Friday, June 29, 2012

Busy and Hot!!!

Life has been a whirlwind lately!! I have been teaching and creating and planning for more teaching!!  recently I have finished this White Free Form bracelet that I am calling "Something New".  It has such a strong Bridal look , the title seemed to be a perfect fit!!

This piece is loaded with pearls and vintage crystals, Opalite stones and Czech floral beads. I am hoping that a customer at Artful Dimensions Gallery will love it as much as I !

Working with summer colors and ocean colors in mind, I have also created these three new Sea Glass Pendants.  I collected these pieces of sea glass last summer on Cape Cod and now each is cradled in a unique strapping of beads, pearls and hand cut vintage crystals!

I just noticed that the temp in DC today has hit 102 degrees!!  After gardening this morning in the relative cool, I set up some sun prints.  One of the few things that a hot sunny oppressive day is good for is Sun Printing!!!  I am working on a very large collage quilt piece that will be comprised of layers of these sun prints.  I have to get three pieces ready to go to the Fredericksburg Museum for a Textile Arts Exhibit that will open in September!!

I hope that all can keep cool !! I am off to set up some more Sun Prints!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Got Me Again!!! Hooked on a New technique!!

I had the opportunity to take a Thermofax screen printing class yesterday with two delightful gals, Susan Price and Elizabeth Gibson.  The class was held at one of my alternate homes, Artistic Artifacts Annex. For those who are not aware of what Thermofax Screen printing is, here is a quick description.  Someone made the discovery that old Thermofax machines (once used for creating transparencies in schools and such) could be used to burn screens to be used in artwork.  The production of the screens requires 1. a Thermofax  machine ( folks are busy refurbishing old machines for just this purpose) 2. the special coated screen material  3. a black and white toner copy image .  When placed against the screen, the toner image (that contains carbon)  will be burned into the screen material removing the coating in the carbon area- where ever the image is back.
These machines are EXPENSIVE and there is quite a steep learning curve for getting things all worked out and set up.  Elizabeth and Susan have invested in a machine and are working on their own Small business to create screens for other artists who want to print with their own images.  This is the point where my own photography and artwork comes on the scene!!  Their business is call PG Fiber to Art and I will be sure to let you all know when they are up and running for making screens for the public.
In the meantime they taught the class yesterday at Artistic Artifacts Annex ( one of my alternate homes) to teach us how to work with the screens .  We got to print with a wonderful stash of their own screens  and to learn how to best work with the paint on our own fabrics.
I did not do any printing on plain fabrics!  No, not me!! I took along pieces of fabric that had already been manipulated with color. Above is a gelatin mono printed piece of muslin that was done with large bubble wrap then i practiced with the small flower screen using a mixture of yellow and a strong orange paint to WAKE Up this background.
This is one of my favorite pieces. This is a piece of my hand dyed muslin that a printed with several different Queen Anne's Lace screens using several different colors of paint with several different opacity levels.  I love the depth in this piece.
This small bit is a used tea bag that i took apart after the tea had dried out a bit and then printed with another small flower screen!!  Love this!! Save your tea bags!!!
Here is another fabulous Queen Anne's Lace screen printed on one of my sun prints.  I used a mixture of white and purple paints to get the color shift effects.  ( I am not one to keep it simple with just one color of paint, once I got the printing technique down, playtime and experimentation definitely took over!!!)

This is another favorite piece!  This began as a vintage doily that i rust dyed.  the rust dying was less than exciting so it went into the low immersion dye pile and came out quite well.  Not done yet- more Queen Anne's Lace screens and now it is FABULOUS!!!( If I do say so myself!!)

This fabric was created using large bubble bubble wrap on a gelatin plate and then the butterfly screens were added yesterday!!  Much better!! LOVE THIS !!

This piece began life as a large piece of plain muslin.  I wet the fabric and sprinkled it with instant coffee granules and let it dry in the sun.  After heat setting the stains with an iron- REALLY hot- it got screen printed with my favorite Queen Anne's Lace Screens.  O LA LA!!!

Today I am going to be working on my own photographs and then going on a walk to collect some Queen Anne's lace to make my own screens!!
I am hooked again - like a junkie on crack!!! I rushed home and started going thru my photos to find special shots that would work best for this technique.  Now I have yet another layer of my personal images to add to my textile and paper projects. 
It does not get much better than this- let me tell you!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Nuno Felting Class Project/ Experiment

In my previous post I wrote about my recent class with the amazing Margo Duke!( If you click on Margo's name you will be taken to her Flikr library of amazing felted creations!! SWOON!!)  I love the class and had a great time being with Margo and her wonderful spirit and trying to learn all that I can . I finally got around to finishing up the project that I started in the class and I was not at all pleased with the result.  This happens, more times than I care to remember, but when one is just trying to get a handle on a new technique, the path is not always free of ruts and obstacles. In this case I think that I pushed the envelope too much.  there is a reason for the old axiom, Keep It Simple, STUPID!!! This was one of those times.  So when I got a less than stellar result, I deconstructed it and remade the wool and cheesecloth part into this!
Once I separated the cheesecloth/wool from the silk I had a square of wool/cheesecolth with stripes of cheesecloth.  I cut the square into three rectangles and attached the rectangles to each other end to end.  In that process and the subsequent wet felting, several holes developed.  I like the random placement of the holes and I plan to add beads and stitching in those areas to add more areas of interest and tiny sparkling surprises.The edges of the scarf are very organic and the scarf itself is extremely lightweight and is full of frothy texture from the felted cheese cloth.

So from a lemon I got some extra special lemonade and I made" Nuno" felt with cheese cloth rather than silk- it is still "Nuno", as it is definitely a "New" Cloth!!

the thin threads of color that you can see running over the top of the cheesecloth are silk fibers that I added into the felting structure for some more color interest and silky shine.

  I was able to remove the vintage silk scarf that I had tried to felt with and will use it for another project.
So, in the end, it is all good and I learned  a lot, mostly about what not to do.  But often the big mistakes make for the most valuable lessons!!

So now I will be adding some bead work to this piece and setting up a bunch of lengths of cheese cloth for the dye baths as I think that I have stumbled on something that I really want to explore!!!
thank you again Her Majesty Margo Duke for yet another great class!!!


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