Asher Summer Trunk Show This Weekend!

Posted August 15, 2012 in Blog

Carolyn Dahl, “Ramie Leaf Portrait.” (Ramie leaf from the HCCC Craft Garden.)
Scarf made with silk fabric, metallic textile paints, hand burnishing.
Photo by Rick Wells.

Nothing speaks of summer more than Houston in August. Days are at their hottest and always humid, the afternoons punctuated with dark clouds and thunder. Despite the climate, HCCC is alive inside and out with things to both delight and educate the eye. As for the Asher Gallery, we bring the inspirations of nature inside, to enjoy in a thoroughly civilized manner, with air conditioning and cool drinks. Join us this Thursday, August 16, from 5 – 7 PM, for a special opening reception for our Summer Trunk Show, featuring the leaf-printed wearable art of fiber artist Carolyn Dahl and the sinuous metals of jeweler Marcela M. McLean. The show continues on Saturday, August 18, from 11 AM – 4 PM, with additional access during the opening of Glass Graphica on Friday evening, August 17, from 5:30 – 7 PM.

Carolyn has long been known, nationally and internationally, for her progressive works in both traditional fibers and papers. Not content to merely work from her nature observations, she works directly with different plants, “finger-painting” with them, as she says, to create the lovely designs printed on various fibers. Any plant can be used, though not all will be recognizable. Some are

too fragile and leave only ghost’s marks behind. Others can handle the process and are nearly alive. Some of the HCCC Craft Garden went into this body of work–specifically, ramie, milkweeds, and cotton leaves. Don’t worry if you can’t identify these plants in the work; we’ll be leading impromptu tours of the Craft Garden throughout the events!

Carolyn Dahl, “Nature Printed Silk Scarves” (detail).
Scarf made with silk fabric, metallic textile paints,
hand burnishing.   Photo by the artist.

Carolyn Dahl, “Leaf Prints become a Butterfly” (detail).
Scarf made with silk fabric, metallic textile paints,
hand burnishing.  Photo by the artist.

Marcela does not incorporate nature as directly as Carolyn does. Even so, the inspiration is quite clear. From her youth in the Andean mountains, her natural surroundings have always played a large role in her artistic career. Known for her distinctive floral jewelry line, Marcela has been branching out with coils of copper and layers of enamels. As she moves into a new body of work, she manages to retain the organic nature of her designs. We are very proud to present the full range of her metalsmithing talents. This is a great chance to discuss the transition of designs with the artist.

Cuffs by Marcela M. McLean. Photo by Jack Zilker.

Necklace by Marcela M. McLean. Enamel on copper. Photo courtesy the artist.

Brooches by Marcela M. McLean. Enamel on copper. Photo courtesy the artist.

Thinking on it, what else would be better to do on a weekend in August?  Inside HCCC, you can admire the work and chat with Carolyn and Marcela. (Or any of the current resident artists!) You can also take in Interstitial Spaces: Julia Barello & Beverly Penn or the new exhibition, Glass Graphica. Just a few steps away is our Craft Garden, where everything you see can be used in one of many craft processes. And, this time of year, you may even see a hummingbird or two flitting about, or perhaps a Purple Martin. Even our feathered friends know where to see and be seen in Houston!

–Suzanne Sippel, Asher Gallery Manager