Wednesday 27 May 2015

Introduction to Al Cote....

In answer to my "call" Al responded with the following. All of Al's words are in italics and I have added some information to let you know Al as I have come to know him.

"Journey to Fabrigos"
Al Cote 

"With a desire to meet other fellow Fiber artists I answered a call from Jo, asking for local Fiber artists who were interested in getting together to share their works and ideas and act as supporters of the Fiber arts.  Believe it or not, only three other people answered her call.  These three people joined Jo and we became the Fabrigos!- Jo Vandermey, Karen Sirianni, Robynne Cole and myself Albert Cote."

We are all members of SAQA Central Canada but live in the Niagara Region. We wanted to have a small group and make it easy to travel to get together. Al and Karen are from Niagara Falls and Robynne and I are from West Niagara.... about a half hour towards Hamilton, Ontario - Jo's comment.

"Although we are all Fiber artists, we are very different in our approach and technique.

I myself like curved piecing, raw edge appliqué, painting on fabric and collage using found objects.  I love working with silks, wools, velvets, and upholstery fabrics as well as cotton.  I do not like high realism pieces. I like the mystery and the spontaneity of a little whimsy and crudeness to a piece.

I really would like to explore incorporating plaster, glass and metal with my fabric pieces.
I come up with an idea from things such as books, old adages, traditional folk lore tales, and childhood memories.

I don't like to depict suffering, war, poverty, hunger or the unhappy conditions of people in societies.  I don' t feel the need to vent my inner anger. "

Al - as I have come to know him is a funny, kind,enthusiastic and spontaneous artist! His history in the arts in painting and fabric brings a lot to the table in a group. We can attest to Al's spontaneity and spark! My daughter brought the idea of bouncing ping pong balls to our thinking. Karen is probably the quietest of the group but thoughtful comments can help us to re think an idea.-  Jo's Comment

"I love to research a subject from many angles.  I do some sketching, take notes and think about the subject for days and sometimes weeks.  I keep a journal of my thoughts. I write little scenarios, poems and constantly alter them in my head .  I like to think of all the possible ways that I could achieve my piece such as colours, size, balance, techniques to use before I even select the actual fabric. I work out all the problems that might occur, and envision the piece completed.
Al auditioning colours on a piece of hand dyed fabric of Jo's done on one of our group days.

I love the pressure of a deadline!  It may look like I am stalling, or procrastinating because I have nothing to show sometimes just days before the deadline, but when I actually put fabric to sewing machine it goes quite quickly with no mistakes only minor adjustments to be made.  All the "mistakes" have been worked out in my head the preceding days or weeks."

Al is very good at this! Fabric and techniques are his palette these days. Having been a businessman running his own Hair Salon, and his Fabric Store with wife Deb he knows what it is to learn new things and convey this to others. He has been at Quilt Markets, has displayed both his paintings- in the past and Fiber Art in the present. His travels and teaching make him a wealth of information. But for all this Al is very receptive to learning from others. He is like a sponge of artistic information and techniques. In fact he helped me by playing with Lutradur with the group last year and made some pieces so I could include them in my guest blog post at andthenwesetitonfire last year on Lutradur.

The picture on the pillow was a photograph printed on to lutradur. Al incorporated this image in to a small pillow and gifted it to me. - Jo 

"In 2012, The Niagara Peninsula was named Culture Capital of Canada and I was privileged to be selected as one of 14 Fiber artist to produce 9 very large pieces that would depict the Niagara area.  Five artist produced one piece each and three artists worked on three different triptychs.  These pieces now hang permanently in the Regional Offices in St. Catharines, Ontario. I worked on a triptych with Irma Bull and Suzi Dwor."

This piece was beautiful. It is well worth the visit if you are in St. Catharines, Ontario. It hangs permanently in the Niagara Regional Headquarters.  - Jo comment

"I was also one of the teachers at Quilt Canada in 2014 held in St. Catharines, Ontario
I have many large commissioned pieces in private homes as well as public buildings throughout the Niagara area."

Al has completed many pieces for the Hospice in St. Catharines. - Jo comment

"I enjoy presenting my "trunk show" and teaching my workshops all across Ontario and Western New York.""

This is an understatement. Al's trunk shows are like a mini class. He freely gives tips and explanations on how he has completed or worked a project. His enthusiasm abounds in both trunk shows and workshops. If you want to just try to inject some creativity into your work either traditional or experimental you will benefit from seeing him speak.

Al gives workshops, trunk-shows and offers retreats. Al and Deb offer retreats for traditional and fiber artists. He can be reached through this blog. - Jo comment

This is just a snap shot of Al. Hope you enjoyed hearing about our friend and fellow artist. 


Any mistakes in this can be attributed to me. lol

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