Saturday, October 31, 2015


"U-Turn" in progress,  Lori LaBerge  2015

It felt good to be back in the studio after two and a half weeks of teaching and traveling.  I was home long enough to pack up some wool, transfer some designs to linen and head out on the road to Vermont for three weeks. 

While here in Vermont, I'm finding time to get quite a bit of hooking done so I'm crossing my fingers that the colors I brought will work.  I'll be headed down to my Dad's workbench to see if he has some metal pieces for use.  If not, a trip to the local salvage shop or hardware store will be in order.

As noted in last week's blog, we visited the Craft and Folk Art Museum while in Los Angeles.  The Paperworks exhibit was on display and showcased creative and innovative techniques for paper cutting and manipulation.

We were greeted by a wonderful palette of color as we entered the exhibit room.

Work by Tam Van Tran.  I loved the way this was a wall piece, yet had a real sculptural quality to it.  It forced the viewer to look closer to see how the overall effect was created.  The use of line and shape attracted me.

Close-up of Tam Van Trans's work.  Note how the hole punches create lines throughout the work.  The use of staples gives the work a shine and glow from a distance.

I felt like I was entering a whole other world viewing Chris Natrop's "Of night and light and the half-light".  The cut-out work was intricate and complex leading me to prolong my entry into the artist's creation.  A projector shone patterns on the back wall leading one beyond the paper work as if entering a jungle.  String formed lines throughout the work.

"In our Image" by Susan Sironi.  I don't know the artists intention with this piece but I took away our sense of complexity, uniformity at times and our eventual demise.  It would be interesting to hear how others perceive this work.  I like how what seems so simple can be very thought-provoking.  

"Red Whirl" and "White Whirl" by Echiko Ohira.  These were like nests one could curl up in to feel safe and secure, yet while the white feels calm the red carries some tension with it.  The thickness and sturdy appearance of these surprised me.

One of many paper-crete pieces by Tim Gratkowski.  I love the combination of the hardness of the concrete with the pliability of paper.  It looks as if the paper could continue emerging from the concrete forever.

Through viewing this exhibit I learned so much about the possibilities of manipulating paper to form artworks.  Think of the possibilities of textile manipulations in creating future works and have a great day.

Saturday, October 24, 2015


Street view of the Craft and Folk Art Museum

While in Los Angeles, a must stop for me was the Craft and Folk Art Museum.  Upon entry to the museum we were greeted by this:

Every once in a while an artist stops me in my tracks.  This was one of those times. Chris Francis, artist-shoemaker, had what seemed to be a whole shoe making studio set up in the entry. He was working on his creations and talking with those visiting the museum. There were vintage shoe lasts, hand tools and so many other objects to take in.  I'm sure this is some sort of organized chaos for him.  He looked right at home among his tools of the trade.

Shoe lasts hanging from the ceiling

Chris is self-taught.  His shoes are one-of-a-kind and he is a true believer in the individual maker.  All sorts of items are used to create his shoes and many are found objects.

A great display with rock and roll posters and play lists as a backdrop for the shoes and boots.

Close-up of one of the boots.  You know I'd love this one, metal is my thing when I work in abstract.  This has a Victorian meets punk-rock feel to me.

A little Mondrian.  Great colors and look at all the shapes involved.  This would be a mathematical nightmare for me.

Some gorgeous curves.

I missed his larger show as it closed before we traveled to L.A., but I am so glad I had the chance to see him in his element and view a display of his shoes (all of the shoes are functional).  He will be teaching a workshop at the Museum on Nov. 22 for those lucky enough to be in the area.  If his goal was to create interest in the hand-made, shoes as art and experimentation he gets an A+++.  He is pushing the boundaries with his art form and certainly inspired me to push my abstract work further in the future.

Search out artists who are moving forward with their work while creating art different from that normally seen and have a great day.