Monday, March 12, 2018

MLH Biennial Fiber Show, Feb. 11-March 11, 2018

Utter Confusion:  Which Way is Home?
Monoprinted acetate muslin, embroidered, collaged
by Jennifer Gould
I was so happy when my most recent monoprinted embroideries got into the 20th MLH Biennial Fiber Show at the Shiawasee Arts Council in Owosso, Michigan.  And one of them, "Utter Confusion: Which Way is Home?" got an Honorable Mention.
Crazy House
Improv collage and embroidery,
by Jennifer Gould

My favorite, though, is "Crazy House."  It's what I'm beginning to call my improv collaging and embroidered work.

Also, in the show was "Leaves: Rising from Below."

Leaves: Rising from Below
Monoprinted acetate muslin,
embroidered by Jennifer Gould
Lovely reception where I got to see so many MLH friends I haven't seen in a long time!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Postcard Salon at the Muskegon Museum of Art - Feb. 15, 2018

Postcard #1

The sale and reception of the postcards are this Thursday evening, Feb. 15, 2018.  The reception of great food starts at 5:30pm with the sale beginning at 7pm.  Postcards sell for $30 each with $15 going to the MMA and $15 to the artist.  It's a wonderful evening of viewing small scale art from all ages to meeting friends and seeing what other people purchase!

Check the MMA's website at

Here are my five postcards I submitted:

Postcard #2
Postcard #3
Postcard #4
Postcard #5

Contemporary Embroidery: From Surface Design to the Stitched Mark

Handprinted on
synthetic iridescent knit,
and embroidered; inset
onto doll front by
Jennifer Gould 2015
I'm looking forward to doing this workshop at the KIA.  There are already six students.  Glad to hear from anyone who has questions.  It will be a lot of fun, a lot of playing (no adult thoughts allowed) and experimentation!

March 24-25, 2018 Workshop
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts (KIA)
314 S. Park St.
Kalamazoo MI 49007

For those with an adventuresome spirit but looking to work in a contemplative textile method, students will use textile paints to print and paint fabric with images of their own design during the first morning.  This work will create pattern, areas of color, or designs that inspire students to put stitching onto the fabric —anything goes!  During the afternoon and next day, “the stitched mark” or one’s own personal hand stitch vocabulary, will be discussed and used on fabric to create rhythm, movement, and visual and physical texture.  This workshop will strive to have students look at stitching on fabric, not as decorative, but as an expression of themselves—pulling something new and different from inside and onto the cloth.  Jennifer will have many samples of her own embroidered pieces, images of contemporary embroiderers’ work from around the world, and books on hand.  Check the KIA for registration info.
Discharge cotton Kona fabric, hand stitched by
Jennifer Gould 2014
Crazy House,
improvisational collage
and embroidery by
Jennifer Gould

Stars Mending the Universe,
wipe-up cotton cloth with
textile paint, embroidered;
by Jennifer Gould 2014

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Scroll #2: Strange Kanji
by Jennifer Gould
My latest work involves using red twig dogwood (osier) to create my own  Chinese characters that are used in writing Japanese, called かんじ (kanji).

I have a long association with Japan, starting in 1971-72 when I was a student in Tokyo at Waseda University's International Division.  When I returned to the US and Hope College (Holland MI) as a senior, I met my future husband who had been born and raised in Tokyo.  His mother, now at 94 and almost 95 on November 2, is still lively just very, very hard of hearing.

I have been fascinated with nature and the world of trees, leaves, flowers, insects (as long as they're outside, not in my home) and clouds.  In other words, the biosphere or the environment and our place in it.

Leaves, especially, have a large part in my artwork as seen in my Square Headed Women and the Flower Packet Folding Books I've made.

I had pruned a volunteer Red Twig Dogwood in my terraced garden behind my house one autumn after the leaves had fallen.  They looked so fascinating that I stored them in my garage during the winter.  I realized that was an excellent decision to have made because it gave the twigs time to shrink.  I've just cut more, even though it's still warm weather with leaves on the trees, but I may have to use some of the twigs soon, as I will explain.

In the Wildwood: Winter
by Jennifer Gould
My first attempt at using the osier twigs was in 2014 on a doll that I felt exemplified my feelings about winter:  cold, brittle, white and gray, but with the beauty of some of nature shining through, such as the osier twigs.  I made 3-piece and 4-piece twig frames bound together with dark red thread and piled down and around the figure.  Unfortunately when ever I was at a show in which this piece was displayed, there were always broken frames; or I'd get the piece back with numerous broken frames in the box....

So I took the twig frames off the figure and have looked at them for a number of years trying to figure out how to use them.

In the meantime, I visited my mother-in-law last October (see all of my Postcards from Japan from Oct. 12-Nov. 9, 2016 in this blog).  Before and after this trip, I visited Kanji-A-Day daily to study so I can read friends' letters, magazines and more.  I love Japanese and Chinese calligraphy and kanji.  In fact, that's probably one of the major reasons I decided I wanted to go to Japan to study.  But there are some really odd and weird looking kanji such as:  mouse,  egg

I started playing with the broken pieces and realized they made some very odd shapes that looked rather like kanji to me.  These developed into the above Scroll #2: Strange Kanji.  I had made a previous one, my first attempt at making a Japanese scroll, using Japanese postage stamps and kimono/obi fabric.  

So, my current project is working on individual fabric wrapped rectangles that have twigs couched down to form my own imagined kanji.  These so far include these three at left.

I'm working on a piece which will have these individual rectangles of kanji placed in a row hanging vertically down the wall.  My vision is wonderful.  I'll see if the final piece is what I imagined!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Latest Dolls

Faery Godmother of Odd 1
by Jennifer Gould
My latest blog follower, Sheryl, reminded me that I hadn't posted anything all summer...  I met her and friend, Pam, at the Holland Area Arts Council this week.  A totally serendipitous meeting as Pam had just been talking about me (my ears weren't burning at all) and the dolls I make.  And then we met!

So I had to show them the dolls that I had with me for show 'n tell at my Lakeshore Fiber Arts Guild meeting that evening at HAAC.  I asked them to help me come up with titles for the dolls because I was really stumped.  Sheryl's suggestions worked for all three.  (I think I added the "Odd" part since they have fins in back and aren't your typical godmother, even a fairy one.)   THANK YOU, SHERYL!

These dolls are hopefully going to be in the "Small Works" exhibit at the Northville Art House (Northville, Michigan; Northville Art House) because they are small, only 8" tall, and the requirement is that a piece can only be 12" in any direction.

I made the first one in 2014 on a lark, just making a small pyramid doll with some recent hand printed fabric.  The new item was to add feet.  The feet are difficult to make BUT the worst part is attaching them and getting the Faery Godmother to stand.

When I was at the Art House last June for the opening of a show I was in with Boisali Biswas (Confluence:  Fiber Art and Mixed Media--- a fabulous show that we both loved doing together), I saw the card for this upcoming exhibit and immediately thought of this doll and adding another figure or two.

I made two more with one much taller (but still a lot shorter than 12") than the first two, and later decided to have two entries rather than just one with the three figures.

Here's hoping they'll be in the Small Works exhibit Nov. 3-Dec. 16, 2017!

Faery Godmother of Odd 2
by Jennifer Gould

Dragon Lady
by Jennifer Gould

Monday, May 1, 2017

MLH Marketplace, June 2-4, 2017, at Hope College

We're gearing up for the Michigan League of Handweavers biennial conference on June 2-4 in Holland MI at Hope College.

The Marketplace of commercial booths is always an exciting place to visit and this year we have 15 vendors in the Ballroom of the Haworth Inn on College Ave. & 10th Street.  I, of course, have a booth there, too, and look forward to seeing you.

There will be other exhibits that are free and open to the public like the Marketplace:  Fiber Art, Functional Fiber, Fashion and Accessories, and the Guild Exhibits.

Here's a list of where they are and the open times:

Friday, June 2:
Marketplace - 2-5:30pm (Haworth Ballroom)
Fiber Art and Functional Fiber Exhibits (Graves 2nd fl) - 4-6:30pm
Guild Exhibits (Schaap Science 1116) - 2-4pm

Saturday, June 3:
Marketplace - 10am-5:30pm (Haworth Ballroom)
Fiber Art, Functional Fiber, Fashion & Accessories Exhibits (Graves 1st & 2nd fl) - 10am-6:30pm
Guild Exhibits (Schaap Science 1116) - 10am-6:30pm

Sunday, June 4:
Marketplace - 10am-2pm (Haworth Ballroom)
Fiber Art, Functional Fiber, Fashion & Accessories Exhibits (Graves 1st & 2nd fl) - 10am-noon
Guild Exhibits (Schaap Science 1116) - 10am-noon

Look forward to seeing at the conference exhibits and, especially the Marketplace!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

New Pattern: Square Body Lady!

Square Body Lady
by Jennifer Gould
2" x 7", handwoven overshot
in cotton, cotton knit, UltraSuede
buttons, beads

This whimsical doll features a square-ish body from specialty fabric (such as a textured handwoven), head and appendages from fabric tubes, and a BIG button for the hat.  The face is usually a square of UltraSuede and the feet and hands either buttons or beads.  She’s silly, comical and cute, and is all of us women over 50 when we begin to feel like we have to work extra hard at keeping our figures intact.  

Square Body Lady
by Jennifer Gould
3" x 11", handwoven, cotton strip
weaving, cotton and synthetic knits,
UltraSuede, buttons
This is a very easy doll to make.  I created her so that I could feature my collection of handwoven fabrics from friends, especially those of Chicago textile artist, Jean Pluta.  

Check out this pattern and others available on my website at Jennifer's Doll Patterns.