Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lobsters! What Was I Thinking? -- Part 2

As some of you may already know, I worked with a really cool and talented photographer, Liz Grandmaison, at the beginning of the summer. She kindly and compassionately took portraits of a few of my lobsters. If you have not had a chance to check out her website, please do so. You will be glad you did!

I promised, a while back, I would introduce a few of my lobsters to you. So today, I am bringing you one from my "vested" series.

This little lobster came to life as part of the Visual Artists Street Team challenge to make something green.

Green is not necessarily a color associated with lobsters, unless of course you are talking about the tomalley. Some people love the stuff, think it is a delicacy even...not's lobster liver! Blech! What is more, most people only see cooked lobsters on their plate, so naturally, they think "red" not "green." Lobsters do come in a variety of colors--yellow, orange, greenish-brown, grey, blue--(but still, probably not any of the shades I was thinking of for my lobsters). So, the challenge I set for myself was to make "something green" that still looks like a lobster.

My first stop: the thrift store. In the past, I admit, I pooh-poohed thrift stores. All I saw when I stepped through the doors was a dingy bunch of dusty junk. It is still there, the junk, but after a while I started seeing little gems of fabric popping out at me. I read somewhere this is called "getting your eyes on." I think the person was referring to hunting mushrooms, but I am pretty sure it applies to hunting cool fabric as well.

I think it was in a thrift store I started seeing lobsters not as lobsters, but as palettes for...who knows what. Really, I am only as limited as my imagination. lobster? Why not? Quilted lobster? Why not? Vested lobster? A vested lobster! Cool! Let's do it!

I laugh when I make these lobsters. Each stage, each step of the process brings out their personalities just a little more. Sometimes, I have a real idea about what color combinations to use...and sometimes, I just let the fabric guide me (to varying degrees of success, I might add).

I like using bits of "found" fabric. The limited supply forces me to be creative. There are no matching dye lots. There is no purchasing extra material just in case. Once the shirt or skirt or yardage is is gone. And, unless I want to get all pouty about it, I am forced to use what I have creatively and then head back to the thrift store to see what new treasures are waiting there. This limitation expands my imagination and my excitement for making lobsters. I always go shopping with the idea that the "perfect" fabric is out there somewhere. If I had an endless supply of the same type fabric and thought I had to make each lobster exactly alike, I would lose interest very quickly.

I like that the fabric I purchase has had a life before me (for the most part, anyway, some of the stuff I find is brand new). I like making lobsters from pieces and parts. I like supporting my community by making purchases at thrift stores that, in turn, make donations to people less fortunate than I am. And, every once in a while, I like pushing the boundaries with a lobster that is purple...or pink...or gold...or green...


LornaSmithStudio said...

Love the lobsters...they look like they wouldn't pinch too hard! Thank you for the kind comments on the VAST blog. If you like you can have a look at my blog
Hope you are having a creative day.
Lorna X

Melanie said...

This is one of my favorite blogs to visit!!!! You have created such a warm and unique idea for interviewing and highlighting your fellow artists!

I've nominated you for a blog award!!!

You can pick it up on my blog and see the other blogs I've nominated!


Karen Faulkner said...

Stopping by to say hi! I have to get my mom on the internet one of these days, she's a quilter and I know she'd love your work.
these lobsters are such fun!