Sunday, April 5, 2009


"Hard Cooked"
This post is in response to a challenge on
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This post is the sixth in a series explaining how a particular work of art or a group of works was created.         

When creating art, sometimes the most creative thing is not the actual completed art work, but the idea.
        Twenty or so years ago, the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts held an EGGshibit the month before Easter. Local artists were encouraged to use an EGG theme in any medium to submit for EGGshibition.

        At that time, I had been doing mostly fiber art: tapestry weaving, appliqué, quilting, crocheting, stitchery, batik, sometimes even spinning my own yarn from raw wool and using natural dyes (onion skins, lichens, acorns) to produce my own colors.
        The first year the exhibit was held, it took me a long time to come up with a unique way to use fiber with an egg theme.  I finally decided to use white and yellow yarn to crochet an egg in two pieces and stuff it, to make a soft sculpture that looks like a hard-cooked egg cut in half. I even created a crochet knife to "cut" the egg. "HARD COOKED" was displayed on straw in a dark area, so the photo isn't great, even with some enhancement. To give you an idea of the size of the sculpture, if the two pieces of the egg were placed together, the length of the egg would be about 10 inches, the diameter at its widest point about 6 inches. "HARD COOKED" didn't sell at the EGGshibit, but a few years later when my first husband (also an artist) and I were in the process of an amicable separation, he asked if he could have that piece in exchange for one of his paintings.
        After the first EGGshibit, I had an entire year to think up an idea for the next year. I decided to create a halter top and sun hat with fabric and call the set "SUNNY-SIDE UP." Everyone loved this set and I enjoyed seeing people point and laugh when they saw it at the opening reception of the EGGshibit. The piece sold and I often wondered if the buyer had the nerve to wear it in public or just liked it as a curiosity.

"Chicken Casserole with Egg Noodles"
        The following year, I created "CHICKEN CASSEROLE with EGG NOODLES." This piece was made from unbleached cotton cloth which I stuffed to make the chicken, chicks, and eggs. I used stitchery to sew on the details. I found some yellow feathers to poke from the cracks (which were also stitched) on the eggs. I made the noodles from pale off-white cloth and sewed twister seals inside them so I could bend them to look like noodles. I don't remember what happened to the "CHICKEN CASSEROLE."

        I'm not sure if the art center continued having EGGshibits, but around that time, I moved out of the city and eventually dropped my artist's membership there. 
        The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is one of the treasures of Pittsburgh, a great place to see and buy unique work by local artists,  participate in classes, workshops, and lectures, attend openings of exhibits by individual artists or by member groups such as the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh (one of the longest, continuously running art organizations in the country), Weavers' Guild, Pittsburgh Society of Artists, Craftsmen's Guild, Pittsburgh Print Group, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and other similar groups. 
        If you are in the area, stop in. 
(artwork, photos, and text ©2009, C.J. Peiffer)

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