Wednesday, January 21, 2009

My Visit to Cyber Fyber in Columbia, South Carolina

I returned last night from two days in Columbia, South Carolina, visiting the Cyber Fyber exhibit and enjoying the gracious hospitality of Susan Lenz, Fiber Artist and coordinator of the Cyber Fyber Exhibit, and her husband, Steve Dingman. My visit was beyond expectations. I truly enjoyed every single moment I was in Columbia: meeting Susan, meeting other fiber artists, dining on the Southern cuisine, staying in an historic downtown hotel, the friendliness of everyone I encountered. Awesome!!!

One little anecdote: I was returning from having dinner at the Blue Marlin, heading for the Gervais Street entrance to the hotel, walking with my cane, all bundled up for the freezing weather, when a black man in his 40's (also bundled up from the cold) riding his bike up the sidewalk, said to me with a smile as he passed, "You almost there, Mama."

I will tell more about my visit further on in this blog, but I believe in serendipity. The day I left Columbia was January 20, the day of the Inauguration. The moment President Obama was sworn in I was sitting in an "English Pub" at Washington, D.C.'s Dulles airport, dining on Fish and Chips and a cup of English Breakfast tea.


Susan and I pose in front of some of the postcards. (I never can smile for the camera!)

Susan is soooo enthusiastic about explaining the exhibit to show visitors.

Working on one of her Decision Series art quilts.

Ellen Kochansky and Susan check Cyber Fyber email. (The weird abstract wall of postcards was adjusted in Photoshop to cut down on the contrast.)

Susan allowed me to photograph her studio. These are a few of the photos I took of her work.

The Blues Series

The Doors Series

Quilt-in-progress: "Crazy Blues." The person portrayed in the quilt is Mamie Smith, the first African American to record a blues song (1920) titled "Crazy Blues."

Two of the Embroidered "Architecture" Series (I may have the title of the series wrong.)

Susan's stash for making art on the Embellisher.


To see the Invitational Art go here:

To see the Postcards go here:

To see the ATCs go here:


Susan said...

Hi Caroline!
Your blog post is truly a delight to read and revisit the time we had together. I'm so happy that you enjoyed yourself as much as we enjoyed having you here in South Carolina! All the titles are quite adequate....except that for Crazy Blues, the crazy quilt. It depicts Mamie Smith, the first African-American woman to record a blues song (1920). It was called Crazy Blues, hence the title. The quilt is part of the Blues Series! Thanks again for coming, for sharing your wonderful work, and for blogging about it!

Plain Jane said...

wow! what an inspiring trip! I look forward to reading and seeing more. You met Susan Sorrell too, didn't you?
And I know Ellen Kochansky--took a great workshop from her

Caroline Commins said...

Yes, my trip was inspiring to say the least. Unfortunately, the weather kept Susan Sorrell from driving down from Greeville so I didn't get to meet her in person. I visited Ellen's studio in the refurbished cotton mill and was able to see her latest project. She is amazing!!!