Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor at SCC

Meet the artist and share her vision

At a recent guild-sponsored lecture at Contemporary Craft, featured Bridge 13 artist Elisabeth Higgins O’Connor talked about the evolution of her style and body of work. Guild secretary Wanda Spangler-Warren took her usual meticulous notes and lent them to us for this post. Thanks, Wanda!

The huge, grotesquely charming, animal-ish forms lumbering around SCC’s gallery owe their existence to a series of happy accidents involving drywall screws, the Iraq war, and a truckload of discarded cushions. Which is just another way of saying O’Connor never met a random input she couldn’t use.

Detail: Wanna do right...but not right now
Detail: Wanna do right…but not right now

As a resident artist in Kohler’s Arts/industry Program, O’Connor learned the slip casting method of making vitreous china, a technique she would later intentionally corrupt by using found objects, creating animal hybrids with ceramic heads and fabric bodies. Perhaps more importantly, Kohler made available to her a huge inventory of hardware – screws, wires, and grommets – which she used to assemble her figures in obvious and deliberate ways.

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Hosting the Artist Panel at Quilt National ’15

Getting accepted into Quilt National 2015 is an accomplishment many of us would envy. But FGP member Patty Kennedy-Zafred didn’t stop there. At the request of SAQA, the Studio Art Quilt Association, she jumped into the proceedings and hosted a panel of participating artists. We asked her to tell all and she graciously obliged…

By Patty Kennedy-Zafred

Lightening struck again, and the jury gods nodded in my favor. Dusting off the disappointment of two recent rejections, I was exhilarated by a fun filled weekend of art and activity at The Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio.

The Opening Reception was packed; a record number of 64 exhibiting artists from all over the world, along with many guests. But for me, the most exciting event came the next day when I hosted a panel of four exhibiting artists. SAQA had requested that the Artist Panel not repeat recent SAQA speakers, but other than that, I had free rein. Talk about a tough choice!

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PRINT FUN WORKSHOP

Over the past couple of years our programs committee has run this popular printing workshop several times, and it nearly always sells out. More and more fiber artists, may of whom already dye their own fabrics, are intrigued by the opportunity to control and create another element that goes into their work. In fact, guild member and award-winning quilter Patty Kennedy-Zafred has noted that quilters she meets around the country are so envious of the printing resource we have in AIR, right here in Pittsburgh. We asked Petra Fallaux, another amazing quilter, to take us along as she experiences the workshop for the first time…

By Petra Fallaux

AIR -3 at 9.12.20 AMRecently a handful of FGP members got together for a guild-sponsored “silkscreen on fabric and cloth” workshop at Artist Image Resources (AIR) on Pittsburgh’s North Side.

Workshop leader Jennifer Rockage introduced us to the various steps in preparing a photo emulsion silkscreen from a drawing or photo. All of our screens were prepared in advance, so we were quickly off to making our own prints, one after another. Through multiple iterations, we figured out how much ink and pressure would make a perfect image from our screens.

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