Friday, February 5

Wishing you all Friday Mornings...

I love Friday mornings. All the hope of the weekend rousing me awake and charging me even better than the sugar laden coffee I am drinking now. The weekend for me usually means some studio time! It may just be an hour here or a few minutes there, but it is time down there creating. I cherish it. I strive every day to be creative in one way or another and bless my family with it. My creativity I have learned is a heavenly gift. It is not mine to hoard but meant to be shared.

Today I want to give you the words of Camille from Camille Wanders…”It's important to create something, anything at all, every day. It might be a batiked purse, a wire-wrapped pendant, a poem, or a fantastic bowl of chili. Albert Einstein said, "Creativity is contagious. Pass it on." Yes, there's artistry in mathematics as well. Try something new, strive to improve, and pass it on to someone else.”

And in keeping with the sharing, today I give you ….

Camille Wanders

Camille is a multi talented artisan. Her batik work is what captured my eye. I spent a lot of time in my younger years doing batiking and I know it is a very delicate, time consuming process. It is both exhilarating and tragic because it seems the piece always has a mind of its own and it doesn’t not always correlate with the desire we have for it or the direction we wanted it to go. Meaning, you work your tail off only to have a muddy colored rag with unidentifiable smudges. To produce work of quality takes an amazing dedication and talent to the craft.

Batik is a process of layering was upon fabric, dying the fabric, waxing it again, dying it again in successive layers to build up the design. Batik requires immense planning, knowledge of colors, fabric and dye, it takes enormous patience, a steady hand and an great amounts of fore thought.

Camille has been batiking for about 10 years now. She and a friend jumped right into it with out even realizing they would at some point need to remove the wax from the fabric. They had read enough of the instructions to get to the fun part, but skipped reading he last of the instructions. But what a very way to learn than to jump right in. From what I read about Cammile she seems the “jump right in” kind of gal and I love her adventurous, nontraditional spirit.

I will let her tell you more in her own words.

“My name is Teri, but I sort of adopted the name Camille years ago as an identifier for my alter-ego. She's the wandering one, the curious one, the one willing to take a leap without looking. No one is completely left-brain or right-brain, so when I think of trying a new technique, my alter-ego kicks in to ease the nasty self-doubt. I think it's part of the creative process. I've attempted pieces that have been failures, but there's no way to expand and build on them if I never attempted the failure in the first place.

My family is incredibly supportive. I count myself lucky that I was raised in a creative home, my dad has constructed beautiful carpentry work and my mom is an amazing oil painter. I'm recently married, and though my husband is more into building the ultimate gaming computer than looking at eco-friendly fabric swatches, I count on him for his honest, critical eye.

I wandered to the southwest 5 years ago, only because I wanted a change of scenery and thought the desert sounded nice after living in Michigan. I'm east of Phoenix, and have found it to be a great source of inspiration. Whether one lives in Oregon, Maine, Louisiana, and so on, there's always a source of local culture and art that just isn't found anywhere else. Yes indeedy, July is a bit hot, but the trade is that I get a beautiful blooming desert in February.

I learned batik when I lived in northern California ten years ago. A friend of mine had a sewing machine and had heard of this technique with dye and wax. It was fun, and messy, and a challenge when we got to the part where we needed to remove the wax from the fabric. Neither of us had thought to get instructions, we just sort of jumped in.

It's very important to me that the entire process of my craft is as eco-friendly as I can make it. It's an ongoing learning process, as at the same time I have to stand by the integrity of what I make. The permanent dyes I use are low impact, I use minimal water, and I batik sustainable fabric.

Batiking and sewing has been a hobby of mine, and I think I was only recently ready to sort of throw it out there for the world to see and sell online. I'm more confident than I was a year ago, and it has encouraged me to keep learning and growing. It's one thing for my sister to say she likes the purse I gave her, she has to as her sisterly duty. It's quite another to ask someone to pay me for what I've made and be told that it's a great piece.

A handmade creation has a story. It was a vision, there was a process, and, sometimes with a bit of serendipity, there's a unique end result. By buying and selling the uniqueness that started as a vision, the story keeps going.”

And it does keep going. Each of us touches another , I know I for one have grown from each story I have put on the blog. I have grown artistically, I have grown in my awareness to social issues, I have grown in friendships. So very true! All the stories-a creator and their art never really ends, forever Friday mornings filled with hope.

Happy Creating y'all!
The Bumpkin

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