Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Printed Fabric

Previously, I showed you some of our screen printing on fabric.  Today I'm going to show you the "unsuccessful" fabrics.  I say they are unsuccessful because they did not turn out how I wanted them to.  However, I think some are usable, as is.  And the rest can be worked further to become something more usable.  I might try stamping, adding paint or rubbings.

The first day we worked with screen printing.  I tried using the framed screen but wasn't having much success with that.  So I mostly worked with the thermofax screen I had.

The fabrics looked pretty good when I printed them.  But they were still wet.  As they dried and then got washed, some of the dye was lighter or removed in places (the other reason I would call them unsuccessful).  I don't know if the soda ash didn't soak into the fabric enough in those areas or it was the way I printed the dye.

Here are some of the yellow, orange, reds done with the thermofax screen.  The orange piece doesn't look like there is anything on it.  The dye color was probably too similar to the fabric.  The red piece on the right end was actually a printed grid using the lines screen one direction, then turning it 90 degrees.  Most of it washed out or the color was too similar to the fabric.

This was printed with blue using the thermofax screen.  This one turned out pretty good.

Since I had quite a bit of dye leftover, the next day I decided to experiment with mono printing using a piece of plexiglas. I used the some of the same pieces of fabric from the day before.  Below, in the first yellow piece, the long orange lines were screen printed and the red was the mono printing.

In the middle piece, there were suppose to be more lines but I had too much dye on the plate when I mono-printed it, so it just ran all together.

Here are some of the pieces I mono printed in the blues and greens.  The light blue piece on the right side had large screen printed lines on it from the day before.

Here is another piece that I mono printed with a looser weave fabric.  That gave it more texture, which I like.  I also like that when you mono print, the fabric is different on the front and back.  You can see the front on the right hand side and the back on the left.  Two for one!

Another mono printed piece with the front on the bottom and back on the top.

I also tried stamping with the thickened dye using a stamp I had made out of  cut fun foam that was attached to a piece of plexiglas.  That seemed to work pretty well, except that some of it was washed out again.

I need to keep working on it, but I think I learned some things.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Screen Printing on Fabric

Yesterday, I did some screen printing on fabric with my friend Mary.  Previously, I had made a padded cover for my cutting table to print on.  Here it is in it's first use where I tried screen printing ink with a thermofax screen.

I rolled the table out and set up our printing area in the garage.   This time we were using thickened dyes instead of paint or ink.

Here's Mary getting her screen ready.

I have the Screen Printing: Layering Textiles with Color Texture & Imagery book by Claire Benn & Leslie Morgan marked with lots of sticky notes.  And I have done some screen printing on fabric at Linda McLaughlin's studio.  But this was the first time I did it "on my own", so to speak, with a frame screen.  (But I wasn't on my own since Mary was there.) And I admit, I have no idea what I am doing!

We tried different temporary methods of making prints with the screen.  I wouldn't say we were very successful, but we did learn some things.  For example, I don't think I made the dye thick enough.  I used sodium alginate as a thickener.

The first time I tried to use the sodium alginate some years ago it turned into a big blob.  There are no instructions on my package on the amounts to mix.  This time I mixed it according to the instructions I saw on a package in the art store.  It was a little too runny, a syrup-like consistency. So next time I make it, it should be just perfect.

We carried on and tried some different things.  Then, I ended up going back to using my thermofax screen because I was able to get better results with it.  It is also smaller and easier to work with.  Here are a few of the fabrics I printed. I am exploring lines.  I think I will experiment with some mono-printing today since I still have some of the dye leftover.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Fence Art?

I don't usually have a lot of what I would call crazy ideas.  But every once in a while I wonder what I get myself into.

Recently, I did some "fence art" for the construction site for Jack's Urban Meeting Place downtown (JUMP).   I did it with permission, in case you were wondering.

Another artist that was in a Public Art workshop I was taking said that the organizers for JUMP were looking for some way to spiff up the construction site fence (because the project won't be completed until sometime in 2014 or 2015).  She had painted some of the fencing material for them, but they were looking for more artists to do something.  I thought I could stitch on the fencing material.

First, I went and looked at the material.  It was fabric-like, although plastic-y.  But I went ahead and contacted the people at JUMP and told them my idea.  They said they couldn't pay me for my time (which I already knew) but they would cover the materials cost and post photos and a link to my website on their Facebook page.

My idea was to do some simple stitched design with yarn.  Since I wasn't getting paid I didn't want to do something too elaborate that would take a lot of time.  I also worried about the yarn shredding as it was pulled through the material or if it would even be seen once finished.

I had to lay out the material on my driveway to work on it.  Here are some progression photos.

 The material had some dirty spots on it that I attempted to wash off first.

And here are some photos of it on site.  It is very subtle and hard to see as you are driving by, but pedestrians can see it.  I didn't know until I tried if I would work.  Seeing it up, I think I could have stitched another line right next to the first to make it thicker, but it took me about a day and a half just to do this much.

Yep, hard to see! But I think it is better than plain fencing material.  Now I know if I want to sew on construction fencing material again, I need to use a different technique/material.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  We worked on our earth day projects yesterday.  I transferred some compost to one of our garden boxes.  We built a new garden box (still have three more to build to replace old ones) and got some flowers in the front planter.  And look at these fun flowers we found.

In honor of earth day, I thought we could look at some artists that work with nature.   One is Patrick Dougherty.  I did a short review of his book, Stickwork, in one of my newsletters (If you would like to receive my newsletters, you can sign up using the link in the side bar). So, I was very excited to see one of his sculptures when we visited the Hui No'eau Visual Arts Center in Maui.

On the Wild Side by Patrick Dougherty 

My friend sent me a postcard with an announcement for the exhibition Vernal Equinox at The Grand Hand Gallery in California.  Sandra Juniper Booth and Kim Frances, the two artists exhibiting, were new to me.  I looked them both up on line and was very interested in Kim Frances' artwork in which earth is actually listed as one of the mediums used in the pieces.  Here is an example:

Game of Squares by Kim Frances
Earth, sand, ash pigment and varnish on canvas

I really like this piece with the lines and squares.

Then, the quintessential artist working with nature is Andy Goldsworthy.  Here is a link to a YouTube video about him.  He is amazing.

These are just a few artists that work with nature as a material.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Chair Affair Lecture Series

Yesterday, I attended the Chair Affair lecture series which is a local event.  Another part of the overall event is the Chair Affair Gala, which is tonight, that showcases a chair design competition with awards.  Anyone could participate and create a chair.  Both events are sponsored by the Interior Designers of Idaho.

Several speakers were featured at yesterday's event.  A friend of mine, Amy Pence-Brown presented a lecture with slide show on mid-century modern chair design.  It was very good and well researched.  She also brought a couple of her own chairs that were examples in the lecture for use on stage and for people to try out in between speakers.

The next speaker was Jordan Cappella (two p's and two l's as he reminded us often).  I admit I was not familiar with him as I am not in the design realm.  He is a designer that started with fashion design, but now does interior design.  If you watch HGTV's Design Star show (I don't), you might know him as he participated in one of the seasons.

Jordan's originally from Australia but now lives in California.  He will be on another design show on HGTV, but I didn't catch what that one is.  He spoke about his experiences on Design Star and presented a slide show of some of his design work.  His style, which he describes as "masculine glamour", would not be something I would chose, often using darker colors with a splash of metallics.

His furniture pieces make use of lucite and other materials and combine vintage elements with contemporary design.  Jordan was very amusing to listen to.

The last part was a panel discussion by Amy, Jordan and local architectural designer/arts planner/public artist Dwaine Carver.  The hostess for the event had a list of ten questions for the panel and questions from the audience were asked at the end.  The discussion was interesting.

Dwaine Carver, Jordan Cappella and Amy Pence-Brown

The three pieces of artwork hanging are some of Kathleen's work.  I think they really livened up the space.

Included in the ticket price was lunch by St. Lawrence Gridiron.  When purchasing your ticket you had to specify what sandwich choice you would like; turkey, beef or vegetarian.  I went with turkey which was good, but the vegetarian sandwich looked delicious.  Chips, a drink and cookie were included.  It was all good except for the cookie which was too hard.  I gave up trying to eat it in public.

As part of the two day event, there was a raffle for some chairs.  Here are a few that were in the raffle.

I would like to see the chairs that were designed for tonight's event but I will not be attending.

Monday, April 15, 2013

More Finished DFCs

Here are a couple more before and after pictures of the daily fabric compositions.  I am planning to finish some more, but definitely not all of them.

In the first one, the blue on the white is a screen print.  I decided to continue the printed stitched lines with real hand stitched lines.
 This one also has the stitched lines continued with some hand stitching. (The colors are off because I took the pictures in different lighting.)

I have been working on some new larger pieces and hope to share them with you soon.

Friday, April 12, 2013

People in Hawaii?

If you were viewing my photos from Maui and didn't know better, you might think it was an uninhabited place.  Where are all the people?  Well, yes, there are people there and, in fact, we were there with quite a few of our very own people; Frank's parents and both of his sister's families.

I've had a request for people photos.  I don't actually have a lot of people photos (as a percentage of the whole).  I'm often too busy taking pictures of plants and scenery, among other things, and I sometimes forget to take people pictures.

I am definitely more drawn to objects than to people.  I'll be the person walking down the street noticing the pattern on the manhole cover instead of the people walking past me.  In fact, if my sister-in-law hadn't told me that Halle Berry was at the table right next to us in a restaurant with her daughter and financĂ©, I probably never would have noticed.

I do like people and sometimes I remember to take photos of them.  When I do, I don't always like them posed.  Like these:

Dinner all together at a restaurant.

Anna looking out the lava tube.

Peggy, my mother-in-law, enjoying the view.

Our picnic lunch at the beach.

Anna learning to make a bracelet from tea leaves.  Allen helped her while I took pictures.

Anna and her aunt Mary at the luau.

Frank and Anna wandering the grounds of the visual arts center.
Sometimes there are posed pictures and occasionally I will remember to ask Anna to take a picture of me and Frank together or ask someone to take a picture of all three of us.

Anna and Frank in Lahaina.

A rare picture of all three of us.

Three of the four Peoples, sporting their Peeps shirts. (Ben was in another car.)

My brother-in-law, Allen, and my niece, Jessica.

Jessica at the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant, where Halle Berry was also having lunch.

Hey, a picture me and Frank together.

Me in Patrick Dougherty's sculpture.
Most often the people pictures I have are of Anna and Frank's backs.  That's usually because I am lingering to take a picture or look at something and they just keep on going.

Frank at the fruit stand.

Frank heading to a snorkeling spot.

Frank and Anna.

Frank hiking up the trail at Iao Valley State Park.
And I even took some pictures of Hawaiian people at the luau.

Wow! That was a lot of pictures.  I hope you've had your people fix for the day.