A Holiday Tradition: The Heirloom Tablecloth

November 24, 2009 at 5:03 pm (Artist Musings)

My mom knows how to set a beautiful table. During the holidays, she made the table extra special by putting out photographs of loved ones who couldn’t be with us or had passed. The photographs acknowledged holiday traditions past, present, and future and inspired my first image transfer craft project.

I originally demonstrated how to make the Heirloom Photo Tablecloth on HGTV’s Crafter’s Coast to Coast. The response to this project was overwhelming, and I received e-mails from viewers all over the country.  So here it is. My holiday gift to you, a how-to create the Heirloom Photo Tablecloth. 

For this project, you will need: T-Shirt Transfer Paper, an iron, pins, a plain white or cream tablecloth  (for best result pre-wash first), and photographs (black and white or color).

First, scan your photographs onto your computer. Scanning your photographs allows you the ability to edit, crop, and even fix old photos. Once you have the photos the way you want them, use your photo editing software (most computers come with some sort of photo editing software) to reverse or flip all of the images. If you don’t have a scanner, you can  go to your local copy center. They might even be able to copy your photographs directly onto the T-Shirt Transfer Paper for you.

Next, print your scanned images onto the T-Shirt transfer paper. I used an inkjet printer. Cut out each image and pin the T-Shirt transferred photos onto the tablecloth for placement (you want to evenly distribute the photographs around the tablecloth). 

Once you have the photos where you want them, place the images face down onto tablecloth.  Set iron to the highest setting before steam (do not use steam setting) and iron pictures onto the tablecloth one at a time (following the iron on instructions on your package of T-Shirt Transfer paper). For my Heirloom Photo Tablecloth, I made coordinating napkins using the same technique.

So this holiday season, enjoy your own family traditions, past, present, and future, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.


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The Road Less Traveled: The Piedmont Craftsmen’s Craft Fair

November 16, 2009 at 3:37 am (The Road Less Traveled)

For Six Days in November, Winston-Salem, The City of the Arts, will feature  performances in music, theatre and dance.  living history at Old Salem, and dining experiences, all leading up to one of the nation’s premier craft events, The Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair.

“For goodness sakes, it’s in our blood,” said Event Coordinator Tomi Melson. “The Moravians set out to make this place a center of fine craftsmanship three centuries ago and did it.”

Now on a typical year, I do eight to ten craft shows a year. I have traveled from Florida to Las Vegas, and in my opinion, The Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair is by far the most beautiful show.                                   
Held annually since 1963 by Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., the fair showcases the handwork of more than 130 fine artisans from across the southeast. Exhibiting members are juried into the organization on the basis of  skill, professionalism, quality, and originality.
Two years ago, I was juried into Piedmont Craftsmen. Since then, I have participated in  the fair and exhibited my work at the gallery, which is located on North Trade Street.

Piedmont Craftsmen Gallery

Sadly, this year I will not be participating in the fair, but you can find some of my new work in the gallery. Also on exhibit in the gallery this month is Cindy Billingsley’s Endangered.


Cynthia Bilingsley Endangered

So, this is the week to take the road less traveled to Winston-Salem, The City of the Arts. The Piedmont Craftsmen’s Fair runs Saturday, November 21st from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 22nd, from noon to 5:00 p.m. at the Benton Convention Center in Downtown Winston-Salem.


Piedmont Craftsmen Fair Preview Night

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Decoding Davinci: When Science Meets Art

November 9, 2009 at 12:43 am (Artist Musings)

At the beginning of the year I asked a teacher  at my son’s school if the fifth grade class would be taking a field trip to Artspace, as all of the fifth grade classes have done for the last four years. Her response to me was that  she didn’t know because after all, “they don’t give EOG’s (end of grade tests) in art.”

"La Bella Principessa"

A couple of weeks ago, news broke that an unsigned chalk, ink and pencil drawing, known as “La Bella Principessa,” was matched to Leonardo Da Vinci. The painting was linked to Da Vinci from a fingerprint and palm print found on the work.

The fingerprint was analyzed by Peter Paul Biro, a Canadian forensic art expert. “Biro examined multispectral images of the drawing taken by the Lumiere Technology laboratory in Paris, which used a special digital scanner to show successive layers of the work.” [ROB GILLIES, Associated Press Writer]

“Science, technology, scholars and art historians are learning to work together to solve these incredibly complex puzzles,” said Biro.

Obviously, I understand the importance of studying reading, writing, and arithmetic. But I fear that when asked to scientifically analyze a lost Picasso painting, these future math and science wizards will ask, “Picasso who?”

Now in all fairness to  teachers, last week I had the pleasure of taking the fifth grade class of Aversboro Elementary on a tour of Artspace. The kids were on a field trip accompanied by both their math teacher and art specialist. Both teachers agreed that the arts are an important part of a well-rounded curriculum. Fortunately, the Aversboro teachers are not alone.

“Similar to English, math, science and the other core subjects, the arts (dance, music, theater, and visual arts) are challenging subjects with rigorous content and achievement standards at the state and national levels… In addition to studying the arts for their own sake, experiencing and making works of art benefits students in their intellectual, personal, and social development, and can be particularly beneficial for students from economically disadvantaged circumstances and those who are at risk of not succeeding in school.” [US Department of Education, August 26,  2004]

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From Studio 109A: New Works

November 1, 2009 at 3:38 am (From Studio 109A)

It’s the week of First Friday and Artspace and Studio 109A will be open November 6th from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This month, I am excited to show you several new pieces from Studio 109A.

Trapeze Artist Pendant

Trapeze Artist Pendant; background art by Artspace Studio Artist Pat Scull

Last month I started experimenting with color image transfers on different color clays. This month, I wanted to make affordable focal point pieces that incorporate image transfers, color, and found objects. I started with three packages of watch parts from hands to cogs. The Trapeze Artist pendant features a French circus poster image transfer on green-gold clay with a black, gold, and white clay “cane” bezel.  A cane, “is a term borrowed from glassworking referring to glass rods, either plain or with a pattern running through them, to be used as an addition to glass pieces.” [Nan Roche, The New Clay] Canes are, “a technique, originally adapted from glass, where a design is constructed using long rods of clay so that the design runs lengthwise through the log or block. ” [Skygrazer.com] While many polymer clay artists start out making canes, I did not. It wasn’t until this past March, during a class with Dan Cormier, that I began to see the benefit of incorporating canes into my polymer clay designs. All of the focal point pieces I made this month incorporate canes.

Glamour Girl Brooch

Glamour Girl Brooch

The Glamour Girl Brooch was inspired by a fruit crate label (transferred to the piece). These watch parts reminded me of the vintage flash attachments of the Kodak Duaflex III  camera from the 1950’s and stir up visions of movie stars and pin up girls. 

Eye Chart Pendant

And the watch hands and gears weren’t my only inspiration. The Eye chart pendant incorporates an inverted watch crystal.

Houdini Pendant

In 2005, I acquired this Houdini poster. Originally, I used this image on a tile bracelet, which sold at The North Carolina Craft Gallery. This month, I reinvented this image with pen nibs and a padlock spring lock clasp.

Heart Script Pendant; background art by Pat Scull

Remember those flea market finds from my April 13th post? The Heart Script Pendant incorporates one of those flea market finds.
Air France Brooch

Air France Brooch

 Special thanks again to Artspace Artist Pat Scull (Studio 108) for letting me use her work in these photographs and to Artspace Artist Sharron Parker for letting me photograph in Studio 217. All of these pieces are available for purchase and can be seen this Friday in Artspace Studio 109A during the First Friday Gallery Walk or anytime by appointment. See you soon!

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