Saturday, January 30, 2016

Magical Process on Silk Scarves

Great group with their colorful new scarves.
My friend Lynne Taylor taught another workshop at the Pink House Studio recently that involved applying color to silk. (She taught a workshop on silk painting in August - see my post from August 14th "My New Studio in Service!").
Lynne showing us how it's done.
This time, she taught us how to draw on the silk with Sharpie markers and then to move the color around with rubbing alcohol. It was much like using watercolor paint - lovely and somewhat unpredictable results that are permanent after heat setting. And because there is not an issue with the type of fiber used, the method works on cotton and blends as well.

Lynne brought an incredible array of Sharpies for us to try. Huge range of colors, a variety of tip choices including a brush. Even Sharpies specifically for fabric! There was also a range of results from the various pens too, when the rubbing alcohol was applied.

By the way, some ventilation is required once the alcohol is brought out. It gets pretty strong! 
Alcohol sprayed on the drawings on the silk.
Note the marks on the green square made by the spray.

Sharon's silk scarf with a spritz of alcohol.
Sharon's scarf with more alcohol applied.
 The first set of lovely scarves.
Carefully-rendered drawing with alcohol applied to the dots on the left.
Carefully-rendered drawing with alcohol applied very freely, including spitz.
The similarity to watercolor painting is very appealing to me. As you can see above, being careful with the drawing is not worth much in the end. Love it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Really? Fabric Dye?!

I bought this sideboard a few months ago for my little kitchen. It is perfect in every way - right size, drawers and cabinets to hold just the right stuff, great price, AND some history, as an added bonus. The tale is that this piece of furniture came out of a cottage on Lower Saranac Lake that Mark Twain used to rent in summers. No cigars burns to definitely authenticate it, but I'm going with it anyway!

The finish was dark, though, and some areas needed to be shored up a bit. After lots of sanding to get some of that old finish off and some repairs, it was moved into my studio for its real face lift.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to add color to the surface. After much searching around and talking with a woodworker artist friend, I found instructions on ProChem's website on how to use the powdered fiber reactive dyes I already have to dye wood. (Please read my comment to Laura to see how I added a sealer/finish. The dye is water soluble when applied.)

I primed then painted the insides of the drawers with some great colors. Then, with some trepidation, I mixed up my dye with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol and started. Wow! It was much easier than (and about as messy as) I had expected. But even more beautiful! What a satisfying project.
 Now I'm thinking about how to add some Mark Twain-related embellishments. I think he would be pleased.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Settling into Winter

 The Holiday Gift Gallery is winding down, and soon my artist friends will have their lovely things that did not sell back with them. And lots of things did sell. It was a good season. I am filled with gratitude for all wonderful things that have happened at my Pink House since I opened in July.

January is always my time to take stock of the past year, to settle into the shelter of home and the inner life, and to dream about what can happen next.

While I dive into all of that, here is a table runner I made with one of my ecoprints and some gold thread. More of these lovely and practical fabric works will appear soon in the Pink House Gallery, but this one is going to  friend.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Happy Holiday Gift Gallery!

The gallery is filled with colorful handmade lovelies made by my artist friends (and a few by me, at long last) and after some errands, my open signs will be out. For today, the bookkeeping, labeling, and other undercover activities will take a back seat to getting my "bouquet" of little balsam firs and white birch branches out in the garden arranged, lighted, and decorated with my new pink Christmas balls. (What color did you THINK I'd choose?!)

Below are some of the items in the gallery, and please go to my Holiday Gift Gallery page above to see more. I am gradually adding more to that page, so check back again. Prices range from $10 to $75 - just right!

Jean Poole's 3D fabric bags. $15 -$25.

Linda Smyth's colorful note cards. $15 for pkg of 4.
Lake Champlain painting by Linda Smyth - for your camp! $65.

Linda Smyth's watercolors in painted frames. $45 each.

Fanciful Birdie House by Lynne Taylor. $49.
Painted Box with sliding lid by Lynne Taylor. $35.
 And if you really can't decide, you can buy a gift certificate for any amount, to be used for an art class or some artwork. She will be grateful!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Best Surface Design Exhibit in the Adirondacks!

Okay, as far as I know, it's the only surface design exhibit. But no matter. There is a lot of beautiful fabric in the gallery, with information to tell you how it was done. It is my personal mission to explore fabric and mixed media art in my community, with an educational component, and this exhibit has been loads of fun! Many "Wow!s" and "I want to try that!s".

Since mid-October, my gallery has been filled with the color and texture of unique, hand-dyed, printed art fabrics. Have you heard the term "shibori-dyed" but aren't quite sure what that means? See Susan Hahn's mini exhibit of "how it's made" shibori samples and her finished artwork.
Shibori samples by Susan Hahn
For lots of images of screen printed, direct dyed, snow dyed, eco printed, stamped, batiked, shibori dyed fabrics (among others) and more information, check out the page above "In the Pink House Gallery." If you want to see it all, come on in soon - up through Sunday, November 22nd. But the information will stay on my gallery page, so enjoy!

Friday, November 6, 2015

"I'm an Eco Printing Novice"

If there was a T-shirt announcing "I'm an Eco Printing Novice," I imagine I could truthfully wear it for a very long time. I've admired the results of the process for a long time but I didn't try it until I saw the wonderful results in person at The Maine Event in September.

 I documented my first go pretty thoroughly. The second one too. All of these were done with with cotton and linen, which required a premordant soak with soda ash. The first one got some ferrous sulfate as well; the second with soda ash alone. Both dye baths included ferrous sulfate. Let me know what you think!
Peony leaves on cotton
Oak leaves on vintage linen
Oak leaves between linen layers, ready to roll on the birch stick.
Bundles in the dye bath with ferrous sulfate
A bundle just from the dye bath. See the lovely lines under the string that resisted the iron?
Unwrapping a print with oak leaves. The print is on upper half.
A print with peony leaves. They worked beautifully!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gotta See it

Perrella Gallery
On my way south through the Adirondacks last week, I stopped at the Perrella Gallery on the campus of Fulton-Montgomery Community College near Johnstown, New York. My mission was to see the new fiber art exhibit - Fiber Currents/Current Fibers - which includes the work of a few of my favorite art quilters. Well worth the trip!!!

Having a high quality fiber art exhibit in my part of the world is uncommon (although the annual Quilts Unlimited exhibit is open now at View in Old Forge). I'd like more of that, and that is what my Pink House Gallery in Saranac Lake is about.

For now, yes, I'll drive to see the work of Betty Busby, Wen Redmond, Pat Pauly, Judith Plotner, and others! You should too - so much better in person than via my cell phone photos. Nice catalog for sale too.
"Retia" by Betty Busby

"Pink Leaf 4" by Pat Pauly

"Remembering the Wind" by Wen Redmond

"Brooklyn Ensemble" by Judith Plotner