Getting Back To It

May 9 2017 013

Crepe de Chine

Been busy this spring focusing on things other than my botanical printing. Have printed a few since the end of last year but some of them ended up looking like I had completely lost my ‘mojo’. The leaves I had dried or frozen just didn’t look like they were coming through for me. There were a few gems, however, that I was very pleased with.

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Silk Habotai

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Silk Habotai

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Crepe de Chine

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Silk Habotai

I just started using crepe de chine. I like the softness of print that you can get with silk chiffon but sometimes it is too soft. Crepe de chine still results in soft images but they are a bit bolder.

Also acquired some silk charmeuse. Have printed one and am very pleased. It is still resting before the wash. Will post the results later.

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Japonisme

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.

IQF 2016 Japonisme 2

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!

Mandala Magic!

International Quilt Festival Houston 2016 is about to begin. The workshops started yesterday and I braved getting up at 5:30 so I could get to my first workshop on time.

Glennis Dolce didn’t disappoint, as usual. We were supplied with 3 packets of folded silk (along with instructions on how to fold our own fabtic). We were also supplied with some dissolving thread and instructed to draw and then sew our designs on each packet of silk. Once that was done, we were given some silk dye (which doesn’t require heat setting) and a couple of pipettes. Thus armed, we began to paint our designs. After the painting was done, we dissolved our stitching and opened up our “masterpieces”.

I am very fond of my “firstborn”. Glynnis only let us use 2 colors for our first piece.

My second piece was a bit overwhelming to me. I had intended for small sections of black but the black dye has a mind of its own.

IQF 2016 Mandala Magic #2

My very favorite was my final sample. I like the colors as well as the resulting shape.

IQF 2016 Manadala Magic #3

Next workshop is in a couple of days. It is with the very wonderful and talented Ginny Eckley. Looking forward to it (even if its another 5:30 morning!)

More Botanical Printing

I’ve been spending a great deal of time this summer on my indigo processes; resist methods and dyeing. I do, however, try to sneak in a bit of time for some botanical printing.

There were a couple of batches that I am particularly fond of. The colors and images just seemed to be in harmony.

My favorite leaves for images are oak, pecan and sweet gum. There are other leaves,however, that leave wonderful tints and shadowy hints of their presence. Those are the leaves that give the pieces their overall look.

I will admit not all the leaves are from my area. My sister-in-law does send me small periodic parcels containing a few of the leaves from her area in the Michigan woods. I happily include those in my compositions.

At Last!

It’s been way too long since my last post but I do have a couple of interesting botanical prints to write about.

One of the more difficult fabrics to offer up interesting prints is chiffon. The fabric is such an open weave that the most one can hope for is some interesting (and it usually happens) color. This time, however, a small piece of silk chiffon fooled me.

The hamelia leaves as well as the sweet gum did themselves proud. The annatto seeds provided a bit of color. The very vague and disappointing print is a grapefruit leaf. Otherwise, very nice result.

The other piece is one that I had promised to publish a couple of weeks ago. It is the scarf that was covered by the iron blanket I wrote about. It is a beauty. Don’t know that I can part with this one. The oak leaves and the onion skins are a perfect complement to the red of the madder root.

‘Felt the Need’

Even though it’s a crazy time of year, I felt the need to do some printing. Above I used some eucalyptus, hamelia (hummingbird bush)leaves, and a bit of sweet gum.

Here I used sweet gum, maple, rose leaves, a couple of sprinkles of tumeric, oak and sumac berries. There was so much tannin the overall look is brown.

My favorite is this one. The scarf is covered with rose leaves, hamelia leaves large and small, some sweet gum and madder root.

I’m very happy I ‘felt the need’ to do these as the supply I had at 18 Hands Gallery was almost depleted. I took these and a couple more I had forgotten before down there today. I am very thrilled there are so many people interested in (and buying) my work. Next year I’ll try doing fewer scarves and do more table runners, pillow covers, etc. And of course, I’ll be doing a lot more indigo shibori.

It’s been a good year. I’m looking forward to even bigger and better things next year.

New Textile Book

As soon as I saw this was available, I treated myself.  It was all I expected it to be. There were no ‘little projects’ to be found.  There are just some interesting ideas to get me thinking about how I could expand my eco printing and natural dyeing projects.

In the book, Alice includes ideas about collecting found objects. I know there are a lot of books containing that subject but it is good to be reminded periodically. She talks about collecting ‘colors’, how to make natural ink, how to select items for rust printing, weaving and twining with natural materials, combining techniques and more. In addition to all that, it is a pleasure to look at. It is one of the books I don’t store on the bookshelf but keep out to review.

I recommend this book for anyone interested in using natural materials and found items in their textile work.