Mental Crunch

Hello to All….and Merry Christmas!!!

I’ve got a ton of stuff to post today.  The past few months felt like only a few weeks.  Since being super busy with school, I’ve dropped the ball on the blog.  It takes a ton of effort to document thoughts, ideas, and progress of the artist in me.  Along with this blog, I keep two artists notebooks…documenting everything.  I guess you could call it a scrapbook…but they are really extentions of me…on paper…or the computer.  Uploading, editing, posting, printing, cutting, and pasteing pictures is the core element that links everything together.  A photo can say a thousand words, right?  Anyways, I’ve got some cool stuff to show…so lets get to it.  I’ll try to keep descriptions short, but the list of pictures is long, so ENJOY!!

Back in September, I started the quarter experimenting a bit more with growing plants in fiber.  Here is a few transplant samples I made.  They lived about one month,  guess watering them with nutrient rich organic compost tea just wasn’t good enough.  Oh well, back to the drawing board. 


Ivy planted in yarn, loose fiber, and felted wool.  The word is that these plants died due to lack of nutrients and drainage in their glass containers.


Succulents actually work a lot better…they don’t need much water or nutrients.  These are planted in a layer of felt around a tennis ball.  Its actually the only one still living. 


This is actually a recycled cotton t-shirt.  I pulled the threads out and planted a cotton seed in it…and it actually sprouted.  Haha….cotton growing in cotton…talk about the circle of life. 


I even took some of the cotton threads and spun it in as an accent in this yarn made from left over wool.  How savvy!


A beautiful picture of some lovely plants floating in water.  I often catch the most interesting photos in the strangest places.  This picture was taken in the garden of a local Coffee shop here in Savannah. 


See this dog. His name is Lucky and he belongs to one of the girls in the fibers grad program here at SCAD.  She kindly collected a grocery bag full of his hair so that I could attempt to spin it.  Well……


It spun up real soft and fluffy.  I didn’t have to card it because the hair was so fine….it just slipped through my fingers like butter.  A whole bag of hair only yielded about 30 yrds of yarn.  So I ask you, if you will wear a sheep’s hair (wool), or a fiber made from a plant (cotton), why wouldn’t you wear your dog’s hair.  FUN Huh?!

So, I took a class with a guess artist that SCAD brought from New York this past quarter.  Her name is Cat Chow and she’s awesome.  The class helped bridge the gap between artist and designer and focused on helping us find where we stand in the world of art.  I learned so much about both who I am in general, as well as who I am as an artist.  For the final project we had to analyze our five favorite things, pull together our favorite materials, and make something we wouldn’t normally make….that means no yarn Jamie.  So here’s my five favorite possessions….


A patchwork skirt I bought in Asheville NC, my Rainbow flipflops, a pair of Express “Editor” jeans, a handspun and knitted shawl I made during my internship to Grenada, and a few pieces of jewelry made from natural elements.  I’ll save you the details about the analysis of myself.  The picture says it all. 








My favorite materials to work with….natural beads & shells, wire, thread, fabric, &….FIBER, FIBER, FIBER!!!  So this is what I made…..



A necklace made of natural elements of jade, shells, and cotton.  I also used felt and bits from recycled jewelry.



A shawl pin made from floral wire and a hat pin, with accents in fiber, copper, stone, and gold.  This project allowed me to cross the boundary from arts and crafts to the art of craft.  I kind of shocked myself with this one. 

On January 9th, 2009 an exhibition of contemporary fiber art will be held in Savannah at Dimensions Gallery.  This Stitch Spectacular event is hosted by two of SCADs fiber grad students, Karin Soderholm and Rubi Mcgrory.  I am very excited to say that one of my pieces has been chosen to be a part of this exhibition.  This is only the second time some of my work has been featured in a gallery show, so I’m very excited.  The piece I submitted is called “Peaceful Contemplation” and is inspired by ideas of meditation and spiritual gardens. 

untitled-6This panel is 30″X60″ and made of various kinds of white paper.  The piece is simple; that’s the point.  Fern leaves have been cut from the background of the piece; the delicate leaves hanging from the front are cut from tracing paper and each leaf is stitched down the middle….they move in the passing breeze, with the sound of rustling leaves.  A nesting of rocks exists amongst evenly spaced circles to resemble the raked gravel of a zen garden.  These circles are hand stitched with white thread and their simplistic form allows the eye to relax.  Vertical stitch lines have also been made across the piece.  Here the absence of thread is what captures the eye.  The even spacing of the holes in each row suggests a stitched line.  Again, its the line in its most simplistic form that eases, yet captivates the mind.  The bottom right corner of the piece utilizes the transparent quality of acetate to resemble the wonderment of water…and lily pads.  The Chi (positive energy) just flows right in from the top, trickles down and around each line, and floats away across the water on a lily pad.  How relaxing, right?

In January, my older sister will be having her first baby, a girl!!  Since I couldn’t make it up to N.C. for the baby shower, I made her this precious little baby hat.  Its spun using merino wool, egyptian cotton, silk, and recycled curtain material.  I slip stitched in the round to form this hat, and then stitched a little felted flower to it.




At the beginning of this last quarter I was given tons of tiny succulent plants to play with.  For a long time I didn’t know really what to do with them.  They just kind of sat around in my studio as a constant inspiration I just couldn’t place. So I stitched into them, I took pictures of them, and arranged them into patterns.  I eventually got frustrated and this is what came of it…


A succulent planted inside its own image, which has been printed onto cotton fabric.  Yes, there’s a plant in there.


Who knows where this idea came from.  What was I thinking?

Well, as far as the most fascinating work I produced this past quarter…that’s it.  But what have I been working on over Christmas break you ask…


Here’s a hat I made, from start to finish.  Spun from merino wool, locks, alpaca, and tons of gold sparkle.  This hat is also slip stitch crochet.


Egyptian cotton, 60 yrds of pure luxury.  What do you want to be yarn?

A search for inspiration…


Do you remember the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil?  Well, the Bonaventure Cemetary featured in that movie is located here in Savannah.  Its one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.  Recently I’ve been fascinated by the objects one keeps close to them for security and sanctuary. So what better place to find these things than in a cemetary.  I found all kinds of objects that people leave on graves for these purposes.  Jewish people leave rocks and marbles to let the loved one know they were there.  Christians leave flowers and tiny angel statues to watch over a friend or family member.  I even saw elaborate grave carvings, rosaries, and wind chimes. 


In Foresyth Park here in Savannah, we have one Ginkgo tree…and everyone talks about it like it is SOMETHING…let me tell ya.  But actually, its very neat.  So for your enjoyment…and mine too,  I made a little Andy Goldsworthy land art with leaves from both the ginkgo and Live Oak trees in the park. 


I’ve also been making like crazy.  I’ve been in need of a little extra cash lately (and who hasn’t), so I’ve been trying to sell me wares at local markets in Savannah. Here are some of those wares…


I will be setting up a website to sell some of these things online, so please stay tuned to future posts. 

And last but not least,












3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    angray20 said,

    nice post Jamie! they had a ton of those cute water plants in Cambodia! I love them! and nice Andy Goldsworthy pics!

  2. 2

    […] his hair last year so she could spin it in to yarn.  She spun it into a skein and gave it to me!  (See her BLOG about this subject.) A year later, I made myself a hat! Lucky and I LOVE my new hat!  Thanks again for the yarn, Jamie, […]

  3. 3

    heatherkp said,

    Wow that was a long post filled with lots of great stuff! I came across you via Ana Keck’s blog and I’m a fellow SCAD Fibers alunni. I love the work your doing and the cotton growing in cotton! Now that’s what I call cradle to cradle! Can’t wait to see where your explorations go. I love the idea of the class that you took with Cat Chow. I think so many artists and designers struggle with the issues you explored and it’s something we constantly have to re-evaluate and stay in touch with. Thanks for sharing!

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