I am enjoying my experimentation with the new Eco-printing techniques I am learning. I am changing the variables, such as plant materials, fabrics, mordants, heating temperatures, and length of time involved, to name a few, and learning as I go. So far, my favorite results are on Fuji silk broadcloth and silk noil, with some pleasing results on linen as well. This is the most interesting turn in my work for a long time, and I am so enjoying the surprises along the way, in fact, each time I open a new bundle, I feel like it's Christmas morning! I get so excited! Here are some pictures of my latest pieces, with details of the eco-prints.
"Your Days of Sorrow Will End" was created on silk noil that was batiked first, then shibori dyed in a flag fold pattern, then flour paste was applied, followed by diluted paint, to achieve the crackled effect, then commercial squares were applied, followed by scroll work of painted fusible webbing, discharge paste applied with bubble wrap for texture, Isaiah 16:20 scripture on silk organza, machine stitched to branches and background machine quilted with variegated thread. A piece like this takes easily 60 hours of hands on time, which does not include the processing time for the various techniques used. A special piece for sure!
A couple traveling from Hawaii purchased the art quilt, "Your Days of Sorrow Will End," for one of their friends back home, from the Valdese Heritage Art Center yesterday. I am so happy for this piece to go to someone who is experiencing grief in their lives, and I hope that the scriptures will be a continued source of comfort and support for them. I grow attached to my pieces when I am making them, but when I know someone else is going to be blessed by them, it's easy to let them go to their new homes, because that is the reason for which they are created. May God bless them through this artwork.
I was honored to be contacted by Burke Arts Council Director, Deborah Jones, about placing some items in their gallery and teaching a Shibori workshop this coming May! I shared with Deborah that I am working on some new pieces, and she welcomed whatever pieces I wanted to bring. She expressed a special interest in having some Shibori scarves in the gallery for display and for sale.
We have scheduled the Shibori Workshop for May 18th, 2013 and it will be held in the Upstairs-Downtown Studio of Mary Marcia Salsbury. I visited Mary Marcia's studio for the first time last week, and cannot imagine a more beautiful place to teach and spread my passion for fiber art! Just gorgeous!! Visit Mary Marcia's Facebook page for directions and other info, HERE.
The workshop will cost $40 for non-members, and $35 for members of the Burke Arts Council. We will have class from 1-4pm, Saturday May 18th, and participants will leave with a one of a kind Shibori hand-dyed scarf. You get to choose which type of scarf you want, Silk and Rayon scarves will be available. Shibori is a Japanese type of binding and gathering technique of dyeing which leaves beautiful patterns on the cloth that is dyed. All materials will be provided, you simply need to wear old clothes or an apron and come have fun!
Below are the pieces I submitted to the Burke Arts Council Gallery, visit their website HERE!
Another new technique to me that is incorporated here is called Marbling. Again, I like the organic shapes and knowing that no two pieces are ever the same. Ceramic " Inspire" button was created in a friend's pottery studio by me as well, and is showcased here on white linen with machine stitching accents. Charcoal buttons and sea blue silk coordinates beautifully with the marbled fabric.
If you are interested in purchasing any of these items, please visit the Burke Arts Council Jailhouse Gallery at the 115 Meeting Street, in downtown Morganton, NC.
If you would like to register for the Shibori workshop,
call (828) 433‑7282.
Icy conditions today gave me time for altering a couple of photographs in Photoshop. I used two original photos and layered them in Photoshop, and before and after applied different filters to the layers individually. I love that you can "see through" the top layer into the background layer; and I was able to manipulate the way the leaves had "grown" and how the branch of the tree grew, giving it even more personality. I can see this being printed onto fabric, then layered with other complimentary hand dyed fabrics around it in some way, with maybe some yummy hand stitching for accent. So, you may see this piece again, just dressed in a different way.
I love trying new things with fabric! I am always looking for new ways of making marks on fabrics, and lately I'm looking into more natural ways of doing that. As I mentioned in this post, I wanted to try something called Eco-printing: using leaves and plants arranged on fabrics and heated to leave an impression of the leaf material printed on the fabric. I love the faint, muted and natural tones of these types of prints. Mine did not turn out as vivid as I would have liked, but it was my first attempt, so I was open to whatever I came out with. Here are a few images showing my method and the resulting fabric.
I hope to enter this competition in Virginia soon. I am very excited, as I feel my art quilts depicting trees with scriptures on them are so sacred to me, and they seem to fit naturally with the vision of Sacred Threads as a whole.
Sacred Threads was created to give those of us who love to use spiritual/inspirational/healing themes in our work, a "safe" place to be, where as these things are not entirely embraced for display readily in the art quilting world as a whole, currently, though I believe that will change over the next few coming years. Check out their website HERE if you're interested in learning more about it.
Just finished this book (one of my favorite Christmas presents this year), and feel that I could read it 100 more times and not absorb everything it has to offer! This book is packed with the most information I have ever seen compiled into one book before, and I love to read. I will be reading this one over and over again!
One day recently, I realized I am producing works that do not represent my very favorite colors, and those are the muted, soft colors you would find by the ocean in the sea shells, the sand, the weathered wood that is everywhere from the effects of the salty air and constant breezes...I'm talking about the palest of shades, that may even be called the "whites" of colors. These are the colors that please me most, but they just don't work well as a background for my trees, made with white silk organza...so I'm exploring new directions, materials and techniques to continue expanding my experiences, my library of skills and techniques used to make my work, and am excited/nervous about this change.
If you are drawn to the soft, muted tones that natural dyes produce, as I am, you may enjoy this book also. India Flint, a pioneer in this field, writes just as if you are sitting by her in her living room and with a surprisingly interesting Australian lilt that will leave a smile on your face. Ms. Flint's signature technique is an extremely interesting one that I can't wait to try called "eco-printing," which involves taking real leaves and rolling them up in fabric and binding it and either leaving it to sit cold, or heating, or steaming it on the stove in an effort to leave the dyed impression of the leaf on the fabric...Gorgeous!! Wish me luck in these new adventures, and I'll keep you posted about how it turns out.
Following the Rotary speaking engagement on Tuesday, where I had several on the spot sales, I'm happy to share that one of the members came to the arts center and bought one of my large art quilts. I hope the new owner will enjoy this piece for years to come! I am told it is a special gift to a dear wife and mother.
I was delighted to hear from Elizabeth Furr, Executive Director of Arts at the Old Rock School, that I have officially become a board member at the Old Rock Schools of Arts. I am honored to be a part of this esteemed group, and I want to thank the members who nominated me. I look forward to meeting the other members, getting to know them and to serving this community in this wonderful way. Great news for beginning a new year!
I'm working on an art quilt for showing at my speaking engagement with the Rotary Club of Valdese on
December 11th. The club is interested in my art work and the processes that I use to produce my art quilts and wearable art pieces. I so look forward to meeting all of the members and sharing about this passion in my life, and expressing to them my hope that the pieces I make will somehow speak to the needs of others.
Below is a picture of the start of a piece I will be showing (hopefully I can get it done by then ;). I am continuing to explore new ways of making marks on cloth and the picture of the trees in my mind is changing. I love to explore new techniques and am continuing to find my artistic voice, so to speak, through color and stitch.
We had a relaxed and rejuvenating day spending time outdoors at beautiful McGalliard Falls shooting pictures of simple moments in nature with my new camera, which I am highly enjoying! I'm trying to incorporate new ideas and concepts that I'm learning in my photography classes along the way, while getting to know my new equipment. Check out a few of our favorite shots in the slideshow below:
Forty something artistic soul finding her way through life discovering new insights almost every day through the gift of "making."
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