Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New Fabrics For Sale!

I just updated my fabric inventory (long overdue!). The new fabrics incorporate ice dyeing, confetti dyeing, sun printing, hand painted fabrics and my new passion - indigo!

Please click on any of the above tabs to see what new fabrics are available and if any need to move over to your stash please click here or on the individual page to place your order!

Don't see what you'd like? Contact me and we can talk about how to create a custom piece just for you! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Surface Design Play Date!

The weather was perfect and the company supreme! The Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective got together for a surface design play date! Our group was long overdue for some getting messy time. 
Members: Diane Cadrain, Linda Martin, Karen Loprete, Rosalind Spann, Christina Blais, Antoinia Torres, Me and Wanda Seldon. Taking the photo is Mary Lachman.
The group got busy creating one of a kind fabrics using many techniques: ice dyeing, confetti dyeing, painting, and sun-printing. We manipulated the fabric for interesting results and I can't wait to see what these fabulous artists create with their treasures! 
Fun - fun - fun!

Wanda Seldon thinking about the next color to add to her ice dyed piece.

Diane Cadrain's confetti dyed piece!

Diane Cadrain and Mary Lachman wrapping fabric Shibori style
to dip into the indigo vat! 

Antonia Torres using a stencil!

Rosalind Spann and Karen Loprete discussing techniques!  

Wanda Seldon's dramatic confetti dyed piece! 

Linda Martin is hooked on fabric painting! 

Rosalind Spann painting with dye!

Mary Lachman and Karen Loprete experimenting with sun-printing!

Rosalind so generously shared her newly created rust fabric with me... gimme... gimme... gimme... yippee! 

Christina Blais was on the hunt for yellow fabric so she created her own! 
The Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective exhibits their art work all around the state and currently showing "Jazz Tones" at the Pearl Street Gallery in Hartford, CT. Click here for the artists comments sbout how they approach the creative process.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Managing an Indigo Vat

I have a "thing" about indigo... I read about it... I watch YouTube clips... yah I've got it bad! When I saw Dharma Trading offered pre-reduced indigo crystals I had to go for it and started my own vat. I love tending to it; if it's a little too blue I shake in some Thiourea Dioxide or perhaps the color is off so more dried crystals are added. I'm still learning and having a great time. 


So now that I'm confident in producing a luscious indigo color I need to focus on how I want to use it. The first imagine people usually have when thinking about indigo is the Shibori technique... surely that's just the tip of the ice berg... right?! 
What will you be?

New life for an old shirt!

A twisted... thing!

Some completed experiments. 
I'd like a darker color and it's my understanding that I can simply repeat the "dunking" process... off to create more! 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

When Black is Blue!

Achieving a really great deep dark black remains a challenge for me! Since I don't seem to be able to get the results I want I decided to explore the differences in the black dyes from my stash. I pulled out 2 different blacks; silk black and new black by ProChemical. The best way to understand the properties of a dye recipe is to use the Confetti Technique. This method calls for the dye to be placed in a strainer and sprinkled across the surface of the fabric. Because the dye is not immersed in water the color particles that make up a dye separate and I can see what colors dominate the recipe.

My most common result is a blue black. 

I expected to see blue particles and was surprised to see yellow and red! 

Next I folded the damp fabric (soaked in soda ash and water for 30 minutes). This time I used the "silk" black.

The silk black definitely has reds/browns in the recipe.

Switching back to the "new" black I discovered it reads a deeper black but still feels a little "blue".

I have a couple more blacks to experiment with and it's interesting to see the subtle nuances between the recipes. I've always thought of black as an "easy" color because it's so... black... kinda simple. I know better now and have a new respect for the color! I will continue to work and explore to find the "perfect" black.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Ice Dyeing Vintage Textiles

I'm of an age where my folks and their generation are clearing the clutter so to speak. They've started to give away items collected over a lifetime to simplify their lives. Recently my mom was helping her dear sweet friend Ethel consolidate her space when they came across some doilies and crocheted table runners made long ago. About the same time my mother in law gave me a pile of forgotten fabrics she'd discovered tucked away under the eves. 

It was fun poking through my treasures and I couldn't resist tossing a few into the ice dye. Some of you may feel the vintage integrity is lost by dyeing but my perspective is that I'm adding a new chapter to their story!

The doily absorbed the dye well and I think the soft colors keep the vintage look intact. I have to wonder though... what would super bright modern colors do for the look and would it resonate more to the 20-something generation?!  
My treasure from my mother in law's pile was a loosely woven fabric. I think it's 100% cotton - it feels super soft and light weight. The fabric is only a yard and I wish there was more! 
This photo has black behind the fabric to show the weave detail.

This photo has tan behind it to bring out more of the overall colors.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Sun Printing - Yippee!


After cycling on a lovely refurbished railroad bed last weekend I had a strong urge to sunprint! The canopy of leaves was that nice dappled mixture of greens and yellows with some blue peeking through. Some day I'm going to paint my bedroom ceiling those colors - so peaceful! I created a couple of pieces using those colors but then veered off track to use other colors and  further off track to a more typical approach to painting fabric. 

I used peony leaves that were ready to cut down for the season. I tend to wait to trim plants that have gone by until I'm ready for a sunprinting session. 

For this piece I crinkled damp fabric and took my 3" brush and shook and flicked the paint around until the surface was covered. I gave it one more misting of water to ensure the paint meandered into the folds of the fabric.

I was painting in front of a group of day lily's and used all the colors within my view!

My final painted piece of the day was a more typical approach using a broad strokes application with some fabric scrunching and salt. 
I hope you get a chance to get outside for some outdoor creativity! It's inspiring to be outside experiencing the view, sights and sounds of your community! For me it's a natural scene but others might be enjoying an urban vibe. Maybe I should challenge myself (and you!) to create fabric art in settings that are outside your typical environment?! Game on?