I am breaking one of my personal rules about commenting on another teacher’s work, especially when I had a small part in its production. I am doing this for two reasons:
#1. I want to give those of us who do not design an idea of how long it takes a concept to go from rough draft to completion. This is but a small part of the design process.
First is the “Idea phase”; this can be as crystal clear as Stuben Glass (http://steuben.com/index.cfm?&loc=GAWOS1) or just a vague concept and may take a an hour, day week or month(s).
Next is the “Incubation stage”, this is another time variable; it can be long and arduous or short and to the point. This phase is the “what if” phase. What if I try this technique with this thread?
Next is the “Execution phase”; this is the one that where you pick chose and try the threads and stitches you have visualized in the “Incubation stage” and hope they work without a hitch. How long does this take…until the designer/teacher is happy with her work.
Next is the “Planning Phase” and I like to tell teachers/designers this should be done in conjunction with the “Execution phase”. Write down (“Planning Phase”) what you do in the order in which you do it (“Execution phase”.) It helps the designer teacher remember what she/he did when they go to write their instructions and it makes the graphic editor’s job easier too. If instructions are written as we go about the same time as “execution phase”…If not add an extra week or two.
“Production phase” is when the teacher instructions, student handbook or stitch guide is written, proofed, re-written, re-proofed until it is as good as the teacher/designer feels it can be. This phase also includes photos of the project. Somewhere in this process the teacher/designer usually pilots the piece…tries teaching or allowing someone to stitch the project with the written instructions. Then usually there is more rewrite. Then it is off to the printer…This is about 2 to six months or longer depending on the size of the project.
Even after it is completed at the printer it may take longer to reach you the stitcher…If this is a project that has been submitted as a teaching piece for one of the four major stitching venues; ANG (http://www.needlepoint.org/index.php), Calloway Gardens, EGA (http://egausa.org/), NAN (http://www.needleart.org/ ; it may not be released until after it has been taught at the event and depending on the popularity of the piece may be chosen by another event and even local guilds.
So, by the time this piece reaches you as a class piece or even a retail piece, it could be a year or years. Remember this when you take a class or buy a “new piece” and one of the threads on the materials list has been discontinued. Your local needlepoint shop or the teacher will usually have a suggested substitute handy.
So with this in mind, remember in Jan 2009 (https://sudukc.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/17-days-later/ ) I mentioned great things were coming….it has arrived (http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Small_Cityscapes_For_Sale.html) . Betty Chen Louis is releasing a design and is going to also teach online at Shinning Needle Society (http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/ ).
See how long it takes for a project from just the planning phase to today!
#2. THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT REASON:
In my opinion, Betty Chen is one of the greatest teachers in the needlepoint art community. What an opportunity! I so agree with Gay Ann Rogers:
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Lounge/message/1620) “I think Betty is the mistress of line and color and if you look at her work you will see why she holds the title. Betty is all about subtlety and transition, about the flow of line and the organization and use of space in a design.”
(http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SNS_Lounge/message/1622) “Here is another opportunity to see more work by the person I think is the best designer/teacher now working in my world of needlework, so don’t miss the opportunity to study her sense of line and color.”
And since I have been compensated and will receive nothing more than the satisfaction and pride of knowing that I was asked to be a small part of this endeavor I am going to extol her greatness shamelessly. I was privileged (And I do mean privileged!) to be asked by Betty Chen to assist her in this project; I was but a drop of sand in this very creative process. I have been needlepointing for well over 40 years and have been a member of the stitching organizations for better tan 20 years. I have known Betty for many years and have always been in awe of her creativity and knowledge. I have signed up for two of Betty’s classes and got sick one time and was in the middle of a house remodeling the second and so when Betty asked me to help with this project I jumped at the idea. I even shamelessly suggested I should stitch the project as I did the work. Betty agreed and I was very privileged to receive one on one instruction if I needed. I would just ask a question to hear her talk. If you have the time, do not miss the chance to take this class online at Shinning Needle Society (http://www.shiningneedlesociety.com/ )…the only thing better is to have her live in a class! Betty is truly one of the Masters of Needleart, a truly gifted artist, and just a wonderful person at heart.
And check out Gay Ann’s website (http://www.gayannrogers.com/site_2/Home_Page.html) to see more of Betty Chen’s fabulous work.
Okay, now I broke my rule, BUT it is my rule and I can break it for greatness.
P.S. Here are my hearts…I love them! They are a cherished memory of my brief time with greatness.