A week ago I took a bookbinding workshop on the “snowshoe” binding. It seems to be a variation of the long stitch with some decorative touches and is used on flexible covers. Thought it was a very interesting look so I went on to You Tube to see what there was on crossed bindings. I found a very interesting one that is deceptively simple. Each stitch group always has 3 columns (signatures). The number of rows can be anything as long as the number is odd. The cover is made of 2 pieces of heavy paper glued together with a piece of tyvek in between for stability. My cover was silkscreened with one of the screens made from my design in the screen making workshop I had taken the week before. The cover is very stiff so perhaps for the next one I may add a closure.
Have been playing with some screen printing and it seems there is always a shape or figure I want to use but do not have. My go to guru and wonderful teacher, Ginny Eckley, was having a workshop on how to make your own screens, so I signed up. Her suggestion was before coming to the workshop to send her some ideas that I could play with and use to make my own screens. I had some new shibori resist patterns and thought they would make some lovely screens. So I sent them off to her to get things started.
On the first day some of us had screens ready to be made and some of us were still finalizing designs. By day two we were all pretty much ready to go While waiting for our screens to be developed we did avail ourselves of Ginny’s library of screens to practice our printing techniques.
Above are the tests I made with my screen designs. The top picture is on paper and the bottom picture is on fabric. I do like my screens and am ready to start using them for my own projects.
Making your own screen for printing is not for the timid. The most time consuming is the preparation of the design and the transparency from which the screen is made. Once those are good to go you’re ready to develop the screen. Screen developing also has room for problems but if the design is good, you’re way more than halfway there.
Another wonderful workshop at the 2016 International Quilt Festival. This one was with Houston’s own Ginny Eckley. What a talented artist she is as well as a great teacher. Our topic was ‘Japonisme’: the Japanese influence on art nouveau. This was my first foray into silk painting and silk screening. These things are way outside my comfort zone. I was, however, determined to give them a try and see what happened and what techniques I could, perhaps, transfer to my current endeavors.
Below is my test piece. The goal was to find out what colors worked, the required saturation and their effect on one another.
Below is my second and final piece. I decided to go for minimalism: color and details. Someone in our workshop had done, for her test piece, a sample using dark grays. I liked the look but wanted the colors even lighter. Because my colors are so muted they were difficult to photograph. The upper left corner is a green gray. The lower left corner is gray. The fabric was then washed with a pale yellow. My butterfly had a little too much ink on it but it turned out okay after I added a few bits of yellow and orange to the body.
Not sure these processes are in my future but, who knows, I may be able to combine techniques in a way I hadn’t considered as yet. And the workshop was worth getting up at 5:30!