At Ashland Art Works Galleries, we periodically do challenges, some for charity, some to sell ourselves, all for fun. Since we have artists of several different mediums, the results are always interesting. “Jill-in-the-Box…with Attitude!” arose because we all started with the box and went from there. I loved Jack-in-the-Box when I was a kid. I had this doll begun, and she seeemd to want to spring to life. It was a fun pairing! I like her. Here’s a slide show of her with close ups.
Stop by Ashland Art Works at 291 Oak Street, Ashland, OR and see her in person, with her compatriots by my excellent and wonderful fellow artists.
“Abraham’s Children: A Time for Peace”
“Abraham’s Children” was my response to 911.
It took me a few months to compost that event, for this piece to form itself. I completed it in February 2002 with the words that came to me inscribed on its back.
“Abraham’s Chldren” is my plea for peace. To all the descendants of Abraham: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, we are family. We have fought as only family can fight. It is time to work as hard at acceptance and peace. All the effort, vigilance and commitment we have put into anger and vengeance will create a miraculous and enduring peace for our family. It is time.
Since then, I have sought the home for “Abraham’s Children.” Always I have known it needed to belong to people who were doing the work of Tikkun Olam (healing the world) on this level of faith, humanity, and love for this Gaian Earth we share.
In March 2011, “Abraham’s Children” found its home…with Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Eve Ilsen, whose hearts and lives have long been committed to this healing.
I was honored and blessed to give “Abraham’s Children” to Reb Zalman and Eve when they were in Ashland for a Shabbaton at Havurah Shir Hadash, my own Shul. I was doubly honored to present this gift on behalf of our entire Havurah Shir Hadash community www.havurahshirhadash.org and in the merit of our own amazing and beloved Rabbi David Zaslow.
This gifting was a deep blessing to me…a small miracle I cannot define or adequately articulate. I am grateful.
The Dedication to Reb Zalman and Eve inscribed on the quilt:
“Abraham’s Children” was presented to Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi & Eve Ilsen, March 2011, in gratitude and honor for your presence among us, your work in the world, within Judaism and Jewish Renewal, for the uplifting of all faith traditions in unity and loving stewardship of this Gaia-Earth, who births, houses and nourishes us all. Presented by Stephanie K. Nead, on behalf of Havurah Shir Hadash of Ashland, Oregon and in the merit of our beloved Rabbi David Zaslow.
Thank you for who you are and all you have gifted us.
I love to be in the mountains, in nature where all sound belongs to the Earth and her creatures…from the wind shooshing through the pines high above to the nestlings of the moles and bugs below. In between are the streams, pouring down the mountain’s flank, the smell of loamy soil and dry lichen rising under the heat of the sun’s kiss, my own breathing. My soul opens up and drinks nourishment through my body. It is a blessing.
Creating these pieces in my studio takes me back to this communion in nature. So each piece is infused with that loving nourishment and peace. It’s a joy to create them. Pay Pal & Checks.
Not sure where this one came from. It just emerged…and it was a lot of fun to create! I loved spirograph as a child. This piece called for lots of different shapes and motion, a relationship of movement and strong color between the piecing and the thread painting. Spirograph used such neon colors. I always felt such joy as the colors created amazing shapes that interwove before my eyes, surprising me.
This small commission (approx. 14″ x 20″) was made as a wedding gift for people who love hiking and nature. Reports are it was received with delight.
This slide show offers some of the creation process, as well as the completed piece.
Illahe Gallery Show This Friday, February 4
These two are accompanied by photos and poems.
(Click image to see in larger window.)
Come and see the whole show!
They are more striking in person, when you can absorb the kinesthetic quality of fiber. This Friday, February 4th, from 5 -8 p.m. at Illahe Gallery at 4th and “B” St., Ashland, OR. www.illahegallery.com I’ll be there and offering a demostration of one of my techniques. I’d love to see you.
All creative expression comes from the same source. The blessed gift of being creative is my experience of “flow,” when time stops and joy is like a stream burbling within me. One of the places in life where I experience this is in my studio.
I had the fortunate misfortune to be felled by serious illness at 28 years old. Homebound and needing something to do as I moved from bed to couch, I reached for long-forgotten skills taught by my grandmother, mother, and aunt. This began a journey into my own artistic soul. I am blessed to come from a lineage of female artists. Through the grace of the calling inherent in my illness, to reform my life in better synergy with my soul, I began creating according to my inclinations as a kinesthetic human being. I operate by touch, smell, visceral sensation. Thoughts, ideas and emotions have “feeling,” color, image, & sensation for me…a kind of visceral experience. Fiber allows me to integrate my emotional and spiritual “felt” sense with my physical love for touch and texture.
My art is inspired by my sense of the spiritual, my love for the creation that is this earth, and my desire to express healing visually. My creative process is one way I commune with myself and with the larger Creation that Is. As a friend once said, “My way of talking to G-d is to go to my studio and make art.” My designs come to me from dreams and dream-like visions, from nature, from the souls I meet, and from my own healing and evolving journey as a human being.
What the creation process looks like…
This is a slide show of “Antelope Canyon‘s” “birth” process. I hope you enjoy this glimpse of the stages and layers to creating a piece such as this. Believe me, this is the short form! Stephanie
Art & Craft: The Difference
What is the difference between art and craft? As I am about to create a “Holiday Sales Gallery” that will be almost entirely craft, this seemed a good time to write my thoughts on the subject.
This can be a volatile topic in the art and craft world (or worlds, as the case may be.) There is much dissension.
I do think that art and craft are different. I also think there is crossover. There are art pieces that contain an equal, or almost equal portion, of craft (see the quilts of Gees Bend.) There are craft peices, many, that contain an artisitic esthetic and/or originality to them. Reducing anything to a label seems to me a mistake, especially as there is much beauty in both.
In general, we have an understanding that craft applies to those objects that also serve a useful purpose, generally in the home.
For me the distinction between art and craft has more to do with the originality brought to the creation, the idea/vision, the techniques and how they are applied, whether the final piece makes you, on some level, gasp. If it does, it is art, whether it is an earthenware bowl, a quilt, or an oil painting.
Artists and craftspeople often see the art of craft and craft of art somewhat differently than nonparticipants. Because we are “in the conversation,” we are generally more aware of what is being produced, and so of what is original, unique…what we consider art.
A bystander might experience art in a piece that is little more than a semi-original copy of another’s style. To another artist or craftperson, this would not signify as art. But if it is the first time you have seen it, then to you it might be. I think both perceptions are valid.
To take away someone’s awe at what is new to her, is mean, and it certainly doesn’t encourage her to trust her response to beauty as she perceives it. Such response is essential to art making and art loving. At the same time, it is possible to share someone’s enthusiasm while sharing knowledge of the broader context for this art.
As easy examples of art and craft from my perspective, below is a slide show of three pieces I have created: art and craft. Creating something from one’s own vision in a unique and original way, this to me makes art. “Antelope Canyon” and “Bridges to Nowhere” are art. “Batik Queen” shares an artisitic sense of color, but is essentially craft.
Queen Batik and Holiday Sales
One of the main joys of working in fiber is the kinesthesia of color it offers. I actually hold color in my hand and feel the weight of it within the fabric. It’s the difference between seeing a photo of your beloved or actually touching his/her hand.
When you buy a piece of fiber art, or a quilt, you enjoy an added dimension in the kinesthetic presence fabric brings into your home. Our bodies sense touch even when we are not touching. We are wired for tactile perception. Whether you are hanging a piece on your wall or laying it upon your bed, your eyes, body and soul feel the touch of it and warm to it.
This is a queen-size bed quilt I recently finished for a client. It reminds me of a deep forest walk…sun in the sky high above a thick forest canopy, the smell of damp, loamy earth under redwoods, the taste of rich, fertile soil that hangs in the air, the feel of fog on my face as I move, and the deep quiet of nature I feel in my bones, that blesses and nourishes my soul
In the next week I will be setting up my “Holiday Sales Gallery” on this site. By next Friday several new items will be posted for purchase. This season I will be donating 10% of all holiday sales to the Food Bank.
As always, I am available for commissioned work. Please contact me at email@example.com to begin that process.
Please pass this site on to your friends.