In June, I got juried into the Potomac Craftsmen Fiber Gallery, which is in Gallery 18 at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Va. I had to go through some training before being allowed to submit things for the Gallery, but I completed that recently. The Gallery has 11 shows each year and all of the individual pieces have to be juried into each show. Today was the first jury day when I was eligible to submit items. I put five things in - three scarves, a table runner and a shawl and all five made it into the show.
Here is a picture of the shawl:
This is exciting for me on several levels. It gives me someplace to sell some of the things I make, which is good because there are only so many things you can give away for gifts. But more importantly for me, it is corroboration that I've achieved some level of recognized competence in my craft. It's also very motivating for me to be part of the Gallery - it's a co-op of about 70 fiber artists who are very talented. I once had a smart boss who said, "Competence breeds competence." It's exciting to be part of such a talented group and every time I work at the Gallery I come away with a new burst of energy for my own work.
I also have been thinking lately about what I want to achieve with my crafts. Right now, my "core theme" for my work is that I want to make beautiful, but functional things. That applies to my weaving and my bookbinding. (I do like to make wall hangings, so I guess I have to assume they are "functional.") I see too many things in both the fiber and book arts that I wouldn't want to make - I guess someone thinks they are art but if all you can do with a "book" is look at it, I don't get the point.
OK, enough of that. Next post really will be about crackle.