Friday, March 27, 2015

Imagination or Reality?

Yesterday at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens, many of the plants seemed as fanciful as the Chihuly pieces. Maybe some work is coming soon based on these photos and way too many others.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


The other day, I left the icy barren landscape of my home for humid breezes, green plants, and welcoming friends.

It takes awhile for my mind and body to catch up with my surroundings. To loosen and open. To thaw and breathe.

Last week, I made this little shoulder bag to bring along as reminder of what I love to do (and to hold the few basics I need for my explorations). Made with my deconstructed screen printed fabric, silk ribbons, and some other goodies.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Blobs and Dots

I drew on a couple of my screens with thickened fabric dye and a plastic syringe. It seems almost impossible to control the lines, as the dye blobs out at its own free will at times! Another aspect of this printing process that is usually delightfully unpredictable, and I love working with the resulting prints. Today I'll do some deconstructed screen printing after this dye dries on the screens. Holy Smoke! I have so much to learn!

See Judith's posts this month on "And Then We Set It On Fire" for her work with this technique (among others). The link is in My Blog List at the right.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Lynne with Wax and Dye

My finished pieces on Lynne's frame.
A couple of weeks ago, I traveled through a blizzard and minus degree temperatures to make good on a long-planned visit to the studio of my friend Lynne Taylor. She paints, she woodworks, she sculpts, she dyes. She is an all round fantastic artist!
The Lovely Lynne
The focus of this play date was to have Lynne teach me how to paint on silk with fabric dyes, as she does when she makes her beautiful scarves. So, I helped her set up the fabric (several types of silk, also some rayon and cotton) on her large frame.
Then Lynne showed me how to paint on the fabrics with liquid Procion dyes. I loved watching the dye spread across the fibers differently on each of the fabrics. Next she got out her wax and related tools, and things got really interesting! A new way of thinking about surface design developed as I played with what dye and wax could do as partners. Some experiments worked better than others. My absolute favorite is this raw silk with several shades of turquoise. The texture of the silk was wonderful to work with - very nubby but soft. I want to wear this one.
I'm loving all this fabric play. Next: do something wonderful with them!

Monday, February 23, 2015

A Room Full of Paulys

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Rochester, New York to see family and to work with Pat Pauly. Just before I came, Pat opened a show of her work at the Axom Gallery. I have admired Pat's work for several years but there have never been more than two or three of her pieces in each exhibit. Walking into the Axom Gallery, I was surrounded by her colors, shapes, symbols, and designs. It was a stunning experience! The exhibit is up through March 14th. Get on over there, if at all possible!

The top image is of an entire piece with her mummy bag motif. And here are some wonderful details . At the bottom of the page is another entire piece.

My photography does not do justice to the colors and the techniques. I want to try it ALL. And I am in awe ....

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

What is Paper Silk?!

Paper silk is a mysterious material that first showed up in my life when I saw Carol Boyer this past summer at the Quilting By the Lake workshop I attended. She shared some of it with me, and I took it my studio where it became the perfect material to become the sky in this little silk collage above.

Carol offered to show me how she makes paper silk, so a couple of weeks ago I went to visit her in her studio. Basic materials: silk sliver, GAC 900, acrylic paints and inks, nylon net, and plastic sheeting.

To get started, put some plastic sheeting on your work surface. A length of silk sliver is pulled off the rope, then the fibers are separated and placed on top of some nylon netting. More layers of the fibers are added in a different direction, and other materials can be added between silk fiber layers. I added paper, colored threads, feathers, and fabric scraps.

Carol recommended ending with a layer of silk to kept the "sandwich" together. Color can be added by using colored silk fibers, the inks or paints, and by the other materials used.

Carol's piece, with her signature gorgeous colors

Once the fibers, colors, and additions are complete, another layer of nylon netting is placed on top, then the liquid GAC 900 is spread evenly over the whole piece. Once everything is dry, the netting is peeled off top and bottom. You may like the texture made by the netting; Carol told me she sometimes irons it to smooth it out.

Cris' first piece, with the card I used to spread the GAC 900

And here some of my creations. I'm not sure where I'll use them yet, but they might work with my newly printed fabrics.

Thank you so much, Carol, for teaching me how to make a beautiful material and for the out-of-sight soup you served me for lunch!

Here's Carol. Doesn't she look like fun?!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Cool Little Workshop - Part Two

 For our next session, Pat and I worked with some silk screens, masks, and stencils on the fabrics we monoprinted a few days before, as well as fresh treated fabric.

I made a simple bird stencil with freezer paper. It was underwhelming when I printed through the stencil but I continued using it to make ghost prints with the paper.

Pat had a couple of screens with a bit of day-old dye left on them, so we unexpectedly did some deconstructed screen printing too. The vertical lines and colors from the screens added a lot! We placed some some newspaper stripes (or "legs," as Pat calls them) and circles ("heads"???) on the fabric as masks. They stuck to the screens throughout out work, until we removed them. (They look pretty cool too with the screened dye. I'm using them in some kind of collage work later.)

Here is one of the screens with dried dye as we started with it, and below is a length of fabric with the lines, masks, and more dye spread on over all. (Yellow on the top; purple on the bottom.)

Monoprinted, deconstructed screen printed, freezer paper masks. The nice brown is from our sludge bucket!
My favorite. Am I channeling Pat???
For you, Beth! The hands-only red print transformed by spreading yellow dye on most of it with a putty knife.