Friday, January 28, 2011

Vale Burns: artist series take 4

"Pay attention to your fascination"
Vale Burns

detail on a slip

Artist: Vale Burns
Age: 29
Occupation: Librarian at the Putney School and Artist
Medium: Fabric and Embroidery

I had a great chat with Ms. Vale Burns today, a local artist who lives right here in Brattleboro. I saw Vale's work at Through the Music 4 yrs ago before I met her and loved her delicate embroidered pieces so much, that I feel honored to feature her now and can't wait to share her work with you~

A little her-story... it all started with a pink, silk corset... well, sort of. As a child, Vale grew up on a farm and spent lots of time outside. Her grandmother was a painter, illustrator and later, a weaver.
Vale's Grandmother's Drawing

Her father is an abstract artist, and he taught her how to draw as child. Like many artists, she dabbled in many art forms before landing with embroidery which she is drawn to now because, " knitting, I can carry it with me and do it anywhere... stuff might get stained, but that's okay..." Vale explains with a laugh.

Vale has always been interested in science, women's studies, and art but it wasn't until she developed an interest in fetish fashion that somehow all of her interests collided. It was an advisor at VT College that encouraged her to make a corset.

She became fascinated with the Victorian era and how women went to such pains to appear beautiful on the outside, while physically manipulating their bodies to please others.  As Vale explains, "the link between making corsets and the work I do now is that it began, not only due to my interest in the tactile working of fabrics, but also as a deeper exploration of the human form beneath the surface layer. " 
Vale continues, "What we so often focus on is the outer beauty, but my pursuit is in finding the beauty that is found in the intricate design and function of the cells and organs within."  

"Corsets represent an intimate world, a form beneath 
the layers of clothing."

"An Opening"

"Torso with Heart"

She began making body casts and drawing the lungs, heart and internal organs of the female figure. And out of this study, Vale was able to make something so delicate, so pretty out of something so... well, clinical.

"My work is a way for me to make a study of the forms I see in nature, so that the pieces I create are representations of the specimens you would find.  I like this idea of preserved specimens."

I love Vale's Inspiration Board

and this little scissor pouch~

Vale doesn't necessarily want to make art for money. She doesn't want to make art for anyone else. She makes it because it feels good. "If I don't make art, I don't feel as positive about myself", Vale explains.

"What began as a curiosity, leads to discovery and ends with a feeling of overall connectedness and self-expression. To me, this is the pure joy of making art."

~Thank you Vale~

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Corri Bristow- Sundell: artist series take 3

Welcome to the artist series, where one special creative person is chosen each week to showcase their work. Today, we have Corri Bristow- Sundell and I'm so excited for you to see her work. I've admired Corri's art for years. She is in inspiration to me and I always look forward to seeing what she's working on. 

Artist: Corri Bristow- Sundell

Age: 35

Occupation: Stay at home/freelance editorial (mostly) illustrator mama who is opening a local foods cafe (with hubby)

From: Little Rock, AR

What kind of art do you make?
It's mostly combined media, I suppose.  A little bit of everything...drawing, painting, collage, cut paper--all mixed up.

What inspires you?
To make art?  Life does!  It's how I best tell my stories.

As a busy mom who works, what motivates you to make art?
Oh, it's just there.  It's me.  Like I said, life inspires and motivates me to tell my (and other people's) stories, and this just happens to be my way.  Some people are great storytellers, others are writers, and I make pictures.

What's next for you?
Well, My husband and I are opening a local foods cafe in downtown Little Rock.  That is, we'll be sourcing our inventory from local farmers and other local businesses.  This is a big change for our family and our lives in general, but it's something we've been working on for a couple of years now, and it's something we care a lot about.  

We've done a lot of catering and stuff like that, so we've made a lot of connections with a lot of the farmers here in Arkansas.   And we just started paying rent on a charming little building downtown.  Setting up is still in the works, but we're moving along.

I'm still making art too.  I have a show at a local gallery here in Little Rock at Gallery 26 in August.

For more info on Corri's Art and her new cafe in Little Rock, AR, see the links below.

Thanks, Corri!   

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ruby Bansal: artist series take 2

Artist Series, take 2
In an effort to showcase what creative folks are doing out there, I've decided to interview them and share a few tidbits about who they are and what they are doing. Since i love fashion, art and design, it's always fun to see what others are doing, especially those who you had no idea were into making stuff. So, that's what this series is about, showcasing people's work that you otherwise might miss. And now... 

Mrs. Ruby Bansal

Ruby,  33,  is a sewer, crafter, blogger and mom of 2 precious children (in no particular order :) and oh by the way, she's also a molecular biology research fellow. She also happens to be a friend of mine, and I really wanted to share her designs with you because they are awesome. 

Q & A

How long have you been sewing, Ruby?
I've been sewing since I was a kid. It all started with a needle and thread and making clothes for my Barbie Doll. I've only really become obsessive in the past few years.

What inspires you to sew?
What doesn't inspire me to sew!  It started with wanting to make stuff for the kids.  Then I discovered amazing designer fabrics and books with great projects and now so many amazing blogs......sometimes the inspiration is overwhelming and i have a hard time focusing.

How do you juggle a being mom, having a career and finding time to work on projects? 
Well, I find time when I can.  In the evenings John (hubby) will play his guitar while I sew or I'll cut fabric while the kids are coloring etc.  More recently Meera (sweet little daughter) has started coming down to my sewing room and having free reign over my scrap drawer. 

I give her some small scissors and a needle and thread and she creates too.  The blogging gets pieced together where I take photos one day, fiddle with photos and upload another and then add text later.  I started keeping a sewing/blogging journal so when I have an idea for a post or project I write in the journal so when I do have free time and I can go back and work on some of my ideas.  The journal has really helped me keep track of ideas and keep the creative juices flowing.

What's next for you?
Keeping it fun. I've been selling off and on in some local stores and have discovered that for me, this is all about enjoying myself.  It's fun to earn a little money to support my fabric shopping habit and to put some beautiful and unique kid and baby stuff out there.  

I enjoy sharing what I make through my blog and it's fun to know that people are interested and maybe feeling a little inspired.  

Love it!

To see more of Ruby's handmade creations, go to:



aren't these cute together?

 How cute is Ruby's stuff? I love it all!
And by the way, Ruby will custom make something just for you or your cutie pie, if you ask nicely~

Thanks Ruby for sharing your beautiful, handmade designs. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Resolutions.

Happy New Year, 2011.

It's that time again. Have you made a New Year's resolution? I asked a few people and their responses varied. One friend said he never really attains the goals, so why bother? Another friend said she wasn't going to list "exercise" again because she never is able to follow through.

Why is it so hard for some of us to accomplish our new year goals? Are they too lofty? Are we so used to not obtaining them, that we automatically give up before we even dare to make new ones. Do you even remember what your resolutions were for 2010? I'm sad to say, I can't, although I could probably find some notes in one of my journals... somewhere.

2010-2011 journal from Adivasi
a pretty place for writing important things
 like resolutions.
This year, I am going to be more careful about my resolutions. I already spend lots of time on intentions, which are really the same as resolutions. But this year, I'm writing them down in a safe spot & I'm making them a bit smarter.

Here's my plan to make attainable goals:

1. Although I could list 10 things I'd like to see happen in 2011, I'm going to limit it to 3. As my brillant career counselor at SIT, Mary Hayward would say, "take the workshop on focusing."   FOCUS. FOCUS. FOCUS.

2. Second, I'm going to put at least one thing that I probably had on my 2010 list, and really try to get it done this time around.

3. Third, I'm going to list a couple of things that I think I can really achieve, and maybe just one that will be more of a challenge.

4. When this time comes around next year, I'll go back and reflect on these words, and hope to check them off my list~ if it turns out that in 2015, 16, 17... that I have the same dull resolutions- well, then I either need some professional help or I need to forget the whole thing, have a chocolate martini and be done with it.

And without further adieu....
Here are my 3 resolutions for 2011:

inspiring quote in my journal
1. I produce 12 entertaining shows this year which will hopefully lead to more creative and lucrative projects. (This is a totally new endeavour for me and very exciting. Risky, but fun.)

2. I exercise once a week. (Don't laugh, last yr. I did not put this on my list and guess what? I didn't exercise, okay, maybe once... but I think it's time. Don't you? And you have to start somewhere.  Geez.)

3.  My savings goes up, my debt goes down. Visa card is paid off by 2011. Now, I'm sure I said this in 2010, and probably 2009, 08, 07... the problem is international travel is quite an expensive hobby and I'm not one to deny myself little luxuries- When my mom sent a cash Christmas gift, she said "Now, Desha, make SURE and spend this on something beautiful for yourself".

pretty pictures in my journal,
so i'll look at it again

And unfortunately, this is NOT a problem, Mom. No worries there. So, if this means I can't go to Mexico this winter, so be it- but that damn Visa will be paid off this year, si Dios quiere.

So again, I ask you, what are your New Year's Resolutions? What are your strategies? Have they worked in the past? Do tell.
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