News & Notes from Cameron

The Silk Road Comes to Los Angeles – December 2013

Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World opened at the Natural History Museum this month, and runs through April 13, 2014. The exhibit arrived in Los Angeles shortly after my husband and I retraced a portion of this fabled route in a travel adventure to Xian and the oasis communities around the Taklimakan desert. I documented textiles being made and traded, and am planning a createIt@ARTSgarage seminar where we will make a simple version of Aidelaxi - the warp-dyed textile still worn by Uygur women of all ages. Educators taking this seminar will make their own version of Aidelaixi cloth and can “travel the road” where this cloth is still made – all in our own hometown!

 

silkroads 3 AMNH s Third Central Asiatic Expedition AMNH James Shackelford

 

Poetry Shards and a Dirty Window - November 2013

The month began with an ARTSgarage adventure with "educators of all stripes" making mixed media notecards and bookmarks inspired by poetry, and ended with a quiet afternoon in front of the fire, with late November light streaming in the front window...

Words About Color featured poems by Stephen Beal and Mary O'Neil. Working from poetry shards such as "The obi at her waist the shade of passion when passion marks despair"     "The bubbling of oatmeal mush.Tiredness and oysters"    "Just before night when most people turn on the light"   we created and conversed.
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After a festive and busy Thanksgiving, a quiet Friday afternoon reading in front of the fire felt just perfect. I looked up and noticed slanted light coming through the front window making subtle shapes and shadows. The dust on the window from the construction across the street just added to the composition.

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Then I ventured outside and enjoyed the fall foliage  - who says Southern California doesn't have seasons?

Making Meaning - October 2013

Recent travels - one to China's Central Asia and another within walking distance to the Nathalie Miebach exhibit at the Craft and Folk Art Museum - remind me that human notation systems are amazing, complex, and varied. But also unintelligible unless we comprehend the assigned meaning and can unlock the content contained within....

Mandarin and Uygur signage in China were a complete mystery to us, as were many of the English translations.

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The musical notation we encountered in China's Central Asia was different as well.

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Closer to home at the CAFAM exhibit, Nathalie Miebach creates her personal version of a musical score. She encourages musicians to "read" her notations and play what they see.

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Weavers have notation systems too. I can "see" a cloth construction when "reading" a weave draft - it must look completely mysterious to a non-weaver. Knitters have a written language they follow too - PSSO anyone?

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Textile Sightings: Aidelaixi Silk – September 2013

There were numerous textile sightings during a recent trip to the old silk routes of Central Asia - oasis communities around the vast Taklimakan Desert. My favorite was handwoven Aidelaixi or "Atlas" silk - worn by Uygur women of all ages. There were also many "knock-offs" of Atlas motifs printed onto commercial cloth. All were bright and colorful - a delightful contrast to the monochrome palette of the surrounding desert.

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Meeting Our Needs - August 2013

A very busy month in the studio, completing the Colors of Gujarat series of textile collages plus hosting a truly inspiring createIt@ARTSgarage, Social Fabric: Why Textiles Matter, presented by Sally Raskoff. We discovered how a bag made with simple fiber techniques can address multiple levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - from basic survival to self-actualization!

 

Colors of Gujarat: Fabric Dyer  - the complete series is on the portfolio page of my website.

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createIt@ARTSgarage Social Fabric:Why Textiles Matter with Sally Raskoff -  be sure and check out Sally's compilation of many versions of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs!

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