Growing up in Buffalo NY, I know when you hear the snow crunch under your feet and the snow sparkles like diamonds....it's cold out! During my two weeks residency In early February at Ucross Foundation, the weather and COVID regulations kept the artists in residence separate but well cared for. Lunch and Supper were delivered to my studio door by the talented chef, Cindy Brooks, who didn't repeat a meal during the whole two weeks! It's amazing how much work you can get done when you don't have to cook for yourself or anyone else. Most days I worked from 9:00 to 9:00 on the three projects planned for my residency.
Project #1 - To continue my ongoing Thrift Life Ring series. Ucross is about 30 minutes from Sheridan which had two thrift stores I was interested in working with, Urban Thrift and 2nd Hand Blessings, (follow this link for blog posts on the Thrift series.)
Project #2 - A badly damaged, overshot coverlet I found 4 years ago at Bridge Street Thrift in Saratoga WY, was the starting point for this project. Like many old coverlets, it was woven in two panels and then carefully stitched together, matching the pattern so it appeared to be one large weaving. Separating the two panels, I paired one with a Japanese kimono and one with an Indian sari. Upcycling isn't new to either of these countries. Japanese Boro and Indian Kantha are both ancient techniques that saw the value in reclaiming and transforming used textiles.
Project #3 - "What would it be like to create a piece that could undulate and flex? That could be rearranged in different ways each time it was exhibited?" I had begun working with these ideas in my Cheyenne studio but had only gotten about 8 inches constructed. The gift of time I was so generously given at Ucross allowed me to expand that 8 inches into 7 feet!
Thank you Ucross for an amazing two weeks.
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Georgia Rowswell is a mixed media artist living and working in Cheyenne WY.