Susie Monday

Artist, maker, teacher, author, head cook and bottlewasher.

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The art I make is the result of a life-long love of pattern, texture and color. How I teach is a skill honed by experience (I started teaching creative arts to younger kids when I was 12). After earning a B.A. in Studio Arts from Trinity University, I helped lead an internationally recognized educational foundation, designed curriculum exhibits for schools and other institutions, wrote and edited for a major daily newspaper, opened the San Antonio Children's Museum and then, a dozen years ago, took the scary but essential (for me) leap to become a fulltime artist and art teacher.

About This Blog

This weblog is about the maker's life. The teacher's path. The stitching and dyeing and printing of the craft of art cloth and art quilt. The stumbling around and the soaring, the way the words and the pictures come together. Poetry on the page and in the piecing of bright scraps together. The inner work and the outer journeys to and from. Practicalities and flights of fancy and fearful grandeur, trivial pursuits and tactile amusements. Expect new postings two or three times a week, unless you hear otherwise. 

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    Entries in surface design (4)


    Surface Design In*ter*face/Sofa to Love

    If you aren't a member of SDA, the conference coming up in San Antonio is reason enough to join. The speeches, exhibits and panels are fab, and the city will be filled with fiber art. AND, if you can, come early or stay late for one of the workshops -- from jewelry to magnetic fields to amazineg skyscraper sized weavings, ther eis something planned to feed every creative spirit around. I suspect the city will have a wonderful web of buzz and energy holding up the streets!

    The workshops that are low in enrollment will be cancelled April 15, so if you have not yet signed up, take a look here on the SDA conference site. 

    Here's a tantilizing look at one artist who is teaching: FerroFabric by Jenny Leary, and more here on her award-winning collaborative blog, Puff&Flock.

    And, as the internet is such a gift-giver, here's a totally unrelated post from other members of Puff and Flock, a sofa to love:

    And here's more from Jenny: (icecream is a bonus,love the music)


    It's in the Bag: in*ter*face

    Mandala made by Austin artist Virginia Fleck from recycled plastic bags; this design (as well as several others) is also a free ecard you can send!


    SDA (Surface Design Conference) is holding its conference here in San Antonio. Find out more here. 

    I hope you are planning to come to the conference this June. The lineup of speakers and workshops is fabulous. My pre-workshop study tour to see embellished Fiesta gowns -- and a stop by SDA president Jane Dunewold's new studio -- is already filled! But lots of fun is still to be had.

    Meanwhile, start making an upcycled bag to share, trade and make famous. The whole upcycling by artist world is a rich one, and you can join in with this little collective -- and social -- project.

    IT'S IN THE BAG! from SDA President Jane Dunnewold 
    Interface logo
    WHAT IS SNAG-A-BAG? We're all very aware of waste in the studio. So I got the idea to take those bags we all have hanging around & up-cycle them to create
    re-purposed conference totes. 

    Cynics may say it's just a way to save SDA money. But my vision includes inviting you to exercise your talent while stimulating new contact between SDA members AND making every SDA dollar count - all at once.

    HOW? Bring an upcycled carry-all to in*ter*face conference & exchange it for a new one. The conference won't even have started and you'll feel good. Feel even better when you see your bag across a crowded room (Some Enchanted Evening?) & slide on over there to talk it up & introduce yourself as The Artist Who Made the Bag. I can hardly wait to see this happening in San Antonio!

    LOCAL BAG ACTION! We're already allover this in Texas. So why not PLAN A UPCYCLING EVENT for your local SDA friends & colleagues? SendSnag-A-Bag Conference Totes an invite. Pool your supplies. Rev up the sewing machines. This could be even bigger than the conference! Spend a morning transforming some bags then bring/send them to San Antonio. Your creativity will boost our collective economy. Bags not snapped up by conference attendees will be sold on SDA website - with proceeds going to support member programs. 


    For some truely inspired plastic bag art (way past bags) take a look at the work of Virgina Fleck (photo above from her website). I'm hopeing it will inspire my attempts -- using bags collaged on bags!

    From her website:

    Since 2002, Virginia Fleck has been working exclusively with recycled plastic bags creating site specific, ecologically conscious art works that have been commissioned for several high profile, green building projects including the US Embassy in Rwanda, Whole Foods World Head Quarters in Austin TX, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis TN and Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin TX -the first hospital in the world to attain LEED platinum certification. Fleck is a featured artist in the book, recently published by Random House:  Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In.

     Fleck was born in New York City. She began making artwork in childhood and eventually studied at two art schools: Portland School of Art in Portland, Maine and at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.  In 1990 Fleck moved to Austin, Texas where she continues her work as a visual artist.


    And for more amazing art made from recycled materials, close to home at the Southwest School of Art in San Antonio see Anita Valencia's installation inspired by West Texas, completely from recycled stuff. The show closes on Sunday, so hurry, hurry. (By the way, for any of you complaining about your age out there, Anita is 80.)

    This week is the final week you can see Anita Valencia's Sun She Rise, Sun She Set & You Ain't Seen Texas Yet; Justin Boyd's Days & Days; and Juan de Dios Mora's Laters! at the Southwest School of Art.

    The final day to see Mora's exhibition at the Ursuline Campus is Friday, Feb. 8. The gallery closes at 5pm. The final day to see Valencia and Boyd's exhibitions at the Navarro Campus is Sunday, Feb. 10. The galleries close at 4pm


    PS If you are not going to the conference, you can also recycle unwanted conference bags here:!individual

    PPS: VIrginia Fleck has an opening in South Austin tonight:


    Live, on a screen near you!



    The Quilting Arts people launched my video workshop this week. Take a peek. Buy it now! I am so jazzed to see this, especially since I thought I was really lame in the first part of the taping, but they know how to edit a segment...

    Here's what the newsletter says:

    Mixed-Media Textile Art Workshop DVD Available Now!

    Be among the first to take Susie Monday's new workshop!  Mixed-Media Textile Art, the newest of our Cloth Paper Scissors Workshop™ DVDs, is now available. Get ready to take your mixed-media textile art to the next level with Susie's masterful demonstrations.  At your own convenience and in the comfort of your own home or studio, you can explore new techniques and enhance your design skills.


    You can order from Interweave in the link below, or wait til I get wholesale copies that I can autograph and personalize for your library -- and I'll include a few pdf downloadable related lessons, too!


    Mixed-Media Textile Art (DVD)


    And while you're shopping, you might want to take a look at Jane Dunnewald's new DVD on screenprinting. It's a perfect complement to my DVD if you don't know anything about prepping a screen or making your own -- even this preview will get you started!


    Surface Design Technique: Polyester Film Transfers

    Polyester film transfer on cotton, "Century Plant

    I am doing some transfers of photos using polyester film (it's a wet media product made for graphic artists) with my ink-jet printer and then adding gel medium or fabric medium to melt and blend the photographic images-- which also makes them permanent (if a bit stiff). This spiral piece also has a thermofax screen print ontop (the charcoal dotty stuff).



    This is a logical progression from some of the screened water-soluble medium work that I also have been doing lately.

    And what is it with the nature imagery. I hope I am not turning into the quilt art equivalent of a boring bluebonnet painter....

    Let me know what you think. Should I quilt these as whole cloth quilts?