Thursday, August 9, 2007

Surface Design Techniques: Screen Printing and Transfer Dyes

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I wish I had went with a cream or light grey for the beetles but instead I grabbed what was convenient.  I'm considering some very thin tree branches in a metallic green and it'll be finished.



Below are the experiments with transfer dyes.  I'm not so sure about these...they are fun to play with but to really get the full benefit I would need to have more control and intent with my drawing skills which isn't on the near horizon for me.  Plus they are a lot of work with the iron to get full colour out of them...no light weight ironing skills with these but more of a full muscle sweat workout.  I can't say I wasn't warned about the amount of energy it takes to do the transfer for full effect because I was.  The iron has to move quickly while pressing down very hard in order not to burn the fabric and to get a good transfer. The first two pictures are the dyes painted on paper after they have dried.



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The dried paper is then turned over on fabric that must be at least 60% polyester. These are the images on 100% poly fabric which gives the most vibrant colour with these dyes.  Hard to believe by looking at the paper that the colours would be that different.



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Monday, August 6, 2007

Comfort Reading

Dscn2606 Textural Rhythms: Quilts in a Jazz Tradition. WOW WOW AND WOW! I've been hesitant opening this book because handling it feels like unlocking gold at Fort Knox! The book is so exquisitely beautiful and designed that I question whether I should wear gloves while holding it, test the temperature and humidity of the room before lifting the cover!  Additionally, this book introduces Dr. Carolyn Mazloomi's first work from her own publishing company and poses a huge challenge for what will be her 2nd publication from Paper Moon.



There are several essays and a poem in the first half of the book all addressing the interlocking of jazz and quilts.  I can't get through a paragraph without having a near holy ghost or holy ghost moment...I get so excited and provoked in thought that I have to stop and have a dialogue with myself...the ideas from the 3 essays and 1 poem deliver testimony to the power of the word! And then the quilts providing a visual testimony to the power of the quilt to transcend any narrowly defined concepts of African American art.  And together, the essays and quilts, are underscored by their relationship to JAZZ.  My own personal testimony speaks to the effect that this book moves my mind to further ideas...After reading the first 2 essays and turning the pages to the quilts, my mind begins to see snippets of a staged performance with a jazz orchestra, a poetic sermon, the quilts in the back ground and dancers, all being filmed.  Can't you see it?  Wouldn't it be fabulous?  I was introduced to many new-to-me quilters and discovered Carole Harris.  Of course I had to google her to find more.  What I love is expansiveness of black/dark fabric with the abstract, bit wonky, traditional blocks.  Two of Valerie White's quilts are included in this exhibit and I've seen these quilts up close and personal so I know how fabulous they are and I keep waiting for a website.  I find her trademark to be how extremely well she executes on whole cloth to obtain a pieced look! 



Another book that I've been slowly digesting is my own copy of Speak, So You Can Speak Again: The Life and Times of Zora Neale Hurston.  Ms Hurston's niece, Lucy Anne Hurston and controller of her estate put this fabulous book together in the likeness of a scrapbook that include letters that she has sent and family photos as well as replicated copies of her first written works. Even a cd of her singing is included.  In one of her letters to either Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. DuBois she suggest the creation of a National African American Cemetary that would allow visitors to reconnect, comtemplate, and reflect on our struggle...I was so there and high-fived Zora across our planes of existence! HA!



The third item that I've buried my eyes in is Somerset's newest quarterly journal, Artful Blogging! Yes, and entire publication devoted to Bloggers with online journals dedicated to visual art and craft!!!  Among all the bloggers ran the theme of creating connection, community, and friendships through blogging...and it struck me that communicating in this way allows for a more relaxed way of maintaining individuality, whether communicating to oneself or with others.  Even those who had disconnected from writing expressed how blogging either reconnected them to the written word or developed the skill of writing for self-expression.  I hope some of you artful bloggers will check out the journal and consider submitting. 



The next gem on my list to read is Kyra Hicks' Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria.  And then my time will be devoured by school preparation for my petites...Mo for college and Ade in the 10th grade...both start in 2 weeks. 



I hope to get my screen printing experiment on here soon...I used the drawing fluid/screen filler method which I liked but messed up the designed by improperly applying the screen filler (ran it over the screen too often and scraped off some of the drawing fluid...came from thinking "I got this" when I should have re-read the directions again...lesson learned and duly noted).  I like using the drawing fluid/screen filler, so more exploring with it is in my future.



Peace,