Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Beads & Fibers ~ What a Combo!!!

Hello Everyone ~ Sorry about the lapse in posting. Preparations for three back-to-back teaching gigs take soooo much time.

Hand-dyed fibers for spinning, by Janel
I just returned from teaching at the first of these gigs, a wonderful conference in Visalia, CA (new place for me... one of the gateway cities to Death Valley, Yosemite, and the Giant Sequoias). Sponsored by the Association of Southern California Handweavers, the conference included an amazing showcase, a lively fashion show, many classes, and an inspirational presentation by Margaret Roach Wheeler of some of her most loved contemporary woven garments based on traditional Native American costumes. These were awesome. At a later time I want to show some pictures of them. A couple of them brought tears to my eyes... a spiritual, almost mystical element about them.

Unfortunately I arrived at the conference with no checks in my checkbook and a nearly dead camera battery. So, I only have a few pictures to share.

silk jacket, shoulder detail
This is a detail shot (shoulder) of my favorite garment in the fashion show. It is a hand-dyed silk chiffon coat with added woven texture by Brecia. Lovely!

Awesome colors - yarns, fibers, beads were everywhere! I loved everything, but most of all, I loved two felted vessels made by Una and Janel in a three-day pre-conference workshop taught by Sharon Costello.

felt vessel by Una
Here is Una's vessel. She's just beginning to embellish it with beads, as you can see in the detail shot below. These pictures are click-to-enlarge, and worth it (in my opinion)!

felt vessel by Una, detail

felt vessel by Una, detail
Here's another detail of Una's vessel. I love her use of color and the flow of the design.

felt vessel by Janel
And here is one side of Janel's vessel. If you go to her website, you'll get a hint of why she has chosen the figure of a chameleon for her piece.

felt vessel by Janel
The other side of Janel's vessel is a graceful tree. Like Una, she's just beginning to get the beads on it.

felt purse by Una, beaded button by Una, beaded buttons by students
This is a felted purse made by Una, who took my beaded button class and made a closure button for it. The other three buttons were made by other students in my class.

lampworked pendant
Finally, I want to show you this fabulous bead. I'm in love with it. I don't know who made it as yet, but D'Elin, who made the necklace (sorry that's when my camera battery konked out, so you don't get to see the whole necklace) is going to get the name of the lampworker for me. I'll post it when she does.

I could write pages about all the things I saw and people I met... but I only have one day before I leave again to teach at the Bellingham Bead Festival, and the "to do" list is very long.

Please don't give up on me during this busy teaching time... I check your blogs when I can, but don't always have time to comment.


  1. Gorgeous stuff! I really need to get out more and see if I can find some of these wonderful bits of eye candy around here. It must really give your creative juices a jump start to immerse yourself in fiber and beads from other artists for a few days!

  2. You have been busy! The fiber vessels are just gorgeous and I would love to see them after beads and embellishments were finished. I'm sure they're stunning.
    The shell-shaped bead is truly a work of art. Love it!
    Never fear....I don't think any of us would give up on you no matter what. I always get such a jump start when I visit your blog. Have a great time in Bellingham.

  3. Thanks for the eye candy, Robin! Yum!!!

  4. You're permanently on my blogline, so won't be giving up on you ever!
    I do get an extra rush when I see you've posted...
    Hope B'ham is fun for you...hope you've got your camera batteries recharged!

  5. Oh, Robin,

    I'm drooling with envy! Those vessels are defintely worth the clicks! They are all lovely and rich in textures! And I love the idea of the finely beaded button as the closure for the felted bag. And that bead on the necklace! Oh rats, my keyboard is getting all wet from my copious drool. Get the name, get the name of the bead maker. Oh, that is a lovely bead! Slurp! Slurp!

  6. Anonymous2:26 PM

    You are right what an amazing bead, I have never seen representational lampwork like that before, I am so impressed with the fine yellow lines at the opening of the shell, they are so realistic. I have drawn similar ones so many times when I firt had a "real" look at nature's designs (aged 13 or so).
    I couldn't find any other necklaces on d'elin's website though.
    Loved the felted vessels, especially the chameleon. Thanks for posting the pictures despite all your troubles!

  7. This type of fiber work always amazes me. Thanks for sharing your photos! And, I know how busy life can be... I will just wait patiently for your next post. Have fun teaching=:)

  8. Anonymous3:26 AM

    Dear Robin,

    how could any of your "old" croonies and readers be put off by a small lapse of time in blogging? I am like this (see below), and I think it is similar with your other regular readers:

    - I will have a look whether Robin has posted something new. Nothing, what a pity, I will look again later. Again no new post, well, hopefully tomorrow. Again nothing -hardly imaginable that Robin has seen nothing new, has no new ideas she wants to communicate. Alright, I will check another time. Third time nothing! Something must be wrong. Is Robin ill? Is she in trouble? Has the island been submerged by water? But now - fourth time lucky! Wonderful! A new post, as lovely as its predecessors! Must write to say thank you. -

    That's about the way it goes.

    Fiber and beads make an intrigueing combination, and the colours of the pieces shown are sooo beautiful, thanks for the pictures.

    Success and fun for the current teaching session, regards,

    P.S.: What will it be you bring back this time?

  9. Anonymous9:16 PM

    The bead is remarkable, the fiber vessel is amazing and will be out of this world when the beading is complete.
    I have been vewing your blog for about a year, I am absolutely amazed at the variety of topics you discuss "in depth". I am never disappointed.....if there isn't a new post I look at the pictures again and visit the sites you recommend again and always find something new to oooh and aaah about.

  10. Wow Robin, really beautiful stuff!

    Hey I'm still coming to Coupville, even if I only have 1 student! Stop by at least please!

  11. Anonymous5:19 PM

    Robin -when you are back I really want to know what you think of my post on "based on vs inspired by in design" - Thanks!


Thanks you for joining the discussion on this post today!