Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Culture Crawl

I spent the weekend in Vancouver, BC with my family and we had a great time on Saturday touring the Eastside Culture Crawl http://www.eastsideculturecrawl.com/ We visited many different artists in their studios. There was a great variety of artists, painters, sculptors, in their studios, lots of art work for sale. The weather was perfect and the coffee shop came in handy for warming up.
In one garden I found some delightful arrangements that were lovely, have a look, I'm inspired for spring.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Stamping Monday

You'll never look in at lace the same way again! I bought a piece of unusual lace a while back, knowing exactly what I wanted it for! I hunted around in my husbands bin of wood off-cuts until I found a piece exactly the right size.
I used that wonderful invention....double sided carpet tape and honestly you can stick just about ANYTHING with that stuff! If you want to make stamps, you really need to invest in a roll of the stuff! I rolled the entire surface of the wood with the tape, stuck the lace in place and there it was!

I used a brayer to roll paint onto the lace and stamped onto some paper. I had to make sure I laid the paper on my printing table ( it really needs a softer surface with a bit of "give" to it). Don't lay your fabrics directly onto a table, floor or other hard surface.

Some of the great aspects: the lace is a "larger than normal" stamp, lots of scope for borders and larger images, the lace has a strong thread running through it so it should stand up to a lot of wear, the image is asymmetrical so each of the long sides is different. That gives me many opportunities for designs.

You may need to brayer a little more generously with the paint, it took a while to apply enough paint to the stamp.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Little Experiment

I've been waniting to try this for a while, ever since I read about it in the the thr3Fold Journals from the Kemshalls and Catherine Nicholls. http://www.thr3foldjounral.com/ I made a little quilt sandwich with some fabric I had dyed and stitched a wavy quilting design through it. I used cotton variegated thread.

I then painted discharge paste with a brush (I tried a roller but it was too uneven). I let it dry and then steamed and ironed it thoroughly. I wear a respirator for this as its so stinky.

Its definitely a very cool thing to play with and I have lots of plans to make more. The best part is that it took very little time to make a sample. Love it! The top one is the discharged piece.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

And More Batik!

Actually I think this is the last of the samples from my workshop a couple of weeks ago. I finally got all the wax out on the weekend and I'm very pleased with these two pieces. The square one is linen and would be perfect cut into applique or for a small quilt. The longer piece is silk charmeuse, lovely, soft and drapey....scarf, maybe?

I layered the fabric for waxing and dyeing, the linen below the silk. Iused a foam roller that I had wrapped with string for applying the wax and used a pale blue and yellow dye. I then applied more wax and painted on royal blue to get a greater depth to the colour. Yummy and lovely.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Stamping Monday

This week I have a slightly more traditional stamp-making method to show you. I like to use SpeedyCut from Speedball, it is soft without being too pliable and I can cut it into any size shape that I want, small or large. However it does tend to break down over time and if the carved lines are too deep the entire block can crack into pieces and then I lose my design.
Its possible to draw a design directly onto the SpeedyCut with a pencil. I begin by drawing the design on paper, then reverse the paper so the image is touching the SpeedyCut. Rub over the back of the design and the lead from the drawing is transferred onto the Speedycut and its ready for cutting. this is good when using letters as the image comes out the correct way.
I use a lino cutting tool from SpeedyCut and have the following blades: Liner (1), V-Gouge (2), Large Line (3), U-Gouge (4), Large Gouge (5), Knife (6). Keep them sharp, it is possible to buy replacement blades quite inexpensively. I like http://www.dickblick.com
I keep a separate sketchbook for all my stamping images, I can try out combination, colours, multiple images and more. Its fun to play with different combinations and see what patterns I can develop.
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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Even More Batik!

Here's a couple more pieces from my batik workshop. I'm especially pleased with the colours in the green/purple piece. Its a linen fabric so the texture and drape of the fabric is wonderful! I think I'd like to sell this one, it would be perfect as a purse or bag or even as a small quilt with appliqued layers. Any takers?
The other one I call Hard Copy, stronger images, with some screen printing and stamping under the layers. I wanted to achieve a more bold piece without it being warm or soft. I think I got it.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More Batik

Here are a few more pictures from my batik workshop last weekend. This piece evolved into my favourite one. I began by stamping a simple design into white fabric, I added wax in a design that reminded me of hazel trees. I painted yellow and orange dye, added more wax and then moved into fushia and purple. Another wax and then more colour. My final step was to stamp a gold circle over the wax. When I removed the wax, the circle seems to float behind the trees. I'm happy and have plans to use the fabric in a small art quilt.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shattered Angles

I love it when students finish their projects! I taught my Shattered Angles class in Cookstown, ON in September and today Jeanine sent me a picture of her quilt. I think she did a wonderful job, the border works very well for the quilt and it looks quite like floor tiles. Great job and thanks for the picture.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Batik Workshop

Last week I had a long time dream fulfilled when I travelled up to the Sunshine Coast of BC and took a batik workshop with Els Van Baarle. See Els website at http://www.elsvanbaarle.com/ Els has been on my list of teachers that I really wanted to study and learn from, I've admired her work for many years and it really was a treat. I'll be posting pictures from the workshop over the next few days so you can see how much fun it was.

The workshop was held at the Fibreworks Gallery www.gunboatbaylodge.com/fibreworks.html and we studied in one of the yurts on the property. That was fun as I'd never even been in a yurt before and was surprised by the light and airy-ness of it. The owner of the Gallery has five yurts, one for the Gallery, one for the workshops and another for her studio. The other two are washrooms and office space.

The weather was against us as it rained most of the two days we were in class which meant we couldn't dry the fabric outside. But I have been working since I got home and have completed a couple of pieces that I'll be thrilled to show.
I stayed with my friend Gloria in a lovely cabin, called the Prawn Palace, a few miles away, we were perched right above the water with a fabulous view and woke each morning to watch the birds looking for their breakfast near the docks.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stamping Monday

I've decided to focus a bit on making stamps and so for the forseeable future I've vowed to show a new stamp or two every Monday! I'll also discuss how the stamps are made so viewers can make them as well.

By using easy to acquire materials it should be easy to come up with so many variations that this idea could go on for a long time to come!

Todays stamp uses interesting materials that might surprise you! You will need scissors (not the good fabric ones), a small piece of wood, double sided carpet tape, and innertubing from tires.

Here's the steps:

1. Cut the inner tubing into narrow strips with scissors. You can get the strips quite skinny. Try different shapes, make them long short, fat, wide, narrow. Be creative and have fun.

2. Cover one side of the wood completely with carpet tape, peel the remaining cover away so that the sticky side is exposed.

3. Place the cut pieces into a pattern on the tape. Cover the entire surface, right to the edges. Keep empty spces small, not more than 1/4" wide. Once the pieces are down they won't shift or move around.

Think about all the different designs that you can come up with. Try different ideas on lots of stamps, use up scraps of wood and have fun!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Fabric

Here's some new fabric I've been creating! The fabric began life as a Low Water Immersion piece that had some scarlet, olive/emerald and yellow dyes sprinkled on. I then played with discharge paste and made brush strokes across in a regular pattern. I didn't care for the colour when the discharge paste was steamed away so I painted over with a citrine Setacolour paint and heat set that. Wanting a little more pattern in the piece I added dots of gold colour in the background and smaller brush strokes in a copper colour. In all, I'm pleased with the effect.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Fabric Marbling

Last week I also taught a class on fabric marbling using the easiest technique you can imagine! We began by spreading a 1" layer of shaving foam into the bottom of wide pans which have a slight lip around all four sides.

Students dropped Dye Na Flow fabric paint from eye droppers onto the foam and spread the colours around to create design, using hair combs, skewers and picks.

They lowered fabric down on the coloured foam and gently patted it in place. The fabric was pulled away from the foam and laid on the table, where squeegees scrapped away the excess foam and the fabric was allowed to dry.

Once the fabric went home, students were instructed to iron the fabric to heat set the paint and then gently wash to remove any remaining foam residue.

Looks like fun, right?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Dyeing in a Hurry

I taught a half-day class where we dye a wonderfully luscious rainbow of 24 fat quarters using a Low Water Immersion recipe. Students who are new to dyeing find it a great introduction and they're done in a short time. Lots of fun! Tomorrow students learn to marble fabrics with shaving foam!

Monday, November 3, 2008

"I Wish I Had a Rubber Fish" Show

Last Saturday was the Opening Reception for a show by my art quilt group. We call ourselves the Fibre Art Diet (we wish we had all more of all three items in our lives). We meet once a month to support and promote art and quilts in our lives. The show is on for the month of November at the Satin Moon Quilt Shop in Victoria, BC. Stop by and see the show or visit http://www.satin-moon.com/ and check out more about us. I'll be posting a few more pictures in the coming days, so check back and see other great work.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Give and Take Applique

Last week I taught a two day class featuring my Give and Take Applique technique. The class took place at Studio G, a fabulous teaching location in Duncan BC, just a short drive from where I live. My friend, Gloria Daly runs the Studio and you can visit her work at http://www.studiogart.com/
The students learned how to design their own motifs by playing with positive and negative shapes in black and white. They also learned how to use design mirrors to create repetition and to audition and then fine tune their designs. They were excited to see how their own ideas and sketches became unique and interesting block patterns.
I'll be teaching this technique in many more places in the coming months....so check my website for upcoming dates.... http://www.susanpm.com/