Sharon C.

Challenges and Obsessions

My “studio” is centrally located in my house, and I usually wander in several times a day.  Sometimes to use my computer—but other times I may just sit down at my workbench and work out an idea or two I had for a project.  I am, however, definitely enjoying this studio time with a purpose—and am thinking of it as an opportunity to think about creating—seems a form of critical thinking.

I tend to like the types of challenges that are somewhat self-imposed—that’s probably because I can make up my own rules.  And admittedly, my work or creativity can also take on the feel of obsession, so this week’s topic for studio work seemed designed for me to put something together using some small swatches of my digital work I created a couple of months ago as handouts for a presentation I gave to a SAQA group.

While sitting at my work table/bench, I ended up dumping the swatches onto the table (Figure 1) and then seemingly by instinct began putting them in some order—I’m guessing this is where OCD kicked in!  It’s not unusual that my brain switches to color and Figure 2 shows what I ended up with.  I did not count the number of swatches, but there were probably between 50 and 70—most of them the same size.

After laying them out, I set about trying to come up with what I would do with them and tossed around a few ideas.  Sewing them together was immediately rejected because they are pretty uniform in size and I prefer a random on offset look so I decided to throw in a couple more variables into the mix.  Because collage work feels creative to me, I decided I would attach the pieces onto a piece of muslin.  But again, I felt it lacked variety so I decided I would “allow” myself to use paper—starting out at first with some stamped deli paper and purchased tissue paper with writing.  I also had a few sheets of printed slides from my presentation, so I threw those into the mix.

I’ve made notebook covers before using scraps using this collage method and decided that would be my goal for my swatches.  It took about an hour to fill in the muslin with some interesting and colorful pieces of fabric and paper (see Figure 3).  To come up with my final product (Figure 4), my next step is to attach the pieces with decorative stitches and then quilt.  I tend to go for the grid—because it is easy and I like the look of it.  

The book cover turned out bright and colorful and I will use it to cover a Composition Note Book.  It could turn out to be someone’s Christmas present!