Participation in other artist’s art projects 2015-17

From time to time, I love to participate in art projects of other artists. This gives me the opportunity of working for a concrete assignment given by someone else then myself. I like to send work not only to textile artists but also to artists working in other media. I see it as a welcome challenge to create a fiber art piece that “fits in” with the other media art pieces and it is also another try to let the art world know that textile works have a right to be regarded as art pieces just as well. Plus, taking part in other’s projects provides the bene of having my work more widely shared.

Below are my works that I sent to other artists within the years of 2015 – 17.


 

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“The key” 2015

Creating “The key” was my very first time participating in a mail art project. I was approached by the talented and friendly contemporary mixed media artist MOO (Monika Mori) and instantly loved her project! The project’s theme was “Turquoise” and you can see all the amazing entries in this online gallery. Since this first participating in an art mail project, I love the concept!


 

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“Colorful Silence” 2015

In spring 2016, I came across an open call for another art mail project on facebook. The project was initiated and curated by the Spanish photographer María Hernández Laplaza. The project’s theme was “Confidencias mudas” and the resulting exhibition toured throughout Spain. Some pictures can be found here. Unfortunately, my work was stolen during the first exhibition. 😦


 

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“Gugu dada” 2016

Another interesting art project I found in 2016 was author and artist Sabine Küster’s mail art project “…mir ist so daDa im Kopf!”. As a Swiss artist and author myself, I feel closely connected with dadaism and I love playing around with words as much as I love embroidery! My entry (see above right) was selected for publication in the project’s work book (above left). The book is available here.


 

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“Between moss” 2016
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“Between blues” 2016
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“Fill the gap” 2016

Inspired by the three art mail projects I took part in, I decided to give a go at curating my own exhibition after all. As a founding member of the Swiss Hand Embroiderer’s Guild, I organised the project “IN BETWEEN / DAZWISCHEN” under the Guild’s roof. The project resulted in an online gallery and a one-day exhibition in a pop-up gallery in Winterthur, Switzerland. My three entries are shown above. The project was a very time consuming but also very exciting and satisfying undertaking. 🙂

PS: The Guild hosts a yearly fiber art project since then. Go check out their website!


 

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“Evidence” 2017

In 2017, I participated in a project by fellow fiber artist Martina Unterharnscheidt. She planned and executed an exhibition in her own gallery with the title “Almohadismus – das Kissen in der Kunst”.


 

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“Upcycled CD – front” 2017
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“Upcycled CD – back” 2017

Also in 2017, I worked with one of my favorite artist collectives Art in Open Roomz again for a small yet funny art project: upcycling cd’s into art objects! You can view pictures of the resulted mobile sculpture here.


 

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“Beautified” 2017

My last project entry in 2017 was “Beautified”, a quilt square for a collaborative art quilt by the Upcycled Cloth Collective founded by upcycling textiles virtuoso Melanie Brummer. The square has to be made of recycled materials and has to show a word paraphrasing “upcycled”. If you are interested, join the collective here.

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Ribbon in Grey – an embroidered book

In 2014, I started what got to be an embroidery illustrated story. And now, three years later, I finally hold the first edition of booklet copies in my hands! 🙂

Back then, I participated in an online course of the Atelier Lange Nadel and we had to each month upload a new piece of work in an online gallery for about half a year. I decided to create individual pieces that would loosely connect to each other. I started with the coral reef that later became chapter 5 in my story:

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techniques: photo transfer, stumpwork, appliqué, padding, hand stitch

As a recognition feature, I added a piece of grey satin ribbon. That’s how my story got it’s title!

As to the story itself: I am also a writer and had had a story about a medieval wet nurse in mind already for a long time… always wanted to write a novel, but could not find the time. So I decided to write a story in free verse instead. It is in English, which is NOT my mother tongue. I don’t know why, but the words just came to me in this language. Maybe because in English, you can say a lot with just a few words whereas in German, you would need much longer phrases…

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techniques: linocut stamping, beadwork, hand stitch

So here we go: “Ribbon in Grey” is a story about a medieval nurse and her daily struggle for survivor. It is also a story about power and fear, about loss and love. Want to read the story and see all embroidered pieces? You can order a copy here.

A tag a month: October to December

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the last 3 months of the year.

 


 

OCTOBER ART TAG: FREE FALL

 

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This month’s art tag is a combination of zentangle and stitch and bears a rather melancholic message.

The hand embroidery was inspired by a picture of a leaf skeleton and the zentangle pattern picks up on this motif too.

I drew the zentangle pattern with a felt tip pen and stamped the letters with a vintage alphabeth stamp set.

The words “free fall” are in this context metaphors for “loss” and “decay”. And they are also a wordplay with the season’s name and the falling leaves as a symbol of the season.

The cardbord background is stained with coffee (I simply pressed used Nespresso capsules on it).

 

NOVEMBER ART TAG: WHITE SILENCE

 

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Though it is nothing but white outside, I created a white art tag this month. I long for the cold, I long for snow and I long for the freshness and quiet and peace it brings…

Working in monochrome is not easy. Actually, I find it is harder than working in mixed colors! The focus is more on pattern and structure – but there is also the risk of overloading the piece with texture…

For this art tag, I embroidered snowflakes (or snow stars) on a piece of paper I got in a restaurant as a coaster for my tea cup. I really like stitching on paper and love to experiment with different types of paper. Sometimes, I use some kind of fiber mat as a stabilizer, some times I don’t. (With this tag I didn’t.)

Let it snow!! 🙂

 

DECEMBER ART TAG: LISTEN

 

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For my December tag, I stitched on paper again. It is a paper you find in boxes of chocolate candy; it is layered and embossed. When you punch a needle through it, it makes a cracking  noise quite similar to breaking ice… listen! 😉

 

 

A tag a month: July to September

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the summer months of the year.

 


 

JULY ART TAG: BE LOYAL

 

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Life is not only black and white – and certainly not all pink!! Being loyal doesn’t mean to agree with everything another person thinks, says or does; but it means to accept the person how he/she is and to stand by him/her even when he/she makes a mistake…

To hexies in this piece are hand sewn; I downloaded a template, printed it on cardboard, cut the shapes out and wrapped fabric around them. The technique is called “English paper piecing”. You can find a tutorial here: thezenofmaking.com

The purple traces on the light blue fabric are a kind of “frottage”: I put fabric on a tree bark and rubbed wax crayon onto it; thus the purple traces are tree bark traces! 😉

 

AUGUST ART TAG: BY THE SEA

 

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It’s hot! I like to take the box of found shells out and dream of a deep dive into the sea in Tuscany…

The “sand” has three layers:

  1. the blue background fabric
  2. looooong running stitches in a sandy color
  3. an applied piece of mesh net ususally used as a table decoration

And now I am off to take a swim!…

 

SEPTEMBER ART TAG: ENJOY THE WARMTH

 

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The leaves slowly begin to change colors… but it is still warm and the light is soft and golden…

The cute wooden frame used in this piece is designed by eWoodStory and sold in their Etsy shop. I love these tiny frames! They are just perfect to fill with miniature art. ❤

For french knots I have a passion… you can add texture and pattern with them. Try using variegated floss for french knots!

A tag a month: April to June

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the spring months of the year.

 


APRIL ART TAG: SPRING INTO SPRING

 

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Adding plastic as a synthetic component to a piece of natural fibers is fun! It is also a challenge as you want the outcome to not look “artificial”. Not sure whether I achieved this goal…

The leaf appliqué is made of hand dyed wool felt, the lace is vintage, buttons too.

Satin ribbons come in all colors and at least three different sizes. When I buy new shirts or blouses, they ususally have a small piece of satin ribbon attached to the shoulder parts (for display purposes; they can be attached to the hanger so that the shape of the hung shirt looks “natural”). I cut them off and collect them for later. 😉

 

MAY ART TAG: DO NOT RUSH

 

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May was a very busy month, so my motto for this month was “do not rush”. Sometimes, you need to take a deep breath and relax. And there’s hardly another way to do this better than through art!

The metallic thread is an antique gold purl usually used in gold work. (For example, Golden Hinde UK is a supplier for gold work material.)

The stitches to make the exotic flowers behind the toucan and the border of the triangle are all buttonhole.

 

JUNE ART TAG: BLOOM

 

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Nature’s in full bloom here and insects are swirrling through my little garden…

The appliqué picture is stitched on merino wool felt. I love to use high quality felt as the thread goes so smoothly through the fabric… it’s an investment well worth it!

 

 

A tag a month: January to March

It was in January 2016 that I started a little project to challenge my mixed media skills. The task was to create one art tag each month, including hand embroidery of course.

Instead of only keeping a process diary in my sketchbook, I decided to share my project with all interested in mixed media and textiles. Initially, I created a separate blog for the project but transfered it here now.

So below are the tags I created during the first 3 months of the year.

 


 

JANUARY ART TAG: ONLY FALLING LEAVES CAN FLY

 

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My very first attempt at making art tags with stitch and mixed media. I quite like how it turned out.

There are seed stitches, pistil stitches and buttonhole stitches. Scraps of fabric, vintage lace and vintage buttons are assembled.

For the embroidered leaf, I used hand dyed thread (not by me, it is purchased thread) on cotton. I left the leaf portrait outside in the sun for a few weeks, so that the colors started fading. This gives the leaf a very realistic look as if I had picked it up from the forest floor during a walk.

 

FEBRUARY ART TAG: OH THE COLORS OF TRANSIENCE

 

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Still an autumnal theme for this month’s art tag (still not white here in February). Exploring “transience”; the beauty of decay and the life cycle of nature…

The cardboard tag is painted with water soluble wax crayon (I am not sponsored or anything, but if you are interested in what wax crayons I use: Neocolor II).

Some vintage lace is glued onto the back of the tag, and I choose a metallic thread for the seed stitches.

 

MARCH ART TAG: OLD LEAVES NOURISH YOUNG SPROUTS

 

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“Old leaves nourish young sprouts” – spring is near.

This is the third art tag relating to the subject of life cycle and nature renewing itself each year…

The cardboard tag is again painted with water soluble wax crayon (see previous post for reference).

The buttons are all vintage; three mother of pearl buttons and one “Zwirnknopf” (thread button). These thread buttons were handmade and used in the 19th century in Austria. They are great for mixed media pieces as you can embroider them or sew other material onto them! My research for information about these particular buttons led me to an informative website (in German): feinerfaden.at

The embroidered leaf skeleton is inspired by a photograph I took. On first sight, all leaf skeletons are of a brown-grey-black color mix. But when you look at them closer, you still see traces of colors of the leaf in full bloom!

A piece of birch tree bark completes the picture.

 

A teabag a day (part 1)

It is my goal to come up with one special project every year to challenge myself. This year, I wanted to explore teabag art. What is more, it was time for a collaboration with my daughter who loves drawing and painting. So we decided on a mother-daughter-project called “a teabag a day”. The goal was to create one teabag each day for at least 30 days.

We had a lot of fun sharing our results and thus inspiring one another! I am already done with my 30+ teabags, and my daughter only has a few left (she was ill and also 3 days on vacation during the project, thus the delay). We decided together that we wanted to create individual art books with our finished teabags.

So here is mine:

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – title page

This is the title page, featuring an embroidered teabag of course. 😉

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – page 1

On page 1, there are two teabags in a folk style inspired by mexican tyles. At first, I drew the pattern with water soluble colored pencils, then stitched the outlines for more contrast.

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 2 + 3

This double page shows simplicistic yet dramatic hand embroidery on a plain-colored background (I used acrylic colors).

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 4 + 5

Three teabags with seed stitches on page 4. The color gradients add depth to the pieces and are eye candy.

On page 5, there are two goldwork pieces. Goldwork is a mastercraft technique and I am but a humble beginner! Still, I like to challenge myself… and I think I did okay here.

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 6 + 7

I love my Neocolor 2 paint sticks! These are Swiss made water soluble oil pastels that work great on any kind of fabric. See samples on page 6.

The geomatric patterns on page 7 are solely made with satin stitching. Not easy on teabags, as the punctures in the delicate teabag paper must not lay too close to each other or the tissue will tear…

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 8 + 9

Beadwork is an essential part of hand embroidery, foremost when it comes to embellishment. I like that the teabag tissue with its naturally dyed parts still shows in the pieces of page 8!

Pages 9 and 10 (see picture below) feature blackwork embroidery. To be exact: freestyle (in terms of not-counted) blackwork in color. How’s that for a contemporary twist?! 😉

 

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A teabag a day by Claudia Jäggi – pages 10 + 11

Some appliquéd plant portraits with added colored pen drawings on teabags of page 11. I got the one with the maple leaf from a fellow fiber artist living in Canada – thank you so much, Monika! (Go check out her awesome landscapes and other fiber art at mysweetprairie!)

 

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A teabag a day – pages 12 + 13

The last two pages of my little art book show threadsketchings of human eyes (fully open to fully closed). While threadsketching, I do not follow patterns nor use any sketches; I just pick up the needle and some thread and start stitching… always challenging…

Inventing my stitchtangles

Two years ago, a very good friend gave me a “How to Zentangle”-book as a birthday gift. I started doodling right away. For a few days, we now and then exchanged pictures of our creations by mobile phone but then decided to challenge ourselves with a 30 day project: draw one zentangle each day. We even founded a facebook group (azentangleaday) to share our creations.

 

My first few zentangles are typical ones. I used fineliner (black or white) for the outlines and pencil for the shadows:

Then, I experimented with colored fineliners and/or pencils:

On day 11, the first zentangle including some random stitching appeared:

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I continued adding hand embroidery to the tangles and also tried out colored backgrounds and even some carved stencil prints as a starting point for a zentangle design:

What followed were some drawings on a black background:

The next days, I created some designs with “gaps” – doodleless spots to later fill with stitch: born were my STITCHTANGLES!

Two more with stitching on the paper and one I did with a ballpoint pen during a very boring business meeting. 😉

And finally three additional designs worked on fabric:

 

When the 30 days were over, I asked myself how I wanted to store my zentangles. So I gave bookbinding a try.

This is my very first bookbinding work. The cover is made of so-called “fabric paper”. You take some cloth and coat it with a mixture of glue and water. Then you lay snippets of (textured) paper on the cloth and again coat it with the watery glue. After it is dried, you can color the fabric paper as you like.

 

Later that year, I printed some stitchtangle designs on fabric and hand embroidered them:

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I even made some embroidery kits with some of these desings, including a booklet in English and German. In case you are interested, you can either order them here or send me a PN.