Friday, December 26, 2008

Cotton Dyeing Class

Want to learn how to hand dye cotton fabric? I'll teach you how! Go to and sign up for Cotton Dyeing Basics. Class starts January 9th. 5 weeks! Big fun. Easy stuff. You'll love it! Gradation dyeing, over dyeing, making solids, mottling colors; it's all there. See you in class.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fish finished-

I finally finished the fish.
These days when I work on my fiber art I start with a challenge to myself around a perceived area of weakness, or I center myself around a challenging idea. With the fish, I wanted to explore the concept of layers. I love fish! What I wanted to capture is the layers of depth when viewing coi in a pond. You can see the development of the idea in postings below.
I'm not satisfied with this piece yet. It's okay but just okay. I didn't like the way the light is diffused with the silk gauze and the netting is not opaque enough to do the trick. I tried doubling it up; I painted it; I tripled it up. Finally, I doubled it and stitched it down in ripples as you can see.
I have thought about using glass and painting on that and will return to this challenge later. The lily pads will be attached to the glass and if I can get Jerry The Glass Man to cut holes where the fish's mouths come out of the water then that will be the crowning touch.

I wasn't happy with the fabric lily pads when I first attached them but as I scrunched them and anchored them with stitches they improved. I used raw silk and muslin, Next time I may stick with only one kind of fabric.

I know some of you are interested in the comment above about challenging myself around what I see as a "perceived weakness". This is something I explore quite a lot in my own art making. I showed you the three pieces for the December show below- the challenge to myself to was stop (and know when to stop) before the piece was over worked. I am not finished with this exercise! I need a LOT more work on control and leaving things alone at that sweet spot where it says "I'm done!" It's so tempting to just do a little more and then that tips the scales away from the simplicity and beauty of the thing as it was. I hate, hate, hate it when I do that and must train myself to stop before it's too late. Can you relate?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Why do you make art?

I asked this question almost a year ago and got so many interesting responses I thought I would ask it again. So...why do you make art? Do you set aside a certain time each day to do it? Do you stick to that commitment? Why or why not?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Silk Test Runs Finished

I just sent off 14 silk runs to Hawaii for review. Lots of fun. Lots of bloopers. Lots learned. It was fun trying to make up recipes to match her colors. I am very anal about how I dye my silks, as most of you know, and Jes is much more of a free spirit about it all so it was challenging and exciting to find my way. I am looking forward to doing more in 09! Let the good times roll!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Fabric Designs and A'kai Silks join forces!

I am pleased to announce that I will be working with A'kai Silks to create some of the work you see pictured here. If you would like to look at the web site, here is a link:
I am in hog heaven. Yes, as in a big, fat, happy pig, rolling in yards and yards of luscious silk.
Do yet another happy dyeing dance with me.
The good news just keeps on happening!
Oink, oink,oink.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December show

The opening of the December show was great. Sold two of my three fiber art pieces.The one called Golden Rain sold immediately and the other one called North Wind followed soon afterwards. Pictures of them are in postings below.
This week I will be finishing the coi fish-will post pictures soon!
Let me know if you want to be put on the January Dye Studio e-newsletter. Thank you for your lovely response so far!

Monday, December 1, 2008

New e-newsletter in January and those fish-

I will be sending out a new e-newsletter in January called "The Dye Studio". It will contain other studio adventures than what you see here, as well as give dyeing tips and occasional reviews of new products on the market that can enhance (or not) your dyeing experience. It will come out 4 times a year- January, April, July, and October. If you already are on my e-list then you will receive it. If not, let me know and I will send you the next edition!

I just took the three fiber art pieces you see in my last posting below to the county administration building for the December show. Pictures of them on the walls will be posted next week.

The next Quilt University class is coming up soon. Here is my schedule for the first half of 09. A QU class makes a great gift idea for you or someone you love!

January 9- Basic Cotton Dyeing

February 13- Silk Dyeing

February 27-Quilter's Palette

March 13- Fabric Painting

March 27- Tea Stain Dyeing (expanded to 3 lessons that include spices and organic matter as stain agents)

April 10- Shibori Dyeing

May 8- Gutta Resist on Silk

May 29-Quilter's Palette

June 12- Three unusual Ways to Dye

June 26- Batik

You can sign up 5 weeks before the class opens at the QU web site:

And now about those fish...I finally decided that I had to make a move with this piece. Just commit to something, anything and get it done. One layer of netting wasn't enough. Painting the netting was like trying to nail Jello to the wall. Silk gauze was too thick. The solution was to double it up in ripples and then machine stitch it down to the painting itself. It works. Next step is to attach the lily pads.

Had an interesting response from "Jerry The Glass Man" (you can see pics of him on our excursion earlier this year when we went out into to the countryside to get bamboo). He was looking at my blogging dilemma about these fish and has a glass alternative that I will explore later which may be exactly what I want for this concept. I do plan on doing this theme again in the future. Thanks, Jerry! When are you coming over for peanut butter and jelly?

Happy dyeing everyone!

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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