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

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Touring (and Playing) in the Pink House Studio

Saturday was the last of Saranac Lake ArtWorks summer Studio Tours, and it was my best ever! That's because so many visitors arrived who were so interested in the fiber art, both in my gallery and in  the studio. Several people visited me in past years at my little studio on the woods - so nice to see old friends! And what a beautiful day it was.

In the studio, I was demonstrating the process of deconstructed screen printing and I got some valuable help from several visitors. The first screen I used was made by dumping ocean rocks and periwinkle shells from the beach near Searspprt, ME onto a thick layer of blue-black dye and then letting it dry for about 24 hours. (Thanks, Janine, for showing me this technique at last weekend's workshop!) When I pulled off the rocks and shells, there were some wonderful and unique patterns on my silk screen.
Stones and shells settling in on the very thick dye.

Patterns left when stones and shells were removed from the dried dye.

Consecutive prints on fabric using plain print paste.
Series of prints, some with blue dye added to print paste.
And some yellow added at the end.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Before the Maine Event

A whole day to explore fabric dyeing techniques! First with indigo.
Beth Berman hosted us, and she mixed up this lovely bucket of indigo dye ahead of time so it could gently ferment. See that scum on top? That indicates that it worked! We learned many ways to tie, clamp, rubber band, and otherwise manipulate our fabric to make patterns before immersing them in the indigo bucket. 
My cotton fabric with 1) string pulled through rolled fabric, 2) two clamps on folded fabric, and 3) marbles fastened in the fabric with rubber bands.
My dyed fabric just out of the bucket with strings, clamps, and rubber bands removed.
The fabric is green when removed from the dye and gradually turns that gorgeous indigo blue as it oxidizes.
A clothesline hung with indigo is beautiful!
And here is my friend Deborah showing off her intricately patterned indigo-dyed shirt. Gorgeous!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Workshops and Classes at the Pink House

Mixed Media Collage - Cris Winters
I just made a new page on my blog where you can find the creative learning options we're offering! Click on the "Workshops and Classes" tab on my main blog page. Workshops coming up by Carol Boyer, me (Cris Winters), and Pat Pauly. Way fun!!!
Making Silk Paper - Carol Boyer
Improv Sketches - Pat Pauly

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Gallery at the Pink House

Mixed media by Susan Andrews
More by Susan Andrews
I'm having so much fun showing the work of my artist friends at my gallery. The exhibit "Arrivals & Departures opened on Friday, featuring the work of Susan Andrews. Here are some highlights:

Art by Lynne Taylor, Deborah McDonald, and Carol Boyer (r to l)

Art by Pat Pauly, Cris Winters. Carol Boyer, and Lynne Taylor. (r to l)

Art by Pat Pauly and Cris Winters (r to l)

Zen rocks by Chad Pattison

Monday, August 17, 2015

Those Pesky Plant Fibers

I need some help!!! Lots of fun last week with our mushroom dye experiments. I'm buying more raw silk - I love its texture and it took the dyes beautifully.

BUT. As you can see from this photo, the cottons (top left and bottom right) did not. And I thought I had prepared them (as well as some linen) by soaking overnight in a soda ash solution then drying them before the dye process.  Even in the colorful lobster mushroom dye with added soda ash, the plant fibers didn't color much.

Yep, I know the plant fibers need to be mordanted with various substances. And I've spent a couple of days reading about how to do that. I think I understand the chemistry.

But I guess the how-tos of mordanting are so basic that most articles don't discuss the actual step by step process. Or the processes conflict with something else I read.

Can any of you talented Dye Queens (or Kings) tell me exactly how to mordant my cottons and linens for natural dying? Do I boil the fabric in the mordant solution? Dry them before dying? Soak and dry 3 times? Use alum acetate? Wave a dried indigo stalk over the dye pot while chanting a specific incantation?

I'd love to hear about the specifics of your method, and I'll compile them in a post to share. Thanks a bunch!

Friday, August 14, 2015

My New Studio in Service!

On Saturday, my studio was the site of a wonderful silk painting workshop that followed an opening of art by Lynne Taylor and me, including many of her beautiful paintings on silk. Lynne taught the workshop, I assisted, and we had five enthusiastic students.
Lynne is on the right, showing us how to stretch the fabric on a frame.
Some wonderful work resulted.
Susan and Joey working on their gorgeous flowers.
Then, last evening three friends showed up in the studio to start our informal fiber arts group. Tonight's experiment involved mushrooms, fabrics, the little stove in my little kitchen, and a couple of mordants. Here are the mushrooms I collected.
A coral mushroom and some lobster mushrooms.
Stephanie, Karen, and Roseanne loving the results.
We used three different mushroom species, brews with no added mordants, and brews with either vinegar or soda ash as mordants. Also, we tried several types of wool and silk, some linens, and some cottons. I'll post more photos somewhere else for our group, but here is our array laid out to dry.
It was well worth the experiment! The lobster mushrooms performed  beautifully. We had three very distinct colors from the three different pH mixtures. I imagine there are several women scouring the Adirondack woods at this very moment for more lobster mushrooms!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

I am OPEN!

Yes, philosophically I try to stay open. But now my Pink House Gallery is open too, as of last week's Art Walk. I'm the shorty above with my friends Janice and Gail that evening. We're standing in front of the work of my friends Pat Pauly (the 5 large pieces) and Deborah McDonald (the small piece outlined in black on the left). There is also work of friends Carol Boyer and Lynne Taylor, as well as some of my own. Isn't it fabulous to have such friends?!!!

I promised to show a sneak preview of a current project in my recent email blast about Saturday's Studio Tour and the exhibit "Reflections and Exchanges" that opens August 7th at the Pink House Gallery. For this exhibit, Lynne Taylor, the above-mentioned friend, and I exchanged some of our dyed and printed fabrics. Now we're busy using the other's fabrics to make some small pieces with our own techniques. Here are three of mine in the very early stages:

And if you're near Saranac Lake on Saturday, check out our July Studio Tour! I'll be OPEN!