Sunday, September 25, 2011

Final Dawn Samples

 As promised, the final Dawn samples are below. I’ve been a bit frustrated with the color in some of the photos I’ve been taking. I’ve been shooting finished color samples with the photo lights only but will have to try some with the “studio in a box” to see if I can get better photos. I’ve noticed that I’ve been getting moiré patterns on the silk photos and a number of the yellows are washing out. This is something I need to solve as soon as I can for the January presentation. I’m trying not to feel so overwhelmed, but I have to admit, there are days when that is difficult! Right now, my studio is full of boards with fabrics taped to them in various stages of resists and paints. Yesterday, I finally got through all of the color pieces…that is to say; I have one layer of resist on the boards. I am now realizing how much time it takes to do the pieces with two resist layers…one forgets about the drying and setting time! I’m now off to Staples to make photocopies for a class I will be teaching the next two Monday nights. I’m substitute teaching for Candy Edgerley’s surface design class at the Corcoran School…should be fun. I'm hoping to take some pictures of student work to post here.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Dawn Color Samples Part 1

I’ve been continuing to work on the color samples. I’ve included some photos where I used Dawn dish washing liquid as a resist. As I mentioned last week, with the color samples I’m applying two layers of the resist. In this case, I started with a painted background, applied a layer of Dawn (see below for the application technique), let that dry and painted a wash of color (or colors), let that dry. I then heat set the fabric paint and in all but one case, I washed out the first layer of resist. I then applied a second layer of Dawn, using a different application technique, painted a wash of color(s) and again set the fabric paint. The final step is to wash out the second layer of resist. The photos here show the fabric before I did the final washing out. I will show photos of what the fabrics look like in their final version in my next blog entry. 

Cotton: Used plastic wrap to apply first layer (circles); second layer is a monoprint (flowers)
Silk: Used plastic wrap to apply first layer; second layer is a monoprint (swirls and dots)
Cotton: First layer applied with a squeeze bottle (ovals); second layer applied with a print block (moth design)
Silk: First layer applied with a squeeze bottle (swirls); second layer applied with a print block (shell design)
Cotton: First layer applied with round foam; second layer applied with leaves
Silk: First layer applied with round foam; second layer applied with leaves
Cotton: First layer applied with squeeze bottle; second layer applied with print block. First layer not washed out to fabric.
Silk: First layer applied with squeeze bottle; second layer applied with print block. First layer not washed out of the fabric

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Layers of Color

A thoughtful day of remembrance…especially since I live so close to D.C. It is painful to watch some of the ceremonies. I am just hearing President Obama give his talk tonight..very uplifting.

I’ve spent time today in the studio, finally, completing some of the color samples of resists. I’ve been doing two layers of resists on each fabric, using the same resist but different techniques. For example, on one piece I used a bristle brush to apply the resist, let that dry, then applied a wash of fabric paint, set the paint, removed the resist then added another layer of resist using print blocks, more paint, again setting the paint and finally removing the resist. Below are some of the 8” x 12” color samples:

Two samples of oatmeal resist and one of cornmeal resist

One sample of glue stick as a resist, the other of uncooked wheat flour paste

Controlled "breach" printing with uncooked wheat flour paste

One sample of cooked wheat flour paste, the other, uncooked wheat flour paste

Sunday, September 4, 2011

In the Studio

I’ve spent the last week working in the studio. My husband was up in NJ all week. My son is back at college. So I was able to spend three full, uninterrupted days working on my grant project: “Kitchen Resists”—using common household materials as fabric resists. Since I’ve gotten through the black and white samples of about 60 resist recipes, I am now focusing on some color samples. I’ve been picking out some of the more successful techniques within each resist and layering some on top of the other. These are the 8” x 12” samples. I also plan to do more ½ yard samples or perhaps some scarves, in which I combine different resists. As you can imagine…I’m really “into” layering when it comes to creating painted and printed fabric. I’ll have more examples of layered fabric in future posts. In the meantime, here are a couple of photos showing how things are looking in the studio.
Some of the color samples in process

Organizing the resist samples in folders

I’m learning some important things from this project. One is that even though it can be tough to keep interest up in a long term project, I see that I’m capable of “plugging along” even when things have occasionally gotten boring. If it weren’t for the grant, I might not have explored as many resists nor taken the time to try as many techniques with the different resists. Another thing I've learned is the importance of being organized. My art coach, Lesley Riley (Artist Success) was a tremendous help with that in the earlier stages of the project. I’ve broken the project down into manageable steps; I’ve created a schedule that I’ve managed to stick to; I have all my samples in labeled folders and all the folders are grouped into resist “types” (see photo). I will soon be photographing everything for the grant presentation. So, more photos to come!