Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fiber Foiling

Dscn2609_2 Two steps of a four step foiling process...needs sealant, and antique glazing.

Friday, July 27, 2007

mud and Mud

I also wanted to talk about mud...the construction is still going on in my hood and I ride by mounds of dirt...charcoal coloured, yellowish, brown-reddish...and I want some of it!  The street is a busy two lane with no place to pull over which is why I haven't asked the construction crew for permission to get some dirt.  I want to get all 3 colours and see what I can do with them by colouring fabric.  It dawned on me that this maybe akin to what Cheryl tried some time ago with clay dyeing...(remember to email Cheryl about this)...also, I'll consult Kel too.

And more about mud, but this time, Mud as in Mud Man, Upfromsumdirt, Dirty Boy, Somebodygottadoit...two of his works are included in an exhibit at The Loudoun House in the Recycled Matter(s) exhibit.  The opening started 13 minutes ago...congratulations Ron...will definitely be there in September and if your father is up to it, I'll bring him along...he actually expressed an interest in coming tonight so that is his way of being proud of ya! Keep it up! Love ya!

Just because the clock stopped ticking doesn't mean that time stands still.

Where does the time get to?  I want to know and I want it to come back! But there isn't a rewind button I can hit to do the last 5 days over now is there???  One foot down and then the other right in front and I'll keep stepping. 

The rain halted my plans to set up "studio" (a card table on the balcony) for making some silk paper...but realizing the week has marched on in spite of my do-nothing-state-of-being, I decided to pull the rusting fabric from its occupying corner on the balcony and see how it went...Dscn2613

here it is soaking in the bath tub with a drop or two of synthrapol.  I rinsed it first and after the soak I'll toss it into the washing machine.  Maybe I'll over dye, stamp on it, and-or foil on it.  Life is just one big long process anyways, right? 

Yesterday I spent time exploring a flea market type store...its one of my favorite ways to waste time when I'm out between appointments.  I found all type of neat stuff that I don't need, beautiful teacups and plates, a gorgeous buffet that would just be one classy piece of furniture for holding supplies and fabrics, old wooden chairs, old jewelry and linens...naw, I didn't buy a thing since I'm more interested in unloading my own "stuff" but I find these type of stores intriguing and inspiring.  I think it was yesterday that the Antiques Roadshow that was here...there were only 3000 tickets by drawing and I wasn't one of them.  Will be looking forward to the Louisville episode in October.  I wanted to take a clock that has been in my family for over 100 years (where does the time get to?) and a tin type photo and a book that was recently given to me  that I saw online for 450 and 500.  It was published in 1899 and I hope to find some archival way to store it. The author (can't recall her name correctly at the moment) was known for her illustrations on tarot cards and the book was re-issued a few years ago.  What I read about her online made her sound like a wild and entertaining woman trying to make her way in the world as an artist.  She was a biracial woman whose father was from Europe and mother, Jamaican...Patricia Smith Collins, Patricia Collins Smith...ahhh, shoot her name is on the tip of my tongue...but her story makes me imagine layers of her life, thoughts and behaviors, infused with all the race, gender, class issues of her day and I want to know more about her....what is the title of the Black Feminist tome???? The Bridge Called My Back????  Is this author calling my back?  See, how my mine wonders...I need a house of many rooms, each one filled with artifacts and supplies that allow me to practice my callings of interest for the day. It is rumoured that bell hooks has 4 houses in one small town that she is currently residing in and is building another one...depending on what she feels like that day will depend on which one she writes in I guess...I now understand and could easily do the same (with one house), wondering and wandering from room to room filling myself up with curiousities...history, genealogy, writing, quilting...I was going to write that I will be one of those old quirky women that lives at the end of the road and people make up stories and wonder about...but hell, maybe people are doing that now!?

Dscn2624_2 Dscn2623Mo's flowers here...I wanted to see how well the rain drops showed up in my photography...this was shot on close up with the lense about an inch and half away...any suggestions for improving?


Monday, July 23, 2007

Altering Fabric

Dscn2591 I dyed this sometime last month and it has been languishing on the balcony under steel wool pads and vinegar.  I was curious what dyed fabric would look like rusted. Now I'm just too lazy to undo the plastic wrap and fool with what I anticipate will stink and be a mess.  Maybe another 3 weeks...I wonder if I need to pour more vinegar on it to "refreshen" the rusting action.  I used nearly a whole quart.

Dscn2560 This was the dyed, discharged piece that I started exercise #1 with in the back of the book Complex Cloth which now has been overdyed and stamped and looks like the picture below:

Dscn2601 I'm going to screen print beetles on it using drawing fluid and filler fluid to make the screen.  The colour for the beetles will be a very pale green (sage) or a pale yellow. I hope to get to it sometime this weekend.

Other surface altering processes I've tried have been transfer paints on a poly blend and 100% polyester fabric.  I'm also going to dye over a sample piece that I used Shiva sticks on just to see what happens. 

Last Saturday I attended a 4 hour workshop sponsored by a local art supply store.  A Jacquard rep demo'ed and answered questions about their products and then the group of 30 turned loose and played with the products.  It wasn't a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  I was able to score a package of ExtraOrganza which I have trouble finding locally and hopefully now Preston will keep a few packages in stock.  I also picked up more Tee Juice Fine Liner markers in other colours.  By far it is the smoothest fabric marker I've ever used...with the slightest hesitation in my hands there is not any bleeding whatsoever! I'm also going to try an acid dye...I'm so haunted by the richness of colour in the quilt Carol Taylor had in Form, Not Function that I will not rest until I can duplicate that intense colour.  She will be the teacher in this years Design Retreat...I might just have crash the retreat just to find out.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Life is Fine.

Dscn2595 I haven't stuck my head out of the door all day...I wonder what the humidity is like out there...the plants on the balcony tell me its a slight breeze blowing and there is an overcast in the sky.  My body hasn't quite recovered from the intermittent sleep the other night...We kept the tv on C-Span2 watching the debates and anticipating the outcome of the vote on Iraqi withdrawal, time line or no time line.  My interest in politics often goes beyond politics but watching how people behave and the arguements they put forth, for me, becomes an open door to make analysis of gender, class, race, and economic roles for our civilization at large.  Peter concludes that the West is canabilizing upon itself which occurs in all empowered nations that become drunk with their own power.  Quite sad of a conclusion...and it doesn't help that I keep ordering these documentaries from Netflix.  I have one in there now that I need to either watch or send back...its on children born in brothels to prostitutes in India.  Why do I do this to myself?  Because I think the dangers of not being aware are more hurting than being aware.  Plus, art and faith, for me, are my soul food.

This is a poem I hear in my head often when I'm saddened by some event:

Life Is Fine

I went down to the river,
I set down on the bank.
I tried to think but couldn't,
So I jumped in and sank.

I came up once and hollered!
I came up twice and cried!
If that water hadn't a-been so cold
I might've sunk and died.

But it was Cold in that water! It was cold!

I took the elevator
Sixteen floors above the ground.
I thought about my baby
And thought I would jump down.

I stood there and I hollered!
I stood there and I cried!
If it hadn't a-been so high
I might've jumped and died.

But it was High up there! It was high!

So since I'm still here livin',
I guess I will live on.
I could've died for love--
But for livin' I was born

Though you may hear me holler,
And you may see me cry--
I'll be dogged, sweet baby,
If you gonna see me die.

Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!

Langston Hughes

The Poets always come to the rescue :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

365 Days on a Quilt


You know how blog surfing leads to the discovery of new blogs and ideas and people?  A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Leanne's House and the 365 Day Challenge Quilt.  Since I read this post at Black Threads I'm again pondering text on quilts and although this is not my idea, I thought the 365 quilt would be fun to do and hopefully spark some ideas about other ways to combine text/cloth.  The idea of writing/script/messages in quilts is never too far from my thoughts in the first place.  I have a quotation quilt languishing in the closet on a quilt frame that was intended for a friend's 50th birthday...(she's pushing close to 60 now), slow, but sure, is my motto! After trying 5 different pens, Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric and Fineliner Tee Juice Markers are the absolute smoothest!  The ones that I eliminated were Copic Multiliner, Sharpie, and FabricMate.  They bleed at the slightest hesitation in my hand.

Dscn2568I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this phone booth a week ago!?  They are almost gone and are rare finds.  I joked with Mo if she had ever seen one of goes along with the 17 year old stranger who quipped about my iron without holes which she had never seen one before and in a split second I thought "where has she been" before it dawned on me that I was swimming in the generation gap.

Below is the discharged fabric that I'll overdye sometime this week.  If using discharge paste and you want to skip the ironing, discharge on a hot sunny day.  Once the sun hits the fabric it drys and discharges immediately.


Solo Shows and my Progeny

Dscn2574_copy Marti Plager is one of the most energetic and enthusiastic art quilters I know.  She extended an invitation to do a gallery talk of her solo show for the group of sistahs I quilt with and last weekend several us at met Marti at the Carnegie Museum in New Albany, Indiana. Bridges and Memories was the theme for the series of quilts and in true Marti fashion she answered our questions and talked about her work with her trademark enthusiasm that so describes her.  I love her strong linear designs and colour pairings the most and my favorite quilt was entitled Vertigo that provided a perspective of looking up at the geometric steel overhead of a bridge.  With Louisville being on the river we have 3 bridges and another coming in the very distant future, so the theme was readily identifiable for all familiar with this area. Thanks Marti for you hospitality!

Speaking of solo shows, UpfromSumDirt, aka my brother told me he will be having his first solo show going up in August and another one going up in December!  (I'll need to get a new picture of him to post since he has cut his locks off.)  The news really was a joy to hear!  He has always been a very talented and artistic person but has never given himself enough credit.  He has moved from Louisville which I'm sure has helped him immensely.  Details for the show are forthcoming.  Congratulations Ron, and I hope blessings continue to flow in, out, through, and around you!  Your new work is amazing!

Dscn2573 Ade is working on drawing. This is Andre 3000 (Sometimes we watch the cartoon Class of 3000 together).  He just finished a 6 week drawing workshop and will start a painting workshop on Thursday.  Out of my 3 children he is the one that enjoys going with occasionally on art dates. Mo likes to go but she mainly likes to whiz through and she wants me to look at what she wants to look at.  Adrian, my oldest passes altogether.

Dscn2570 If you're ever visiting the city it is a must that you stop and eat at Lynn's Paradise Cafe!  Meet Ade Fork and Mo Spoon.