robert shaw: the democratic art :: Okan Arts

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robert shaw: the democratic art

robert shaw: the democratic art

by guest blogger Robert Shaw, an American quilt expert, author and dealer. SHELBURNE VT  The subtitle of my recently updated book on American quilts is The Democratic Art. I am not talking about politics here, but “small d” democracy. To my mind, quiltmaking is a quintessentially democratic art, available to almost everyone. Anyone with basic sewing […] +more


creativity: it grows on trees

creativity: it grows on trees

by guest blogger Joe Cunningham (aka Joe The Quilter) SAN FRANCISCO CA  If you make things, people will often say to you: “Oh, you are so creative. I could never do that.” I understand. Sometimes I feel like saying to my wife, the dancer turned Pilates trainer: “Oh, you are so physical. I could never do that.” Well, […] +more


grace hawley: born to hawaiian quilt

grace hawley: born to hawaiian quilt

by Patricia Belyea LA CONNER WA  Living on a 3.5 mile-long island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for over a dozen years sounds a little confining. Or, if you’re Grace Hawley, it’s a perfect place to learn a new skill. Grace took a Hawaiian Quilting adult education class in 1985 and, since then, hasn’t stopped […] +more


caryl bryer fallert-gentry: queen of quilts

caryl bryer fallert-gentry: queen of quilts

by Patricia Belyea PORT TOWNSEND WA  When I arrived at Ron and Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry’s home, I was surprised by the mammoth sculpture emerging in the middle of their circular driveway. Woodcarver Stanley Rill was transforming a 20′ cedar tree stump into an art piece topped with a great blue heron. Originally the tree overwhelmed the whole front of the […] +more


elin noble: ethereal installation

elin noble: ethereal installation

by Patricia Belyea LA CONNER WA  Last Thursday night Elin Noble’s Vox Stellarum, an installation of itajime sihbori-dyed panels, transformed the third floor gallery of La Conner Quilt & Textile Musuem. Floating from the ceiling, 29 double lengths of silk organza created an experiential display shimmering with translucency and opaqueness, overlapping patterns and shifting shapes. Elin explained her itajime dyeing […] +more


the imperfect, the patched, the torn — joy and beauty in these states

the imperfect, the patched, the torn — joy and beauty in these states

by guest blogger Roderick Kiracofe, quilt collector, consultant and author SAN FRANCISCO CA  As I worked on creating my just published book, Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below The Radar 1950-2000, I thought back to the seven years leading up to the release of The American Quilt in 1993. Although I had an early Apple computer, back then most of […] +more


karen farmer: my quilting muse

karen farmer: my quilting muse

By Patricia Belyea LONDON, UK  I saw Karen Farmer’s Jitterbug (below L) in a quilting magazine before I started on my commission Family Guy (below R). Once finished, I became so self-conscious about the similarity of our quilts that I emailed Karen in the UK to discuss my concern. Karen replied, “I am so happy that […] +more