Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Coming Event: Contemporary Fiber Arts @ Lindenwood University

I was invited to participate in Contemporary Fiber Arts with 3 outstanding regional artists at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO @ the Boyle Family Gallery. Ten of my pieces will be exhibited. I have been working all summer to get several new big pieces done that will complement some of my other work. The piece featured on the card (which went into production before I could get any new work done) is Topographia a quilted piece made in 2011.  If you live in the area, I hope you'll come to the reception on Thursday, August 30, 4-7 pm.  Directions can be found at the link above.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Fun in the Shade

Elizabeth Adams Marks returned the favor of the rust party at my house by setting up an indigo vat in her garden. I haven't worked with indigo since grad school and then I did little more than a couple of experiments. We played for a few hours on Saturday before we attended an opening at Art Saint Louis where she has a gorgeous paper piece in the Texture show.

The big shawl that Elizabeth rusted in my previous post, has now been transformed with indigo. Quite a striking change don't you think?  Actually, just realized I didn't post a pic of the finished rusted shawl.  The post only shows her sprinkling tea on the rotary hoe pieces.

Elizabeth's shawl just after rusting.

The other large piece is also Elizabeth's.  I was working small.  A couple of scarves, one of which had been previously rusted, a scrap of cotton, a t-shirt and a small piece of rayon that I composted several years ago.

This is a piece of cotton previously (but lightly) rusted.  Did a little popsicle stick clamping to get this pattern. For those of you who have worked with indigo this may seem like small potatoes to you, but I got a little thrill out of the magic that was made when the color oxidized and when I unbound the goodies.

Arashi shibori scarf -- just pure indigo on a new scarf.  Love the color variation resulting from the folded layers.

This my favorite piece however. Just a small sueded rayon scrap about 15" big that had previously been composted with walnuts.  There was a lot of light creamy areas left in the design which allowed the pure indigo to shine through.  I preserved some of the brown with rubberbanded circles, other parts of the walnut turned very dark.  The fabric is translucent.   Very much would like to do more indigo with some of my old compost experiments.  But it will have to wait till after I get several pieces done for an upcoming show.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fun in the Sun

Despite the heat wave and the drought some good things have come out my efforts this summer:  one--to make new work for an upcoming show and two--to work with my friend Elizabeth Adams Marks. She wanted to learn about rust and both of us wanted to experiment with eco printing. Elizabeth came for 3 days in July about the time that the temperature hit well above 100 degrees F for several days in a row. She has written a wonderful blog post on the experience. Swing by to see all the pictures and read the story here.
A year ago June I had hoped that Elizabeth would join me at India Flint's workshop at Craft Alliance in St. Louis, but travel plans to Cornwall, England had already been set. As a papermaker who works with natural materials and plants, Elizabeth's interest in the eco dyeing/printing process could no longer be contained. So, in between rusting spells we gathered what we could from the scorched garden and set about making bundles.

Elizabeth brought a large wool shawl with her and did an impressive job of bundling on one of my solid iron window sash weights.  After cooking all of our bundles on the patio we hung them from plant hangers. That was July 19. Then she flitted down to Florida and I was left to contemplate the bundles outside my back door and itching to open them. Actually I confess I jumped the gun and opened one of mine on the 20th and then was immediately sorry I didn't let it cure sufficiently.

Today was the grand unveiling. Elizabeth arrived mid morning and we rushed out to the studio. She had bundled some goodies at home before flying south and so had many more presents to open.  Mine are on the right.  The following pictures are of her shawl.

 The golden brown color is from tea.

The big bundle was cooked in my oblong container-the only one big enough to hold the iron rod. A lot of echinacea and other dried flowers had been added to the brew eventually turning the water black.

Walnut leaf cluster left a beautiful resist print, a maple leaf turned black. Walnut stems left wonderful lines behind and I'm sure more subtle prints will be revealed when the wool is washed and pressed.

I only had two bundles to unwrap--this silk hanky square was wrapped on copper and is imprinted with walnut leaf clusters.

I also bundled a silk satin scarf with sliced red cabbage, flower petals, onion skins and leaves on a walnut twig. The bundle shrunk quickly in the heat and felt hollow when I touched it unlike all the other bundles which were tight. I was afraid all the work was going to come to nothing if the bundle was loose. But appearances can be deceiving.

Was very pleasantly surprised to see all the color on the interior of this very dark bundle.  I've got blues, violets, oranges, greens, pinks.  Really excited now.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Accidentally on Purpose

Mark making is drastically altered when I get sloppy. I'm fleeing the vertical stripes of careful folding. Here are 4 details of the same piece resulting from the fabric at left before wrapping. Whole piece is 10 feet long, silk dupioni. Just wrapped another piece tonight with more haphazard folds. Humidity is 56% and it's in the 70s now. Tomorrow will be 98. A relief from the 100+ days we've been having in the midwest. Rusting will not break any time records as before, and at any rate I plan to push this one.

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