January 2014 – Updates, Changes and Things

Last year when I started this blog my concept was that this would be the venue to share finished work and projects, portfolio work and updates for anything I was doing professionally. The blog was an off shoot of http://www.htheblog.wordpress.com which is an eclectic mix of works in progress, fibre art experiments, photography and a lot of real life. I decided to start this blog so that the business customers wouldn’t have to wade through posts about things like snowshoeing and collecting tansy for dyes, while those reading “h the blog” for fun would not have to read the business updates. It made sense. What I didn’t gauge for was what an interesting and diverse year 2013 would be. Bigger and more time-consuming projects meant that I was busy but the concept of only showing “finished projects” no longer made sense for this blog. I could work months on a project before it was done or have many projects finish around the same time with no time to blog about them. So with the onset of 2014 I have decided I need to tweak the direction of this blog.

A Catch of 10 (2013) artwork by Debra Hunter naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art 16.5 inches by 7 inches

A Catch of 10
(2013)
artwork by Debra Hunter
naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art
16.5 inches by 7 inches

For 2014 I will continue to show the finished work, projects and portfolio work. I will also share business updates, show information and product information. In addition to this I am going to aim to do one or two “work in progress” posts a month to give a little insight into what is up and coming and also how items are created. On Wednesdays I will also be aiming to produce an image of the city of Red Deer for “Wordless Wednesday; this is a way for me to continually produce a folio documenting the city. This may expand to two other areas we frequent as the year goes on.

Now that you have read all my plans for 2014, lets move onto some updates and some “works in progress”. I plan to revisit many of these in-depth in future posts, but for now here is a little taste of what is going on.

blog coffee sweater 10The last month I have been very busy making coffee sweaters. A great little item made of yarns I dye by hand and hand knit. I have been updating my website ( http://www.thehuntergroup.ca ) plus they are also being sold at Sunworks in Red Deer, Alberta. It seems every time I get a stockpile made they are off to new homes.

blog coverI finished the illustrations for “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” by Kathy Weisse. I will have a blog post about the book coming up soon.

blog c m headshot

blog speech caep

A corporate shooting job, including head shots and event photography, kept me busy for quite a while and was completed just before Christmas.

blog stitching work in progressI have three fibre art pieces in progress. All are dealing with Alberta imagery. All are hand dyed with natural dyes. All are hand stitched and hand beaded. All are taking a very long time to complete. There will probably be many updates in the future regarding these pieces.

Driftwood Bracelet #1

Driftwood Bracelet #1

The naturally dyed and hand tied bracelets are also being worked on. I love these pieces and want to keep them all for myself!

In addition to all this I am currently developing another useable art item (development takes time and a lot of experimentation!) and test driving new materials for the coffee sweaters and bracelets, plus the studio floor is about to be “tweaked” (what a saga!).

I think adding work in progress to this blog will keep it a lot more interesting. I hope you will enjoy following all that I get up to in 2014!

(If you are interested, bracelets and coffee sweaters are available through our website http://www.thehuntergroup.ca , we take Paypal and ship throughout Canada.)

Debra Hunter
Studio H & Hunter Photographics
photography, art, fibre art useables and wearables, illustration
http://www.thehuntergroup.ca

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A Catch of 10 (2013) – Fibre Art – Red Deer, Alberta

A Catch of 10 (2013) artwork by Debra Hunter naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art 16.5 inches by 7 inches

“A Catch of 10”
(2013)
artwork by Debra Hunter
naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art
16.5 inches by 7 inches

“A Catch of 10” is finally finished after many, many hours of dyeing and stitching and beading. My estimate is that this piece took over 75 hours of work from start to finish.  This piece was started with a purpose in mind from the very beginning, it is a piece that was created for a silent auction for a local fundraiser.

The fundraiser is  for the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. The theme of this year’s exhibition is “10”. The show will be on display from November 11th to 15th, with the closing reception being at the gallery on Friday November 15th from 6pm to 8 pm. If you really like this piece, feel free to contact the gallery and place a bid on it.

“A Catch of 10” is a “labour of love” type of piece. All the fabrics, threads and yarns that create the piece are dyed by hand in tiny batches with natural dyes.  The dyes I make by hand, however some of them I have an even greater role in creating; the yellow-gold color in the background is a dye made from marigolds that have been grown from seed, cared for in my flowerbeds and planters, and then harvested to create dyes at the end of their lives. This is environmentally friendly art.

The “fish” in the piece are actually prints made from a lino cut I created for this work. To create the “fish”, first the image was drawn on paper and transferred to a lino block, the block was then carved to leave only the areas to be printed. I then modified the natural dye with a thickener, brushed on the dye, held my breath, and printed the fish one by one. Let’s just say the printing made for a very stressful afternoon as one slip up and all would be lost.

Once the “fish” were printed the fun began. Hours and hours of hand stitching and hand beading. I love beading. I love how it has been used historically in so many cultures. Beading is very addictive.

The imagery continues to follow my present theme of things and places that are local. I think it is important to embrace our surroundings and culture, it’s honest. I had wanted to do a fish piece for a while but I wanted a local connection, and then it came to me that people go fishing all the time, why not do the catch of the day. I know there will be more pieces featuring fish in the future as it was just too much fun stitching and beading them. The next “fish” piece is being plotted as I write.

If you are looking to check out some local art from Alberta artists pop down to the gallery this coming week. It is located at 4924 Ross Street, Red Deer on the second floor. It is a great way to spend a snowy day.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
paintings, fibre art, photography, eco dyed bracelets
www.thehuntergroup.ca
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Gosling Illustration – Red Deer Illustrator

blog gosling

Here is the first peek at the illustrations I am working on  for a local author. She wanted cute, simple and sweet. I think it fits the bill. It has been an interesting project in a very good way.  I will share more illustrations in the days to come, and of course the book details when it is time.

Debra Hunter
art, illustration, fibre art and photography
http://www.thehuntergroup.ca
Red Deer, AB, Canada

“Rose Leaf Eco-print Scarf” (2013)

rose leaf eco print scarf

“Rose Leaf Eco-print Scarf” (2013)

11 inches by 60 inches

100% silk scarf eco-printed with the natural dyes released from rose leaves; colors are then enhanced with a final post mordant dip.

The rose leaves are sourced directly from our garden. This process allows for a beautiful image to be imprinted on the silk. The resulting leaf print has an almost a fossil-like look.

(This item is currently reserved.)

Please visit my website at www.thehuntergroup.ca .

rose leaf eco print detailrose leaf eco print detail

Peony Scarf (June 2013)

peony ecoprint scarf (2013)“Peony Eco-print Scarf”
(2013)

11 inches by 60 inches

100% silk scarf eco-printed with the natural dyes released from the peony leaves; colors are then enhanced with a final post mordant dip.

The peony leaves are sourced directly from our garden. This process allows for a beautiful image to be imprinted on the silk. The resulting leaf print has an almost a fossil-like look.

(This item is currently reserved.)

Please visit my website at www.thehuntergroup.ca

peony scarf detailpeony scarf detail

“Flower Garden” (2013)

flower garden blog” Flower Garden” (2013)

dimensions : 16 inches by 20 inches

media: silk hand dyed with hand-crafted natural dyes, embellished with cotton, bamboo and silk thread, and accented with glass beads

flower garden detail

 

“Flower Garden” is a fun piece, a little folk-artsy, a little child-like, and a whole lot of beads. The red beads in the border total just under 2800 beads alone….I didn’t work out how many beads the whole piece contains, I’m not quite that insane. Unfortunately the little pictures in the blog don’t really show the texture, the shimmer, and the detail the piece contains; it is a piece that really needs to be seen (and touched) in person.