30 May 2013

iPad / Tablet holder

These are for the Penobscot Marine Museum.

 These first 3 which are actually the last 3 I made are all my hand dyed fabric. The olive green one below has a small strip of a commercial batik but other than that all 3 are my fabrics.

Look familiar???

This is the first one I made. It took FOREVER to do all the patches. I thought I had made it big enough for an iPad with the leather cover on it but I was mistaken. The other three will hold my tablet in it's leather case and this one with the tablet naked!!

28 May 2013

A Double-header filled with excellent information

First I want to share a "new-to-me" website filled with amazing textile art. There is a spot for downloading a free eBook and loads if interesting interviews. It is called Textile Artist and it features the work of many textile artists including many men!

I hope you sign up for their email updates. I plan on reading one interview a day. They are fascinating...

The other big news is a book from the Netherlands with avant-garde textile work and featuring many artists I know.

Here are a few pages I am using with permission

Above is Nienke Smit's work

Above is Sandra Van Velzen's work. I remember reading her blog while she was working on this wonderful tribute to her father

Above is Marjolijn Van Wijk's work

These last two just speak to me. I love people and portraits

I can't begin to tell you the feelings I had looking through this book. It was like adrenalin (the artistic kind). It was beyond an infusion of ideas and made me want to jump out of the chair and CREATE!!!!!

Check out this YouTube of the book and you will see why I HAD to have it.

23 May 2013

The best thing I've done lately

I am preparing to leave town tomorrow (May 11th) and I was just reviewing all the posts I scheduled and could not believe I had never done a post on this fabulous piece of linen. It is phenomenal. So here it is. Done with soy wax, thickened dyes on BOTH sides of heavy neutral linen applied with a credit card (scrape, scrape)

 One side

 Other side

And this linen is as soft as butter...

21 May 2013

Batiking on cotton with a credit card

While I had the soy wax nicely melted in my pot, I decided to do a small sample of a 2 sided batik. I had previously done two sided batiks and really liked the effect.

I started with intense blue and after doing my alternating bars in wax, a real favorite of mine, I applied the thickened blue due with a credit card.

Washed and ironed

Then I flipped the fabric over and applied a rust colored dye. Now I must mention I had made this colored dye paste in an attempt to mix a chartreuse color. The paste itself was a dark rust and looked very unappetizing but I thought it might look well on the other side of this blue.

It turned out just to look like an accident had happened on the cloth. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. On the edges you can see a bit of the color.
I suspect that had the print paste been a tad thicker, I wouldn't have had so much bleed through. Also if the color on the second side have been of similar value, it might have either mixed well with or overpowered the blue. Lesson learned. I still like two sided batik.

Washed and ironed

16 May 2013

THIS is what I was trying to do

This will be almost impossible to describe in words. I love the colors and I love MOST of the fabric and I am on the right road - I just need some more perfecting. The only way I can describe this is that I grabbed a bunch of fabric in my hand, jammed it in a pot of dye and used the fabric to wipe out the pot. The last time (which was the first time)

I was also cleaning up the posts and using up the last drops of dye instead of washing it down the drain.

Here is the second successful piece of cloth

I love all these nuances of color. I will be doing more experiments with this technique now that I can even call it a technique.

14 May 2013

A dyeing experiment (or dying to experiment)

I made an amazing piece of fabric by accident (what else!!) and have been chasing that for months. The drizzle print was one of the experiments trying to reproduce the results but although pretty was not what I was looking for.

This started out like the drizzle prints (without the drizzle). I took a piece of fabric (about 45" X 24") and started to use some of the texture creating objects I use when making a deconstructed silk screen as "stamps". They were pathetic and contrived. Then I just started putting down globs and "blotting" them here and there. Then I did my sawing move with the credit card and general smearing. When I was done, I did a general all over with yellow and the credit card.

Stamping with vegetable netting (two kinds) and balled up burlap. Not too impressive.
Ah. I really like the sawing motion with the credit card plus I see a few general smears.

Not really what I was looking for.

Interesting - finished and ironed

12 May 2013

Preparing to order a thermofax screen

Tie Dye Judy was interested in having thermofax screens made. As I mentioned, Lyric Kinard makes all my screens. She is fast, inexpensive and very professional. I purchased a few of her screens which you can see here. These are her ammonite images. 
Later I wanted to make my own images and have her burn the screens for me. Some of mine were very simple like this one:

This was simply a scribbled circle with a fiber tipped pen which I scanned and Lyric burned into a thermofax screen.

Here I added these fine line circles in the open areas of the soy wax silk screen from a few days ago

FIRST: Why do I want a thermofax screen?? ONLY a thermofax screen with give you a printable image WITH FINE DETAIL. You can make a stamp of a bold image but only a thermofax will give you fine details like this:

 My photo
 Screen Lyric made

Now this is how I prepare an image to send to Lyric

This is a new series I am working on so now I have ruined the surprise (smile).
I have opened a jpg file of the image I want

I go to Filter on Photoshop, then adjustments, then threshold

In the box on the lower right there is a slide bar which you can slide left and right until the image is the way you want it to appear on the thermofax screen.

  HINT: Try to avoid big black blobs and go for as much FINE detail as you can. I did have to fidget with my image a bit using the contrast setting but I ended up with a wonderful image.

Lyric, you can be expecting this in an email from me later in the month along with many others of milkweeds.

I always buy mine as images only. Here are the reasons. The frames are bulky and they add to the prices. I'd rather have more screens for my buck!!

Now - How to frame your thermofax images

The image of a bee (never used) on the paper on which Lyric made her carbon based toner copy which is the only way to burn a screen.

Gorilla Tape
Buy it; it's worth it.

Make sure the back and front edges of the tape touch (stick to themselves)

The rough (textured) side of the screen always faces up. Make THAT side of the screen so that when you see writing, you know the rough side is facing up. I also label each screen and draw an arrow with the image in the "up" position. This helps eliminate the chances of not noticing and printing you image upside down.

 And now that I finished this tutorial I happened to notice on Lyrics website many tutorial about framing and using thermofax screen (duh!)