Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Art + Caring = Laura Krasinski

Laura Krasinski is a refreshing breeze. She fills the room with energy, enthusiasm, boundless imagination and such generosity. You quickly see it all reflected in her art.

She thanks me for asking her to guest blog, but I'm the one who is so pleased that she's taken a moment to share herself and her art with Subversive Stitchers. You'll notice that Laura does alot of sharing. She shares below her secrets of paper fabric. And, she contributes to almost every charity.

If ever there was a reason to donate to, as well as thank scientists and doctors for their work in cancer research and treatment, it is Laura -- she's a survivor. The world's a richer place because of her.

Now, here's Laura in her own words! -- Dawn

Thank you Dawn for asking me to be a guest blogger. This is really exciting.

I found my artistic talent at a stamping up party. I loved rubber stamps and making cards. Amassed quite a collection of the various stamps before boredom set in. I can only make so many greeting cards.

Mixed media was only a step away and collage became my new passion. I loved everything from collecting interesting papers to itsy bitsy collage bits. I was really into swapping art too. But, as the years went by that fell by the wayside.

I loved being the proud owner of another artists work but, my house was busting at the seams and I had no where to go with it all. I found that Deco Books were my favorite and to this day I really miss passing them around and having all my friends do a page or two in it.

Many of my online friends started working with fabric and making postcards and small fabric books. Hmmm, that looked interesting. With no previous sewing experience, I decided to dive in with both feet. That was about 6 years ago.

I fell in love with fabric. I took my first “traditional” quilt class just to get the basics of sewing. It was pretty fun. I made a lap size quilt for my first try. I still enjoy curling under it on the couch. It was based on a pattern that Trudie Hughes made called Fun Patches. I chose Cat fabrics.

But, after that short dance with tradition, the art quilts cut in and whirled me away to the land of endless possibilities. As the years go by I’m working larger and larger.

I love taking classes and learning techniques. I think I am still in the “ sponge” mode. Soaking up all the information I can find. I love reading all the books and have a huge collection which I find so useful when I am working on a project and need more information.

I have had a few quilts in smaller shows around the state. I entered the Hoffman challenge last year and was accepted. I have a quilt in Quilt Expo in Madison this year. I have also received a state award 2009 for a quilt called High Anxiety. I have entered quilts in the State Fair and took 3rd place with Space Balls. And took 2nd place in a show in Cedarburg last fall with my one and only bed quilt called Crazy Mixed Up Chicken.

I also had a quilt in the 2007 exhibit at International Quilt Festival. Which to this day is my favorite quilt. I get asked all the time if it is for sale but, I just can’t bear to part with it. It has a special place in my heart and that is what that exhibit was all about.

This quilt was about the Blue Herons and the expansion of houses in the area where they roost. Since I finished the quilt the Blue Herons do not come back to that particular roosting area. Which to me is really sad. I loved watching them. They are incredible birds.

I also love to free form and do raw edge appliqué.

However, I still like to dabble in mixed media. I love to use fabric paper that I have made in my mixed media pieces. So I thought I would share the technique that I learned from my girlfriend. Patti Bradley, in New Hampshire when I visited with her last year.

Fabric Paper Making

This is a messy project so you will want to cover your working surface with plastic.

Materials : 100% cotton scrim, glue ( the ultimate glue, or pva works well), liquid acrylic paints, white tissue paper, colored tissue paper, various lightweight decorative papers, napkins, ephemera, fabrics, etc. Foam brushes.

Lay your scrim out on the plastic sheeting.
  • Make a mixture of glue and water, 60% water and 40% glue.

  • Start to paint the glue on the scrim completely covering it with the glue solution.

  • Lay your decorative papers on top in one next to the other smoothing them down as you go. They can overlap however you like. Completely cover the scrim with one layer.

  • Paint another layer of glue mix over the entire piece.

  • Rip your white tissue paper into 5” strips. Carefully lay them over the last glue layer making sure to remove any bubbles that form. At this point you can add more paper if you would like.

While the glue is still wet paint it with diluted paints or dyes. Letting the colors blend and run freely on the paper.

Now the paper is ready to dry. Laying it in the sun works well, or just letting it dry overnight.

After the paper is dry you will want to add white felt to the back of it. You can do this with glue or fusible web. This makes it a bit stiffer and easier to work with. However you could use it without the felt too.

Photo info: 1 An example of fabric paper collage made for the American Cancer society "Eyes of the Beholder."2. Another fabric paper collage, All Birds Can Sing, will be for sale in the Art for Autism auction in October. 3. Laura's latest quilt: " The Mad Hatter's Tea Party" which is hanging in a gallery in the Anaba Tea Room. I received copyright permission to use the photo from Alpha Stamps. 4. Against the Odds as described above complete with Blue Herons. 5. This is a quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative which will be for sale in Houston. 6. And the last piece is my Hoffman Challenge piece called Complete Serenity.

Bio: I live in Menomonee Falls, WI. Married to Mike with 2 children and 2 cats and a dog as well as a tarantula, and turtle. I am a 12 year breast cancer survivor. I am in love with art quilts. The whole process is just amazing to me. I have been blessed to find my talent a few years ago. The creative process, along with my faith in God, are really the glue that hold my life together.

I have participated the past 2 years in Breaking Traditions exhibit, Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative and Art Now for Autism and in Fiber Art For a Cause a few years ago. I also dabble with the Fast Fridays quilt group and am a member of the Milwaukee Art Quilters and Oconomowoc Quilt Guild.

For more about Laura, check out her blog, her mixed media pictures and more.


Lesley Riley said...

Great interview, Laura. I'm happy that we have had the change to work & play together. Didn't know you were a survivor. Kudos to your wonderful spirit in the face of adversity.

Hope to see you in Houston. Will you be there?

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lesley.. won't be in Houston.. only Chicago. I owe much of my thanks to you because you were and still are a big part of my inspiration. I took my first art quilt/ mixed media class from you in Chicago hmmm... 5 years ago maybe? And then another one 2 years ago.. I always enjoy learning your technique and just chatting.. we do that well don't we...

Elizabeth said...

Everyone! Lauraa is all this and so so much more!!! She is a very talented person and very caring too, but she is an amazing friend and a boundless ball of energy and fun!!!!! We are so proud of you Laura!!
Extra big Hugs, Girlfriend!!!!!

Anonymous said...

great article girlfriend!! and i love your work shown here. i am in LOVE with the mad hatter's tea party, maybe because that's how if felt when we were all together last fall!!! it is so hard to believe you have only been quilting for a few years, truly it is what you are meant to do. your work is beautiful and truly comes from your heart and spirit. i miss you and feel so blessed to have you in my life, even though we are much too far away from each other. love from the farm, patti

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth and Patti... what fun we had last year in N.H. We have to do it again.. you are such great friends. I miss you both

Judy Hartman said...

Hi dawn,
Couldn't find your email, but wanted to thank you for your comment on my blog, and for leading me to this post about Laura K's art quilts and fabric paper technique. Really stunning work!!!
I'm on a trip right now, but can't wait to get home and work with my fabric paper again. This artist has inspired me!

Dawn said...

So glad it was helpful. Laura's work is inspirational. I wish I had her eye for color and everything. Wishing you happy fabric paper days ahead.


Anonymous said...

Judy, thank you for your kind comment on my work.. I hope you get a chance to try the fabric paper technique. Laura

Evidence of an Artistic Life said...

Laura-absolutely wonderful!!!! I am one of your biggest fans-can't get enough of your quilts!! Will have to try your paper fabric!
hugs chris