News & Notes from Cameron

Sácale el Jugo: Adventures in Peru – August 2011

"Sácale el jugo," advised our guide - a wonderful Spanish expression that translates as "take the juice (out of it)." And we took his advice to heart, enjoying the many experiences that Peru offered us. A full week in the Sacred Valley and Cusco, followed by a five day trek across the Salkantay to Machu Picchu. What an adventure. Awe-inspiring scenery, hospitable people, great food and beautifully woven textiles. Plus ruins. Lots of ruins.

LEFT Lesson with  weaver Margarita Sinche at  Patachanca, near Ollantaytambo in the Sacred Valley. RIGHT Bruno, a  volunteer at the Awamaki store in Ollantaytambo. Awamaki is an NGO that helps Patachanca and 2 other villages market their  work - and is sponsoring a weaving retreat October 2011.


Festival and street scenes in Cusco

LEFT Weaver in Mollepata, along the route to begin our trek.  The NGO Yanapata helps with economic development, including weaving, of several villages in the Salkantay area. RIGHT an Incan aqueduct and footpath. We walked along this path as we began our trek.
LEFT Salkantay Peak - sacred to the Quecha RIGHT textiles along the trail - typical saddle and blanket
Yes, here it is - Machu Picchu. Magnificent.

And  a resident llama of Machu Picchu, looking quite regal.
For more photos of Peru, visit  my Highlands of Peru  albums on Facebook!


Chain Reaction at Bergamot Station - July 2011

Chain Letter,  "an exponentially massive, artist-curated group show" opened this month at Shoshana Wayne Gallery in Santa Monica's Bergamot Station. Five weeks of ten artists inviting ten artists inviting ten artists... predictably created huge crowds, long lines, traffic snarls, etc, but resulted in a energy-filled exhibit of tremendous originality that turns the usual gallery-curated show on its head..


My artist pals who arrived at 8 AM got their work in the show - while those of us arriving later met with mixed fates. The main gallery filled quickly and work spilled over into two annexes before there simply was no more room. But over 1,600 determined artists -who often stood in line for many hours - have their work included in this exuberant, eclectic exhibit.


THE JOURNEY...lines, more lines, Santa Monica traffic police on duty.







THE EXIT...  a random yarn bombing, traffic cones and traffic police still on the job




California Fibers members Gail Fraser, Carrie Burckle, Polly Giacchina, Peggy Wiedemann, and me.



Gail wirh her work, Carrie's piece, Peggy's finger pointing toward her and Polly's pieces...


other work from the show...




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Who is Doug? I think he's the organizer guy still trying to identify the remains of the 10 to the 10th power artists who were fighting for floor space and AC outlets!


In My Right Mind in Hancock, Michigan - June 2011

I spent a fabulous week at the Midwest Weavers Conference, held at Finlandia University in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Co-chairs Jean Lind and Mary Brownell and their many guild volunteers did a terrific job putting the conference together.


It was great fun exercising our right brains - with occasional left-brain forays. Inspirations and projects below are by Becky, Linda, Sydney and Judi  - created in "Natural Inspirations," a three-day workshop.





And  I ate a pasty for the first time  -

a specialty of the region, introduced to the area by Cornish miners. This is from the Kaleva Cafe in  downtown Hancock. It is a combination of meat, potato, onion, carrot, rhutabega, salt and pepper, in a sturdy pastry shell.


The Language of Fiber at Vertin Gallery in nearby Calumet marked the debut of Red Offerings, and I had the opportunity to give a gallery talk as part of the opening. The gallery itself is quite spectacular - a classic former department store with high ceilings and lots of light. Calumet was a much larger town in the 19th century when the area was home to many copper mines. Now the town is smaller, and creative re-use of buildings is an important trend - the Vertin Gallery is but one example.

with Ansley Knoch, guest curator; Phyllis Fredendall, Fiber Dept, Finlandia U; and artist Sheila O'Hara


The Finlandia University Art and Design School created the perfect T-shirt so of course I had to have it.


As it was explained to me, Are you out of  your right mind? has at least two meanings.

Number One: Stuck in left brain thinking? Come to Finlandia  and embrace the creative right brain.

Number Two: Are you out of your right mind?  Why come all the way to the Upper Peninsula for design school? After getting to know faculty, administrators, students and local guild members, that answer is easy...!


Ties that Bind – for Educators “Of All Stripes” - May 2011

Hij is grof gesponnen en los gedraaid
(Belgian) He is spun coarse (rough) and loosely twined. Meaning he looks strong ,but inside he is weak....Having sphilkes, (Yiddish) like sitting on pins and needles., used like antsy, or ants in ones pants... I'm all tied up in knots! Meaning, I'm emotionally overloaded and don't know what to do next... Spinning a yarn, meaning to tell a story...


We gathered at ARTSgarage on May 15th to explore "Ties that Bind" , sharing expressions from across the globe that reference textiles such as tied up in knots, hanging by a thread, on tenter hooks, dyed in the wool, spinning a yarn, put a sock in it, and coming apart at the seams; as well as lesser- known expressions translated from Yiddish, Swedish, Danish, French, Belgian and Dzongkha . Two quick techniques - finger crochet and twisting - moved us from metaphor to process - creating a variety of "ties that bind" inspired by textile expressions!




Seeing Red and the Royal Wedding - April 2011



Red Offering, my multi-media work in progress, was presented to Designing Weavers at our April meeting. Created in response to our guild's theme Seeing Red, I've been fooling around with the projection of red-based photographs onto translucent layers of silk organza - a mysterious and beautiful interplay of light, shadow, and fleeting images, with lots of potential for further exploration. Guild members were so helpful with their remarks - it reminded me why I so enjoy this talented group of weavers.

one of many images from Red Offering




My alternate fiber discovery for the month is Knit Your Own Royal Wedding by Fiona Goble, a fun and timely salute to the nuptials of William and Catherine.

If you want to knit one of these figures, I'm sponsoring a Tea for Two grand drawing through  yarn shops I work with. So if you live in So CA or AZ, contact your yarn shop for details, grab your needles and have at it!