Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Blowing Rocks Preserve Exhibition opens January 30
Almost all of my new fiber pieces will be at the 'Blowing Rocks' exhibition, as well as my Mermaids Beach Glass jewelry and my new copper wire art..
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I guess the most frequently asked for me is 'how long does it take you to do a piece' followed by isn't it very hard to part with your art work. The first question I usually dodge because I am very tempted to say 'what difference does it make'. Of course I could give some estimated time but would that answer include all my thoughts of the project before I even start? And there are plenty more of this type of considerations giving an estimated time. So therefor I usually avoid that questions with that explanation.
Now the 'parting' is a very different one. I can only speak for myself of course but I would not be surprised if many more out there think the same way. Yes there are a few pieces that I do not want to part, and those I keep or at least I try to. But for most of my pieces the truth is once I am finished with them and I had them around me for a short period of time, I can easily say goodbye. I feel that the message is out there, my thinking process is finished and off I go to a next idea and project. Does the space or owner influence my parting pain? Not anymore. I remember in the beginning of my career, I did not sell a piece if I did not feel the piece had a good home. Let's see what is the definition of a good home. For fiber art a good home is for sure to expose the piece to as little light as possible. Should I mention that I live in South Florida and have a very bright house filled with LIGHT! So my own house is actually a big 'no no' for fiber art. Of course my house is filled with y art work. Yes the pieces are protected, yes I do whatever is necessary but still..... once in a while one of my pieces fades. I still remember the day when I pulled one of my very well protected pieces out of its storage and I had to realize that even in storage it faded. That was a breaking point. I still do whatever I can to protect my art work but I decided that it is much better to enjoy a piece at least for a certain amount of time then having them well preserved hidden away. That also made parting for me easier. I no longer worry about the pieces future. One of my bigger pieces is in a public space under a glass roof. The glass is UV protected there are shades but there is no doubt that the piece is 'suffering'. The bright colors have faded, it still looks good but different. But due to its public exposure the piece gives pleasure to many viewers and all the compliments I received made the graceful aging of the art piece worth while.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
No, you are not looking at one of 'Christo's' wonderful wrapped art works, but at my latest way of growing organic papayas. I do not even want to describe to you how papayas with 'meat' look like. The maggot experience was so bad that I am very willing to try whatever my gardener friends suggest. One suggestion is wrapping my green fruit in plastic bags.... ok, back into my studio, back to my art work. My next piece 'True Blood' is finished and waiting to have its appearance on my blog.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
The piece is finished: Ararat, by Werner Boeglin (pastels)
You are looking at Mount Ararat through a window of the monastery 'Khor Virap' in Armenia (where St. Gregory the illuminator was imprisoned for 13 years). The monastery is located on a little hill and one is as close as one can possibly be to Mount Ararat in Armenia. The foreground of the painting shows what my travel guide referred to as 'the green belt' between Armenia and Turkey. From the monastery one also sees the fence of some military look out posts.
Friday, November 14, 2008
This time my post is not about me but about my husband Werner Boeglin. Painting is one of his favorite past times. We work together all the time, and he is my most important critique person. I just LOVE his paintings so decided to start showing his work on my blog too. You are looking at an unfinished piece inspired by our trip to Armenia last month. Of course I will share the finished art piece with you too but I just could not wait, and yes I have his permission.... I am sure some of you will recognize this beautiful and moving view!
Friday, November 7, 2008
I am currently crocheting with wire gauge 24 and my hands (skin and muscles) have a very hard time. Blisters and also 'arthritis' are the issue. I think 'gloves' of some kind would be helpful. I have tried old but really soft nice leather gloves, did not work. Is there any body out there with any hints and tips?
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
For this month jewelry piece I chose a junky crochet wire bracelet. It is made out of 24 AWG cooper wire with assorted beads. It still has a soft feel too it, has a little 'give' to make putting it on easier and is comfortable to wear even for somebody who is not used to wear big bracelets.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
A few weeks ago, I have to admit, there were only two things that I knew about a small country called Armenia. One of course was the horrible genocide of the Armenian people and the other was a memory about the news from the 80's regarding a big earth quake there killing thousands of people.
And now I had the great opportunity to visit this small, very well hidden country, bordered by Turkey, Azerbaischan, Georgia and Iran. It was a wonderful trip, even though I could neither read nor understand their language. The food was wonderful, communication is very difficult, but the friendliness of the Armenians helps and makes traveling a special and inspirational experience. They have their own alphabet, and you can see some of their letters in my short slide show. If I were a traditional quilter I would for sure use some of the very elaborate stone or wood carvings as quilting patterns. But I am very sure the memories and pictures of this trip will become part in my future art work. Have a look at my slide show to get a small impression of this very special country.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Fall has arrived, it seems not only in nature but also in the economy or politics. I am just wondering if I should start using dollar bills instead of fabric, since I have mostly fabric that keep the 'value' and quality if I am careful and take care of them. And that is what my customers expect and rightfully so. Nothing to worry about I will not turn my art blog into a political blog even though it is very hard to separate the two of them in times like this. Ok let me go back to my art work, but it is for sure a challenge to be creative and positive with everything else being so negative. But be sure to look for my piece 'Hindsight' which is in the works at this moment.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Since I have been struggling with achieving good corner when I stretch my work over the stretcher bars I thought I share my little tips with you. Maybe that makes stretching art work for somebody out there a little easier. I don't have any special tools except my electric staple gun.
The painted canvas made it difficult for me to turn the corners in a way that I liked. I looked at several books and web sites that sell art material and found good help, but I was still not happy with the result due to the thick-and stiffness of the material. So here is what I do.
Step 1. Center the art work. I secure the art work with one staple on every side and then make sure the placement is right. You do not want to have to redo all the stapling believe me.
Step 2. Then I start the corners: I first fold excess fabric in two folds to the outside. That gives me a good idea how much to turn under in the next step.
Step 3: Then I turn one corner of the fabric 'under', I hope the picture 'explains' that better than my words can. Make sure the corner is very tight.
Step 4: Next I staple the other side of the corner down.
Work your way around the frame always stretch one side and then the side across.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
In my latest piece, a political statement, I incorporated more of my wire knitting. You are only looking at a sneak preview.... I am still using my titan needles and feel I have great success with them, especially when I do the free motion stitching. The needles do not break as easily as the others do and I can work with heavier layers. Especially the heavier layers are important, since that fact lets me work with whatever material I want to. Or at least almost!
Friday, August 15, 2008
You are looking at a bracelet made of little coral pieces which I found on the beach in the Ft. Lauderdale area. They are held together by a silver chain. The sponge in the background is another treasure I found while walking one of my favorite beaches.
It is exactly a week since I rediscovered the moebius twist. I remember the 'term' when I was in school, I also remembered to be very fascinated by it. But it never occurred to me to knit a moebius twist. Well guess what I did. And it is a very fascinating and intriguing process. So for all of you out there ready to try something different try to knit a moebius twist. I used Cat Bordhi's book 'A treasury of Magical Knitting'. The pictures and explanations are great. I can highly recommend it.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
In time for the olympic games opening I have finished my two first 'China' pieces. They both focus on environmental problems in China such as the pollution of water and air .
You are looking at the Yangtze river, or my interpretation of it. I had the luck that one of my friends cruised on it and sent me two CD's with her photographs. This allowed me to obtain a very good impression and feeling for the area.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
My studio view is 'changing'....
Have a closer look at my very determined bamboo...
This is what I call being very determined to reach a goal. The stepping stones my bamboos are lifting are for sure not lightweight.
Hmmm are they trying to tell me something? Let's see. My two political statement ('China' pieces) will be in time on line for the opening ceremony in Peking, arg there is the QN deadline looming. Ok, I will show the same determination as my bamboo shows and finish my entries (they are barely beyond their designing stage) in time.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Our trip to the New Mexico and Colorado last and this month is for sure worth a new post in my blog. This is not the first time that I have visited the area, but it has been a first at this time of the year. The colors were just amazing and so different from my previous experiences. They might have had a wetter spring and early summer or maybe more snow then usual but it just seemed so much greener than I remembered the area. This could just be my impression but I for sure enjoyed it. Nevertheless my favorite colors were the reds, yellows and subtle earth tones and I am already working on my first projects with these colors.
Besides the colors another highlight were the historic sites of the pueblo indians and the rockies. I could also mention the food, which is for sure an art by itself, but since I am a fiber artist the food is not the main reason for writing about the trip.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I am still working with magnet wire. The goal is not really to create jewelry but it is nice to practice and experiment with the desired material and then actually have a result that can be enjoyed. My goal is still to add more depth to my fiber pieces.
I bought the book 'crocheted wire jewelry' by Arline M. Fisch. I like the book very much. The information about materials, wire gauges, hooks etc is great. The projects look very interesting, some of them I like better than others. I was a bit disappointed that in quite a few pieces one needs to have more than just crocheting experience. Soldering comes in very handy so does bezel setting. I also think the descriptions could be a bit more precise. I consider myself to be a good crocheter. But I am quite sure that without my very profound knowledge of reading patterns and instructions I would not be able to use the book. Still I am enjoying the book and use it a a challenge in between my other art work.
Oh before I forget. I think they forgot to mention that the most important tool in creating this pieces for people above 30 years old is a very very good lamp. My absolute favorite phrases in the descriptions are : " count the stitches often as you crochet. Dropping or adding a stitch will greatly disrupt the pattern of the chain". I certainly agree with that but I was never at any point able to count the stitches as you can see on the picture. Or how about that one:" The shape is clumsy at this point, but make note of the stitch pattern. You can open the loops with a scribe to count the stitches and see the pattern more easily". I started bursting into laughter when I read that one, 'clumsy. open the loops WHAT loops, I know they were there just WHERE', I am sure an expert is able to do so, and after I bought a lamp I at least saw traces of stitches.... my friend kept me going by promising cosmos if I finish the project. I LOVE my bracelet and will treasure it. And of course the admiration for the artists working in that field has grown immensely.
It seems that I am discovering things that have been around for a long time, but I was simply not aware of them. For whatever reason I am for sure not one that keeps up with what's new out there. And there is no particular reason for this.
I guess out of desperation I went needle hunting. I really LOVE working with my Microtex 8. There were no wholes even in my most delicate paper area. But with all my fabric and paper layers I simply was buying needles in the same amounts I buy swiss chocolate. That needed changing, no not the swiss chocolate part. So I asked my new mechanic for advice. He just sold me the Janome Gem Platinum my new travel companion. He did not flinch when I showed him my work sample, but it must have looked really strange to him. That's different was all he said. We all kind know what that means. But his suggestion was a titanium needle. And long and behold I am on my third art piece and I have NOT broken a single needle. Maybe just luck, but I like to believe that I found a solution to my needle drama. Granted the titanium needle is also a little heavier but the size of the wholes are so far not a problem.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I got myself a new 'toy'. As a Bernina girl for the last 40 years it is quite a step to move to another sewing machine. But I have been looking for a small light machine for a while. Nothing will replace my good old Bernina, but there is simply no way I would take that machine on a trip by plane. Of course I considered renting a machine but I had the opportunity to try the Janome Jem in one of my workshops I taught. And I liked what I saw immediately. So I started doing some searching to see if I could find a little machine that would offer me most of the things I love about my Bernina. I am convinced I found it. The only real important thing missing is the knee lift, but I will manage without it! This little machine has many more stitches than I will ever use, many more buttonholes and other features. But it has a good straight stitch for my type of work, a great free motion foot and it handles easily.
Monday, June 9, 2008
Thank you, thank you, thank you.... does this sound familiar? Do I sound like Hillary, ( I am not talking about Hillary Fletcher, but let's remember her and all her effort for us artists) maybe so but I don't care. I simply wanted to express my sincere thank you to you all out there for all the terrific e-mail your response to the wonderful article 'Quilting Arts magazine' did about me. All the lovely comments for sure are very motivating and I appreciated each and every e-mail and compliment very much. Thank you also 'Quilting Arts Magazine', especially Cate Prato who did the interview and wrote the article.
Thank you, thank you, thank you and for more about me go to mayaschonenberger.com
Sounded familiar again?
Friday, May 30, 2008
It start to get hot, summer is just around the corner. The advantage of the rising temperatures is I usually prefer to stay more inside. And that usually means more studio time, less outside distractions. And by distractions I mean my backyard and my plants. They are a constant inspiration and my oasis is for sure the best place to just be and relax. You are looking at my view when I sit on my sewing machine or paint fabrics.
In my studio I am currently busy experimenting with new paint and mediums hoping to achieve some interesting effects. So far I am not where I would like to be ....
One of my favorite jewelry pieces: a fossilized shark tooth combined with fresh water pearls, recycled glass beads, seeds and lava junks. It seems whenever the weather gets warmer, even for Miami standards, I seem to use more fresh water pearls in my jewelry. I really enjoy the different shapes and the feel these pearls have. Usually I combine them with my beach glass, but since I was lucky to find some shark teeth I decided to use all of my treachures together.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Great news. Two of my pieces from my underwater series have been accepted at the 'Art Quilts at the Whistler IV exhibition.
The exhibition runs from July 1 until August 15
Left: 'Sea Anemone 2', detail
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
When I started my blog I was sure to only use the blog for my art work related thoughts. I simply knew from my own experience reading other blogs that I personally preferred to read about techniques, exhibitions, products etc. rather than weather, war or personal problems.
I guess I am taking a detour now.
On April 9 I lost my dear studio companion. Her name was Wanda, she was the best art critique you could ever wish for. Never complained, liked all my work, agreed when I was upset about a rejection, was ready to help chew up the rejection letter, did not talk back, left me daily little gifts of hair balls, gave me lots of dog breath kisses, barked and led the way when she felt I needed a walk. Wanda was 'fluent' in several languages, gave her paw only when asked in dutch, understood 'goody goody' in english, obeyed her master in swiss german, and ran to her food plate when called in french 'manger'. She enjoyed food tremendously. Her favorite restaurant was 'Casa Maja' (not our house), where they serve a very international fare with a strong bosnian influence. 'Casa Maja' was not only one of Wanda's favorite restaurant but also her favored vacation spot, summer and winter.
Besides being an 'art and food lover', she was also very sporty. She enjoyed the snow, was an excellent runner, hunter, swimmer and sailor.
Wanda was the collector of several quilts, ALL of them art quilts of course.
Wanda was with us for 16.5 years a long time for a dog her size, but by far not long enough for me.
My studio will never be the same without her and neither am I.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I wanted to get a more 3 D effect for my mixed media backgrounds. I have been experimenting with knitted meshes lately, but I still feel I want to be able to get more depth without using a 'hard' material. This time I tried a combination of paper and silk. On a muslin backing I glued and stitched papers and fabrics. The papers are all torn. Torn etches add an interesting feeling to the surface and make the blending from fabric to paper very 'natural' looking. On top of my layers I 'crunched' a very thin sheer silk, pinned it in place and glued and stitched the piece down. On the other side I used a piece of silk embroidered with beads. I then painted the piece with acrylic paint. On top of the dry piece I added a layer of medium and two layers of UV protection. Stitching trough the layers was easy except for the beaded area. I broke some needles doing that part.
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I needed a little fiber art break and decided to introduce my favorite jewelry piece. It is a bracelet from my jewelry line ''Mermaids Teardrops'. The bracelet is made of beach glass pieces which I collect from beaches in the Miami area or beaches in Virginia. I do not use tumbled glass at all. Part of the fun is collecting the glass or other sea treasures for that matter. An other important part of my jewelry is the fact that I try to create treasures from other people's trash. The edges of the glass pieces are smooth from laying in the water for a long time. The glass pieces are drilled and then strung on a japanese elastic wire. In between the glass pieces I string either small glass or wood beads or if I can find some interesting seeds I use those as well. As you can imagine this is not a light weight bracelet but it has a very nice fit and therefore is very comfortable to wear. The bracelets not only have a very eye catching look, the sound the glass pieces make is very special too. My customers enjoy both wearing the bracelet.
So far I have only been able to make white / brown/ green bracelets. I am still dreaming of finding enough big blue glass pieces to add a blue one to the collection.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
The more I work with magnet wire the better I like it. Magnet wire offers a new dimension to my art work. By either crocheting or knitting a separate piece I create a new layer for my work that can then be added to my already layered art piece. The knitted and crocheted parts are very soft and therefore can easily be shaped in all directions and dimensions. The wire mesh can be stitched down by machine without any difficulties. Some attention should be paid when stitching with the machine over densely knitted areas since the pressure foot could get caught while stitching. But this is not a big problem. I have even stitched backwards over my wire meshes. I love the texture and shine the wire adds to my work.
Monday, February 25, 2008
I have been experimenting for a while now incorporating magnet wire into my art work. I have worked with several different wire gauges. The thinner the wire the easier the knitting or crocheting was for me. Right now I am enjoying knitting with the wire and using the created mesh as an element for my mixed media work. I use very large knitting needles (size 19 mm) to get a loose knit that I can easily manipulate and pull or stretch into whatever shape I want to. In the beginning the feeling of using such big needles with a thin wire was very odd. I tried very hard to 'work' with a good tension like I would when using a regular yarn. The less I worried about tension the easier the knitting became and once I had figured that out it took only a short time to get used to the new knitting feeling. By now the knitting has become relaxing and I am looking forward to more knitted surfaces.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
We had a wonderful and very well attended opening night. Lots of laughing, happy faces, interesting questions, goodies and just plain fun. Thank you all who could make it or were there in spirit for sharing this great night with me.
Here are some pictures.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Monday, February 4, 2008
I will be interviewed on the South Florida Today Show (Channel 6) Friday February 8 between 11 and 12 noon.
This is a first and I am very excited about it. With me will be Biscayne National Park Ranger Gary Bremen who invited me to show my work at the park. The opening to the exhibition is the same night. The show is public and free.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
My solo show 'SEE SIDES' opens on Friday February 8. The Reception is from 7 to 9 p.m.
The other very exciting event is my interview with Channel 6 on the 'South Florida Today Show'. It takes place also on February 8, between 11 and 12 noon.
Here I go. I am beginning a new adventure, maybe a nightmare.... we will see. Everybody seems to blog I hear, so I also have to give it a try. People claim it is so easy. I have heard this about using photoshop or taking math classes too, while to me neither of them really are! So here we go.
In case you are reading this it would mean that I managed the task somehow. I hope doing it will become fun. And should that be the case I would even go so far as to encourage others to give it a try as well, SHOULD they feel the need to do so. And since my web site and my e-mail are currently not working reliably (no, this has nothing to do with me THANK GOD) my blog would at least be a way to tell you all I STILL EXIST and create art.