BY HAND

Sculpture and quilts on view at Maine Fiberarts

Posted Aug. 13, 2013, at 8:02 a.m.

Christine Macchi, executive director of Maine Fiber Arts in Topsham recently wrote and shared the following information:

“Hidden Histories,” work by Sallie Findlay of Deer Isle, Karen Munson of Brunswick and Debra Spaulding of Bowdoinham is on view at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St. in Topsham. The public is invited to view these abstract, naturally-dyed and stitched figures and textile works through Saturday, Aug. 31.

Findlay named the show. She uses simple cotton sacks used by sea-scallop fishermen in Deer Isle for storing meat after shucking. She dyes the bags using natural dyes or “kakishibu,” a Japanese dye technique involving fermented persimmons, which she regards as the color of earth. Then, she builds figures from the inside out: forming shapes, crumpling newspaper, molding forms, and wrapping and stitching until a figure emerges.

“The materials I use reflect my deep sense of place, of community, of creatures, of memories and dreams. My figures emerge from my meditative journeys, with stops, starts, revisions, dances, songs, words, wings and wind,” Findlay said of her work. “The well-worn pathways go back and forth across the landscapes of my imagination, with hidden histories of pain and joy, detachment and love, intimacy and solitude.”

Two of Findlay’s pieces recently shown at the Wichita Center in Kansas were accepted as part of a National Fiber show, and her piece “Bound/Bond” received an honorable mention and a cash award.

Artist Karen Munson is a minister with the United Methodist Church of Brunswick. Karen combines a life of expressions in both art and faith. She, too, experiments with dye immersion and subtraction to produce a palette of silk and cotton fabric scraps “too intriguing to discard,” she said. With “Remnant I” and “Remnant II”— the pieces on view in this show — she fashioned cloth into works that speak about the dichotomy of “forgiving” and “unforgiving” fabrics and of piecing them into a cohesive whole.

Debra Spaulding is an artist who paints and stitches in Bowdoinham, where she and her husband Dick raise cattle, renovate homes and are building a new house that includes a grand studio. Spaulding has two quilts on view that depict “the intricate patterns and colors of organic matter and the natural patterns created by growth and surface degradation,” she said.

She is drawn to barns, trees, rocks, weathered wood, water, doors and aerial views of fields. Of her work, Spaulding writes, “I am more interested in the essence of a place then in capturing the details, and work to preserve a more abstract expression of shapes, forms and lines.”

Since all three artists enjoy using natural materials as inspiration or to dye and color their fabrics and fibers, their talk 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28, will be of interest to artists, colorists, quilters and fiber enthusiasts.

Maine Fiberarts received funding from the USDA and from the Quimby Family Foundation to create a series of Craft/Farm Institute workshops during 2013. The group hosted workshops recently on Freeform Quilting, Using WordPress and Textile Painting Techniques, and is planning new classes for the fall in pattern making, spinning and sewing fabric bags.

During September and October, artist Jill Snyder Wallace of Minot will show mixed-media embroideries that incorporate found objects.

For information and for a visual preview of the current exhibition, visit mainefiberarts.org or call 721-0678. A calendar of statewide and regional fiber events and exhibitions, usually made available only to members, can be found at http://goo.gl/cSm6d

Snippets

Quilter and museum guide Betsy Spekke will give a tour of Castle Tucker at 10-11:30 a.m. Aug. 16, at 2 Lee St. in Wiscasset. The tour will highlight the quilts, embroidery, crochet work and other examples of needlework produced by the Tucker women. Learn about Victorian hand work in 19th-century America and see examples from the Tuckers’ collection, including rooms not included on the general tour. The tour will close with an introduction to examples of needlework in Historic New England’s online Collection Access Project. Admission is $10 for members of Historic New England; $15 for others. Advance reservations are required by calling 882-7169 or visiting HistoricNewEngland.org.

Go to bangormuseum.org to access the Bangor Museum and History Center’s activities page where you will find instructions for stamping with leaves and other fun projects you can do on your own or with children.

Knit, crochet or other fiber pieces may be submitted to be modeled in a show to benefit New Hope for Women at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5, at the Searsport Shores Campground in Belfast. Submission deadline is Aug, 23. Pieces do not need to be original designs, and artists are welcome to submit more than one item. This is a community event sponsored by the women of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in Belfast, with all monetary proceeds benefiting New Hope for Women, a Rockland-based resource for victims of domestic violence. Tickets are $10 and include the show, a wine and cheese reception, door prizes and live music. Mittens also will be collected as part of the Three Little Kittens Project, which seeks to keep children of Waldo County warm in the winter. For information, and for submission forms, visit stmargaretsbelfast.org/knitmaine-ia-2013/.

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