Wednesday, March 21, 2012

jane sassaman...



This week I had the privilege of taking a workshop with and attending a lecture from the incomparable Jane Sassaman. Both were really inspiring. Jane is a contemporary quilt artist, Free Spirit fabric designer, author and internationally lauded teacher extraordinaire. The quilt above is called "Willow". It was named  one of the best "100 American Quilts of the Century" and is featured in this PBS documentary. Her work is graphic and characterized by strong color and lots of subtle surface embroidery.

Below is a detail of one of her sample quilts showing how she uses standard machine embroidery stitches to both embellish and actually quilt her pieces... Jane encouraged us to explore our machines' capabilities in ways that would never occur to me before. She also taught us several unique methods of using tailor's lightweight interfacing to add body to our pieces and aid design and composition.




 Here is the description of the class I took:

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION

"Suns and Moons is a machine appliqué workshop based on the circle motif. Using Jane’s appliqué techniques and experimenting with our decorative stitches, we will begin by making a series of colorful fabric discs which will then be arranged into a dramatic and contemporary composition. "


Here is what I came home with. I still need to play with all the elements removing some and adding others. When I am pleased with the arrangement I will embroider and quilt my little sampler like crazy... 




I learned so much in Jane's class and from listening to her speak. It is hard to convey how fascinating it was to hear about her influences and inspirations specifically the Arts and Crafts movement and see how she visually translates the minutiae of life in her garden into her work. What you don't read about in her CV is how incredibly warm and generous she is. I left with a serious "art crush" on her. Heads up to all you Southern Hemispherers. Jane Sassaman will be in Australia for the next month. She seems to travel exhaustively so wherever you live on this planet you can find her at some point. Can't recommend taking a class or attending a talk from the divine Ms. Sassaman enough. Am now on the hunt for a copy of her first book which outlines her artistic process and techniques in more detail...

10 comments:

  1. I also got to take class with her and you are right she is amazing! Glad you got to take one too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Had a migraine coming on and almost didn't go! I was so absorbed by her class that I just ignored my stupid head... Didn't want the class to end!

      Delete
  2. Nice post!! She is seriously one of my favorites too--how lucky to take a class with her! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you ever get the opportunity you must take a class with her! She was just a fantastic instructor with a great sense of humor...

      Delete
  3. The first quilt by Jane is amazing! I can understand why you are so taken with her work. How wonderful that you were able to take a class from her, and learn so much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Taken with her work and completely taken with her personality too! It was a great experience. I had trouble sleeping that night because I was so excited by what we learned...

      Delete
  4. Love your piece! I remember back when she first came out with her line of fabrics, I found them so dreamy.. Just a look at them was enough to take me to a land of imagination!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks... Am determined to finish the sample before I forget everything I learned in her class. Never owned any of her gorgeous fabric before which I have since remedied as she brought lots of fat quarter bundles with her! You're right her fabrics are dreamy in many senses of the word...

      Delete
  5. I love Jane Sassaman's work. She is really a master. Good for you to study with her. I like what you came up with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a great experience. She is a true artist whose medium happens to be fabric if you know what I mean... My piece is just going to be a visual sampler of the mechanics of what she taught. If you ever get the opportunity take a class with her jump on it...

      Delete