Posted in Art, creativity

Silk Paper Workshop

At our Quilt Guild annual retreat this past weekend Laine Canivet taught a small group of us how to make silk paper from silk roving.

Here’s some yummy inspiration by Laine:

photo(23)A theatre purse with hand-made tassel and some purple beads.

Laine gave us a quick demo of the basic process

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and then we all worked on our first individual pieces.  The group was small enough that Laine was able to guide us along and make another sheet for herself.

The next project was making scrunchies.

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From the photo you might think these are hard to do but really they aren’t.

Again, there was wonderful synergy happening and lots of “What if?” thinking going on.  Laine was inspired to make a giant scrunchie just to see what would happen.  It’s huge and will make a dramatic artwork.

Here’s my own “what if?” piece.

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Laine mentioned that one can make vessels by covering a form with food wrap for ease of removal, then draping wet silk paper over it and letting it dry.  My first thought was “rats, no food wrap!”  Then I remembered I had packed several large trash bags to protect the work surface from the dye, and not all had been used.  A few quick snips and I had plastic sheeting to drape over a large upturnedphoto(30) yoghourt container.  The nice thing was the way the plastic draped made it possible to achieve wonderful fluting, whereas food wrap would cling to the mold and you’d end up with the less interesting shape of a yoghourt pot.

Here are a couple of views of the outside now that it’s finished drying

photo(29)  And here is the inside.  It’s shinier and that’s one thing I like about it.

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I also intentionally played with using both red and green roving, laying the two layers of the paper in opposite directions and colour placement in order to achieve some of the wonderful colours found in rhubarb and Swiss chard, where red and green fuse.  It’s one colour combination that has particularly fascinated me since I started dyeing fabrics.

This is a first experiment and for the next one will aim at a more  defined, less wispy edge.

 

What I liked about this workshop and process:

  • The chance to play around with messy, wet ingredients!
  • A fairly easy way to dye silk
  • The lustrous colours silk gives that no other textile can approach
  • Layering and transparency effects
  • All the other possibilities I have yet to try such as beads, stamping on silk paper, painting it, sewing it, etc.

Drawbacks:

  • Precisely because it’s wet and messy you need both space AND time to do it with no interruptions
  • Dry roving flies all over so you have to work in an enclosed space with no cross breezes, at least until you have added water and textile medium
  • Cost of the materials — imported from the U.S. and pricey to begin with.  We certainly appreciated Laine’s very fair kit fee and the leftover supplies in it so will be able to do more at home.  It’s silk, so will always be expensive.  I can see I need to sell some bowls so I can afford to keep going!
Posted in Art, creativity, journaling

Raw Art Journaling in Action!

 

Here’s TJ Goerlitz demoing raw art journaling techniques from Quinn McDonald’s book Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art, which just coincidentally happens to be launching today.

If I were still in Phoenix that’s where I’d be tonight!

I met Quinn in Phoenix and have taken classes, both in person and online, and know that her book is a distillation of everything she’s been working on over the past few years.  This is an exciting day!

 

Once I have my mitts on the book, I plan to challenge myself to translate some of the concepts and exercises into fibre art.

Posted in Art, creativity, productivity, quilting, surface design

Something I gotta try … and a confession

I’ve been studying Pat Langford’s Embroidery from Sketch to Stitch, Quilters’ Resource, Inc, 1996, ISBN 0-9629056-7-4

This lady is first and foremost an embroiderer, which I’m really not, although various little things are nudging me in that direction.

Sketching is obviously a huge part of what she does.  Maybe this will be the impetus that will get me sketching on a more regular basis instead of wringing my hands and being a sniveling wannabe.

I’m intrigued by the way she pushes the envelope, using puff paint on a baby blanket (although you would never know from looking at the finished work), and crayoning onto microfibre.

Specific things I want to try:

Polychromos coloured pencils on microfibre, ironed to heat set

Transfer dyeing with Crayola fabric crayons on paper, ironed onto the microfibre fabric.

Pentel crayons directly onto linen in several layers.  Langford actually covered the fabric in places.  Hmmm, thrift store hunt for old linen coming up maybe?   Too bad I no longer have the orange linen tablecloth that was in my wedding registry, that would have been so dramatic!

Langford has many platters, which are round or oval art quilts.  That’s a possible direction.

CONFESSION

After the busyness and frenzy of preparing for and being in the Artists In Motion @ The Empress show, I vowed to take things easy/take the summer off.  Of course THAT’S not gonna happen, but as I recuperated I challenged myself to write down all the different outstanding projects and tasks of every description that I have on my plate.  It’s four pages long, so I’m forcing myself to look at this list every day, cross things off it as and when possible, and not undertake any more new projects.

So in order to stay focused artistically, I’m starting a new page on the blog for things I want to try, so that I can have a handy reference.  Of course I have a sketchbook on the go too but this will be a good handy way to preserve links electronically.

Before the show I did find that restricting myself to working in a series was helpful.  I am continuing with that series in order to have more to show at the Moss Street Paint-In, where we will be exhibiting on Thurlow Street next to the Moss Street market.

 

Posted in Art, Writing

Teaser Tuesday – The Last Folk Hero

I said, “Carolyn, I don’t know how to say this, but I’ve got to.  Almost all of the porcelain out there is fake.”

From The Last Folk Hero: a True Story of Race and Art, Power and Profit, nonfiction novel by Andrew Dietz, 2006, Ellis Lane Press

 

This is a meme that anyone can do.  I found it  at Jeanne’s Blog, and the way it works is:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Now I just need yet another tutorial on how to copy the badge to my blog.  Every time a badge comes along that I want to proudly display, it’s always a challenge to me for some reason.    And I need to find a pic of the cover perhaps on Amazon, is that how everyone does it?

the host is Miz B at Should be Reading so if you join in, go to her Teaser Tuesday post and post your link in the comments section!  If you aren’t actively blogging, just put the teaser itself into the comments section.

Although I may not do this every week, I’m usually reading something, so why not?

Posted in Art, baraka, creativity, surface design

Starting Point

Am I finding an approach to creating art (in whatever medium) that works for me?

Were my struggles and basically dropping out of the design class I had wanted to take for so long all Hosni Mubarak’s fault?

Or am I just more of a verbal person than a visual one?

This is a mind map related to the piece I’m just starting.  So many things seemed to come together in synchronicity.  When I tried to think about drafting a blog post on these topics, my thoughts shot off in a zillion directions.  Each bit seemed to make sense standing along but I couldn’t organize my thoughts into a cohesive whole.

And here is the beginning — more pix will follow as the work progresses.  I want to create Moebius strip, so tested this concept with kraft paper (a gift from our lovely apartment manager who found a big heavy roll abandoned in a vacated apartment)

I cut and folded a strip to make a double thickness, since there will be batting inside the finished piece.

Then I twisted it into a Moebius strip to test the concept.  This will also serve as a mockup as I continue working on this piece.

Time to cut the Tyvek (from a huge piece I bought at the Sewing Show) and get drippin’!

Not having a studio space where I can be messy, I invented the small-scale paint bag.


and here’s what this work in progress currently looks like, until I can get more white acrylic to keep going!