Friday, February 17, 2017

Getting There, getting there....

For me, happiness is a few hours in the studio....this week I was able to get over the hump with a new piece in my Burrard series, after a few false starts. Mostly the challenges that I mentioned in my blog post of January 30th:

I had decided to paint the sky with diluted white textile paint to tone down the contrast of the black and white fabrics. As I was doing this, I though....gee, I should have put a plastic sheet over the print table....because I watched the damp fabrics wick up some dye residue from the table, red, blue, green and some bright orange.....!!!! Gosh Darn was the polite term!

So, thinking through what I should do, I waited for the paint to dry and rinsed out the fabrics with a bit of Oxy-Clean......then hung it to dry. After it was dry I ironed it thoroughly, hoping that I could get it all to lay flat! I painted the fabrics again (this time with plastic underneath) let them dry and heat set! Most of the dye had come out and the remainder blended into the the over all fabric collage. Lesson Learned!

I added the fabrics at the bottom in a collage format as well and began adding the torn strips for the steel girders....with three packs of 1/4" Steam a Seam tape!

I was all set to begin pressing in place and double checked my photo reference......

Ooooppps, the girders do not reach to the top....they are set at an angle

Well, good thing they're not fused down.....some re-positioning and its making more sense:

Now its ready to come off the design wall, get a heavy dose of steam and some additional pieces fused in place. The remaining girder lines will be done with stitching heavier black threads. Then onto the quilting stage.

I had an art consultant visit the studio this morning and she mentioned a gallery space in town that might be interested in my work.....

Monday, February 13, 2017

Mark Making with a Print Roller

In my previous post about mark Making we looked at a simple, everyday tool to create texture and pattern onto fabric. This time we'll open some kitchen or studio drawers to find another tool to again create those exciting images on fabric!

You can use simple cardboard tubes, sturdy, thicker ones are best, with elastic bands or sticky shapes. Try different widths of elastic bands, string, rick rack or anything with a flat surface that you can adhere to the tube.

Rolling pins that have been carved in patterns are also an option as are foam rollers, used as is or with elastic bands or string pulled tightly to make an interesting surface.

Remember that I'm usually cutting out areas from the fabric, rather than using it as an entire piece, perhaps even cutting it on the diagonal....

These are all simple but so can probably think of many options!

Here's my latest Mark Making video!


Friday, February 10, 2017

Ice Dyeing Revealed - Open for Registration!

As a surface design artist, I know you love colour and pattern...don't we all! We understand the importance of subtle value shifts, repeating imagery and glorious contrasts....that's why you are so creative! But maybe you are looking for a new method to add to your toolbox? Something that helps you move beyond anything you could imagine.....

I have a method of dyeing that is almost like Forrest Gump.....a surprise every time! By using ice as the carrier for dye powders you will achieve the most incredibly amazing patterns and textures, like nothing you've done before...

Next session starts February 23rd and Registration is open NOW!

After this workshop you can build up a fabric inventory like no one else, each piece of fabric will be a new creation, ready for your artistic skills! You will be able to:

·         create yardage, not just small pieces but long lengths of gorgeous fabrics
·         dye coordinating patterns in different colour ways
·         make home decor items, cushions wall hangings and more
·         have a ready stash of fabrics for whenever you feel inspired

So how does this work? Here's a bit about the workshop:

·         First, you will have access to a password protected webpage that's just for you. I'll  send out the password and all the tidbits the day before the workshop begins.
·         There's a place on the webpage for you to post questions and comments and to chat with all your fellow students.
·         The webpage will also have the PDF of all the class notes - download it, print it and use it as a handy reference and reminder, it's that simple!
·         You have the option to join a private Facebook group that's just for you to post pictures, see others inspiring fabrics and much more. It's the best and most immediate way to get together!
·         You'll be able to download the video from the webpage, it's yours to keep forever and ever, and ever....


In Ice Dyeing Revealed; here's what we'll cover:

·         the dyes and chemicals that you will use
·         safe studio practices, how to set up your dyeing area
·         equipment such as measuring cups, colanders and more
·         getting the fabric ready for dyeing
·         the "magic" folding patterns - it's all in the folding!
·         dye colour choices
·         setting up the fabric, the ice and the dye
·         batching time - be patient, young Luke.....
·         rinsing and washing your fabrics
·         getting excited!

But wait there's more! Just in case you're not totally sure about this, visit my Pinterest Board and see more of those Ice Dyed Revealed Fabrics!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mark Making with a Straight Edge

Yesterday I made a short video on Mark Making using a straight edge such as a credit card or scraper. It was the start of a series that I hope will illustrate the simple yet effective ways to incorporate line, pattern and texture into our work.

You can view the video here: 

And I've used similar ideas in these art pieces:

 Appia - 12" x 24"
Naissus 27" x 27"

Friday, February 3, 2017

Etsy Updates....or how an idea happens!

I've actually been spending some time in the dye room, getting more Ice Dyes and Thermofax screens made and updating some items in my Etsy shop....

First I designed this thermofax screen from some fabric that I had stitched up and painted -

After the paint was dry, I unpicked the threads and ironed the fabric flat

 It reminded me of little people figures doing semaphore....if you're not sure what that is....Google it!

So then I made a thermofax screen:

Which you can buy here:

And I tested it on some print was good, so I did a whole bunch:

And I like the fabric so much that now it's for sale here:

 And that's the story of what happens when you have an idea.....what's your idea???? I'll bet it would make beautiful fabric!