Naomi S Adams Austin Quilter of Killer Bee Designs

Haystack Mountain School of Crafts – Open Studio Residency

Posted 8/1/15

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I spent two weeks at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts this summer with 45 other artists, six amazing technical assistants and wonderful staff and assistants. This was my first visit to Haystack. Hopefully it was not my last!

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I participated in the third year of the Open Studio Residency at Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine. Thankfully, the initial grant that covered the first three years was recently supplemented by a great donation that will allow the program to continue. Apply in 2016! Do it now!

Moving between studios and working with other artists was a gift. It is not a small thing that we were fed three times a day with enough wonderful food and fresh veggies to make me grin! I definitely ate a truckload of fresh cookies and whipped cream.

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I spent my time in the fibers studio. Mostly with a particle mask on my face. I mailed 20 yards of PFD fabric and 2 pounds of soy wax ahead of time and none of it was white when I left! I brought a few things with me so I could create some new samples for students while I was getting warmed up. After that, I spent my time working dyes, stitched shibori resists, and soy wax batik to create some fabric for pieces.

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I also got to work with the clay technical assistant, Yoko Sekino-Bove, to try throwing on the wheel for the very first time!

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Our fiber technical assistant, Kelly Dzioba, kept several indigo vats going for the residents during our stay. A testament to her patience and awesomeness.

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I had an insanely awesome roommate, a papermaking goddess…Aimee Lee. It was a very brisk and rainy residency with close roommate quarters. Keep in mind I live in Idaho now. It was BRISK. I had to burn the fleece jacket I wore every single day once I returned home. Aimee put up with my sleepless tossing and turning and a myriad of other annoying behaviors on my part. Aimee worked on a wonderful family of ducks during her residency.

The Haystack Open Studio Residency was the first two weeks of June and I just made it home for more than an un-packing/re-packing respite this summer. Over the last two days, I finished painting and stitching one of the pieces from Haystack. This is what it looked like at Haystack:

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And now it is a finished textile piece ready to head into the world:


This piece started with a piece of white PFD fabric that I dyed a couple of times to get a nice base color. Then, I added hand stitched shibori resists and dyed the cloth with a yellow and green dye combo. There wasn’t enough contrast, so I dyed it once more with a blue-green thickened dye paste before I removed the resist stitching. Once I got home, I added fabric painting and machine stitched the piece.

I can’t wait to resolve everything I began at Haystack! As with every other experience getting to know other skilled artists using craft mediums to tell their stories, I am grateful and appreciative of all they do to make the world a more interesting and colorful place.

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