Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Confetti Dyeing!

I've enjoyed a wonderful summer and it's hard to imagine the bulk of the warm weather in New England is behind us. It reminds me I'd better get going if I want to have an inventory of Confetti Dyed fabrics! Although I can create small batches of fabric indoors it's really an outside technique because it's so dang messy! 

In this session I sprinkled dye across the surface in 2 different ways. I either sprinkled the dye and let it sit undisturbed on the fabric or I scrunched the fabric and then sprinkled the dye across the surface. It was tons-o-fun! If you give it a try don't forget to wear a MASK - super important! Also, the fabric is soaked in soda ash and water prior to adding the dye. Please feel free to email me if you have questions about the technique:

Here is a detail of a piece that looks very celestial! 
The full piece
Here are some more detail photos. If you'd like to see the full piece let me know but the details photograph more true to the colors!


In this piece I dragged a comb across the dye!
In these next 2 pieces I scrunched the fabric before applying the dye. It gives the fabric a nice texture... the skies the limit for what to create from it! 


Give it a try... my suggestion is to take the project outside! The dye tends to wander and make it's own decisions about where it will land! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekend Walk = Leaf Printing

While taking an early morning walk with a friend we came upon an unknown weed with massive leaves! I couldn't believe it - they were as large as tropical plants! 
If you recognize the plant please let me know. 
I should have put my hand next to a leaf to give you perspective of it's size! Maybe you can tell by how dwarfed the clothespins look! 

Using thickened dyes I painted the underside of the leaf. The veins of the leaf are large and distinctive so I was hoping for some strong definition in the print. 

Next I placed the leaf on the fabric dye-side down. Using a Brayer I rolled the topside of the leaf to ensure the print would be clear. 

The print is fairly clear and the definition of the veins is good. 

I repeated the process until the fabric was filled up!  

You can see the texture more clearly here. It reminds me of reptile skin!  

Here are today's results. The last piece is an experiment in textures. I finished up the thickened dye by applying multiple layers of dye across the fabric surface. Once it's washed out I hope it still looks like the texture of grasses. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Lake Colors - Hand Painted Fabric!

I love the way lake water looks with it's reflective colors and varies shades of blue. I'm enamored with the the colors as they change from the surface of the water to the reeds and rocks below. The lake I visit in New Hampshire is incredibly clear and allows me a sneak peek at the critters who make the lake their home.

To keep the spirit of the lake with me I hand painted some cotton using
Seta Color translucent paints. 

I started by painting the reeds.
I experimented with different techniques. One piece I painted directly onto the fabric and one piece I laid a piece of organza on the top and allowed the paint to seep through onto the cotton below. When I pulled the organza off the results surprised me. Although it wasn't what I expected it had a fun vibe to it. 

Once they dried I added a dragonfly stencil to remind me of
the wetland area I kayak in! 

This is the piece that had organza on the top. I wasn't thrilled with the organza and I tossed it into the "until next time" basket. Some day I'll rework it into something else! 

This is the piece I painted directly onto the cotton - surprise - this is the backside! I liked the way it had texture which isn't how the front came out! I can picture the fabric with some thread painting... 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Fabric Giveaway - Insects are the Theme this Month!

Fellow Printed Fabric Bee member Jane Davila chose insects as her theme this month. For those who know Jane the choice of insects is no surprise! For my piece I thought about how some insects view the world with eyes that break everything down into mini lenses! 

I started by coloring silk with Sharpie markers. Next I dropped rubbing alcohol onto the markers allowing the colors to spread and meander into each other. 
Once this phase was done I realized that it wouldn't be obvious to Jane that this an insects view of the world! So I pulled out one of my all time favorite stencils... the beloved dragonfly! 
OK... now I think it makes sense and fits the theme! Please hop over to Jane's blog or the Printed Fabric Bee blog and leave a comment. Jane will chose a winner for a 6" X 6" fabric pack of custom insect themed fabric... what could be better than that! Hurry, Jane will chose a winner on August 15th. Here is my giveaway piece!
Stay tuned for next month's Printed Fabric Bee giveaway, Deborah Boschert theme is Blueprints! 

Please visit the other Printed Fabric Bee members - they are ll exceptional artist! 

Monday, July 27, 2015

Faces in the Woods!

I designed this piece while thinking about the fragile balance between people and nature. Humans are challenged by the desire to create a living environment that suits us while being mindful of the natural world and the need to coexist. 
The faces represent each of us and our responsibility to watch over
the environment and protect it from misuse. 

The finished piece is long and narrow and I haven't quite figured out the appropriate hanging system. I'm also still mulling over a title. Most of the fabrics were deigned by members of The Printed Fabric Bee. I felted the individual faces and free motion quilted the face details. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Fabric Paint + Clothespins = Cool Texture!

As you can see I am totally enjoying my summer outdoor work space! I'm also enjoying the pace of summer and with that comes less frequent blog posts... but my artist creations continue and when I am forced back indoors I will have plenty of material for tutorials and techniques to share! 
This is the finished fabric paint + clothesline piece. Since my work space is embedded in a garden the colors used were in my line of vision! 
Prior to applying the fabric paint I twisted and clipped the fabric with a clothespin. Next I misted the fabric with water and then simply slopped paint across the surface! When it dried and the pins were removed I thought it was a little drab. I heat pressed the fabric and thought about how to make it more interesting.
I decided to take the fabric back outside. I applied more fabric paint... just a little here and there to make it pop. I find the texture created by the clothespins and the spontaneous colors a fun element. 
Have you experimented with creating a textures look with fabric? How often do you go back to a piece and add another technique?