Thursday, July 13, 2017

What's happening in the Studio?

So what have I been up to in the first half of 2017? For starters I took some time off to relax, be with family, and enjoy the sunshine in Florida. I've realized that the sun energizes me and so my time in Florida is alway a wonderful time to be inspired.

To help that process I enrolled in an on-line class called "Creative Strength Training" led by Jane Dunnewold and her daughter, Zenna. This course is jam packed full of ideas, processes, fun, and serious contemplation. I am enjoying it to the "nth" degree! Since I've been going through serious re-evaluation of where my work is going, this is exactly what I need. Questions like, do I want to continue doing shows, do I want to continue making production items to sell, what will give me satisfaction in the work I do, how will I continue creating with physical ailments increasing, and most of all am I having fun and enjoying what I do, have been an on-going conversation with myself for a couple of years.


 So as that process continues, I am discovering some things.

1. My work needs to change. I work at a slower pace and am excited about creating new work that challenges me.

2. Learning and playing with new techniques is energizing.

3. Production work is not satisfying any more. It was a good run but it is time to move on.

4. I need to connect with artists of all mediums to explore and discuss new possibilities. The CST class has a wonderful Facebook Group with which to share insights, discoveries, and new learnings.

As I explore and move through this process I'd like to share some new work I'm developing. I've been working with this technique for about a year and I am enjoying the fact that it is an off loom technique. That has given my body some time to heal from all the years of weaving on a loom to produce for sales. It also gives me a sense of excitement to see how each piece turns out.



detail of 4" scarves
I started working with the technique by making silk scarves, both infinity and loose hanging. I just recently worked on a narrow version. I am selling these but they are limited in production. Each one, since the dye patterns are not duplicated, is truly one of a kind. As I explore I try to create new ways of weaving them.

4'' scarves
5" scarves

My CST on-line course is definitely an influence as I work on who I am as an artist and what I am meant to do and be. I have new ideas running around my head. Hopefully the ideas will emerge into something new, exciting, and wonderful. It's a challenge but, oh, am I having fun! Stay tuned!





Monday, September 05, 2016

The End and The Beginning

Happy Labor Day to all in the US who celebrate this day in honor of our work force. Hopefully you are getting a break from your labor. For me, having been a Jr High teacher, Labor Day always signified the end of summer and the beginning of the new school year. It was and still is a chance for new beginnings and fresh starts!

While I no longer teach, Labor Day is both an ending and a beginning for me. The days of summer with it's travel and fun give way to the more serious task of getting ready for fall shows. Oh drats!  I really have to work hard now to have inventory for my fall and holiday commitments to Galleries and Art Centers! So while you all are celebrating, I'm making lists, checking current inventory, and marking deadlines on my calendar. Deadlines are beginning to loom! (Pun intended)



So here's my ambitious schedule for the fall and holiday season:

Artistry 2016
November 3, 2016 - January 8, 2017
Guilford Art Center
Guilford, CT
www.guilfordartcenter.org

Weavers' Guild of Boston Exhibit and Sale
November 3 - 6, 2016
Josiah Smith Barn
Weston, MA
www.weaversguildofboston.org

Artists' Market
November 11 - December 3, 2016
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum
Lincoln, MA
www.decordova.org

Handmade Holiday 7
November 26 - December 23, 2016
Some Things Looming
Reading, PA
www.somethingslooming.com
(work will also be in the boutique starting the end of September)

Along with these shows, I will continue to have work in the Elizabeth Stevens Gallery, Towles Court  in Sarasota Fl.

For those of you who are local, there is a possibility I may have a Studio Open House sometime in November. Stay tuned for info on that. If you want to make sure you know when the Pop Up Open House may happen, please sign up for my e-mail newsletter at http://bit.ly/1uMQqyr. I promise not to flood your inbox. I only send out a newsletter occasionally to let you know what is happening at Judy Connor Jones (no more than once a month and more likely only 3 or 4 times a year).

I leave you with a preview of my newest work.  Selected galleries will be carrying the newer work. All others will have a selection of my other work which is shown on my website, www.JudyConnorJones.com.










Thursday, August 18, 2016

Where in the World is Judy Connor Jones?

If you have been following my Facebook business page, www.facebook.com/JCJonesFiberArt, you know that sometimes I post a little game called "Where in the World" is Judy Connor Jones. I recently was on a 3 week trip to Scandinavia and challenged readers to figure out where I was. Here are the answers. See if you figured them out......................

August 2
Modern building across the street from Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark. The old columns by the gate to Tivoli are mimicked in the design of the new building. This city is rich with design inspiration.



 

August 3
Illum Exclusive Department Store, Copenhagen, Denmark. Well planned design happens here too!



August 4
Lunch at the cafe at the Design Museum Danmark, Copenhagen, Denmark. Even the food is presented with design in mind.   poached egg on avocado, lettuce and brown bread



August 6
Hanging lamps at the Hilton Strand Hotel in Helsinki, Finland. What a grand statement these made!




August 7
City walk around Helsinki, Finland. Birch trees are everywhere!



August 9
"Course of Time" Sculpture, Oulu City Hall, Oulu, Finland. These sculptures are about 18" high and represent every type of person who has lived in Oulu from King Charles IX to pastor, wife, merchant, farmer, craftsman, beggar, society lady, shopkeeper, female doctor, student, and many more to Martti, Child of the Future. There are 32 figures in all. 




August 10
Birches in the small parks in the city of Oulu, Finland. I LOVE the birches!

 







August 12
Train station to the airport in Helsinki, Finland. Textiles painted on the walls depict lace, satin, and  pattern designs.





August 13
Wall print of a Swedish Weaving Technique called Dukagang in the Sheraton Hotel, Stockholm, Sweden. I tried to find a shop where they might sell some textiles with this handwoven technique but was unsuccessful. Very little hand weaving to be found. Sad since this is part of Sweden's rich heritage. 



August 14
Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. This was fascinating and a little dizzying! But oh so interesting!!! Dots everywhere! 


August 15
Back in my studio in Plymouth, MA after having a wonderful time traveling around Scandinavia. So much more I didn't show in my brief posts Around the World. I'll leave those for another blog post.





Hope you enjoyed playing "Where in the World" is Judy Connor Jones. Be on the look out.  You never know where she will turn up! Make sure you Like ðŸ‘ðŸ¼my Facebook business page, www.facebook.com/JCJonesFiberArt so you won't miss a minute of the next adventure.












Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Shawls Are More Than a Wrap - Part Two or What in My "Tool Box" Can I Use?

I have a habit of being interested in new techniques, taking a workshop, and after the workshop/class never having the time to play with what I've learned.  The cycle goes like this - excitement to use the new techniques, no time to play reinforcing the technique, months go by, fear sets in, memory fades, and there you have it. New technique, new supplies, sitting on the shelf or in the box never touched again. My "tool box" is full of these things! Any of you have this problem?

Well this time, I was thankful for an excuse to play with Color Hue dyes that I learned about at a weavers'  conference last summer, July 2014.

©Judy Connor Jones

It was a wonderful workshop and the dyes were so easy to use and the teacher was excellent. As it turned out, they were the perfect dyes for this project. You see they bond instantly to silk and because they do, they require no mordants (dyers nerdy talk) and very little washing of excess dye in the cloth. There is very little dye left that has not bonded to the cloth.  So why is this important?  Remember my dilemma, how to incorporate prayers in the shawl? One of the other items in my tool box is knowing how to ink jet print onto fabric. While the ink jet print is permanent, washing over and over again to remove dyes would cause the ink to fade. The Color Hue dyes would allow me to give color to the silk, which was white at the beginning, without the print fading. I would print prayers or statements of faith for each of the Abrahamic faiths onto silk, dye it, and cut it into ribbon using a Japanese technique for making long strips of ribbon, another tool box item!

©Judy Connor Jones


Issue resolved! BUTTTTTTT (UT OH, here goes another Judy brain storm!) - wouldn't it be cool if the prayers or statements were written in English, Hebrew, and Arabic! YES! 

Reality check - how to do that? I don't know Hebrew and I don't know Arabic. Just so happens that my husband works at a seminary (Andover Newton Theological School) where, you guessed it, there is an Interfaith Professor, a Hebrew Professor, and BINGO, an Islamic Professor!  I am most grateful to the help they provided by doing the translations I needed and their perseverance to get it into a format that I could use. Thank you Jenny, Greg and Celene.

So what was printed and woven into the piece? For Christianity, in English, I printed the first line of the Lord's Prayer, "Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name", for Judaism in Hebrew, part of the Shema, "Hear, Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.", and for Islam in Arabic, "There is no god but God".  Under each of these ribbons was another ribbon with the same phase for each, "Peace, Salaam, Shalom".  At the end of each silk ribbon row was an olive wood bead from my "stash of stuff" which I acquired from my mother-in-law's "stash of stuff".  Perfect! They were waiting for this moment!

©Judy Connor Jones


When the piece was completed and I took it off the loom, I was so moved by the colors and the incorporating of the prayers that it became a Holy moment.  My hands had created something I never dreamed I would do.  So many serendipitous things happened in the making of this piece that it is hard to believe that my hand was the only hand creating it. The Great Creator's Hand was definitely present.

©Ritterbin.com

The piece was shipped off and presented to the General Secretary of American Baptist Churches, USA at their Mission Summit, June, 2015. The Program presentation was called "Draping of the Mantle", a reference to an ancient tradition. PERFECT! I was honored to be a part of it.

So what's next? I don't know.  I do know that something new and creative is around the corner. The idea of working with the Interfaith concept is gnawing at me. I can't ignore it!

I leave you with a collage of pictures including the draping of the mantle and a blessing that you may be wrapped with the mantle of inspiration and creativity.

Please respect copyrights, ©Ritterbin.com and ©Judy Connor Jones



Monday, August 03, 2015

Shawls Are More Than A Wrap!

I recently was commissioned to create an Interfaith Prayer Shawl which was to be a retirement gift for the General Secretary of American Baptist Churches, USA. It was to be presented to him at the biennial Mission Summit held in Kansas City at the end of June.



After I'd agreed to the commission I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into! What was an interfaith prayer shawl?  What faiths to include? After all there are many all over the world. Had this been done before by someone? Could I find something on the internet to help?

The specifications were:

 1 -  represent the three Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity
 2 -  without specifically being a Tallit (Jewish Prayer Shawl), it could incorporate a few of the elements such as the Tzitzit
 3 -  Be a specially designed handwoven piece instead of a knitted shawl that the Prayer Shawl Ministry makes to give to people for whom they are praying.

This was to be a whole different thing made special for the occasion and the person for whom it was intended. Wow! Breathe! What a challenge! You can do this!

Where to start?

First I needed to discover if there was such thing as an Interfaith Prayer Shawl or if anyone had made one before. So I began my research. I found lots of Interfaith art work but nothing was wearable. After many hours of researching and not discovering anything, the question became "What was I going to do"? Panic, of course!!!



It occurred to me that I needed to remember what I, as a weaver, do best, Work With Color! (A "DUH" moment!)



Ok, got that! NOTE TO SELF: The colors will progress from the desert colors for the nomadic tribes of Judaism and Islam to the colors representing the majesty of God for all three faiths (Judaism, Islam, Christianity) to the blues and greens of Living Water representing Christianity. My palette was set after I looked to my shelves to see what yarns worked in the color way I wanted. Amazingly, I had all the colors I needed in my stock of Tencel. This would be a good weight for the shawl and when woven in a twill and plain weave structure allow the right amount of drape.  Here is the final palette, 12 colors in all including a gold metallic yarn.


You'll notice there are only 11 colors here.  I added one more to the dessert colors because I didn't think the colors were strong enough.  I had just ordered the color Sienna from my supplier. Turned out it was the perfect color addition. It is in the card wrapping below.



The next step was to figure out what else would make this a special prayer shawl. I wanted to somehow incorporate prayers into the weaving.  But how to do that? And what prayers? More research needed!

I'll leave it here for now and follow up with another blog post on what happened next. While you wait, here are a few pictures of putting the yarn on the loom to weave the sampler and choose the weft color.




Can't wait to show you what came next!




Monday, July 20, 2015

"There's No Business like Show Business"!

Getting ready to do a show this weekend in Wilmington, DE. As a Master Artisan in the PA Guild of Craftsmen, I will be exhibiting my work at the PA Guild Fine Craft Show at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington Delaware.  This is a beautiful air conditioned facility with plenty of parking  and plenty of artists!

Come see me at booth, #316, on July 25 & 26.  Hours are Saturday, 10 - 6 and Sunday, 10 - 5. You can get directions and admission coupons for $1.00 off at the guild's website, www.PACrafts.org.

Hope to see you there........................................Remember, fall is just around the corner! I can help with those cool breezes that begin to blow!




              Jessica says Hi and is wearing my Ripple Scarves which are made of silk and wool.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Weaving an Advent Art Journey - Week 2

What does weaving have to do with an Advent art journey? If you missed the answer to this and week one, I encourage you to check out the previous post, http://studiojottings.blogspot.com/2014/12/weaving-advent-art-journey.html .  This will give you some background info for this week's post.

Week Two in our Advent theme at Pilgrim Church was "Prepare the Way for Peace". We thought about ways we see signs of preparing the way for peace in our lives and the world.  Pretty current topic as we are bombarded everyday in the news with non-peaceful happenings around us. Are there things happening that are working toward Peace? Do we see signs of it in our lives? What ways are we working for Peace?  These are important and valid questions to reflect on. In thinking about these questions we are also preparing the way for the Christ Child.

Our thoughts were written on "paper straw" and then added to the manger as a symbol of the comfort and peace we both seek and find in this season of Advent.



As our journey continues, after coffee hour, we worked on getting the next elements ready.  Here's a few pictures of preparing the cloth which will be used on Sunday, December 14 as we think about "Preparing the Way for Joy".



Each week in Advent we will add to the installation as we think about preparing the way for Joy, and Love. The completion of the installation will be Christmas Eve.  Keep checking back to my blog and follow along on your own journey of preparation. Better yet, if you live near Duxbury, MA come join us! http://pilgrimchurchofduxbury.org




Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Weaving an Advent Art Journey

What does weaving have to do with an Advent art journey?  As an artist and a person of faith, I believe that a God who created humans in his/her image would also give each and everyone of us the ability to create.  I know what you're thinking, "I don't have a creative bone in my body! What is she talking about!" Too often I hear this from people as they admire my woven work or quickly respond to my suggestion that they might be creative also. However, I believe that everyone has this ability.  You may not be able to do what I do, but somewhere in the depths of your being there is a creative spot.  It just needs to be brought out.  That's where community comes in.



One very important community for me is within the church.  Several years ago as I sat in worship I thought about how art is used in churches. It seemed to be all visual, if there even was any art, and the design and implementation was relegated to the "Artists".  That bothered me and I began to think how art could be more than just something we look at while sitting in the pews.  So I developed what I call "Participatory Art in Worship".  At the church where I was a member at the time, the minister, music director, and myself formed a worship team. Together we led the worship attendees through a new creative involvement. It would be too lengthy to go into details in this post of the many installations we led but you can read more about them if you click on the side label Ecclesiastical Installations.  Here is one link but there are several others, http://studiojottings.blogspot.com/2010/03/ecclesiastical-installation.html. From these posts you can get an idea of how this art form developed over several years.



So that leads me to today and the work we are doing at Pilgrim Church in Duxbury, MA.  Advent is a time of preparation. Over the four weeks of Advent to help us prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ Child we are using participatory art as a way to "Prepare the Way for Hope, Peace, Joy and Love" in our lives and the world. We are weaving (get the connection?!) a journey through word, thought, music, and art.



The first Sunday in Advent was Sunday, November 30.  The theme for our Advent Journey is "Prepare the Way of the Lord".  During the service, we reflected on where we see signs of HOPE as we prepare the way for hope in our lives and the world. In preparation of the Christ Child's arrival we are building a manger as the centerpiece of our installation. Each person in worship was asked to write their reflective word or phrase on a paper log which later we added to the manger.  The children during the Children's Time brought  driftwood (since Duxbury is an ocean town) as a symbol of building the manger.





After worship during the coffee hour our paper logs were added to the manger frame.  These written reflective thoughts are prayers which are offered as part of the manger. All were welcome to help attach the logs and the driftwood to the manger frame.







Each week in Advent we will add to the installation as we think about preparing the way for Peace, Joy, and Love. The completion of the installation will be Christmas Eve. I'll share pictures of the process and each week's installation.  Keep checking back to my blog and follow along on your own journey of preparation. Better yet, if you live near Duxbury, MA come join us! http://pilgrimchurchofduxbury.org