Monday, September 29, 2008

Online art auction!

Wednesday is the opening of the Surface Design Organization's art auction! Go to this web site and you can see a scarf I donated and some other amazingly wonderful pieces of art to inspire and cause you to have your money fly out of your checking account.

My scarf is on the last page at the bottom- gold silk with iris and I describe making it on this blog but back a ways.

I have some pics for you to see but am running fast today. More tomorrow, I promise.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Different fabrics in the same dye bath

Left to right:
Fabric Designs cotton muslin, habotai silk, silk gauze, silk chiffon, crepe backed silk satin, silk dupion, raw silk,silk organza, edge of silk velvet with the dark pile being rayon which is woven on top of silk.
I didn't work specifically on the fish piece this week but did do some dyeing for the fabric I will use for the lily pads. I thought you might be interested in how different fabrics take the dyes. Whenever I do seminars or give talks about what I do, this is the thing that interests the most people. They love to see and feel the different textiles and see how they respond to the dyes. The most dramatic piece is always the silk velvet combination.
Hopefully this week I will get to making more leaves for the fish piece and try dyeing the silk gauze and the cheesecloth.
Happy dyeing!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Evolution of an idea -part 2

I bought three different colors of netting to see if one was better than the other. Light beige, brown, and light blue.

While I was at it I bought some cheesecloth. It is more sheer than the silk gauze and of course a looser weave. I really like it. It's rustic and rough and a real possibility. I am going to dye it and see how THAT looks as the overlay.

Here is a detail.

Here is how it looks with one layer of the light tan netting. Not bad. It adds a bit of shimmer to the piece which I like.

Here it is with two layers which is a bit too much as I am losing the detailing again. I am thinking that I may need to dye the silk gauze and try it again for one more option.

I moved on to the lilies. I cut out some silk shapes to add to the cotton and now I know for SURE that not only is the silk a pain in the rear to sew this small (and then top stitch), but these colors are TERRIBLE. I didn't know they would be SO bad until I tried a few. Wow. Violent reaction! I am going to need to hand dye some more olive and dark olive green cotton as I am convinced that this needs to be an all cotton piece. Back to the tubs I go. More next week. Thanks for looking. Leave a comment if you want.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The development of an idea-

Yes, I said I would blog every Monday and I didn't get to it yesterday. I am a day late.... BUT...if I had posted yesterday as planned you would have only seen me going to the grocery co-op and buying organic peaches, doing other errands, and taking a long nap. How fun is THAT to see? Today I have decided to finish a project and thought you might to come along on my thought process... First thing was to dig out this fish painting I did a year ago. I have done some machine stitching on it and like it but want to take it further.

The size of this unfinished piece is about 20" x 30" or so.

Here is a detail of the machine stitching which adds so much to the interest of the piece. I intentionally did NOT put in a lot of painting details as I knew I was going to do what comes next and it would be lost so why bother...

Next step was to pin on a layer of silk gauze that has not been dyed. What I have been toying with is how to create a piece that looks as if we are viewing the fish through water. I'm not sure this is where I need to go with this but I need to experiment. Maybe glass would be cool. Then I would paint leaves and grass on top of the glass for dimension but can I get Jerry The Glass Man to cut holes out of the center of a piece of glass? Does that work? Can that even be done?

Here is what it looked like with holes cut into the silk. Kind of cool but I am sad that SO much detail is lost with the gauze. Is there an even thinner fabric that would be better? I'm thinking, thinking, thinking.

So how will it look if i start to build up a layer outside of the gauze so that there is more detailing on top of the silk. Hey. Not bad. Need
to add some more leaves. I may paint detailing on the leaves or may just do stitching instead.

After studying it a bit I am wondering how it would look without the silk...

Not bad but the value of the leaves and the background are too much the same and it just looks flat. Back to the silk...

Yes, this is more interesting. There are good things about it and not so good things about it. First of all, I am losing the detailing but I am gaining interest. It cuts the light but that's what water does. Can I get the same effect using something thinner or more transparent? Do I want the hardness that glass would bring to this piece?

At this point I have to stop and take a break. I came up to the office to post this blog and eat lunch. This is when my art starts to "cook". The ideas percolate around in my head and as I go about other things the ideas start to mature and when I come back later to see how it looks, most of the time I will have the next piece of the puzzle. It may take a few days or a few hours. I'll let you know what happens next.

Hope you find this interesting. I find it most fascinating to watch the development of a process. You don't get to see it very often in artist's studios. You MIGHT see the preliminary drawings and the finished piece but rarely do you see the development so I wanted to share that with you.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My week

To everyone who comes here looking for something new, I apologize for being such a bad blogger. I said I would make Mondays Blog Day and will resume that...ummm....okay...this Monday. Until then, here's some stuff I did this week:

Here is my desk in my office. I "do" my QU classes here and talk to you when you email me, and take orders for hand dyed silk and cotton and supplies for the classes I teach. It's more organized than you may think. I know where everything is and no one had better move anything or it will all cascade onto the floor which, incidentally, is carpeted in EXACTLY the same stuff that Myrna has in her home. Is that weird or what?

This week I had a lot of orders to get to the post office. Here I am getting everything ready to ship for the day.

Here is what went on on Monday. Some stuff to Australia, some clear across the US. Some stuff stayed in California.

The main attraction for this week was trying to match some hand dyed silk for a customer. Believe me when I say- this was not for the feint of heart!

This olive green habotai silk took me...are you ready for this? took me 28 passes before I broke the code. Above are my recipe notes. It is the most subtle and clever color. It was haunting me until I finally found the correct amounts and time and application to get an almost dead on match. I love this kind of a challenge.

Here is the color after I applied it to the silk. You can see the subtle differences in the green- some places are more yellow and some are more green. Perfect. I'm proud of myself. Hope the customer is as happy as I am with the final results.

I spent a lot of time this week washing plastic. Even though the samples are small, there were a lot of them- plus....

This week I finished up 40 yards of discharged fabric for another customer. Here it is ready to be shipped. I had a lot of help from my daughter as the heavy lifting is something I still am not able to do.

So it was a productive week. I did a lot of resting and stopped often between events to allow the healing process to continue. What I didn't show you is my life that does not revolve around fabric. Interclub tennis is starting without me this year. I did go and watch my women's team practice Tuesday night which was fun. I took some walks. Did some gardening. Cooked a few meals. I am NOT the model patient but am learning that when I do too much, I am taking backwards steps the next day.

Hope you enjoyed seeing a bit more of what I do. I posted some questions that I have been pondering in my restful moments in the newsletter and have heard from a few of you but not many. Take a look at it and let me know what you think.

About Me

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Woodland, California, United States
I am a fiber artist. I am a teacher. I am a Reverend. I teach, I create, I counsel, I listen.

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