Typically, a new design begins with four to six 12″ x 12″ blocks. If the design is successful it may become a full-size photoquilt. Individual blocks are available for purchase framed or unframed. Contact me for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I created this photoquilt block for a show at Global Gallery, a coffee shop that also sells handcrafted fair trade items from around the world. The theme of the show was the Clintonville Farmers Market, the hub of which is Global Gallery. The market features an array of vendors that sell fresh produce, local meats and cheeses, coffee, honey, flowers, and more. People from around the neighborhood, and throughout the city, make a pilgrimage every Saturday. In addition to all of the great stuff for sale, I really enjoy the community spirit and civic pride on display. One of my favorite features is the bike corral, which is operated by Baer Wheels, a local bike shop across the street from the market. They will keep an eye on your bike while you shop the market so that you don’t have to worry about your bike riding off without you. The original photo of the corral is below.
Original image for Ohio Star: Clintonville Farmers Market
Although there are lots of colorful sights at the market, this image is the one that stuck out for me. First, the bike corral may not be the first feature you think about when you think about the Farmers Market, but it’s a useful service that helps people get to the market under their own power, which I think is fantastic. Second, I really like the colors in the mural on the half wall. It’s an interesting wedge of rainbow that breaks up the larger areas of brick and concrete. Finally, I love the random lines and angles of the bike frames, wheels, and shadows. When they are reflected in their mirror images, they kaleidoscope off in all kinds of interesting directions. In the detail below, you can see how the bike parts and mortar lines between the bricks line up to create this effect.
Detail of Ohio Star: Clintonville Farmers Market
This 12″ x 12″ block is available for purchase, framed or unframed. Please contact me directly for pricing and other details. See more 12″ blocks or 24″ blocks.
This photoquilt was inspired by a show at Wild Goose Creative, called What Is It About This Place? A Neighborhood Art Show Featuring Works by or About Glen Echo, SoHud, and Clintonville, Ohio. It is part of my series of Ohio Star photoquilts, which incorporate the Ohio Star quilt pattern and feature places around Ohio. This one began with this picture of the gazebo at the Park of Roses in Clintonville, which is a neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. I took the picture just before sunset, which accounts for both the silhouette of the structure and the color of the sky, which fades from bright blue to yellow to orange.
Original image for Ohio Star: Park of Roses
As with my other Ohio Star photoquilts, I used a different part of the original photo for each row of blocks in the quilt, which is why the different kaleidoscopic shapes evolve from the top to the bottom. The geometric latice-work of the top also contrasts with the curling filigree scrolls of the railing, creating unique and interesting shapes when they meet in different parts of the quilt.
Close up of Ohio Star: Park of Roses
Closer close up of Ohio Star: Park of Roses
This photoquilt was on display at Wild Goose Creative for the month of July, 2017. Even if you’re not able to get there in time for this show, check them out. They are a great, non-profit community arts organization that is worthy of your support.
Photo of the opening at Wild Goose Creative by Erin Aluise, used with permission.
I have wanted to make mandalas for a long time. I’ve watched the Dali Lama’s monks make a mandala out of colored sand — an exacting, days-long process that was only complete when the sand was swept up and tossed into a local river. I’ve also had a copy of Paula Nadelstern’s Kaleidoscope Quilts – The Workbook for years, and, even though she walks the reader through several of her kaleidoscopes step-by-step, I have never fully wrapped my head around her process. I’ve even made a photoquilt of snowflakes formed from images of tree tops. But only recently did I finally resolve to take the first step on my journey towards making a mandala; I sat down with some photos and started cutting them into different shapes.
As I began cutting and sewing, I noticed that it was the mechanical images that seemed to work best in the mandalas. There was something about the details of the wires and tubes, bolts and chrome, metal and paint that creating compelling shapes from a distance but also held interesting details close up.
I worked with automotive images previously in my Wheels photoquilt, but this was from a different perspective. Whether you know your engines (“Hey, is that a flathead?”) or you find everything under the hood to be a bit mysterious (“What do you call that doohickey?”) there is something for your eye to explore and reflect on. Once I realized motors were my ticket, I made some prints from pictures I took at various car show this summer and got to work.
For about a week straight, I made a mandala a day, which was it’s own sort of meditative process. Some of the mandalas contain two or three different engines mashed together, others contrast a swath of paint from a fender or two with the concrete that the cars were parked on when I photographed them. Sometimes you can pick out valve covers and spark plug wires, other times there are just lines and shapes formed from assorted metalwork. In all of them, I noticed that when angular, robotic faces started to emerge from the shapes I knew the mandala was revealing itself to me.
I wouldn’t say I found inner peace in this work, at least not yet. But I have learned a lot about how to make mandalas. For me, creating art is about the process; I develop rules for what works and what does not, I iterate, I ameliorate. To make a mandala, I had to just start somewhere and just start making something. I had to take that first step.
The Ohio State Fair attracts almost a million visitors to Columbus each summer. Whether you go for the animals, the butter cow, the deep-fried foods, the games, or the rides, as the cliche goes, there is something for everyone. This photoquilt came out of a series of panoramas I took at the fair in 2015. In this photo, both the straight and the curved lines of the ferris wheel reflect and refract against the cloudy blue sky as fairgoers stream past or line up for a ride. The wheel never fully resolves into a circle, instead merging into its neighbors, each of which is held in place by red steel girders which sometimes float in the sky. The overall effect is like that of a zipper, stitching the fair to the sky.
I usually choose more austere subjects for my quilts because I tend to be drawn to clean lines and shapes, like in the Columbus Museum of Art. But there are times, like in Ohio Stadium, when I can’t avoid a crowd, which usually sprials off into a tunnel of heads and feet. When I use pictures with cleaner shapes, I feel like I have more control. But, sometimes, I need to step outside of my comfort zone to see what happens when I start with a photo that is a bit messier and less organized. Sometimes art, like life, and like the state fair, can be a bit messy and hard to control.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is one of the finest zoos in the country. Opened in 1927 and made famous by Jack Hanna, the Zoo has recently opened polar and African savanna regions. On a recent school field trip with my youngest daughter, I was wondering how I would capture this sprawling place in one photo. The front gates make a nice picture, and the manatees are a unique favorite, but neither one could really be framed in the way I wanted. Fortunately, we made our way to the polar bears during feeding time. There was a crowd up top, so we moved down below the water, where the bears were diving in and swimming around after bits of fish that were being tossed in by the keepers. The fish that swim with the bears were also enjoying a meal. With everything swimming around and the morning sun shining through the water, I got several interesting pictures of the bears, the fish, and the rays of light streaming through the water. When sewn into to the Ohio Star pattern, the diving bears multiply and the fish become brushstrokes that create shapes and designs that I didn’t expect. Overall, the palette really captures the feeling of being underwater.
This is the first piece I’ve done in collaboration with another artist and, therefore, the first time I’ve based a photoquilt on a photo that I didn’t take. I’ve always liked my friend Mark Koenig’s photos because of his eye for dramatic color and line. I recently gathered enough courage to pay him my ultimate compliment, “I like your photos so much that I’d like to cut them up and sew them back together.” I admit that this is an odd compliment to pay someone, but Mark knew what I meant and agreed to lend me a photo for a photoquilt. I first met Mark here in Columbus, and he took this picture in Ohio, so an Ohio Star photoquilt seemed appropriate.
After talking with Mark about a few of his photos, we decided on this image because of the jewel-toned color palette, the interesting angles, and the shape of the lights and the shadows they cast. It was taken at Knowlton Hall at Ohio State, which I’ve photographed for a photoquilt before, but working with someone else’s photo put an interesting spin on the process. For example, I usually don’t include people in my photos, but Mark’s friend Tiffany appeared in this one. I was leaning towards cropping the photo in a way that excluded her, a slight that he assured me she would forgive, but her boots and their shadows still managed to sneak into the corner of the image.
In the end, some of the shapes and patterns that are seen in my other Ohio Star photoquilts appear again in this piece, but, at the same time, Mark’s work shines through and the result is a unique combination of both of us.
I took this picture of the Franklin Park Conservatory on the same day that I took the picture for the COSI and Jesse Owens Memorial photoquilts. What a gorgeous, sunny day it was to visit a few of my favorite places in Columbus. The Conservatory was originally a grand Victorian greenhouse built in 1895. It has since expanded, but the original section is the subject of this photoquilt. The arching glass dome in the background and the Corinthian column and other architectural details of the main entrance in the foreground are in stark contrast. The overall effect is a bit like an M. C. Esher drawing being viewed under the Eiffel Tower.
Jesse Owens was a star at Ohio State before going on to win four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Although he was hailed as a hero for standing up to Hitler in Nazi Germany, he was still treated as a second class citizen when returned home. The centerpiece of the Jesse Owens Memorial Plaza is a bronze pyramid on which his many achievements are noted. The memorial is immediately north of Ohio Stadium which housed the track that he set so many records on until it was replaced by additional seating during a renovation of the stadium.
If you’ve ever been to the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) in Columbus, Ohio, then you know the wonderfully kinetic sculpture just outside the main doors. Science Spectrum, by William Wainwright is a tree-like windmill that sparkles in the sunlight and spins in the breeze. The first time I photographed this sculpture, it was cloudy. But I’m glad I returned on a sunny, cloudless day because the iridescent rainbow reflections of the sculpture shine even brighter against a deep blue sky.
In the fall of 2015, the Columbus Museum of Art expanded into the new Margaret M. Walter Wing, a modern, copper-clad box with a glass wall at each end. This photoquilt includes the copper walls on the side and bottom, the first floor glass at the end, and the cloudless sky. As the quilt evolves from bottom to top, more of the sky appears between the reflected corners of the building.
Update: This photoquilt was accepted into the 2017 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition where it won a Crow Timber Frame Bart Art Retreat Scholarship. Handmade Chinese Coins was also accepted.
24″ x 24″
Ohio Star: Columbus Museum of Art block
12″ x 12″
Ohio Star: Columbus Museum of Art block
12″ x 12″
Two of my photoquilts on display at the 2017 Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibit.