Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Experimenting with Browns & Blacks!

I have a hankering to see how far I can push the limits of browns and blacks! Yesterday I ice dyed some pieces placing a variety of browns in one bucket and a black/gray combo in the other. Here are 2 pieces I will leave untouched...

I don't usually fold the fabric when I ice dye but in this experiment I thought it was the best way to separate the color particles with the most drama! As you can see the variety of brown I used ranged in the recipe from reds to tans = fun! The black/gray was very mellow as I suspected it would be. This one reminds me of winter so I won't touch it BUT I have some other lengths of fabric from the experiment that will go back into the dye bath. Using the same color combos I will scrunch the fabric back into the dye buckets to see what will happen.... to be continued!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ice Dyed Cotton!

I rinsed out some ice dyes over the weekend... here are detail shots! 
I love the happy-dance-affect when I see a color combination that looks exciting! 

I hope you had a wonderful creative weekend! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pounded Leaves = Show Me The Color!

Just before the autumn leaves went from bright to brown I collected a handful for some "pounding"! I'm sure there is a technical term for this technique but I don't know what it is... to me it's transferring the color of a natural fiber onto another surface = pounding! 
I laid the leaves between 2 pieces of ice dyed fabric. At first I used a larger and heavier hammer but it quickly tired out my wrist. I switched to a smaller
lightweight hammer and was able to keep the pounding up! 

Here is the first peek of color - it's a little mellow. I had the leaves stored in the refrigerator for a few days before I had time for the project. I think storing the leaves may have dried them out a bit producing less color.  

I have a garden outside my studio that hadn't been cleaned up yet so I grabbed more plant material. Pounding the fresh leaves was a huge improvement. The colors leeched out quickly saving my wrist! 

Here is the final piece - yes - it's a "quiet" design but that's one of the things I enjoy about the natural world. When I look at the design it strikes me as peaceful. Remember this technique produces 2 pieces of fabric because the natural fibers are placed sandwich style between layers. That's double the fun with a twin fabric created!   
Have you tried this technique? What plant material have you used? 
Have fun creating your own piece! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Painted & Dyed Canvas + Thermofax Screen = FUN!

Sometimes it takes a while to decide what you want to do with a piece of fabric! Last summer I was playing around with artist canvas and laid a gigantic piece on the driveway. I painted it in a collage style but meh... it was too bright and stiff so I set it aside. I decided to wash it to see if it would help with the softness - which it did but it still didn't excite me. Next, I over dyed the canvas with ice. This tipped the scales for my art brain to like the color palette however, I still wasn't sure what to do with it and it just didn't feel finished. 

In steps artist Terri Stegmiller with her fabulous thermofax screen designs! This design is titled "Layered Circles". If you aren't familiar with her work be sure to click here. Using her screen I stared creating a design across the surface and finally I felt like it was working. The design is only on a potion of the canvas and I'll save the rest for another time, (I wasn't kidding when I said the piece was gigantic!). 
Using Speedball screen paint I pulled the paint across the screen. I found using old hotel "keys" works perfectly for this process! 

I love the instant gratification you get when the screen is lifted!

Here is the finished piece. I do like the heavier texture and weight of canvas and will continue to experiment with it! 
What is your favorite fabric for surface design?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

New Inventory!

I'm channeling autumn colors this month and trying to capture the green, red, yellow and oranges I see in my neighborhood. The ice dyed fabrics all represent the colors of our New England foliage but there is soooo much more to be done! Today on a run I saw jewel tones of brown, red, black colored tree... yummy! 
This is the aftermath of my dyeing session! 
The new inventory is up; please click the Ice dyed Fabric tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Exhibition Jury Day!

I am so lucky to be part of the SAQA CT organization. The Connecticut chapter is active and full of like-minded artists who support and encourage each other. The group is putting together it's second traveling Local Colors exhibition. This year the tag line is Connecticut Stories. This was completely open to the artist's interpretation and yesterday the artist's work was juried by Carol PadbergAssociate Professor at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford (pictured above). 

Co-curators, Kate Themel and Diane Wright were on hand (and me too!) to assist the juror but once the theme overview was provided Carol needed little direction. With her trained eye and knowledge of fiber Carol pulled together a beautiful show. She stated the pieces needed to be well constructed and looked for a clear relationship between the design and overall use of textiles.  Carol said she chose both abstract designs as well as precise or structured work to create a more engaging show. She also mentioned looking at the use of color and contrast as it related to the design. Carol said the decisions were hard given there were so many fabulous pieces. With this particular theme the "story" is important to the overall exhibition but when choosing works the artist's statements were not part of the process. The exhibition was limited to 35 pieces so decisions had to be made and some great pieces were not able to be included.  

I was delighted to find 2 of my works in the accepted category... definitely more in the abstract arena! The premiere opening is February 5, 2016 at the Guilford Art Center. The exhibit will travel to varies venues throughout the state with plans for a bi-coastal exhibit with a Californian chapter but you will need to sit tight for details! The exhibition will include traditionally hung work and pieces mounted on stretcher bars - it's going to look great!
Seasons Pass

Birch Grove