03 July 2020

SAQA Benefit Auction - Kristi Farrier

I was pleased to receive one more submission for the Benefit Auction, just in time for the extended deadline.

Senseless by Kristi Farrier 12"x 12" 2020

Artist Statement:  

When acts are incomprehensible, we must mourn. We must hold each other up. We must stand together for better days.

15 June 2020

SAQA Benefit Auction submission - Darcy Hunter

Serenity by Darcy Hunter 2020

Artist's Statement:

I feel an immeasurable sense of peace when I am near the water. It makes me happy to be alive in a deep, calming way.  I often choose to have water as the subject in my fibre art landscapes. 

My art quilt is the ocean at sunset.  Can you hear the tumbling waves crashing onto the shore?  There's still time to find some treasures on the beach.  The sky sparkles as the sun disappears.

This textile art is made with batik fabrics, a combination of new and upcycled textiles such as art yarns, vintage lace, organza, and cheesecloth.  There are also shells, sea glass, and a bead on the beach. 

More of Darcy's work can be seen in her Etsy shop.

14 May 2020

SAQA Benefit Auction - Holly McLean

Please note that SAQA has extended the deadline for submissions for their fall 2020 auction until July 1.  There is still time to enter.

In the meantime, below is the lovely work that Holly McLean is sending to the auction.

Nostalgia in the Time of Quarantine 12"x 12" by Holly McLean, 2020

Holly's Artist Statement: 

Since isolation started, I've been experimenting with paper and mixed media collage and certain shapes and themes were repeating themselves. I discovered an attraction for curvy bowls and vases and old book and letter pages and thought I'd like to translate those themes to my fiber art. I used a painted, printed and stamped background and collaged the vase and flowers onto it. The postcard is a paper photocopy of one that my son sent me years ago from Paris.

12 May 2020

SAQA Benefit Auction submission - Hélène Blanchette

Macrocosm-microcosm by Hélène Blanchette 2020 12"x 12"

Here is another interesting submission from an Atlantic member for the SAQA fall benefit auction.  

Artist's Statement: 

Wikipedia tells us that this concept refers to "a vision of the cosmos where the part (microcosm) reflects the whole (macrocosm) and vice versa. It is also a feature in ancient philosophy."  Perhaps, in these troubled times, it is worth considering our place in the universe and how our behaviour reflects that of the whole.

Remember, if you plan to send in an auction piece, this week is the time.  Your quilt must be received at SAQA's headquarters by June 1.  For information about the auction, see here.

18 April 2020

SAQA Benefit Auction submission - Regina Marzlin

Energy by Regina Marzlin 12"x12" 2020

Regina's Artist statement:
This piece is a result of my ongoing exploration of the technique of mono printing. The spontaneous mark-making translates into raw energy contained in the piece.  The joy of playing with paint and fabric is visible.

We hope to see more 12x12 works by Atlantic Canada fibre artists on the blog before long.  The benefit auction deadline is June 1st and the only restriction is size.  Get the details here.

15 April 2020

Welcome to my Studio: Laurie Swim, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

My husband Larry and I bought a new house a few years ago and since then I’ve been working on a “new build” studio above the pre-existing garage and carport. The beauty of a new build is that so much is possible! I spent weeks working with graph paper, laying out work stations and considering the flow between them. I must have relocated the stairs five times before I came up with the present configuration! I learned to “tradespeak’ with those who made my dream a reality. They showed great diplomacy and patience, reeling in the crazy artist, pointing out impracticalities and adding their own creative ideas. 

After months of design work and a few delays, the studio is finally built and I’m loving it! Would you like a look around?

The new studio has cozy in-floor heating and a convenient ‘water closet’. The open ceiling and windows all around give the space a bright, lofty feel. Track, pendant and pot lights are generously distributed for evening work. A 10’x 10’ deck will provide additional workspace, great for drying my dyed and painted fabrics.

My excellent carpenter, Jeff, contributed a steel counter for my sink, something he had removed from a restaurant and just couldn’t let it “go to the dump”. I found a stainless steel sink at the recycling depot and a brand new faucet at the consignment shop. Luxury on a dime!

My sewing machines are on a custom-built shelf desk just beneath the corner windows, with a nice view of Lunenburg Harbour. Above my Sweet Sixteen sit-down long-arm machine is a home-built device with a clamp that I use to reduce the drag on my larger pieces, making them easier to quilt. The device is clamped to the table and swivels as I move the piece around. I found the instructions to make this Quilt Suspension Thingy on Caryl Bryer Fallert’s website a few years back. 


Just next to my sewing corner is my wheeled layout table. The table legs are off-cuts of the Bluenose II masts, nearly fifty years old. I feel so fortunate to have such an important piece of our heritage in my studio! 

The crowning jewel of the studio is a design wall that I can raise or lower as needed to spare my aching back. This was a feature I insisted upon but it took a few heads (sometimes banging) to figure out. Eventually my husband Larry found an electric, tubular, push and pull device called a linear actuator and carpenter Jeff was able to adapt it for my purpose.  

The 5’x 7’ design wall, essentially my easel, is made of fibreboard over plywood. This panel is set on rails, sliding up or down at the push of a switch, allowing me to work comfortably along either the top or bottom edge of a large piece.

I’ve just recently moved in to the studio and I’m still in the process of organizing and putting things away so that I can find them again. Having an easily accessible place for everything is a good incentive to keep my workspace in order. I store assorted bits and pieces in used plastic ice cream containers set into a shelving unit. 

My fabrics are folded around foam core boards and stored in baskets and colour-coded drawers. Large rolls of paper, used for tracing patterns and enlarging drawings, are stored horizontally on drapery rods just above the drawers.

All and all this is a lovely workspace. My original aim was to create an industrial feel, but all the bits and pieces from my life give it a more funky, folky look. My studio walls are graced with memorabilia and gifts from various artist friends, including a birthday gift from Linda Finley, a small piece from Pamela Allen, and a thank-you katazome stencil piece from Karen Miller. My own signature piece, Eve’s Apple, has found a home above the stairway. Eve and I reminisce together wistfully every day. Good memories mean so much!

What projects am I working on now? You might have noticed, in the photo of my design wall, a drawing for my next landscape piece. This is a scene from a friend's place on Heckman's Island just outside of Lunenburg. The fog sets the mood and the craggy trees reinforce it. The big challenge will be to capture the translucence of fog and the play of light on the water. It has all the elements I like, lots of texture, depth of field and a sense of mystery.

I’m also collaborating on a larger project with a colleague living on the northeast coast of Norway. Our project, The Gulf Stream, aims to bring attention to the significance of this warm, swift, current that connects our homes and the importance of ocean stewardship. Stay tuned, I’m not done yet!

Thanks for dropping by my new studio.

Read more about Laurie Swim and her work on her website www.laurieswim.com.

26 March 2020

SAQA Benefit Auction submission - Fiona Oxford

Fiona Oxford has submitted the first entry from Atlantic Canada for this year's SAQA Benefit Auction.

Random by Fiona Oxford 2020 12"x12"
Artist's Statement: I started making this as a larger piece and then decided that the circles needed to be closer. Then I started slicing and dicing and came up with “Random”.

The deadline for submissions to the 2020 Benefit Auction is June 1 and each piece must be exactly 12"x12".  You can find more information on the auction here.  The auction will start on the SAQA website in September.