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.


  1. Merci pour votre rendu de cours à Craft Napa très intéressant.

  2. It sure looks like you had a lot of fun and accomplished a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  3. That looks like an amazing class. You used a wonderful variety of techniques and created some beautiful pieces :)