Monday, November 25, 2013

A Round and "Hairy" Basket for Craft Boston

basket - Chocolate, Playing with the Bright Guys 7.5" x 9.75"
I'm getting reading for the Craft Boston Holiday Show. 190 juried crafts people from around the country in a broad mix of media will be exhibiting their one-of-a-kind and limited edition art works. The show is sponsored by the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, MA. From their website: Meeting in Boston in the spring of 1897, a small group of architects, educators, craftspeople, and collectors organized the first crafts exhibition to be held in this country … The success of this first exhibition provoked the organization of The Society of Arts and Crafts, it's purpose being "to develop and encourage higher standards in the handicrafts." 

Here's what my work and display looked like at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show a few weeks ago. (A number of these pieces have been sold, but I've been busy and will have new work for the Boston show.)

 The National Basketry Organization's exhibition "All things Considered VII" has opened at the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA and will run through February 23, 2014. NBO's president and fellow basketmaker, Lois Russell, will speak at the December 15th reception. From their website: The exhibition highlights tradition and stretches the imagination of the viewer to new insights of basketry in the 21st century.



Friday, October 11, 2013

Baskets Share NBO's Cover with Rainbow Carrots


The National Basketry Organization's Quarterly Review is out. Their president, and fellow basketmaker, Lois Russell, wrote a great article about my home and work, with an unusual slant. In line with NBO's purpose "to promote the art, skill, heritage and education of traditional and contemporary basketry," Lois wrote about how basketry is only a part of my life. We talked about how nature, travel, and photography also have a role and significance in how I approach my work. Seeing the architecture in plants and how I view details through a camera lens, also feed into my creative process. She quoted me as saying, "It is all about paying attention ... [and] noticing the little things that get you excited." 

The article is loaded with basket photographs and includes a peek inside my greenhouse where I do the encaustic. Since the greenhouse had an exhaust system to draw out excess hot air, it provided an appropriate, ventilated space in which to work with the wax fumes. The photo shows the skillet in which I melt the encaustic, a combination of bees wax and damar resin, the brushes I use to apply the molten medium to my work, and the heat gun used to melt the wax/resin into the reed.

   

I spend a lot of time in the garden with Emma (in the photo below) and Kitt, the Cat, paying attention to colors and textures. Another source of basket inspiration is viewing and editing photographs on Instagram using online photo applications where I can experiment with color combinations. The basket in the lower left, is a result of one such experiment.  

  

A client sent me a grey and orange tile to suggest colors for a custom set of baskets. I worked on a series of dye lots for her, then wove the pair of baskets shown below.

Finally, on the right, is information about a workshop I'll be giving at the North Country Studio Workshop (NCSW), in Bennington, VT at the end of January 2014. In this class students will be encouraged to experiment and take their basketry beyond strictly functional vessel forms. NCSW is offering 13, 5-day workshops in various media taught by nationally recognized craft and fine art professionals in a range of media. You can go to their website for more information.

 

To see my work in person, I'll be exhibiting in 2 juried craft shows this fall. The Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show will be open November 6-10, and CraftBoston will be December 6-8. I hope to see you at one of these shows. You can see the work I'll be bringing on my website: karilonning.com.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Blog Update - International Articles

In an effort to update those of you who read this blog, there have been 2 international articles which have featured my work. The first article is from Australia by tractorgirl.com.au - here's the beginning of the article:




This one is from Slovania by g-studio.sk. One of my "hairy" baskets was included in a group of basketmakers from around the world who use traditional materials.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

* Wishing all a Creative, Healthy, and Prosperous 2013 *


Here's an edited New Year's greeting to start the year (from a walk Emma and I took in the last hours of 2012).

I have a new-ish passion. I've been entering daily photo challenges on Instagram (a photo sharing, mobile device application) and interacting with photographers of all ages, from all around the world. As a community, they're a mostly young, tech savvy, visually oriented group who share their passion for photography and editing. Because this is a relatively new medium, and the people who participate share their techniques so generously, I've been learning at the speed of light. I still LOVE to weave, but I look at the world differently now, and see patterns and color combinations that I can apply to my weaving. It's a very exciting and stimulating time.

*Another way to see my edits, though not the photos of Emma and gardens is to go to my Instacanvas account. My username across social media platforms is "karibaskets."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A Collection of New Colors, and New Designs



From Oct 12-14, 2012, I will be exhibiting at the Westchester Fine Crafts Show at the County Center in White Plains, NY. November 8-11, 2012, I'll be showing at the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Craft Show as one the 195 artists selected from more than 1,300 applicants. This year a group of artists from England and Ireland have been invited to exhibit (and sell) with us. I hope to see many of you!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My First Ever Studio Sale (until the 1st of Sept)


Eight of my older baskets are looking for homes by September 1st. As incentive, each of these is now 35% off of the original online price. They are in gallery-ready condition, and all but the hairy basket have been renewed with the application of encaustic medium. (If you're on Facebook you can click here for the individual photos.) For more details or how to buy one of these baskets, please email me at kari@karilonning.com  

Here are the specifics:
1. Inspired by Terra Cotta $1560 (was $2400)  24.5" x 17"
2. Spinning Double, double wall $1300 (was $2000)  4" x 12"
3. Salmon Feathers is sold (it was $625)  12.25" x 12"

4. Talk of Furniture  $1660 (was $2400)  21" x 12"
5. Here She Stands  $3120 (was $4800)  22.5" x 12" x 10.5"
6. Taking Flight, Montana Tapestry  $1560 (was $2400)  22.5" x 12"

7. Emerging from Chaos  $2600 (was $4000)  22.5" x 20.5" x 16.5" 
8. Encaustic Doughnut, double wall  $1560 (was $2400)  3.75" x 10.5"
9. Pumpkin Seagrass Ropes  $1040 (was $1600)  19" x 12.5"

I'm working on a new post but I'll put this up now rather than delay even longer ... As many of you know I'd rather weave and edit photos, but there is so much to tell you about. It's an exciting time.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Excited and Inspired, and Working Like Crazy



This winter into spring I've been weaving, photographing, learning about iPhone apps (and applying for a grant to study this phenomenon), so passionately that I've had to force myself to stop doing one or the other things in order to eat and sleep! I've been so excited about color and patterns in the baskets that I've been designing new pieces before I finish the ones I'm working on. (I still plan to write about the square, double-wall I mentioned in the last post ... but that will have to wait.)

I'll be exhibiting in Craft Boston next week, March 23-25 and then at the Smithsonian Craft Show in Washington, DC April 19-22. My website has been updated with all the new pieces. I still want to add encaustic to a few of the flat woven baskets. The encaustic makes the baskets stronger, protects them from moisture (and maybe light over time) and adds a slightly richer quality to the dyed and natural colors. I expect to use more of this technique in the future. 




Here's a peak into the encaustic studio (aka the greenhouse) and a few of the pieces I'm working on. There's a closer photo showing the frying pan (don't know what else to call it) with the molten wax/resin and brushes here.



The garden is starting to explode with flowers and photography potential. The flower photos above are close-up shots of a few of my hellebores. (You can see more on my gardening blog.) It's taking me longer and longer to walk down the driveway to get the mail. I get distracted by seeing what has just bloomed or by wanting to clear out just one more small bed ... I really need a clone, or TWO, to help me do all the things spinning around in my head. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beginning 2012 with A New Way of Seeing

Usually I think of myself as a basketmaker and 3-dimensional artist, but now I'm looking at the world with the eyes of a painter/photographer. Everything I look at, I see with infinite graphic potential. I see patterns, color combinations, studies in light and shadow, and I also imagine how I can enhance and/or distort them. For the last few months I have been overtaken by a serious infatuation with photo apps. My favorites are Paper Camera and Instagram. These and other applications on the iPhone's camera, have changed the way I look at the world around me. (I've posted a few Paper Camera photos on my Facebook page, but I'll talk more about that in a future blog post.)
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Yesterday, after pouring espresso into my steamed milk, I looked at it, and I found a DUCK in my latte! (The point here is that I'm noticing more, and looking at things with new eyes.)
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This morning, I saw this reflection in my living room window. (Everything appears double, ie. the vertical bars and the two houses ... because of the storm window. The backround greenery is the arborvitae out back. The houses are little sculptures in the reflected window.) This photo, although cropped and darkened a bit, was not otherwise altered. The exciting and remarkable point to this photo is that I've been trying to create images like this with the photo apps. This morning though, nature and circumstances created it and I just showed up at the right time and caught it with the camera.
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I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the new photo inspiration, but I'll never get bored.
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And ... I still want to write about the square, double-walled basket I made ... (another post waiting to be written soon).
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Monday, June 27, 2011

Inspired by Norwegian Reality TV, I Made a Basket Entitled "Midnight Sun"

Once I have a basket design in my head or at least have an idea, I usually listen to books on CD while I weave, but this time I was glued to my computer. I had no idea that I was about to join 2.5 million Norwegians who were watching their public TV (according to ABC News).
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My cousin Per sent me the link to "Hurtigruten: Minute to Minute," a 134 hour documentary of what is called "The Worlds Most Beautiful Sea Voyage.People have been traveling up the Norwegian coastline since 1893 and I was about to join this voyage from my kitchen! I followed the map as the ship as it travelled from Bergen, up the coast between islands, to the way-northern port of Kirkenes.
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As I worked on the basket, I saw what the 22 cameras saw, documenting the trip. The country had been alerted to the NRK project and all along the way, people cheered and waved flags from land and boats. Because the cruise ran during the longest days of the year, filming was possible 24 hours a day. They say in Norway that on June 21st it is so light that you can read the newspaper outside at midnight. My work schedule was such that it was often quite late over there, hence the rosy glow in the photos I caught off the computer:
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The ship passed Ålesund, a town known for it's dried and salted cod, “klippfisk.” (Here they're drying in the sun.)
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There were serene views of wave-washed rock and hazy, snow studded mountains.
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I watched and wove, on and off for 4 days, often just listening to the waves and sea.
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After a while I realized that the basket had taken on characteristics of the boat (notice the shape of the hull), the water colors, and the warm glow from the midnight sun on the landscape.
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The basket measures 14.75" x 13" and will be on exhibit at the Shaw Cramer Gallery this July.
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**With the exception of the basket shots, all the photos that appear above, were taken off the computer as screen shots courtesy of NRK's TV broadcast.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I'm a Color, Texture, Pattern Nerd

My sister and I were in Hawaii recently. One afternoon I paused to look at a small, showy garden, but it was this fresh, new shoot, that kept me there enthralled. The closer I looked, the more details I saw and the more interested I got. I lost myself in looking at the subtle colors and patterns. One day we took the road to Hana and stopped at the Ke'anae Arboretum. This was the highlight of the trip. There were Rainbow Eucalyptus trees, gingers, tree jasmines, bamboos and a favorite, a Blue Marble Tree with bright blue, one inch seeds.
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On the way to the airport, we had our only rain. The fuzzy light and soft colors appealed to me as much as the sun appealed to the sunburnt tourists we left behind.
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On the way home from Maui, I stopped in TX to visit a close friend and her husband. As part of my sight seeing tour in Amarillo, we went to Tri's Market. There, I was beside myself in the produce section! I know that I puzzled a few shoppers and employees by photographing the fruits and vegetables, from Daikon,Taro and Sugar Cane (pictured) to Dragon Fruit. These natural palettes and surfaces, and all the graphics they conjured in my head, created an excitement for me unparalleled by the finest art museums. Some could say that I'm easily entertained, but I'd respond that I feel all the richer for it.
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I am an artist not because of what I create, but because of how I look at the world. In exchange for opening my eyes and becoming vulnerable to the environment, I receive the best and worst of what's out there. I choose to delight in what I see; the colors soothe and inspire me, the textures intrigue me, and I see patterns forming everywhere. All together, they help me keep my balance when crowds get to be too much and the world starts to spin. (Emma and Kitt help as well, but in a different way.)