About Me

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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Advent calendar in July

A friend who previously purchased two of my quilted advent calendars for her grandchildren has commissioned me to make two more, in time for an August visit. One grandchild loves horses and animals and chartreuse green, the other likes singing and the colour yellow.
This was quilted with a wool batting so it is cuddly and soft.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Printed linen placemats completed

Completed six placemats. Printed with Speedball permanent screen printing ink from my own carved block. Painted with Jacquard fabric paints with Aloe Vera as the medium. Heat set with hot iron, then sashed with hand dyed green fabrics. Backed with Osnaburg rough weave cotton,  machine quilted with Aurifil thread. Hand quilted with #8 perle cotton around the frame, and along the central spines of the leaves. Bound with double fold linen binding, hand stitched on the back. Stamped with my initials on the back. Now for sale at the Denman Craft Shop.






Friday, July 10, 2015

A VISDA visit to Salt Spring Island

Yesterday, on a very hot day, I made a road trip to Salt Spring Island for the summer potluck lunch meeting of the Vancouver Island branch (note that the website has not been updated since 2014) of the British Columbia branch of the Canadian branch of the Surface Design Association (I think that I got all the relationships right . . . ).
A small group, 8 of us, of the larger membership (20+?), met at a member's home and it was very nice to meet some folks and begin to understand how the organization works; very informally and unstructured, it appears.
The meetings are bimonthly during the year, usually in Duncan. Given the length of yesterday's journey, in that I left home at 7:40 to catch the 8 am ferry off Denman Island, and arrived home at 6:30 pm, all for a two hour lunch meeting from 12 to 2 pm, I realistically may not be able to make more than one or two meetings during the dark and rainy months of the year.
But it was a beautiful day to to be driving through stunning scenery, even though the days are still smokey from all the forest fires burning all over Western Canada - the photo below shows the red sunset through the smoke haze.

A red sunset through a smokey haze from forest fires.

Taken from the small ferry dock at Crofton that connects with Vesuvius Bay on Salt Spring Island. Shows the deep water port serving Catalyst Paper.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Hurray, my "Garden Fantasy" triptych has been juried into an art show

What a wonderful message to receive today from the Cowichan Valley Arts Council:

"Congratulations Jean,

Your triptych “Garden Fantasy” has been accepted into the Garden Tapestry Fibre Arts Show in PORTALS."

To say that I am excited and delighted is just the beginning. I am thrilled! The show will be exhibited from October 22 to November 10, 2015.

I have blogged about the making of these pieces, the most recent post here http://whenyouloveblue.blogspot.ca/2015/05/garden-fantasy-triptych.html



Monday, July 6, 2015

Wearable art jacket completed today (and a skirt to go with it)

Our Comox based wearable art group will be meeting again this year at the end of July.
The plan this year is to make a jacket according to a theme that we picked out of a hat. I picked "ethnic".

Here are the guidelines:
1. Work with a theme as a starting point:  polka dots, stripes, plaid, animal print, lace, ethnic prints, floral, paisley.
2. We will make either a jacket or a coat to our liking, we choose our own pattern to work with.
3. The garment must include at least one recycled/used fabric on the theme subject. Any other fabrics should be mostly on theme but can have some complementary pieces that come from our existing stash, if at all possible. When looking at your finished garment, there should be no doubt about its ‘theme’.
4. There should be at least 3 embellishments beyond just the fabric choices. i.e.: piping, beading, stamping, embroidery, painting, etc.


The completed jacket, and  the pattern that I used. The outer jacket fabric is a black stretch cotton that I bought at Fabricland earlier this year with no fixed plan. The lining is navy silk gazar that I obtained in a trade with a fellow fabric artist on the island several years ago. The cotton velvets that I used for the trim are leftovers from my art show two years ago, as is the gold silk for the flat piping. The wax cotton for the lower sleeves came from a trading day at the the quilt guild. Gold beads and hooks and eyes were already in my drawer. And I already owned the pattern, so nothing new was purchased to make the jacket.



I was using up scraps of velvet and piping, so the facings are in a variety of velvet colours. I attached the raw edge applique velvet circles with #8 perle cotton, and embroidered the centre of each and added a gold bead.

The centre front closes with hooks and eyes.




My friend Barbara, who is a wonderful and creative sewer, offered me a whole bag of recycled clothing and fabric for my project, but in the end I used my own fabrics entirely. However, this length of gorgeous fabric matched my jacket so perfectly, that I used it for a skirt to make an outfit. I used the width from selvedge to selvedge for the skirt length, and did not make a hem, leaving the selvedge as the finish. I cut a length 1 1/2 times my hip measurement (I cut about 64 inches length) and seamed it into a circle, then attached that to a circle of 2 inch wide elastic. Easy to make, fast, comfortable, and it does not interrupt the fabric design.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Market day on Denman Island

I helped Harlene at the market this morning, selling quilt raffle tickets and memberships for the Community Land Trust Association.



The "Houses" quilt that I made for the fundraising raffle.