It is still my full intention to finish documenting our bookbinding trip to Europe; I have not forgotten about it! It looks like that will have to wait until the winter holiday, though, or I will remain eternally behind.
Far more easily within my reach is a small update on the embroidery workshop I took at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts with Nick Deford, this July. It was an amazing week, and still, when I think of it I am astounded by everything that occurred within such a short time frame.
In lieu of an extensive post in this moment, I will share with you images of the embroideries I made while there. Hopefully at some point I will be able to post images of the work everyone else made; there were some incredible artists in the course!
the brain and the synaptic nerve, stitched into canvas.
toile print paper with a sheet of handmade abaca, with bees wax, embroidered.
In the realm of big news, by now most everyone reading this should know that I have transferred graduate programs, and am now living in Philadelphia, pursuing an MFA in Book Arts/Printmaking at the University of the Arts. It is unbelievable how fast this change occurred; I had less than a month to prepare for the move, and it was an incredibly difficult decision to leave the Fiber program at NIU.
I moved to Philly on August 1st, and the past month and a half has been a roller coaster of emotion, as most transitional periods are bound to be.
Now that I am feeling settled, and school has been in session for two weeks, I can state with absolute assurance that I have made the right decision. I miss my life in Chicago, particularly all of my friends. I love you all so dearly. But I feel a happiness here that I had forgotten it was possible to feel. A knowledge that is whole, and absolute, that I am meant to be here and that Philadelphia is embracing me with open arms. I feel that I was meant to have been here for a while, and now that I have come everything is falling into place.
I am head over heels in love with UArts, and with the program here. I am at school every day for at least 14 hours, and it's wonderful. My feet carry me all the way from my apartment in South Philly, where I have the most terrific, I-can't-believe-how-lucky-I-am roommate, Hannah, and they almost never tire, never complain; the smile rarely fades from my face, and I'm struggling to fight back the tears that accompany unbridled happiness.
Me in my new studio, provided by UArts.
We have communal studios here, so everything is open, and we often have conversations with each other while we work. I'm already learning a huge amount from my fellow students because of this arrangement. There are 10 other students starting with me in my year, from all over the country (and one from South Korea, and one from China), with all different artistic backgrounds. I'm so thrilled to be here, learning alongside them!
Yesterday I went on a self-directed field trip as part of a project for our Color & Mark class, taught by Daniel Heyman. I walked over to Fabric Row, a section of 4th street that I had been wanting to explore for a while. For several blocks fabric store after fabric store dominated my eyes, and most had bins of scraps for sale on the street. I walked away with tons of different fabric samples, and some vintage laces and handkerchiefs, for embroidery or textile projects.
We have already had our first critique, on a book we made in a week, and I am now working on a drawing for my very first lithograph which will be printed next week. I can't wait! More photos to come later (for real, this time...) so stay tuned.
It's good to be back.