Author: CynthiaReynolds

the big picture

As most artists know all too well, November and December is the busy season, holiday sales carry many of us through the rest of our year. Months ago, as the end of summer approached, the deadline for deciding in which holiday shows to participate came up, and I had to make a decision. In past years I have had open studios, inviting the public in to my atelier to see how and where my products are made. Last year, I took part in the Designers Fair (juried entry)¬†at DogA, the Norwegian Center for Design and Architecture on Hausmannsgate in Oslo, 10,000 people in 2 days – exhausting but worthwhile! This year, the invites for various shows came in and I realized that regardless of what options I chose, the workload would be pretty much the same, long hard days in the studio working on new series and collections, evenings back in the studio polishing silver or ironing textiles, display work, pricing, labeling, packaging supplies, being away from my children on the holiday weekends, and stressing …

FeltUnited 2010 is online :)

Yesterday, Elis and I published the 2nd International FeltUnited Exhibit. What started two years ago as an idea to connect artists from around the planet in a joint exhibit, grew to be a worldwide happening celebrated in over 25 countries on 5 continents. Nearly 1000 photos have been compiled in two themed exhibits featuring artists of all skill levels, from new beginners to renowned textile artists; all brought together to celebrate a common passion. Do take a moment to make yourself a comforting beverage, turn on some nice music and watch the show. We have also announced next years date and colour theme; Red–Purple–Blue, our third and final segment of the colour wheel. Please join us October 1st, 2011, see FeltUnited for more details. … and to Elis, thank you.. for everything. You are a dear friend, a fascinating artist and old soul, whom I am blessed to have in my life… I adore you.   EDIT: fixed the links ūüėČ  

my latest addition (obsession)

Sock knitting machines!.. ahh.. I know this may sound crazy, and quite honestly I was not sure as to whether this should go on my studio blog or not, as this is more of ¬†a ‘me’ thing. so.. no.. I am not going into the sock making business.. (at least not as far as I know!) (…continues below photo) restored and purring like a kitten Since first learning of these machines over a year ago, I have patiently (well.. my husband might disagree with that statement) been waiting for the right one to find me, during that time, I have read so much about them, and the history behind them appeals to me in a significant way. In the late 1800’s and first half of the 1900’s, sock knitting machines were produced in many countries around the world. During war times, many wives/mothers were left at home, some struggling to make ends meet. the answer?.. the sock knitting machine. Women all over the world purchased these machines, and through the same company, purchased wool. After …

We Felt United :)

FeltUnited was celebrated around the world, as felters everywhere shared in their love of wool. Photos are streaming in, and I am in awe of how many joined in on the fun. Chile, Australia, Argentina, Germany, Russia.. the list goes on. Events ranged from large to small, some organized workshops, others decorated public statues, groups marched through city streets boldly wearing this years colour theme… and many hung a symbolic piece on their fence post; and in the meaning of the event, they Felt United.

cochineal and shibori

but where does it come from? Bugs. Yes, little scaly bugs that live on prickly pear cacti in the desert. Once dried and ground up to a fine powder (I use an old coffee grinder). These little critters give off the most stunning colours from the palest, softest pinks to the deepest crimson. I ground my bugs a few days ago, and brought them to a near-boil then left to cool for 24 hours. During which time their colour releases to create a deep crimson liquid. I strained it through a silk lined sieve and saved the ‘pulp’ to try and use again. Cochineal will produce a variety of colours dependant on the mordant used. In this dye bath, I used Alum. I tossed in a few silk cocoons, as they make such a lovely colour reference, and will surely be used in a project one day. Once I had the colour I was looking for, I rinsed and centrifuged the silk and let is dry. After drying completely, I undid the resists and carefully …

the green turns blue before your eyes as it oxides

indigo and shibori

Summer.. mother nature at her best. Long sunny days, swimming in the cool sea, meals under the blue sky … It also brings along vacation for the little ones, mine included. These early summer days have spoiled us, we have had sun filled days at the beach and spend much of our time these days outside. It is the perfect opportunity for me to work on some projects that can be done outside. Projects that can be picked up (or put down) at a moments notice, allowing me to pay attention to the needs of my children. Long days in the studio where attention to timing (ie.. light sensitive material) will have to wait. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am a reader. No… not a fiction reader, but a reader of reference books, how-tos, I read everything I can get my hands on regarding Crafts – not craft as in ‘get a glue gun..’, but Craft as in time honoured traditional techniques, skills passed on through generations. It …

bomaki shibori – tutorial

Lately I have had been reading everything I can get my hands on regarding shibori, the japanese art of creating texture and colour on cloth. There are an incredible variety of styles and techniques that are encompassed in the Shibori classification. Here are some photos (and a quick tutorial) of a piece I made using the bomaki shibori technique.

Designernes eget Julemarked – DogA

This weekend I participated in the Design Fair at DogA (Norwegian Center for Design and Architecture) It is one of Oslo most anticipated annual christmas markets. Around 10,000 people attend this event annually, queuing up outside in all sorts of weather to be able to get their hands on some of the latest in Norwegian Design. I am genuinely pleased with my weekend, and learned so much in the process. Prior to attending the event, I gave myself a goal for sales and I must admit, I exceeded my expectations. I went through 750 business cards, and realize that next time I need to bring more! The chance to get ones work seen by so many in such a short period of time is a fantastic opportunity. But most of all I met some lovely people in the process, both in the way of designers who were selling their work, as well as customers who left with smiles on their faces. One young lady in particular stands out in my mind… she returned three times …