to work a loom and hand weave a rug in one day.  Yes, that’s right a rug made of Pendleton wool salvages.  Fortunately the loom was pre strung so all I had to do was hop up onto the bench seat and use the pedals like a piano player to move the warp yarns up and down.  I managed this despite not being able to touch the floor!  I even took my shoes off to feel the pedals like a true weaver. I think observers would know my novice ability level in no time.

Having way too much fun with Renee Rucci of Renee Rucci Design. I am holding a shuttle to weave the weft threads through.

Having way too much fun with Renee Rucci of Renee Rucci Design. I am holding a shuttle to weave the weft threads through.

Despite this, after only a few hours I was gratified at seeing the beginnings of a rug.  The hues of blacks and blues were looking perfect. This gave me encouragement to continue with the help of my fellow novice weaver, Renee. A few pointers came from the instructors along the way. It may have been our commentary on our progress or the laughter emanating from our side of the room that would clue them in to when we would need a rescue and help with our technique.

I have to say that this day at Portfiber gave me a sense of accomplishment and new appreciation for weavers and their craft. See if you can resist checking out the portfiber.com website and take a make a visit the fiber arts studio and try your hand at weaving.

Box of salvage wool to choose from

Box of salvage wool to choose from

A peek inside Hingham Historical Society period clothes closet

The Hingham Historical Society holds a vast collection of period clothing.  I was given permission to visit the climate controlled “closet”.   Many of the pieces hanging in the closet were form the 1800’s.  Wow, I was a kid in a candy shop!  Yes, loud squeals of delight escaped my mouth.  Having reenacted in a Civil War Artillery Battery over the last five years, I was even more excited.  (Yes, you got that right, I dress in reproduction clothing and live in a reproduction tent on several summer weekends to reenact a Civil War encampment.)    

The first piece I pulled after getting lost in the closet for a good hour was a mourning skirt.  Black silk with ribbon embellishments.  Hand stitching galore!!!  It was well in tact with a petty coat attached.  Two rows of ribbon delicately folded to create an intricate embellishment with a time taking scallop edge that had a tape sewn across the bottom.  To die for.  I think I may have tried to try it on, but I kept my self in check and drooled at all the hand stitching and imagined the history and “fly on the wall” moments this garment witnessed.

20190206_093743.jpg

The second garment was a cape dated 1815.  Some one took great care with this possession.  Hand quilted with embellishments everywhere.  Hand shirred ribbon and a tassel closer that made a statement.    I could envision myself in a horse and buggy going to church services and having this cape to keep me warm and fashionable.

Cape

Cape

Another rare find was a pair of black satin shoes.  The owners name was inked on the inside.  Helen C. Lough, 1860.  A small heal with approximately fourteen button holes to lace through.  The button holes were finished by hand tacking.  They are a work of art in themselves.  Imagine the patience needed to lace up those shoes.  Arch support was unheard of and the shoes are very narrow.  Centuries of dealing with pain to be fashionable.  Although a shoe factory did exist in Hingham, it is not known if the shoes come from the local factory, but their owner was a Hingham resident.    

20190206_093636.jpg

Also, part of the collection is a Civil War coat sack coat worn by Hingham resident Luring Hersey Cushing.  It features a wool lining and period buttons.  Luring came back from the Civil War and made toys for children that are also on exhibit in the galleries.

Sack coat detail

Sack coat detail


Toys made by Luring

Toys made by Luring

More news of goodies I saw in Hngham next week!



Historical Society building, Hingham, MA

Historical Society building, Hingham, MA