Creative Strength Training Workshop with Jane Dunnewold


2016_01Dunnewold Creative Strength Training Workshop                 with Jane Dunnewold

Prompts, Exercises, and Personal Stories for Encouraging Artistic Genius

Friday, August 19, 2016

9:00 – 4:00

Seattle Pacific University

Third Avenue West & Nickerson Street, Seattle



Note! Registration opens to the public at a rate of $125 after May 30.


-and another special opportunity-


PhotoJanePrivate 40-minute Critique Sessions with Jane Dunnewold

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Time slots to be chosen or assigned

At a private studio in Richmond Beach, 15 minutes north of Seattle

Discover a deeper connection to your creative self in this one-day workshop with internationally renowned artist Jane Dunnewold, on tour to help artists build creative stamina, dismantle their inner critics, and approach their art with more joy. A popular teacher, Jane’s lecture features prompts and exercises from her newest book, Creative Strength Training, with an emphasis on creating work that is uniquely yours. Play and work at the same time!

The workshop costs $95 for current SDA members, and early registration is encouraged; participation is limited to 20 students

Move your art forward with a one-to-one critique session with Jane at a private art studio in Richmond Beach. In this 40-minute session she will work with you to develop goals for your future work based on current interests and projects. This is an informal conversation to discuss ideas, direction, and works in progress. An emphasis on supportive and authentic discussion will inspire you to take your art to the next level.

Critique Sessions cost $60, and participation is limited to 8 artists.  You do not need to take the workshop to sign up for a critique session.


Please make checks out to Surface Design Association and then send your checks in the proper amount to Julie Moberly at:

4111 East Madison Street, #129                                                                                                             Seattle, WA  98112

    $95 Creative Strength Training Workshop, Friday, August 19, 2016


    $60 40-minute Critique Session, Saturday, August 20, 2016


    $155 Workshop AND Critique Session

IMPORTANT: Include your email address and cell phone number with your check.


Contact Sharon Rowley ( for available critiques slots between 9 am and noon, and 1 and 4 pm. Follow-up with payment to Julie at the address above. Your slot will be held for 2-3 days and released if your check is not received in that time.                  Your payment will be acknowledged by email.

Registration will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis until May 30, when registration opens to the public (The CST workshop is $125 for non-SDA participants) Payment by check is required to confirm your space.  If registration exceeds capacity, we will create a waiting list.

Refunds will be made up to 30 days in advance of the workshop (July 20, 2016); transfer of place is not available.

A supply list for the workshop will be emailed with confirmation of registration, and a short assignment will be emailed for those participating in the critique sessions.

Questions? For questions about the workshop, email Julie Moberly at; for questions about the critique sessions, email Sharon Rowley at

Tips on Shipping Your Artwork for the SDA WA Fiber Fusion Exhibition

Tips on Shipping Your Artwork for the SDA WA Fiber Fusion Exhibition         by Vicki Gerton

I would like to thank Laura Russell at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, OR for most of these very good ideas on shipping artwork!

Since this is a traveling show, your shipping boxes will be carefully stored while your artwork is on exhibit and your artwork to be stored inside your own box between venues and for transporting to the next venue.

no bubble mailersno packing peanutsshipping-boxsshipping tubes


  • Ship your artwork in a sturdy box or a tube, not in bubble mailer or envelop. This box or tube should be sturdy enough to last through round trip shipping and the travel between venues.
  • Inside the box or tube, place your artwork in a plastic bag, allowing a margin all around inside the box. Pad this margin with bubble wrap or other padding material.  DO NOT USE PEANUTS–they make a mess.  If you use tape, use low tack tape (blue painting tape works well).  Do not use clear packing tape which must be cut with scissors or a knife risking cutting your precious artwork.

blue painters tape                    No Duct tape

  • Label your packing material with your name and title of the piece.
  • Include a packing slip inside the box with your name, address and contact information, the recipient’s address, title of your artwork(s), quantity sent, retail price or insurance value. Also include a photo of your artwork for quick identification of what artwork goes in your box (low resolution or snapshot is ok).
  • If your piece requires special instructions for hanging, include these in with the packing slip.
  • Check with shipper as to tape requirements on outside of box. Never use duct tape because it does not adhere properly to cardboard.
  • You must also include a prepaid return shipping label so your artwork can be shipped back to you after the showing in the last venue.



  • For the least expensive ground shipping, plan to ship a week before the work needs to arrive at destination. If you ship on a Monday, your artwork will probably spend the least time in transit.
  • FedEx Ground is good and they provide excellent tracking. You will be able to generate a pre-paid return label.  FedEx also has a shipping time calculator to help you know when to send your package off.
  • United States Postal Service (USPS) is another good option. There is some tracking on priority packages.  However, they will not be able to generate return shipping labels in advance.  You can buy enough stamps, but that requires standing in line for any package over 13 ounces.
  • UPS is OK but some report problems.
  • FedEx and UPS allow you to open an account online. You can create shipping labels online and have your credit card billed.  You can also print your return label and you will not be charged until your package is actually sent back to you.  You weigh your package yourself on your studio or kitchen scale.



  • You are responsible for any insurance you wish to put on your artwork during the shipping to and from the Fiber Fusion Exhibition.
  • FedEx will not insure over $500 value.
  • To collect any claims from the shipper you will need to prove the value of your claim. Some shippers only pay materials, and some will pay only the wholesale value.
  • Some retail shipping services have third party insurance services.


SDA Newsblog sources for packing your art


[Hot Tips on Shipping Your Artwork.jpg} Hot Tips on Shipping Your Artwork by Patricia Malarcher who is a studio artist and independent writer and Editor of SDA’s quarterly Surface Design Journal for 18 years (1993-2011). She lives and works in Englewood, New Jersey.

Member Activities Update for April 2016


As always, our members are an active bunch (that’s part of what makes them so interesting!).

Member Activities:


Danielle Bodine

Changelings (group- 2nd version) 1A6A0610

Danielle Bodine will be exhibiting her fiber sculptures along with Gordy Edberg’s paintings in a two-artist show at MUSEO Gallery on Whidbey Island.  Please join the artists for the opening reception Saturday May 7th, 2016.  From 5pm to 7pm.

The show will be held from May 6th through May 29th, 2016

Museo is located at:215 First Street (PO Box 548)
Langley, WA 98260

For more information about MUSEO or the show, please contact# 360-221-7737 or see their website:

You can also find more information on Danielle’s site:   www.



Patti Shaw

Patti Shaw’s piece “Up In Smoke” made the Materialities Catalog AND is featured at the top of this month’s SDA Fiber & Fabric eNews!  (her piece is 3rd from the left!).  Congratulations Patti!



Lois Gaylord          Arts North Studio Tour

Hand-Dyed-Shawl-500x500 lois gaylord Lois Gaylord and her husband Kevin Cain would like to invite you to join us at ‘Sun-House’ studios, part of the 2016 Arts North Studio Tour in North Seattle. The Spring tour is on April 30th & May 1st, from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Visit 11 art studios hosting guest artists. View artwork and artisan creations. Chat with artists, learn more about the the creative process!    Visit the website to download a map.

Lois is also excited to announce that her piece “Tree of Life” will be part of the 2016  Liturgical & Sacred Art Exhibition at the Springfield Art Association, Springfield, IL 62702 Dates: April 30 – May 28, 2016.  The Exhibit is part of The Liturgical Arts Festival of Springfield. It is a non-profit, inter-faith organization, that was founded in 1995 by clergy, artists and community volunteers interested in expressions of spirituality in the arts. This inter-faith celebration of the arts is presented every two years and has evolved to include a juried liturgical and sacred art exhibit, music celebrations of faith held in local houses of worship, and sharing of religious traditions.

Lois will be the Guest artist at The Fiber Gallery for the PhinneyWood’s BIG art walk on Friday, May 13, from 6-9 p.m. and Saturday, May 14, from noon to 5 p.m.   8212 Greenwood Avenue North, Seattle, WA 98103

Originally a stand-alone annual event, The BIG One is now the centerpiece of the monthly Art Up PhinneyWood art walks, held the second Friday of each month.  The BIG One usually includes 70+ venues and 150+ artists. Because of its long history, it attracts hundreds of art walkers. Friday night, in particular, is a festive occasion and becomes a “neighborhood party.”  For more information, please see:

Two opportunities to ‘Get your Geek on’ in June. Lois Gaylord and her husband Kevin Cain will be returning to ODDMALL: Emporium of the Weird in Everett.   The next big show takes place June 4 & 5, 2016 at the Holiday Inn, Downtown Everett,Wa. Conveniently located off I-5. Oddmall features over 130 of the Pacific Northwest most unusual, most talented, most bizarre Artists, Crafters, Authors, Entertainers and more! Oddmall is a cosplay friendly event! We encourage uniqueness with out visitors and vendors. Come spend the day with us in the Emporium of the Weird! Always free admission and plenty of free parking.   In addition to over 130 vendors, Oddmall features a stage with live entertainment all day long. A very special area called Fairy Hollow featuring Fairy Princess Lolly, a Fashion Show presented by Dames for Dreams and more!

We will also be at ODDMALL ALLEY at the Georgetown Carnival. Seattle,WA  SATURDAY JUNE 11, 2016: 10am – 10pm Over 10,000 in attendance! Oddmall in partnership with the Georgetown Merchants Association is offering 20 premium booths for this years Georgetown Carnival. All of the Oddmall booths are located on Nebraska St. The only way to get to the new Clown Town and the beer garden is to travel down Nebraska St. Last year, The Georgetown Carnival had over 10,000 attendees and it continues to grow each year.

EVENTS —————————————-

cuttingedge1020x466_001A show not to miss–“Cutting Edge”, an exhibition of the Contemporary QuiltArts Association at the Washington State History Museum  (, 1911 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, Washington from April 16 to August 21, 2016.  The museum has done an exceptional job at displaying the quilts beautifully.


The following are a sampling of SDA WA members pieces in the show (and comes from the CQA Website):

04/25/16 Our apologies – we somehow left out SDA-WA member Katherine Sylvan!  Her wonderful art is also included in this lovely show!!

SylvanK_AndDances_309x520“…And then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the daffodils.” by Katherine Sylvan

Artist Statement: My mother’s name was Margaret and her favorite flower was the daffodil. This piece is a memorial to her and a tribute to a time, long gone, when children learned verse which brought comfort and joy into their later years.

Materials & Techniques:
Materials: silk; Lanaset, Procion and Vat discharge dyes; textile paint; thread; Misty Fuse. Techniques: dyeing, silk screening, multiple layers of color discharge and over dyeing; stenciling; applique; hand painting; interlacement of two pieces of silk
Dimensions: 38″W x 64″H
Photographer: Robert Block


“On the Move” By Ruth Vincent

Artist Statement: Continuing my cosmological landscape series, this triptych is inspired by the movement of people across the land–from traditional aboriginal migration to modern-day touring from Sydney to Adelaide.

Materials & Techniques:
 Materials: Hand-dyed cotton fabric, cotton thread, polyester batting, fusible interfacing, commercial printed cotton backing. Techniques: Procion dyeing, textile paint stamping, discharge paste dye removal, piecing, quilting.
Dimensions: 74″W x 30″H

StehrC_Dentciles2_480x400 “Denticles 2” By Carla Stehr

Artist Statement: Although shark skin looks smooth, it is covered with tiny tooth-like denticles that can only be seen with a microscope. This is inspired by an image of dogfish shark skin denticles that I photographed with a scanning electron microscope during my career as a Fisheries Biologist.

Materials & Techniques:
 Materials are cotton fabric, stiff interfacing, wool batting, fabric paint and Liquitex ink. Faced openings were made in the quilt sandwich and then it was quilted with polyester thread. Layers of diluted paint were added after stitching. Stiff double-sided fusible interfacing was used to form the denticles. A grey patterned batik fabric was sewn over the denticle shape (much like facing a collar). Ink and paint were applied to the denticles to enhance the batik fabric. Denticles were inserted through the quilt openings and stitched to a backing of painted fabric.
Dimensions: 35″W x 29″H x 1.5″
Photographer: Carla Stehr


OSteen_Trees1_322x480“Trees 1”By Barbara O’Steen

Artist Statement: Whether you see this art as two tree trunks, one hollow stump or something else, the image and words are meant to convey a message of the value we receive from trees standing in a forest; providing oxygen that replaces poisonous carbon dioxide for decades.

Materials & Techniques: 
Fabrics of wool, cotton pique, cotton/polyester, satin, and cotton batting. Appliqué by hand and machine embroidery and couching with yarn, weaving, knitting, crochet, stuffing, trapunto, quilting.
Dimensions: 25″W x 36″H x 2″D
Photographer: Barbara O’Steen




KurjanJ_RiverofLight_480x“River of Light” By Janet Kurjan

Artist Statement:
 I find inspiration in patterns from nature, such as light coming through the trees during a walk in the woods.

Materials & Techniques:
 Hand-dyed fabric, machine-pieced, machine quilted with a walking foot.
Dimensions: 52″W x 68″HPhotography: Ken Wagner





FallertC_WatchMaster_480“Watch Master” By Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry


Artist Statement: 
On any given evening during my growing-up years, you could find my father at his watch-repair bench in a corner of our home, working among draws filled with tens of thousands of sparkling, nearly microscopic watch parts, springs, screws, balance wheels, jewels, stems, faces, hands, and crystals. When he died at the age of 103, the twelve-drawer cabinet which sat next to his workbench, still contained all its tools and glowing little parts, organized in rows of tiny tins, capsules, and clear plastic boxes.

Materials & Techniques: 
Original photography, digital printing, watch movements, watch faces, cotton fabric, wool batting, polyester thread. This is a completely double sided piece.
Dimensions :53″W x 53″H
Photographer: Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry


Other SDA Members in the show:

Patti Bleifuss

Bonnie Buckman

Ginnie Hebert

Melisse Laing

Margaret Liston

Barbara Nepom

Helen Remick

Lynne Rigby

Sharon Rowley

Digital images at







SDA-WA Member Activities – 03/29/16 Updates

Member Activities


We love highlighting our member’s activities!!  If you would like your activities and events posted on our blog or Facebook page, please send an email to with your event or activity information, your contact info, and a good photo or two or three of your event, activity, art, or yourself!


Save the Date, Jane Dunnewold will be in the Seattle area to conduct a workshop on her newest book Creative Strength Training.

The one day workshop will be heldSaturday, August 20, 2016. The following day will be for individual critiques. More information soon. Interested in helping plan for this event? Please email me


Member Mary Ashton is in an upcoming Show At BallardWorks!

BallardWorks Exhibits “Making a Statement”
Saturday, April 9th, 2016 6:00pm-9:00pm
Mary M Ashton's photo.allardWorks, 2856 NW Market St., Seattle 98107

“Making a Statement” exhibits Artwork and Artist Statements from Artist
Trust EDGE graduates, 2013-2014. Participating artists: D.Lisa West,
Andie Styner, Ellen Hochberg, Isobel Davis, Mary Ashton, Anita West,
Susan Derrick, Louise Hankes, Kip Kania, Melissa Koch and John Webster.

If you are not familiar with the term “artist statement” the following
Is a definition by Ariane Goodwin, author of “Writing the Artist
Mary M Ashton's photo.Statement.” “Like the art that it reflects, an artist statement uses its
sincerity of purpose and its purity of intent to create a powerful
word-reflection of the art and the artist.” Come and enjoy the art and
the artist statements of this group and see if the statements
accompanying the art cause you to see the art in a new light.

Three floors of art studios and exhibition spaces open for the Art Walk
Saturday, April 9th, 2016. Open 6:00-9:00 pm only. Families with kids
welcome. Enter through the 1st or 2nd floor doors on 30th Avenue.
Includes painting, wood working, sculpture, wearable fiber art,
encaustics, print making and more, all under one roof.


If you’re interested in teaching a class (or two or three) during the travelling Fiber Fusion show, we are still accepting applications!  The first location – is in Richland, WA…and the due date April 8th, 2016 for submission/proposals.

For more information, please see our previous post:


Fiber Fusion – Entries due March 20!


You still have one week to enter the
Surface Design Association of Washington State 
Inaugural state-wide juried art exhibition by March 20, 2016!

allied arts richland

Allied Arts

This is your opportunity to be seen and celebrated! The first -ever traveling exhibition in the U.S. sponsored by the Surface Design Association will happen in Washington State in 2016-2017!
Premier venues: The exhibition will be hosted by four venues– Allied Arts in Richland; VALA Art Center in Redmond; Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend; and the Schack Art Center in Everett.



Impressive Jurors: The jurors for the exhibition are Layne Goldsmith, professor of art at the University of Washington, Young Chang, owner of Gallery IMA in Seattle, and Rock Hushka, Chief Curator at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Generous Size: Wall art can be small or as large as 60” wide by 74” long—let your imagination run



wild!  Three-dimensional art, wearable art, jewelry, and art cloth will all be considered.  We want this exhibition to showcase the latest in surface design art.

What qualifies:  Art made between 2013-2016 that uses elements of surface design–dyeing, painting, stitching, or in some way creating or altering the surface of textiles qualifies.  Textile here is defined as any natural or artificial fiber or a non-textile



element, such as metal, that takes on the properties of fiber or is used in combination with textiles.

Join us and make history by doing something you love.  You can find out more about the exhibition at

Happy Creating!
SDA Washington Representative
Sponsored by Surface Design Association  and Surface Design Association of Washington

Stefano Catalani on “Working with Artists Working in Fiber”

(For those of you who were unable to attend the recent Surface Matters Symposium, we have asked fellow SDA members to write about about the various presentations. In this post, Lorraine Edmond writes about Stefano Catalani’s presentation, “Working with Artists Working in Fiber.” )

Photo by Jennifer Nerad

Stefano Catalani has been a curator at Bellevue Art Museum for 5 years, and Artistic Director of Curatorial Affairs for the past two.  His talk opened with a couple of statements that got the audience’s attention. The first was from Nietzsche:  “We have art so that we may not perish by the truth.”  The second was all his own:  “Most of you won’t ever have art in my museum. But it might not be because it isn’t good. Maybe it’s good and I just don’t like it!”

He described his work with fiber artists at BAM as fitting into the following four themes:

Abstraction, Surreality, Freedom from Reality

He likes maps because they collect data, then dish it out with combinations of color and line. Fiber art does the same, dishes it out in a different form, abstracted. Fiber reminds us of the domestic (the stereotype, the castoff. Fiber is something women take/took care of in the domestic environment. This theme was illustrated with slide of doilies with masculine symbols.

Performing the Body

Fibers have a special connection to the body, they define our identity, our persona. The softness reflects the softness, fragility, and resilience of the body. It offers the artist the ability to create an installation that reflects the body. Making an installation on site offers a distinct way of engaging with the audience. In an installation that takes place in the museum over time, the public can see the generation of the art from its early stages.

The Theater of Fiber

He has invited artists to come and take on a large space for an installation. “Fiber is the best medium for transforming a room into another world, a stage.” This theme was illustrated with slides of a Janice Arnold installation and a Mandy Greer example that occupied a 1000 sq ft room. Such installations “allow the audience to be immersed in another world in a way only fiber can provide.”

The Missing Touch: (The conundrum of craft as art)

This theme was illustrated with an example of a bullseye quilt that was made to be used and was used as a quilt before being donated to the museum. Stefano said that because it became a piece of art, it left the status of craft and “became an untouchable object, placed in suspended animation.”  He believes there is a drawback to this transformation:  “Now, their display can no longer emphasize the trueness and reveal the object–because it is a museum piece and can’t be touched.”  He offered this advice to the audience:  “Don’t fall into the trap of wanting to be an artist… making a quilt to be seen and not used makes no sense… it’s like putting a car in your living room.” Stefano hopes fiber can remain true to itself, by not becoming untouchable.

He ended by summarizing what he likes about fiber as art: identity, the body, the object. He also appreciates the skill and craftsmanship that is often inherent in the medium.

Stefano’s final message to the group was an invitation to come see “High Fiber Diet,” the BAM Biennial opening next fall.  They received more than 300 applications and accepted  44 artists. “Come see it.”  To learn more about the exhibit, please click HERE.

“Quilting in Steel” Notes from Trisha Hassler’s presentation at Surface Matters

(For those of you who were unable to attend the recent Surface Matters Symposium or were at a concurrent talk, we have asked fellow SDA members to write about about the various presentations. In this post, Lorraine Edmond writes about Trisha Hassler’s presentation, “Surface Connections.” )

Trisha describes herself as a mixed media artist. She started in quilting at a young age, and now describes her work as “quilting in steel.” Trisha’s earliest textile efforts focused on designing felt clothing (for her troll doll—who remembers those?) As she outgrew dolls, she moved on to clothing. Trish still has some of the elaborately embroidered work shirts and jeans she created in the 70s.
Trish works from her home studio. Her home is an open warehouse/loft in the Pearl District of Portland. (She also rents space in a metal shop from a welder for the messier parts of the process.) An idea board holds an important place above the ironing board in her studio. It is covered with images, words, type, skeletons, and so on. Those come down from the board when she is ready to work on them. She also keeps stacks of journals and sketchbooks. Her studio has no design wall, because the steel is too heavy to work with that way. Instead, she uses the floor to arrange the pieces, then stands on the stairs to look down at the work.
She began working with metal in 1999—in the early work, the metal was simply a frame. After taking an improvisational piecing class, she began cutting the metal into pieces and “stitching” it back together to make the frames. Next, she tried making tables, but the work was not spontaneous enough (people actually want tables that sit flat on the floor).
Some of the metal-framed work she did had openings where you could see past the quilted fiber pieces to the wall. She did enjoy working with the negative space, but realized she wasn’t choosing the composition because she did not control the color of the back wall.
As Trisha’s work developed, she began to work with found objects in addition to sheet metal. Her metal comes from a place on the river called The Steel Yard, which caters to artists. They have a selection of reclaimed construction steel and you can walk through and look at the piles. Much of it is rusted, and a lot of it is too heavy for her usesShe takes 10 x 4 ft sheets and cuts them down small enough that she can move them alone. She loves the rusty metal and sometimes has a tough time deciding which side to use. She uses the steel “as is” and simply seals it with polyurethane on both sides before bringing it into the fabric studio.
Trisha’s most recent work involves both piecing and bolting the frames, some of which are constructed in shadow box forms, 3” deep with the inside piece constructed as a quilt, and others are even more three-dimensional, constructed in a “house” form. Trish enjoys the engineering aspect of working with metal and making the pieces fit the way she wants, plus “who doesn’t want to play with fire?” she asks.
Her way of working with these two disparate materials is best explained by the opening text on her web site (
“When I work in fiber, the experience is quiet, calm and clean. I do it in my home, dressed in yoga pants. The movements are intuitive, small and precise. This work requires patience, focus and good light. My love of this material runs deep in my bones.
When I work in steel, the experience is loud, hot and dirty. I do it at a metal shop, dressed in a leather apron. The movements are intuitive, large and fluid. This work requires strength, focus and safety equipment. My love of this material runs deep in my bones.
When I mix the two I enjoy discovering the place where they each hold their own and speak together.”

Jane Dunnewold’s Advice to Artists –

(For those of you who were unable to attend the recent Surface Matters Symposium or were at a concurrent talk, we have asked fellow SDA members to write about about the various presentations. In this post, Lorraine Edmond writes about Jane Dunnewold’s presentation, “Strategies for Exploring Your Visual Language.” )

Jane Dunnewold is well known for her positive outlook and consistent support to artists at all stages of development.  Her presentation on “Strategies for Exploring Your Visual Language” began with these encouraging words: “There are as many ways to get started at

Jane Dunnewold at the Surface Matters Symposium. Photo by Jennifer Nerad.

this as there are people working.”  The range is broad– some people are color field people, while others are focused on very specific content and messages.  What is important is to make work that is recognizable as your own.  If you don’t know where to start, start with content, OR just begin somewhere, pick an object, work on design exercises, collect techniques.

Jane acknowledged the tendency many of us have to focus on “filling our toolbelts” with techniques, however, and emphasized that although there is a time for that, there is also a time to stop collecting techniques, to settle in on some that speak to us, and to put our own spin on them.  She described this evolution as “our responsibility as artists.”

For those of us who are still working at developing that visual language, she offered a multitude of possibilities for starting places.  Some are as simple as selecting a shape or image you like that can be interpreted in your own way (she showed several examples of circle imagery).  Another option is to pick a specific color or color palette to work from.  Jane emphasized that there are many ways of working that are “pre-cloth.”  Choose something to work with every day or until you’ve done a hundred.  Some people take a photograph a day for a year, while others carve a stamp or a printing block every day.

The “expanded square” or Notan is one good visual exercise to start from (do a search for “notan” and you will find an abundance of images as well as an inexpensive Dover book on the subject).  This exercise is a good way to learn to see positive and negative space, and it is worth doing every day for 30 days.  You can use the results of the successful ones to form a repeating pattern that can be applied to cloth in any number of ways.

Jane predicts that you will begin to recognize that your designs have some symbolic meaning, even if meaning is not your starting place.  She also believes it’s OK to work with public domain images and clip art when you don’t feel ready to make your own, but she stressed that “you have a right to make all your own” and that once you get started, you’ll actually love to make your own version of the usual symbols. Another recommendation (good advice that may be hard to follow) is not to jump around from one thing to another—it is OK to use the same image over and over.  The question Jane invites us to explore is “How many ways can you use those images authentically?”

Verbal, rather than visual, approaches can inspire work, too.  Try a free association exercise, starting with one word (her example was “boundaries”).  Set a clock and begin writing everything that comes to mind.  You may be surprised at how many visual images emerge from the list.

One way to build a series of work is to figure out your message, then develop the images. But not everyone likes to work that way—you can choose to be more or less structured.  You can also stay with some simple ideas and images.  “It is OK to go in the studio just to fool around, but it takes some planning to pull off what you see in your head.”:

After many of examples of the “how” aspect of working on visual language, Jane concluded with her perspective on the “why:”

“Life is too short to not love what you’re doing.  If you do love it, do it enough to be good at it.  You deserve to feel true passion for whatever it is you’re working on.”

Lorraine Edmond

A Few Highlights from the Surface Matters Symposium!

MARCH 3, 2012

Several weeks has passed since 150+ eager fiber-loving people attended Surface Matters, a symposium, exhibition and studio tour produced by SDA-Washington. A team of SDA volunteers is still working to bring closure to this hugely successful event. Thank you to everyone who returned our request for feedback. We had a 67% return rate on our survey which is really incredible! Most of the response was overwhelmingly positive. Bottom line, most everyone was enriched by their experience at Surface Matters and most everyone is interested in further SDA sponsored happenings. Stay tuned for what is next!!

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The program line up for the day-long symposium was power packed!! We will report in more detail about the event in the weeks to come but for now, here are just a few highlights:

  • Eager attendees lined up early to check in for Surface Matters while a team of volunteers processed 150 people in less than 30 minutes!
  • The day opened in a general session with a keynote panel discussion Surface Design: Past, Present & What Lies Ahead. Moderator Barbara Lee Smith guided a rich and compelling conversation with Jane Dunnewold, Lou Cabeen and Marci Rae McDade.

After a quick break, attendees attended one of two concurrent sessions:

  • Artist Trisha Hassler generously shared about the progression of her personal style with humor and openness – all were inspired and awed!!

Lunch time offered more than just food!! Symposium attendees enjoyed delicious box lunches from the Portage Bay Cafe and also had time to network and play!!

  • A spirited team from Artist & Craftsman Supply in Seattle’s University District provided us creative-types with a hands on activity making print blocks. The room was packed standing room only and the creative juices were flowing! Check out this colorful display!
  • Over 150 swatches showing surface design processes and techniques were available to be fondled! How inspiring!! The SDA Swatch Library is one of the many SDA member benefits and can be checked out for use at any SDA event.

After a midday break to fuel and network, attendees choose two of four more concurrent sessions:

  • Gail Harker shared her wisdom and insight from many years of experience teaching art, design and textile arts in her presentation Awakening The Creative Spirit.
  • Michele Wipplinger indulged participants with her expertise about Color: Trends in the Culture of Cloth.
  • Jane Dunnewold did not disappoint with her inspiring talk about Exploring Your Visual Language.
  • Michael Cepress is credited for wearing the snazziest jacket of the day and it’s no surprise that he wowed us with his presentation Fashion Forward: Where We Are Going & How We Are Getting There.
  • At the end of a full day, all attendees gathered together once again for the day’s keynote presentation by Bellevue Arts Museums’ Stefano Catalini. Stefano shared his perspectives about Artists Working In Fiber.

And finally, SDA Board Member and Washington State Area Rep Peggy O’Heron shared some thoughts about what is next for SDA in the NW region. An incredible team of volunteers were acknowledged for the hours of work they gave to make Surface Matters happen. The event’s generous sponsors were appreciated and, everyone in attendance experienced an ‘Oprah Moment’ as abundantly stuffed goody bags were distributed to all!

After the Symposium …. Join a regional SDA group!

Here is a list of regional meeting and who to contact so that we can keep all this wonderful momentum going!

Thank you Christina Fairley Erickson for preparing this information.

(Click on the image below to enlarge it.  Because this is an image, the email addresses are not linked.   You will need to type them into an email.)