Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Ice Dyeing Revealed Update! New Content, New Colour, New Folds

 Over the years I've discovered that to make changes you can start from scratch or improve and update what you already have. In my online workshops I've done both...making new videos and updating what I already have. In my Ice Dyeing Workshop I started out by making a short instructional video, then I learned more about the techniques, folds and colour combinations and made another video. That was a few years ago and I've learned even more, so I've added two additional videos to my workshop and its better than ever! And it's better because I listened to the comments and suggestions from my students....

So.....whats different?

  • one lesson entirely devoted to different fold designs and you know, its all about the folds! Well, its about the folds, the colours, the ice and much more!
  • additional information about my set up and process - I now have an ice machine!
  • how to ice dye clothing, yardage, vintage linens and table cloths...
  • colour combinations that I use...
  • an updated webpage for simple, easy access
In all, there's almost 2 1/2 hours of video in this workshop - totally devoted to helping you master the process! Here's some totally awesome new fabrics!



So, pretty awesome right? Well, there's more to tell you....if you've already taken my Ice Dyeing Revealed workshop - the new content is there in the webpage for you! Just log in and you'll see it.

If I've tempted you to take the workshop - you can buy it in my Etsy Shop here: 

....but wait....there's more! I have yards and yards of new Ice Dyed fabrics in my Etsy Shop here:

...still more! I am now ice dyeing 20" squares - perfect as little treats, small projects or ??? Plus there's free shipping in Canada! You can buy them here:













Monday, April 5, 2021

Two Roads Diverged....

 My last blog post was about "call and response" ....mostly about seeing an opportunity for exploring further in an unexpected way....

I was painting some vintage fabric squares for a new piece I'm working on - the sky needs to have a very subtle, monochromatic with little contrast, so I was using a sponge roller with white paint.


For some reason I had black paper underneath and when I lifted the fabric square I was totally entranced with the remaining images on the paper.

Tons of texture and beautiful marks left behind...



I thought if I used the white paint on white paper and then added a wash of India ink when it was dry, that might prove interesting....not so much!


The painted squares are waiting patiently and drying, I'm excited to get sewing with these for a new Industrial Shoreline piece. 

In the meantime I started playing with the painted papers....first I trimmed the papers into 6" squares (thinking like a quilter)... and placed them on a white background separated by a narrow 'border"...

It's okay but not exciting....

So then I look closely at one square and found the texture so entrancing....


And then, along with some other painted papers I experimented with some collage...much better and perhaps worth pursuing... it's put into my sketchbook and I think I'll come back to it at some point!


In the meantime, I have a stack of painted fabrics to work with...


...and how is your art coming along?


Monday, March 15, 2021

My Call and Response....

 I was watching the interview on Fibre Arts Take Two with Dorothy Caldwell and Claire Benn,  look on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbSWEfUADOE&t=4015s

... and Claire mentioned her explorations being a "call and response" ... meaning that she will have an idea and respond to it with an exploration to see where it takes her. I think we do this as a "what if" ...

In the interview Dorothy had a grouping of tied pages that reminded me of small books and since I'm in the midst of teaching my Cloth to Codex Online Workshop which focuses on books and mark making I thought of tearing up a large sheet of marked paper into pages....

The paper started as an exercise in .... chasing shadows with India ink. It sat in my cupboard for a few months ....


then I marked the back of the paper ....

and tore it up into rectangles ... and then just laid out the pieces in a random order. First one side ...

and then the other side ....

and arranged them again....


I like how they looked in a stack ...


and took some of the photos into my iPad app and drew over top ...


and then took the photo away ...


....so that's it for now! What's next? Crop and edit? Multi-coloured strips? Not sure but this is my "call and response"

What is yours?

Thursday, February 25, 2021

One Good Thing Leads to Another!

 Isn't it fascinating how one art piece or part of one can lead down an interesting path in an entirely different and unexpected direction?

I've been working on a series titled The Industrial Shoreline, depicting scenes where shipping and other commercial interests meet the waters of our coastlines where mammals and sealife exist. The challenges of our urban environment are crossed against the industry of international shipping and the very really possibility of catastrophic accidents against our environment....


Along the Fraser

One constant feature of my artwork has been using marked fabrics over laid with paint for the sky. Often I will ask others to use markers and black paint to add their unique marks on the surface and then tone down the contrast with my own marks, this makes for a unique and vibrant background for the rest of the surface.

I usually cut these pieces into squares and rectangles and then sew them together to create a collage with incredible depth and texture. While I was constructing one of the "skies" I noticed the interesting marks and contrast of the back and thought they resembled shoreline, water and sky in themselves. 



A couple months ago I had assembled enough that I could look at them and figured out how to paint some watercolour paper, mounted the small squares on the paper and added stitch to create small land and seascapes. These pieces were a perfect addition to the 10 x 10 Show at the Ptarmigan Arts Gallery at Hope Bay, on now until March 7th. Let me know if you are interested in purchasing any of them!

Now I will also check the back of my painted and marked fabrics!

Spring at Brooks Point



Morning at Hope Bay

Through the Fog

DayBreak

I love the stitching part, so here's a closeup!




Saturday, December 5, 2020

New Times, New Studio

 When we moved to Pender Island, almost three years ago, losing my beautiful studio space and dedicated wet room (for dyeing and painting) wasn't too much of a hardship. We were going to be traveling a lot more and my philosophy was that I'd adjust my art to fit my space: small space = small work.....

And that worked for a while, we traveled, I walked two Caminos in Spain and Portugal, did an art residency in Iceland and we made lots of plans for the future....

Then the world went sideways and my art practise changed yet again! I took online classes and workshops, I went back to working large and I yearned for space to be messy and creative....

I started thinking about leaving home and I found a delightful space about 15 minutes away....so I packed up my studio and moved two weeks ago! Needless to say that I'm thrilled and I'd like to invite you in....


The studio is behind the circled window, Hope Bay is a lovely, picturesque seaside building that has a gallery, offices, a chocolate shop (yes!) another artist studio and sometimes a restaurant. 

Our neighbour Graeme helped us with his truck. I forgot to empty my thread drawers so heard the threads go ping, ping, ping onto the driveway!


I have cutting and painting space that measures 4' x 6' with lots of storage underneath.



There's a large counter that runs about 8' long. At the left end, I'm having a sink installed in a couple weeks, great for washing up and essential for my screen printing!
A few years ago when I built my studio in Victoria, I used a great book by Lois Hallock about organizing your studio space. Her premise was to think about a work triangle such as you'd have in your kitchen, only it was "sewing, cutting and pressing". That book has been very useful in planning out this studio as well. Map and measure and arrange on paper before moving it all in!


My sewing machine is right beside the window, absolutely tons of light - west facing and a nice view onto the courtyard and waterfront below.




The view from my window, the walkway goes down to the wharf, fishing boats and the daily mail boat...when times get better I hope the restaurant will open again. In the meantime the chocolate shop makes a delicious cappuccino!


My design wall is up and I'm working on another piece for my Industrial Shoreline series! I still need to put art on my walls and tweak some hanging space for papers but its all mine, I even have a little coffee corner with a kettle! I hope you'll stop by sometime....

Monday, September 14, 2020

Shibori Shiraz

My outdoor dye place - I love my sink!

Yes, its been a while and I'm not even going to say why....

But I'm back at it and working at getting my creative mojo happening. This summer was spent dyeing amongst other tasks and I did a LOT of ice dyes, they are gorgeous! I'll do another post sometime and show you the best ones...but I also delved back into Shibori in a small way. 

Since moving to our small island my dye studio is outdoors and really just happens in the summer but last year I made some Shibori that worked very well as water on a quilt and I knew I needed more. So this is a little tutorial to show my version and it involves wine....

  1. Buy wine that has a uniform diameter bottle, no bulbous or fancy shape - buy the cheap stuff with a screw top and drink it all!
  2. Gather your wine bottles - fill them with water - and the same number of juice jugs, not one or two but at least three bottles and three jugs.

Measure the circumference of the bottle and add 1 1/2". Tear a strip, full width from selvedge to selvedge (no cutting, just tear) that measurement. Sew the fabric into a tube with a scant 1/2" seam allowance.


Pull the fabric tube onto the wine bottle, working from the neck down is generally easier. Place an elastic band at the bottom ( I like the thicker elastics from broccoli), push the tube down as far as you can and secure with another elastic at the bottom.


Mix up a soda solution in a bucket: 1/2 cup soda solution + 1 gallon of warm water, stir well. 

Place each bottle into a juice jug and pour the soda solution into the jug to the top of the fabric and let soak for 20 minutes.

Wearing a particle mask, mix 1 teaspoon of dye powder into 1/2 cup of water and stir well, some powder may float to the top so take a couple minutes to stir well.

I like to vary the intensity of the colour between each jug so I'll put a little bit, 2 tbsp. or so in the first jug, a bit more in the second and then finally the remainder in the last jug. Plunge each bottle gently up and down to get the dye mixed in the jug.



Let the bottles soak in the dye solutions for 2-3 hours then remove and rinse well.

Now comes the fun... there are endless colour and value combinations but I'll walk you through how I can get so much variety in a simple way:

  • make 2-3 batches of the dyed tubes, each a different colour - say red, green or blue
  • then take one red tube and two blue/green tubes (different values) and put them into a batch of yellow
  • from those three put them into a bronze or purple batch
  • there's no need to wash the tubes in between dye batches, just rinse, hang to dry and start again with a soda soak for 20 minutes and new dye colour in the solution
  • I repeat those steps over and over with different colour combination. Usually I only do three colours on one fabric, sometimes I'll stop at two if I really like them
  • one of my favourite is to dye with"indigo" from dharma Trading - it looks like the real thing but is a fibre reactive dye!
Once I have a batch of these tubes I unpick the stitching and I wash them all in the machine on a hot setting with a bit of Synthrapol detergent.
They really do glow beautifully once Ive ironed them ...