Friday, November 6, 2009

Fall Color and Fashion

The view from my patio was spectacular last week despite the drizzle of rain.  October was declared the wettest October ever, and the fourth wettest month in weather recording history.  I had a bit of water in the basement despite new window wells -- one of them leaked water slowly into my studio, but it was not a major disaster and thankfully the leak was plugged and everything was dry by evening.

The rain unfortunately sped up the leaf dropping process so that by November 1st the maple trees were nearly naked, matching my walnut trees that began dropping their leaves weeks ago.

I barely had time to notice the beauty outdoors because I was sewing madly for a fashion show to be held November 7 at Jacoby Arts Center.  I completed and delivered two outfits on Tuesday along with some of the tights I've been rust dyeing.  

Heads & Threads for Love is a fund raiser for Love 146 --dedicated to abolishing child sex slavery and exploitation--sponsored by Lillian Bate's By Design boutique at 136 Front Street, Alton and Fringe salon next door.  Lillian has been selling wearables for me since she opened a year ago.   I was excited to be invited to participate in the fashion show. 

In summer 2006 I was beginning to explore rust dyeing, but I did quite a lot of solar dyeing because the temperature was in the high 90s and 100s.  I also laid a few pieces out on the ground for what some natural dyers refer to as compost dyeing.  I usually refer to all my processes as organic printmaking.  The silk pictured above was arranged with black walnuts, elderberries, orange slices, radishes, watermelon rinds, rhubard stalks, turmeric spice and slices of red cabbage in the center which were pounded to break the cells in the leaves.  The silk was covered and sealed with black plastic for three weeks.  I've done composting in the past that took months to produce color, but the heat worked to my advantage.

This is the result of that experiment immediately after picking up the fabric and disposing of the veggie detritus.  The color looks rich here, but keep in mind the fabric was damp and as with many naturally derived dyes, the color changed and faded despite leaving it to cure for two or more months before washing.  
This summer, I've noticed a dramatic color change when I've used elderberries.  Scarves that were magenta in color when I removed them from the rust objects, quickly turned blue on the clothes line. 

I put the fabric away for three years and rediscovered it two weeks ago.  The fashion show concoction that I'd had my heart set on making for weeks went out the window in favor of using this fabric to create a dress.  I confess the dress didn't work out either.  I turned the bodice (which is made from another piece of composted silk) into a finished blouse trimmed with vintage cotton lace and the full gathered skirt into a long narrow wrap skirt.

The silk gauze sleeves are from a third piece of fabric that was rust dyed also in summer 2006.  The blue comes from elderberries that were packed around the rust objects.  The color in the skirt fabric is now blue/violet gray with deep blue elderberry spots along with swirls of deep walnut brown, cream, pink, bronze and yellow.  Really a beautiful piece of silk if I do say so.  

To make sure the wrap measurements would work, I did a practice run on some commercial fabric I had in my stash...a wonderfully soft, drapey, probably rayon blend paisley in rich fall colors.  It paired beautifully with some rusted organza I made just a week ago which I transformed into a poncho/shawl with bead fringe.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

ARTEAST at the Villa Marie Winery

Here are a few pics from the Vino Room.  There were so many scarves I had to spread some out on a table while the rest hung on two racks.  The top photo shows a selection on the center rack with the orange velvet one a real standout.  The brilliant color was a surprise to me--so different from the silk satin rust marks.  To the right of the scarves in the background are two of my smaller wall hangings.  

I had to get creative with my big silks as I could not use the walls.  My friend Bob (who builds my wall brackets and lends me rusty things) and I collaborated on a design for gigantic banner hangers.  They are 8 feet tall and can be taken apart for transport.  Each can hold works back to back if needed.  My friends from St. Louis give you a sense of the scale.  The piece they are looking at is Chicken Scratch which won BEST OF SHOW at Fiber Nine last fall at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Illinois.  It is rust dyed silk organza layered over black raw silk, 55 inches wide.

Last is a view from the other direction.  Alison Reeves makes jewelry.  That's her table on the right.  In the distance is the watercolor display booth belonging to Jerie Artz and Arvilla Friar.  The whole space was really quite beautiful and I thank Judy Wiemann and the staff of Villa Marie Winery for providing us with the venue. 

Thursday, October 22, 2009

New work

Besides preparing for ARTEAST weekend which is over now, I created a piece for the ARTEAST Small Works Group Exhibit which continues through November 15 at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, Illinois.  100 ARTEAST participants have work in the show. 

Twitter #54, July 1927: "Etta had company this evening"
Mixed media collage--rust dyed and composted fabric, found fabric, found paper, thread

I usually have to force myself to work small but this piece came together easily when I rediscovered a tiny diary I bought at an antique store in Pocahontas a couple years ago stashed in one of my bins of found objects.  Written the same year my parents were married, the words are cramped, sometimes unreadable.  I realized as I attempted to decipher the handwriting that the author recorded some pretty mundane thoughts day to day which led me to compare the entries to twittering.  Methinks I miss making collages so when I get past my current deadlines, I'd like to make use of more pages from this little gem of a diary.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Snarky Twins make their debut at ARTEAST

Shibori rust dyed scarf detail.  100% silk satin.
The actual scarf is about 72 inches long--this is an 8x10 
direct scan near the bottom.  Shibori is Japanese for
shaped resist dyeing--the only difference is that I do 
not make a dye bath.  My imagery comes from direct 
contact with rust objects.  More about that in a later 

I've rust dyed 50 scarves!  I surprised myself with the 
number.  That's the most I've made in one summer.
Most of them are in the shibori method--
and all will be for sale at ARTEAST this weekend.
I'll be exhibiting at Villa Marie Winery in Maryville, Illinois.
Maps to 50 venues can be found at the ARTEAST website.

Come see me on the lower level in the Vino Room.  I'm 
sharing the space with 3 other artists -- Jerie Artz and her 
mother Arvilla Friar who are great watercolorists, and 
Alison Reeves who makes fabulous jewelry.
Along with scarves, I will have some of my huge silk hangings
and also some smaller quilted felted collages. 
This is my first post on my brand new blog.  I'll add more 
as soon as I can and introduce you to the art I make.
BTW, can you see the Snarky Twins?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...