Monday, January 25, 2016

Update #3

Jan 19 2016

Stone Rubbings on Fabric

Perhaps you've once upon a time taken a rubbing from an old gravestone- a practice now frowned upon, often illegal, as it hastens the breakdown of the surface of the carved stone. It's an exciting technique, as the surface textures are captured and the image comes to life under our fingers. With a little skill, the process can produce incredibly beautiful work. Alas, in the interest of maintaining our historic stonework in cemeteries and on monuments, we must restrain our hand. 

No such restriction applies to my own stone work in relief, and one day I got nudged by someone close to try the idea of a rubbing from my own carving, just so he could have it hung up to enjoy in his study every day. After some experimentation I discovered a way to make it work, which involved high quality, firm art crayons and heavy papers.

large rubbing on paper, "Torn"

I kind of hate caring for paper! and the large rolls getting crushed and the difficulty and expense of framing some of the larger pieces. So, I tried it on cloth, seeking out colors and textures in the fabrics that echoed the stone, lichens, old trees and mosses often found in the many places of the standing stones. 

making a rubbing

You can try it as well, from some of my previously completed relief work right in my studio. This is a first time ever, one time only offer extended only through this Kickstarter. Though I have taught a class in how to carve relief to get the best rubbings, I have NEVER before allowed anyone to take rubbings from my work besides me! For a pledge of $75, we'll spend a couple hours in my studio creating your rubbing with your choice of the available fabrics and colors. It's composition, size and shape will be up to you. We'll have a pot of tea and some snacks while we work, either one on one or in a small group

And, if you would like a rubbing of your own, without heading to the mills of Warren, RI, we can arrange that as well. For a pledge of $50, I will send you one of the rubbings of this piece, a special favorite, with a couple possible color/style options available. Just message me about your preferences or interests...for example, perhaps you'd like a mostly blues and greens rubbing, or that you would love one in earth tones. And, if some different image of my relief stonework or its rubbing captures your attention, let me know, and we may be able to customize a rubbing just for you! 

New Moon

"New Moon" double rubbing

I am packing wildly this morning, as the plane leaves tonight for the big trip to London! If you'd pledge before I leave it would be so very encouraging! 

-Laura T

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Update #2

Jan 15 2016
Almost Brigid's Day

One of my rewards is a traditional Brigid's cross, handmade by me from reeds I gather near my little studio in South Kingstown Rhode Island, packed as a unique gift. I've been making these for many years, and sharing them on my Etsy shop.

Brigid's Day is February 1, and make no mistake about it, I chose that as my last day of this Kickstarter for a reason. Brigid's Day, also known as Candlemas or Imbolc, marks a division in the winter season, the quickening of life as sap starts to rise in the trees and lambs are born. The holiday is utterly Celtic, and still celebrated in Ireland by the gathering of reeds and the making of these small crosses. Brigid herself is second only to Patrick among the saints of Ireland and is the patroness of fire, smithing, tools, animal husbandry, hospitality and poetry.

Since she's in charge of the iron tools I use, the season we are about to enter, and remains the most Celtic of saints, I thought it appropriate to share something of Brigid in this project! As the first tiny stirrings before Spring come our way I'll be in the studio, forming inspiration - slowly,gradually -into stonework.

I include a card that explains the traditions and customs surrounding the Brigid's cross with every package. I've shipped these all over the world, even to Ireland. They make a lovely housewarming gift or a special favor for a hostess. Put one near your hearth to protect your home from fire.

Many, many thanks to all who have pledged so far. I'm busily packing for my trip and finishing up work in the studio. I am looking forward to hearing from a few more of you soon, before I get on that plane on Tuesday! Any questions at all, please contact me!


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Want to take a class? Decide before February 1: it will support my Kickstarter!

Stone Carving Classes as Your Reward

Hey everyone! I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you about my stone carving class and workshop coming right up, to give everyone a more complete picture of what that reward looks like! If you choose to support my project at the $125 level,  you will be able to choose ANY class I offer in 2016 or 2017 as your reward, or you may give the reward as a gift to a friend or family member and let them choose the right experience for themselves. 
These examples are scheduled- and are certainly available to supporters! But, if these dates don't suit, no worries, I'm planning to set up supporters with special dates, not available to the general public. You'll get your choice of a spot in a regularly scheduled class (and I will have several possibilities) or a "supporters only" group. Any questions at all, just contact me! 
carving a water smoothed beach stone
carving a water smoothed beach stone
Weekend Workshop: Relief Carving Intensive in Limestone at Laura Travis Carving: Spend a weekend learning to carve stone! All levels are welcome in this two day workshop, February 20-21, 9:30 am -4 pm at Laura Travis Carving, 219A. Ages 14 and up. Beginners are a specialty! Bring an idea for a design or find one when you get here. $125 includes use of all tools and one stone.
what are all these tools for? find out!
what are all these tools for? find out!
NEW! Tuesdays Rock! Weekly Stone carving class at Laura Travis Carving March 1 to 22 6 to 8:30 pm. A highly personalized, in-studio class in carving stone for a limit of 5 people. If you ever wanted to “dig in” in a small group, with every tool at your fingertips, and work towards completing a special project, this is the class for you. It’s great for relief carvers looking to get some experience in carving in the round. Beginners are always welcome and will find this a very supportive setting. Soapstone carving in the round and limestone carving in the round or in relief are all options. $125 for four weeks of class at studio 219A, stone and some materials additional. 
I've had a number of folks purchase one of my classes as a special gift. Another favorite way to enjoy a class has been fathers and sons or sisters or several members of a school arts faculty take the class together! And you'll be pleased to know that most people do some pretty impressive work even during the first class. Have a look:
student work in a carving class
student work in a carving class
 and then there was this group of hotshots:
student work
student work
 If you are inspired to take one of my classes as your reward, I'd be thrilled! Since this Kickstarter only lasts until February 1, if you make a pledge now, you've assured your place in a special session for supporters, or the class of your choice, going forward. Same goes if you decide to make this a gift. Please send me any and all questions! 
And thank you! 

    Saturday, January 9, 2016

    Am I really retired?

    I am in my new studio, lying on the couch, a day or two after year has turned. It's now 2016, I'm on the couch in my new studio. I've been retired since June from my hectic, all- absorbing high school art teaching job. Right now,  I am contemplating a long list of things I need to do in the month of January. I don't feel very retired!

    But they say, artists don't retire. They never retire. And the last thing I want to do is retire from being an artist. I am about to launch my very first for kick starter campaign, and I'm hopeful, but truly wondering if I will get support for it. The kick starter is to support the longest journey I'll probably ever make just to look at Art. It's for me to go to London to visit the British Museum, which is hosting the largest collection of Celtic art ever assembled. And it's closing the end of January, so I better move fast.

    People use kick starter to get lots of things done, including amass giant wads of money to get certain objects manufactured and also print out CDs, which is how most of the people I know have had use for crowdfunding. My manufacturing process is simple: get me a chisel and hammer and a chunk of limestone and wait a couple weeks, or a month, and then you can have some art. Almost nothing can speed this up. I think this is a good thing.

    But this is like a band going on tour, or going to 100 workshops made just to suit me. I have to get there. I will get there, it's just that when I get back, I'm going to want to bury myself in limestone and hammers and chisels and not come out until spring or maybe even June. And if I don't get some help, instead I might have to go and get some kind of part time employment. To pay the bills from the trip. And the work won't get as done as fast. And the thing is, the work- the sculpture, the ideas, the making-  that's why am doing the kick starter, really. The trip is inspiration for the work. And the real plan is to have a show with in a year and a half of the work I produced as a result of seeing this absolutely landmark show. It's a once-in-a-lifetime exhibit for me to see. Doing a kick starter will not only force me to make work to give to the supporters of this kick starter, it will force me to have a show of the work that I made. 

    And, it will force me to get this blog started again! So welcome back!