Thursday, September 06, 2007

Adventures in DFW

I had the most delightful excursion on Wednesday evening. I had heard rumblings about an amazing place in Fort Worth (well... almost in Fort Worth, it's actually in North Richland Hills, but whatever). Something about a mother and daughter team who had a creative, inspiring and quite successful business booming. I got to meet Megan -- the daughter -- at a recent Dallas Area Fiber Arts meeting and I knew I had to find my way to Ten Seconds Studio.

They specialize in metal embossing tools and materials... and so much more! You may have seen them vending at a recent quilt show or mixed media event. They're everywhere!

Then I saw in their newsletter that Michael DeMeng is coming to teach. Wow! That's quite a coup for a little independent studio. You remember I took a class from Michael last summer. You can read about my enlightening and somewhat embarrassing experience here and here. I was not able to take another class from Michael this weekend... but wait...

There's going to be a book signing! And not just with Michael...

but also with Rice Freeman-Zachary! I've known that name for years having followed her work and writing in many of my favorite magazines. (By the way her name rhymes with Lisa. I know you were wondering, because I overheard at least four other people asking about the correct pronunciation.)

And not just Michael and Rice, but all James Michael Starr! I'll admit I wasn't familiar with his work, but I am now! (Be sure to check out his website, it's an amazing scavenger hunt through his work, inspiration and creative madness! Plus, you know how much I adore handwriting.)

The event was a joyous celebration of Rice's new book Living the Creative Life.

Run right on over to Amazon and put it on your Wishlist. Seriously, I'll wait. Ok. It's fabulous. Rice interviewed 15 working artists (including Michael and James Michael... but also others you'll recognize including art quilters Bean Gilsdorf, Wendy Huhn and Susan Shie). The book is full of a dynamic discussion of question like: Where do your ideas come from? Do you believe in the muse? Do you use a sketch book? Plus, the layout of the book is deliciously inspirational. It feels like a journal or a conversation or a scrapbook -- or the very best combination of all of those things. And it's a perfect little square format.... just right for stashing in tote bag along with a sketch book and a bit of embroidery.

It's published by Northlight who also did Michael's book, The Secrets of Rusty Things.

I had a wonderful conversation with Rice about Northlight taking some risks in publishing art/craft/creative books about inspiration and process rather than just recipes and techniques. How exciting. They also did Kaleidoscope which I also adored.

When I arrived at Ten Second Studio, I could hardly get past the entry way which was filled with stunning calligraphy, assemblage and several of Rice's Journal Skirts. Finally I made my way into the studio room which was full of people chatting, drinking wine and perusing all the art on the walls, tables and shelves.

Here are James Michael and Rice before the panel discussion.Isn't that collection of giant metal letters amazing!?!

The crowd enjoyed a panel discussion of "the creative life" including Picasso's assertion to "RISK EVERYTHING!" And the struggle for confidence in the artistic process. And the inspiration of collaborating with other artists.

Following the discussion, each of the artists signed my book and everyone had an opportunity to talk personally with Rice, Michael and James Michael -- and with the others at the event. I left feeling quite inspired.

And I didn't even tell you about meeting some friends for dinner before hand. **Best. Stuffed. Mushrooms. Ever.**


Kristin L said...

WOW! All I can say is wow!

Anonymous said...


Sounds like you had a really fun day.
Looking forward to getting the book.

Karoda said...

What a happening day!