Friday, February 24, 2017

Earth, Wind, Fire and Water

I have made a small wall hanging from one of the fabrics that I made at Craft Napa. It is a bold black and white shibori print, that I wanted to add red to. At Craft Napa, I had stenciled the 3 red circles, and printed the paisley stamp, and used the end of the brush to do the red dots. It looked very oriental so I stenciled the Japanese characters for Earth, wind, fire and water onto the clearest spots. It looks rather crowded and the characters don't stand out very well. I am going to outline them with several rows of stitching with a gold metallic thread, to help them show better.
I accidentally started to free motion quilt with regular polyester thread, in black, so I continued with the white thread. However it shows why I like to use rayon thread with the size 90 needle. The rayon fluffs up a bit and fills the larger holes made with the 90 needle. I used a red rayon thread on the circles and dots. I will add some outlining on the paisley when I get home to go thru my threads for the right color, it is kind of burgundy. I am up near Seattle visiting my sister, I brought a few small projects with me. I started to stitch the binding, but the light is not good enough to hand stitch black on black, so I'll wait 'til I am home. I am going to give the wall hanging to my nephews to thank them for their hospitality, while staying with them while in Napa. Check out the link to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" to see what other great textile artists are doing this here

Friday, February 17, 2017

Lorraine's Tote Bag

I am finishing the last of the Round Robin Tote Bags, this one belongs to Lorraine. She likes a modern style, and I have used a black background. The first two sections done by others in our textile art group, have circles, curves and are made in browns, beige, & rust on black. I drew a sketch to get started, but the applique is different. I kept the large curve and my fabric choices dictated the size of the circles. I made the curve into a pocket, so I added batting and a backing, and quilted it separately.
The first 3 sections are together, I think my addition works with the whole.
The last side section was all that was left. Since I am doing a section for Clare, who is weaving us handles, I did this section too. I found some brown, rust, black prints at the shop in Snohomish, Washington. I wanted the section to look as if a different person did it, but still combine well with the previous sections. I fussy cut the border off the circles print, and fussy cut 3 large circles from the 2nd print. A pale cream batik worked for a light background.
The other sections are "simple" I kept wanting to fill in the empty spaces, but the modern look is more sparse. So I decided to add some beads to embellish the last side. A quick trip to Ben Franklin scored some rust/red glass circles. I will also add a few seed beads to the large fabric circles. I am linking this to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Friday." click here to see what other textile artists are doing this week.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Evening with Judy Coats Perez

The first day at Craft Napa, I also took an evening class with Judy Coats Perez. The class was for making foam stamps. She had an adhesive foam sheet for each of us, a clear polyester film and tracing paper. I had not used adhesive foam before, I had tried to use Elmers to glue two regular sheets together, which did not work very well. We drew designs on the tracing paper with a pencil, and flipped it onto the foam. Then we rubbed over the back of the paper and it transferred the image to the foam. The designs were cut out with an Exacto knife, the paper backing pulled off, and it was adhered to the clear polyester film. I ended up just using my paper scissors to cut out the design on the foam, unless it was a very tiny area.
Judy had several reference books for us to use, one was flowers and plants, the other animals drawn in different cultural styles. I did the animal stamps from some of the images I found in the book. The back of the alligator was cut with a scalloped paper crafting scissors, as well as some of the leaves in the previous photo. I really liked putting the foam on the clear polyester film, being able to see through it was great for alignment when printing. The sheets are called Dur-a-lar .005 thickness, the pack I got at the art supply was 25 sheets for $12.50. She said you can also order it from Dick Blick catalog. I wonder how it will work for cutting stencils? It was a good weight and certainly cheaper than stencil plastic.
In Sue Bleiweiss' class, she also gave us foam but she used a heavy book cover cardboard, because she used to bind books, and she had a lot of it! At the evening class with Judy everyone was already tired from the full day of class. We thought the class was maybe 6-8pm, no one could remember, but the class was 6:30 to 9:30. Whew, we were tired, but class was low key, just cutting up foam for stamps. We all kind of faded at 9 and left early.
Last week two friends came over and we played with soy wax. Jenny wanted to do a batik for the Fyber Café challenge "Flights of Fancy." I told her how the soy wax was much better than the traditional paraffin and beeswax mix. The soy wax melts at a low temp and washes out with hot water. Even tho I first remove as much wax as possible with newspaper and an iron, before putting the fabric in the washing machine. She is drawing a fairy sitting on a rock, based on a Maxfield Parrish painting. Susan and I just played with stamping the wax onto fat quarters, with different tools.
I used a squiggly bendy straw for the purple dyed one. I already had some dye made up, and I made a dye thickener to paint dye with. The directions for the sodium alginate said "add a little to some fluid" how do you interpret those directions? I put a teaspoon in a pint Mason jar of water and stirred it up. It clumped instantly and took a bit of stirring but it thickened fast. I probably could have used less powder. We had little paper cups, added about 2 tablespoons of goop and a good squirt of dye, then we used foam brushes to apply the dye.
We cleaned up at noon, Susan and I will add more wax and dye layers at another time. We went to Los Dos Amigos Mexican restaurant for Margaritas... and lunch.

I am linking this to Nina Marie's "Off the Wall Friday" click here to see what other talented textile artists are doing this week.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Craft Napa - Day 3

Wow!! Today's class is with Sue Bleiweiss, similar to yesterdays class, painting fabric in the morning and decorating in the afternoon. Sue had a big packet of class materials for everyone. Including some stamp carving material, paint brushes, 2 yards of canvas, in white and natural, a CD on making a journal cover, foam sheets, etc... It was well worth the class materials fee. We worked with different types of acrylic paints, jars and jars of it. Fabric paint, screen printing paints, Jacquard's paints, thick, thin and metallics.
We started by painting, gobs of fabric, it was laid out onto blue tarps. Mine is the blue with yellow circles, what was I thinking? Some of the other, orange and yellow, in waves, the indigo was dark on one side and lighter across the fabric. She had us paint on a heavier canvas, why? I think she paints a lot of whole cloth quilts, makes journal covers and other objects where a heavier fabric is an advantage. Having done basically the same yesterday, I painted as fast as I could, so I would have as much fabric to decorate as possible. I still did not use all the fabric she gave us, I think the canvas was 54" wide instead of 45".
Painting in a fading circle ended up as a favorite style, one of the other students did it and I copied her.
Again I worked mostly with the Thermo-fax screens. Sue put out a good selection of stencils, foam stamps, screens, cutting tools for carving the rubber, and an iron and foil. She demoed the foil using either a foil glue product or a gel medium, she applied it through the screen or stencil. After it had a while to dry to a tacky stage, you ironed on the foil. I only used it once on my indigo fabric, I had screened a copper paint, so I added a little copper foil for more glitz. On the pink I used a purple to screen the scribbled circles, after a good long dry time, I added the white.
I'm not sure you can see the foil in the photo, it is just a couple of curly cues. The mauve and blue blocked out fabric got a leafy screen and some writing for texture. I like the look of this, cubist style. We tried to read the writing, don't bother, it is just gibberish for texture.
The pink and blue squares got poppy pods in each section, but the orientation was changed as I printed the screen around the center point. The orange and yellow waves, was done with a paint filled syringe, made for art work. It takes a bit of practice to be able to push the plunger enough to get paint, but still write with the tip. Sue demoed and did some quick writing, she said, don't try to write something, just squiggle and put in an actual letter every now and then. Unless you have a quote or saying you want to use. Instead of writing, I just did rough sketching, a daisy and leafy stem. The first paint was too thin and came out with extra blobs of paint. The next paint was too thick, and was hard to draw up into the syringe, but made a fine line, that was a chore to squeeze out. So we added a little water to the thick paint, and made it "just right." It was a pleasure to write with the just right paint, smooth and easy. So a good lesson learned.
Other students work, some really beautiful pieces are being made.
The green fabric with white and orange circles is wild! The others with just a few leafy branches and some writing are very subtle and delicate. The screen paints were quiet THICK, and after three or four passes on the screen we should have washed out the screens. Instead, we made 6 or 8 swipes, or passed the screen to the next person "who wants wonky squares in blue?" and the paints dried on the screen. It made washing the screen more difficult, soaking them a few minutes helped. As gentle as we tried to be, by the end of the day, the emulsion was wearing off the screens. So that they just painted a blob of paint, if you did not look closely at the screen, to see if the design was still there. I felt bad about this and tried to be as gentle as I could, but they had gotten really hard and frequent use by 20 people. I really enjoyed this class too. Having basically the same class, with two different teachers was interesting, I learned little bits of new stuff from each. Although I really don't see the point of the heavier canvas. I liked trying the inks and different paints.

One of the students made a whole series of fabric in red, yellow and black. She will have a set of fabric to work with for a project.
The last few fabrics by other students.
I snuck out to lunch a few minutes early, so I could order and not have to wait a long time for my food. This time I asked other ladies to sit with me. I had wonderful fish and chips. I left early and it was bright and sunny. Out side they had a courtyard with a pond and several swans. They were gorgeous in the sun, I like the close up of the wing.
After lunch, I got back to the atrium and Mellanie Testa and Carol Soderland had written a book. "Playful Fabric Printing" and they were doing demos in the courtyard.
This is the quilt Melanie had made with her hand printed fabric. I of course got the book. Pokey had gotten them a big cake, with the book cover printed on the frosting, to celebrate the publishing. Scroll down to see day 1 and 2 of Craft Napa. I had so much fun, see you here next year. My nephews that evening made truffle mac and cheese with mushrooms, onions and chicken. Yummy Yum! Ted had worked for a while at the American Culinary Institute, not as a chef, but he sure knows how to cook. Sunday morning their parents came for brunch and they fixed another great spread of food. Thank you so much for letting me stay with you guys! I will link this to Nina-Maries "Off the Wall Friday" Click on the button at right to see what other textile artists have done this week.

Day 2 Craft Napa

Day two's class was with Judy Coates Perez, "Print-a-palooza" we spent the morning painting fabrics and the afternoon printing, stenciling, stamping, etc... onto the fabrics we had painted. Judy provided acrylic inks for us to use. It was lighter than paint, thinner, but with a lot of pigments. Judy had painted out a color chart of the inks, and marked which colors were most useful, and which not to buy as they were easy enough to mix yourself. She also had several sheets of sample prints, that she had made. They explained why some prints did not work do to value, different types of folding, and other techniques.
We used several techniques to paint, we used dry brush on dry fabric, wet on wet, and sponge painting.
The blue/green piece was painted wet, and white drops where put on with an eye dropper. The white bled out a bit much, but several others got good effects with it. I sprinkled salt crystals on mine, as the fabric dried the salt pulled the pigments into interesting patterns. I do love the way this looks, I often buy the batik fabric with the salt patterns.
My orange red fabric was done dry, I painted the brush across with lots of ink, it gave a really intense color, not diluted at all, like the wet process. The smaller piece was also done dry, just tapping the tip of the brush on the fabric, I really like the texture it gave.
Someone else's salt fabric, they were calling her the salt queen.
Many of the fabrics drying in the atrium on blue tarps. Can you remember which pieces were yours? We also scrunched fabrics, working wet with the inks and as the fabric dried it gave a good texture. Folding fabric in different ways and then painting the edges or other areas of the fabric made wonderful patterns. Some of us got to do a Shibori with a large piece of PVC pipe. Judy had some beautiful samples of black/gray and white shibori, showing the subtle shading as the paint separated into fine lines as it dried. I will have to try this more at home. I put my dry fabric on the PVC pipe and wrapped it with string and scrunched it down on the pipe. Using a dry brush with black ink I painted just the edges of the scrunched fabric, trying to get a bold graphic look.
After lunch we began to decorate our fabrics. My black and white shibori came out wonderful, I just wanted to add red to it. I used a paisley rubber stamp, but the paint was too burgundy. I got a more scarlet color and just added dots with the brush handle. Judy was using a circle on hers so I borrowed the stamp and made 3 red circles. I really like the graphic look, this is my favorite piece from the whole trip. I switched to Thermo fax screens for most of the afternoon, because this is something I've never done and wanted to learn about it. We switched to heavier screen printing ink and used the screens Judy had brought for us to play with. The pink fabric did not have enough ink on it, so there was a nice light area for me to work with. I printed a delicate leafy print in burgundy and a small branchy design in black.
The salt piece had lightened up a lot, and had crunchy salt residue on it, so I printed on the back side. White printed very well in the printing paint, it was opaque enough to cover the colored fabric. On the yellow fabric the design looks sort of like a pod, I think I'll add some applique hanging leaves on it. Tho I saw it used on Judy's blog, and she used it like a flower bud, pointing up.
The left piece got printed in burgundy with two of my hand carved stamps. The other got a very delicate screened stem of leaves.
My purple scrunched fabric got a white and black bird screened on it, with some leafy green. The bird design was so detailed, it would have printed better with a hard edge tool, but I had done it with a foam brush. It was a good lesson in what worked and what did not work. Judy says some teachers are rule followers, the screen image must be done with a squeegee, and only one pull through the paint. But we were working looser with foam brushes, and mixed colors of paint, printed any which way. I'm not much of a rule follower. I prefer to just wing it, and see what happens.

These images are from other students; work. One lady liked to build up many layers of different screens on one piece of fabric. One student really liked the black and yellow combo, she had done quiet a few pieces like this.

A heavy black image, overcame the busyness of a sponged background.

I like the way the writing image, really adds texture and interest to a piece. Judy had quiet a few Thermo-fax images to buy. Since I don't really have access to screens, I bought quiet a few from her, mostly botanical designs. Also two different writing styles. I really enjoyed this class, although I had used many of these painting techniques before. It was good to try the acrylic inks, but I don't think I need to add them to my collection. I use dyes a lot, they will do just fine. The Thermo-fax screens were lots of fun, and I get to do more the next day. I had lunch at the hotel bar and grill, just asking some ladies if I could sit with them. We had a wonderful discussion about fabric art techniques, politics, teachers, and various other topics. It was nice to talk to "California" people. Rural Oregon is a completely different environment, but I grew up in Berkeley, so the table talk was very welcome. I had enough time after lunch to run off to the local art supply store to get some basic colors of screen printing paint. I debated to buy or mail ordering from Dharma or Dick Blick. It was pay the 10% sales tax or pay for shipping and handling. Buying NOW won, as I was sure I would want to try the screens I had purchased as soon as I returned home. After class, my nephews took me out to a nice dinner at one of their favorite places in St. Helena. It was called the Goose and Gander, we had a very nice dinner, the food was wonderful, and the company great.