Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Want to Follow My Blog by Email?

Some of you have said you couldn't subscribe to my blog by having my posts sent right to your inbox. Sorry for that problem. I think I've fixed that by adding a gadget that allows you to "Follow by Email". Please let me know if that solves it. Keep up with my blog the way these astute and cute followers do!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Back in the Studio

 My stay in the sunny south is over but not forgotten. I'll insert some images later of my travels. For now, I'm so glad to have access to the print making studio at Bluseed in my hometown. I was there last week doing more deconstructed screen printing. Above are a couple of my homemade screens, one an old framing mat and the other cut from thick foamcore, all taped up and with old sheer curtains to stand in for the silk in my better screens. These are freshly covered with thickened fabric dye squeegeed over various objects such as a piece of rubber rug pad, hardened hot glue shapes, pieces of cardboard, and bubble wrap. The hair drier is pointed at them on high to dry the dye before printing.

 The print on the left is my first pull with my clear print paste over a screen with dried indigo dye. The green transferred to my screen from a piece of cardboard that was previously used to pattern anothenr screen. The right-hand print is the second pull. See how the dye is dissolving more with exposure to the print paste.
The next pair of prints used the same screen as above but with some black cherry dye mixed with the print paste. All these were printed on a white cotton sheet. I printed on several pieces of fabric that were not presoaked with soda. I had read on the "... And Then We Set It On Fire" blog that the fiber reactive dyes can be set immediately after printing with a spray of soda ash and water solution on the back before leaving in a warm place to "batch". It worked like a charm.

And I love that my electric mattress pad will batch a whole batch of fabric at once. I just make sure my fabrics are securely wrapped in plastic trash bags. Then I put them to bed between (or under) the sheets, turn the control to High, and go about my business. If they haven't been there long enough at bedtime, I make sure I put the bags of fabric under the mattress pad, turn the heat down (or even off), and use my body heat to continue the process. The outside temperatures hovered right around zero all week, so it worked put perfectly! An electric blanket will be equally effective. A bonus of living in a cold climate.

If you are a fiber artist, you really need to check out "... And Then We Set It On Fire". I have learned so much from the wonderful posts on this blog, including the two tips I used for my printing: making the screens from the old mat and from foamcore and spraying my prints with the soda ash solution.  Another great link is from Kerr Grabowski's website - she posted a nice short video on how deconstructed screen printing is done. I can never explain it well enough. And please let me know if this post was helpful to you!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Findings #6

What a find! A Spoonbill feather on the beach. Have you ever noticed how similar leaves and feathers are?

Monday, January 5, 2015

Findings #5

Water oak leaves and some southern red cedar, stitched and with some watercolor. What will I find today?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

At Oiseaux Studio South

I spent the first day of 2015 in the best imaginable way - with Susan Andrews in her Florida studio. (And wishing Carolyn could have joined us - feel better soon!). Susan is one of my mentors - my first art mentor - and she is perennially inspiring, supportive, and delightful. If not for Susan and Carolyn and that fortuitous summer workshop with them in 2008, I might still be searching for my right path.

As always, lunch was healthy and delicious (and beautiful to boot!).

After loads of information sharing, we finally got down to what we planned to do: experiment with using text on fabric, preferably handwritten. Susan has been experimenting with pens of all kinds, so she pulled out about two dozen of them for me to try. In the short bit of time left after all our yakking, I did a bunch of samples, using my current guiding verse "The Journey" by Mary Oliver, on paper and then fabric, but didn't find the perfect tool for fabric - yet.

Thanks, Susan, for so many things but especially for your time. Love you.

To learn more about the fabulous Oiseaux Sisters and their art and workshops, click here.

Here are a few vignettes from the studio - full of treasures.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Findings #4

These are two different Florida epiphytes - one is Spanish moss, which is lush and beautiful right now. These were in Lake Seminole Park. Some curlicues still need to be stitched down, then I'll add the watercolor.