Today we have a guest blogger. She is well known in the quilting world for her spectacular quilts and relaxed, creative workshops. I am turning the blog over to Ms. Hilary Rice.
Did you know that moving house takes an enormous chunk of time out of your creative opportunities? I certainly have had that fact waved in my face more than once in past years (having moved from Ontario to BC to Newfoundland), and particularly these past several months, as we returned to our origins in Ontario. Adding to the diminishing time available to me was the planning of a wedding – our middle daughter was married this August, in Vancouver... and being my daughter, most of the outfits as well as the bouquets were hand-made – this involved much sewing of dresses, kilts and vests, knitting kilt hose in addition to collecting hundreds of buttons and doo-dads to assemble into four funky and very unique bouquets! I really must share a photo of the bride’s bouquet with you... it just might spur you on to more creative endeavours of your own! Just be sure to give yourself lots of time!!
The move, returning to Ontario from Newfoundland, happened in early March. We are feeling very much settled in and welcomed here in our new home, with the house pretty much unpacked and set to go, complete with pictures (and some textile art) hung. The studio space is another matter entirely. You see we bought a lovely 6-acre property that has a beautiful (by horse-y standards) 3-stall stable on it. We don’t have, nor do we intend to have, horses. However, this 20 foot by 40 foot structure will make the most wonderful textile artist’s studio!!
This is where my creative energy has been flowing this past while – all the time my mind is filling to overflowing with textile art ideas. I am scrubbing rubber mats and rough wood walls, in order to remove the final vestiges of “horse”, and bring up the “cool artist space” look! Amazingly, the more I scrub, the more excited I am becoming with the idea of making this my creative space – my husband wanted it to be converted into a garage and his workshop. But my studio it will be! He has removed the stall walls, added electrical outlets in strategic places (including the ceiling), and is currently working on installing more windows and doors with windows, to let in the natural light.
While in the midst of all this deconstruction-reconstruction, I recognize an intriguing parallel to my creative process. Firstly, there is the vision of possibilities in the raw materials. This is followed by some initial planning and thinking for logistical structure (which layer of materials goes under, which goes over etc.) Then there is “the work” put into preparing the actual creative materials – for me this involves painting a base fabric (usually cotton, linen or silk), and taking the heat gun to a pile of colour coordinated synthetic fabrics, to prepare my palette of unique supplies.
At some point soon (in our stable once the walls are scrubbed and some painting is done), the mats will be replaced on the floor, and then the workings of the studio will be set-up! The light will flood in, making the entire effort so worthwhile... just as an art piece becomes what it is meant to be. With its completion comes that warm feeling of satisfaction.
It is even more thrilling to know that this creative space is being made to share with you... because the plan is to offer in-house workshops here!! I have realized there are many of you out there that are keen to learn some of my more unusual techniques, which are difficult to offer in a typical workshop situation. This new space will be large enough to teach six students at a time, or perhaps a smaller intimate group will be interested in a fun, get-away-together-and-be-creative retreat. I look forward to opening my new door (with windows!)... to welcome you into my creative world.
I am seriously thinking of staging a wedding and having Hilary do my bouquets, anyone else with me?
Thanks so much for sharing Hilary!