Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hamsa Project: First Layer of Paint

After the blue glue gel dried, I put a wash of Setacolor Transparent fabric paint on each hamsa hand. Both bled a little beyond blue glue gel outline. I can always use opaque paint over those parts at a later point in the project.

I'll be adding the first layer of resist over the painted hamsa hands next.

Hamsa Project: Blue Glue Gel Outlines

I'm working on the first layer of the hamsa pieces. I've decided to work on two pieces simultaneously and see where each leads. If one seems to be heading in a better direction, then I'll concentrate my efforts on that piece first for F.I.N.E. 

I will be starting with the hand itself. Here I've outlined the hamsa hand on both pieces with blue glue gel (aka blue school glue). I used a detailer which is a small plastic squeeze bottle with a fine tip. The blue glue gel will act as a resist to keep the layers of paint and resist that follow within the boundaries of the hand shape. After focusing on the hand, I will move on to the other parts of the piece.

Blue hamsa with blue glue gel outline

Orange hamsa with blue glue gel outline

Next step will be to paint a wash of transparent fabric paint within the boundaries of the glue outline. I will try to post later today with photos.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Gone Teachin'

Willow: Shiva Paintstiks with freezer paper mask over hand printed fabric

Off to teach Creative Fabric Designs Inspired by Nature today. Hope you enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Surface Design Brought to You by Michael's

I finally had the opportunity today to try out some of the finds from Michael's.

I wrapped rubber bands and stuck adhesive craft foam designs to two to the mini rolling pins.

I cut some flower shapes from the adhesive felt and stuck them on corrugated cardboard.

I also decided to cut a piece of 3" x 4" adhesive felt to stick it to a piece of corrugated cardboard. I then cut some stripes of the adhesive felt and adhered those.

It turns out that the textured felt piece did not have an adhesive backing. So I decided to use it under the piece of fabric I was printing and do a rubbing using a foam brayer.

Here are the results.

I think the adhesive felt has potential. Two interested things I noticed with the striped piece. I first used orange paint and then switched to a muted blue. While printing with the blue, I noticed that some of the orange was coming through. The felt had soaked up the original color and was still releasing it subtly. The other thing I noticed was the soft effect of the felt in some places...with some "furry" flecks.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24th...Really?

Pink Flamingo Fabric: Instant Rice Paste Resist, Colgate and Colored White Glue

Temperature prediction for today: 75 degrees...in Vienna, Virginia! Hmm...feeling more like Florida.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hamsa Project: Getting Started

Hamsa #1 from my series of cloth figures

Detail of Hamsa #1

The hamsa has been a favorite symbol of mine for a while. I even did a series of hamsa figures. I really like the symmetry of this symbol and the mysterious eye in the middle. It's a protective symbol, which is another reason I'm attracted to it.

For my group, F.I.N.E., we are doing a collaborative piece to re-introduce the group. Each of us had a 12" square canvas and has to do a piece with the image of a hand. I decided to do a hamsa.

Original hamsa design

I am really liking the design of this one and can see the possibilities of doing it different ways. I'd like to try at least one with layers of resist, perhaps having one part using blue glue gel and another part a wheat flour paste or matzoh paste crackle. I'm thinking about drawing some stylized flower or other designs in the flour paste (see The Reveal below).

Hamsa transferred to cotton fabric

 One of the other possibilities is stitching the hamsa using raw edge applique, running, stem and chain stitches and maybe some beads. I could then applique the piece onto a background that will fit the 12" x 12" format. Hmmm...maybe I'll try both...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Trip to Michael's

So...I was just going to Michael's Arts and Crafts to pick up one of those fabric marking pens that washes out. I'm about to start a new project for my group, F.I.N.E. (Fiber In Nearly Everything). Michael's is a surface designer's dream. I can't help walking down one of my favorite aisles...the one with all the craft foam. In case you didn't know it, I am in love with craft foam!

Craft foam (Creatology refers to it as Fun Foam) is a wonderful product to use in surface design. I especially love the adhesive craft foam. I like to cut shapes out of the foam, peel off the backing and stick them to either corrugated cardboard or thicker craft foam to create print blocks. I usually buy the package that has the  6" x 9" sheets that come in a rainbow assortment of colors.

I'm always on the look out for new products having to do with craft foam. Today I found a few interesting items. I found a color assortment of single 9" x 12" sheets of adhesive craft foam which will be great if I want to work on some larger designs. I also found something new...adhesive backed craft felt (also by Creatology). The adhesive felt came in a variety of colors but also in some textures.  I might not only be able to print with the textured version, but it might make a nice rubbing plate.

As I was heading toward the cashier, I came across a mish-mash of toy items on sale. And...there I spotted them...Lil' Gourmet toy rolling pins. Oooo...the possibilities I can imagine. I could wrap rubber bands around them or stick craft foam or craft felt shapes on them. I can add fabric paint and roll them across my fabric. Can't wait to give all these goodies a try.

I just got an email notification that an artists' site I bought a page on has just gone live. I have my cloth figures (made with my hand printed fabrics) featured there. I hope you will check it out: www.jccnv.org/artists/united-states/julie-b.-booth/?back=artists

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Recycled Surface Design: Envelopes

Dove into the recycling bag this morning and pulled out some business envelopes with the plastic cellophane windows. Ah-ha... some mini stencils came to mind...

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Continuing along the Path

Stitched textile, 1992
Layers of blue glue gel resist, color washes, stenciling and printing, 2011

Do you ever have one of those days when your intention gets side-tracked? Well, I am having one of those days. My goal today was to get a workshop proposal together for a fiber association conference in 2013. It's my second attempt at proposing a class to an association but the first time to this one. Part of the proposal asks for a brief resume including my teaching experience. So of course I got hung up on that Shi-sha demonstration I did for the Textile Museum....when was that exactly?

Excavating through the old notebooks and there was the receipt...1992. Okay..so that was going a bit too far...but then I started reading some notebook entries. I started to realize that I am still asking some of the same questions, searching for some of the same answers and am still attracted to some of the same ideas. So strange to have that realization exactly 20 years later.

I found a stitched piece I was working on at the time...a sampler really and it sure reminded me of some of my resist work... Idea of textile-a rich fabric I want to hold/touch--rich colors/surfaces. Layers--many--yet sandwiched to form a fabric--a whole--that blends in spots and peels away at others...(1992) and ...my life as a textile--peeling away to reveal, covering up to hide...(1992)

I guess I'm still moving along the same path.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The "Reveal"

I decided to let my Exploring Surface Design students have a second evening of playing with the resists. I really think it was a good decision. There was a lot of experimentation going on Wednesday night. I'll be excited to see the final fabrics. I also got a chance to play. I added more layers of paint and resist to some of my pieces. Below are some samples...a before and after washing out the resists...what I like to call the reveal.

Uncooked wheat flour paste with scratched designs
After wheat flour paste is removed
Blue glue gel sampler with additional layers of blue glue, color washes and printing

After removing the blue glue gel
Blue glue gel sampler with color washes a second layer of blue glue, stenciling and printing
After removing the blue glue gel
I will be teaching an all day workshop tomorrow, Creative Fabric Designs Inspired by Nature, so I won't be posting. Planning to come home from class have a glass of wine and watch a movie with my hubby.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Petulance Pays Off

I don't normally post on Wednesdays but as the "juices" in my mind are flowing...I thought I would write today.

I've been re-working this blog with the help of Lesley Riley, my art coach. I worked with Lesley for the first half of 2011 when I was just starting the Conant Grant project. Her first words to me were, "You need a space of your own to work in." Well, I was dragging my feet as I thought about all the work it would require to get the space I'd chosen (a "catch-all" room) together as a studio space. I "hemmed"; I "hawwed"...I was petulant. How was I going to get rid of that huge old oak desk? But Lesley kept pushing...

A friend up the street mentioned "Freecycle". No sooner had I posted the desk, then I had a reply and off it went to a new home. Getting rid of the desk got me "unstuck". From that point on I was able to get rid of the clutter, get a contractor lined up to fix the ceiling and add better lighting, get a good working table together and add shelving. I have been grateful to Lesley ever since for her insistence and pushiness.

So back to the blog and to the "marketing"...

 Lesley says I need an online newsletter in addition to the blog. That I also need to get involved in "Pinterest"...that I need to be as focused on the marketing as I am on the art making. Well...I could feel the petulance swelling up in me last night! I was "ticked"! I was "pissed"! How am I ever going to get all this done? When am I going to make art? When am I going to write my book?

This morning I woke up with a new attitude. "Hey", I thought,"this newsletter thing might be okay. I've been focusing on the kitchen for my resists...I could be focusing on the kitchen for surface design in general".

I peered into one of the recycling bags this morning and suddenly it became a surface design treasure trove. I could see print blocks and stencils hiding in that brown paper grocery bag...heck...the grocery bag even had my mind spinning!

So now I will be sitting down and putting my thoughts on paper for the newsletter. It will be all about the surface design "treasures" hiding in the kitchen. I hope to have readers looking in their pantries, opening cupboards, gazing in the drawer with the plastic wrap and foil...and peering into the recycling bag!

I guess petulance does pay off!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Working with Color

Uncooked wheat flour paste printed on transparent fabric paint
Last night, in my Exploring Surface Design class, we worked with fabric resists. I decided I wanted to try a "controlled breach" using yellow paint. This technique is something I discovered (a "happy accident") this past year while working on the Conant Grant.

After printing with the paste on wet transparent fabric paint, I let it dry. I then added a second layer of paint, this time it was violet.

After painting with the violet transparent fabric paint

After the second layer of paint dried, I heat set the paint and removed the flour paste.

Fabric after paste was removed
I've done this technique with other color combinations, but this was the first time I used yellow and violet. There were some subtle color variations but not as many as with other colors I've worked with before.

I ordered two books on color from Amazon. One arrived today, "Color Mixing Bible" by Ian Sidaway. The other book, "Skydyes" by Mickey Lawler should be here any day now. Both were recommended by students in the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild workshops I taught in January.

I'm looking forward to studying them and sharing them with my students. During my work on the Grant, I found out how tricky it can be to paint multiple transparent color washes on fabric.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

End of the Lentil Story

Dried, blended lentils on fabric

Though interesting to look at, the lentil paste did not make a good resist. It was lifting and crumbling off and when painted, it breached almost completely. It's possible that a different ratio of water to lentils may yield a different result. But for now, I will be moving on...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Soup-er Bowl Sunday Continued

Cooking the lentils

Blended lentils spread on fabric 
Well what a crazy ending to the Superbowl! Back to the lentils...After soaking for 8 hours, I gave up on the first batch of lentils and decided to cook a batch instead. After cooking and adding some additional water, I blended them. They were pretty thick but there was no problem spreading them on the fabric. I will have to wait until they dry to see how they resist.