Thursday, September 24, 2015

Eco-Dying, Something Old, Something New

A new found technique, eco dyeing, is based in established processes of yesteryear .  Eco dyeing got it's name because it is safe for the environment as no chemicals are used in any stages of the dyeing process.  An introduction tutorial to the process is available at  Chicago Craft Mofia. The tutorial provides the basic concepts to using eco friendly natural dyes.

Two friends and I enjoyed a day of eco dyeing water color papers and fibers together.  Betty shared the process as well as resources with us.  We worked at layering paper and organic materials from the garden.  The wrapped bundles were immersed in boiling water for 90 minutes.  It was like Christmas morning unwrapping each bundle and discovering the natural, subtle and striking colors created.

An artist can not live in isolation.  I have found that friends and exposure to all art is conducive to creative growth.  I love exploring materials and experimenting with techniques and creating design in the process. Here are some samples of work created from the day with friends.

Layered materials
Dyed Paper

Rinsing bundles of paper
Sample #1
Sample #2

 The finished pieces came out very different from what was originally placed on the paper and fabric. While the results are serendipitous, they are equally beautifully organic.

Wanting to enhance the naturally occurring shapes of the leaves and flowers, I added stitch.  Machine stitching looked mechanical. So that option was off the table. Hand stitching was a better choice as the texture created by the hand markings added to the organic shapes and color ways of the dyed papers. 

Torn Paper
Tree Scape #1
  These hand stitched pieces are 5.5 by 8.5 inches and easy to work with.  My goal is to experiment with different embroidery threads and colors to create contrast and develop the design.  Some designs are pictorial while others are abstract.  Each is stitched utilizing the original print design. Felt was tacked onto back of the dyed paper to provide a foundation for the stitching.  I used black felt, 20% wool. 

A closing thought:
"Part of the act of creating is discovering your own kind. They are everywhere. But don't look for them in the wrong places."
- Henry Miller

Peninsula Quilt Guild, Washinton

What I love about the society of quilters is they love to share.  The Peninsula Quilt Guild in Southern Washington state is a wonderful group of very talented quilters.  I had the honor of speaking at their guild this September.  The progression of coming to art quilting was shared in a truck show of successive works over a five year period. 

Thanks again to the wonderful ladies of the Peninsula Quilt Guild, I had a great time!  Thank you for sharing your afternoon, your work, and your inspirations with me. 

Pre-viewing at Peninsula Guild
Photo of nearby Willapa Bay

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Art Quilts XX: Journeys & Life Cycles

It takes a village to create an artist ... it really takes friends and family.  I am blessed.

Acceptance into the Art Quilts XX: Journeys & Life Cycles, a juried show at the Chandler Center for the Arts in Arizona is an honor.  The selection into Chandler's juried exhibit speaks to contemporary work in textiles. I submitted two pieces to be considered, Oysterville, Then and Now and Mesa Verde.  Oysterville, Then and Now was selected into the exhibit. I am thrilled to be included in a show where textile work is an acknowledged art. The exhibit will be open to the public from November 13, 2015 to January 9, 2016.

"The exhibition is produced by the Chandler Center for the Arts and is presented by the Chandler Cultural Foundation and the Chandler Arts Commission. The Chandler Center for the Arts Quilts exhibition has grown from a local and regional quilt show to a respected vehicle for contemporary works. The exhibition draws entries from around the United States and Canada and allows thousands of visitors each year to experience quilting as an art form." Chandler Center for the Arts 

Oysterville, Then and Now

Oysterville - detail