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Saturday, November 26, 2011

More Pole Dyeing.

hand under-pained in blue/ warm yellow and cool yellow
over dyed with red
As we were getting ready for lunch on Saturday,  Jan suggested that we freely under-paint a piece of cotton that was not soda soaked. We then had to let it batch over night and we would dye it the next day. These unfixed pieces were forbidden in the work room... they stayed in the hallway until we were ready to dye them again.

I used a foam brush and blended the cool yellow warm yellow and blue throughout the piece.

The next day I folded it randomly in thirds diagonally and pushed it down the pole without strings. It was over-dyed with a strong red. Since the batched  dye was not fixed Jan referred to these dye sessions as dirty dyeing as you could pick up stray dye from someone else work. I never noticed it.

folded in half, wrapped diagonally on pole,
twisted  and wrapped with string
This piece shows the way the dye gets lighter on the inner layers of the wrapped fabric. The string makes the crisper marks rather than the more organic marks that occur when you just push it down and compress the fabric without wrapping with string.

over dyed  string
wrapped with a masking tape mask
Sunday we were encouraged to play and try lots of ways of making resists. Here is one of my favorites. The lighter blue stripes occurred when I put masking tape over a pale teal from Sat. and then dyed it in a rich brown. It was rolled onto the pole horizontally and compressed without string. I wold love to see this in wool... but have NO experience in dyeing wool.

folded in half and stitched to make a sleeve
 then pushed down the pole
Jan also brought along an ancient Singer portable machine and showed us how to use it to make sleeves to fit the poles. You could make several sleeves on one width of fabric... but I didn't get to that. I did plan one out on my commute home Sat. night and was pleased that I had actually been fairly accurate in my visualization. I do think this would be great in a raw silk for a man's scarf.

There are many more samples, but this gives you a sense of what happened. It was a terrific class and even more fun was a bit of reunion as three ArtCloth Network folks were there. I wish I had remembered my camera as my class mates did some spectacular work.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pole Wrapping Workshop with Jan Myers Newbury

I had the great pleasure of spending last Saturday and Sunday in Newark with Jan Myers Newbury and 12 other students. Jan's two day workshop was terrific. She really got us going right away and her knowledge and organization made this an amazingly productive workshop.

wrapped diagonally and twisted as it was pushed down the pole
We began by learning what I believe she called a down and dirty method of basically wrapping fabric around an pole, putting rubber bands on the bottom to keep it from sliding off and then pushing the fabric down to tightly compress it. No wrapping just pushing. This produces a much softer series of lines than wrapping with string, but is so fast and easy that it was shocking, almost effortless.

Jan had us working in teams and we each were able to dye a minimum of 4 poles during each dyeing session. She has a chart set up for each dye session that breaks down the dyeing time into 15 min. sections so that the washing soda is added at the correct time and all pieces are agitated in a timely fashion. She also provided us with recipes for all the colors we were using.

Rolled on to the pole vertically and pushed straight down.

There are so many possible variations with just this one simple technique that I can barely begin to think about all that is possible.

We were all working with cotton which is not at all usual for me. I really look forward to trying this with a variety of silks. Jan usually uses her fabrics to make quilts and says she really does not like sewing silk. I was curious about her banning of silk for this workshop and her explanation made perfect sense. She wanted us to all have color samples to go along with her recipes and silk does not dye the same colors as the cotton.  She also mentioned that the molecules are attracted to silk in a different way than to cotton, but this I am not so clear about.

Next we were encouraged to try incorporating different folds in our pieces. The one below shows a very random fold. I think I may have done it something like folding a paper envelope.
 You are only seeing the outer parts of the wrapping as I had folded it in half and over dyed the lighter half of it.
Folded randomly and pushed down pole

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bundles of Joy

Well the mother of the newest fashionista is being gifted with her first one-of-a-kind lingerie, and with a retro feel beside. I was invited to a baby shower and have had such a good time playing on this tiny scale.  Even wrapping the present was fun. The only box I could find was from Victoria's Secret which set the tone for all that follows.

Stone washed Crepe bow

I had scraps of this Stone Washed Crepe that worked well to cover the advertising. Although I think most of the folks at the shower will recognized Victoria's branding.

Naming the garments seemed the next natural step... guess who has been spending time trying to get her ETSY shop in order.

I have gotten ahead of myself... back to the actual making of these tiny textiles.

1-3 month cotton kimono
Of course, as is usually the case, I dove in head first and then realized after I got the first one out of the micro-wave that my learning curve was going to be a little steeper than I anticipated. ( These were being made last night and the shower is today at 4, no time for batching here.)
  • Cotton dyes differently than silk
  • Old cold dyes are not as intense
  • Each color has its own intensity
  • Tray dyeing really is random
And this one is still a mystery... why did the yellow disappear? But I was pleased none the less and love that they have hand guards... which I refer to as manicure guards. I dyed two of these sweet little numbers ( of course because they came two to a pack.) Since I was working with a deadline it was just full steam ahead. At least I doubt that they will show stains readily.

My first challenge was finding these items... this is my first venture back into shopping for an infant. I headed to Target and was initially dismayed that everything was pre-printed. I found some solid white and Navy long sleeve T's but the smallest size was a 12 month.
12 month cotton
... oh well she'll grow fast.  I swear it doesn't look quite so skull like in real life. I called it "Faded Glory" in the index above, but now think of it as remembering "Alexander McQueen".  Obviously this is the discharged navy. Interesting to me the Navy got much more purple in the thiox and it discharged a cream/gray.

The other two shirts are much less macabre.

Here is the final line up in the box. There are two tiny kinono long sleeve shirts. 3 long sleeve pullover onesies that I called cotton hot pants. And then the 3 larger sized Long Sleeve T's. You can see the discharged one at the far top.

This has been lots of fun, but now I have to leave the studio and go home and get presentable.

Here's the line-up. It is not a quilt, but then I am not a quilter. My daughter is putting that together.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Exciting Learning Curve

What a wild ride this past weekend was and it is not over yet! I am the assistant director of  and have been working to put together our first juried exhibition Outside/Inside the Box. Midnight Monday Oct. 31 was the deadline for entry. I was notified by e-mail as each entry came in. The call for entries has been open since last May. As you would expect it was very slow and leisurely throughout the summer. It began to heat up in September and moved along at a respectable rate until last week. Then the wild rumpus began, but nothing prepared me for the break neck pace of application that we saw on Monday. I don't think these folks were out trick or treating. We had over 500 artists in all submit from 15 nations. Close to 100 of those came in on Monday.

We will be learning of the results of the jurors choices by mid month. Be sure to visit the link below to stay up to the minute. The website itself will have a face lift when the new one goes live Nov. 15.

A big thank you to all of you who have applied. I can't wait to see the show.  Read along for more posts about this exciting event.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Agony and The ETSY

Who knew ETSY would be such a challenge. It seems simple and affordable. But at the moment I feel like the Sorcerer's Apprentice with such a back load to up load.

 Here is how it looks in a pile... my cat prefers this arrangement.

 Below it is draped on a dummy ... unlooped.

 Twisted once

                     Finally to the right it is twisted twice. Most like the pile the cat likes to sleep on.  I printed all the patterns on stonewashed crepe. I bought all the doupioni and sheer and opaque woven silk with my very own money! It is really very handsome in person. And since it is based on a mobius strip it is hands free! The doupioni adds a really elegant shimmer against the flatter crepe and the sheer woven silk. The twisted tendrils of serged thread make it edgier in my opinion. As you can imagine the cat really agrees about the tendrils.

Back to Etsy... I know that one is supposed to dribble the postings on a few at a time... to  keep you fresh... with thousand of competitors how fresh can one be? Well I am learning... and writing the text is yet another exercise is shameless self-promotion. My studio assistant is helping with this and knows how to get the little double dots to show up in mobius. Alas she is gone for the day... so I will have to learn that when she returns on Thurs.

Here is her version lifted from etsy lets see if it prints: Well it did

These Möbius styled scarves have been described by a buyer of mine as frivolously elegant. They are hand dyed and hand sewn by me. The Möbius design allows for the scarf to always sit on a new angle so you never stop appreciating them! The patchwork has been achieved through sheer and opaque striped teal silk, and hand painted crepe lined with alternating gold and lime iridescent doupioni. The patchworked pieces has been serged together, creating lovely cascading tendrils. The pictures above depict both sides of the Mobius scarf. This scarf measures at 74x4 inches. ( opps looks like she lost the dots at the end.... she had pulled an all nighter last night. Fortunately not for me... she is still in college ahh  youth, I was in bed by ten and still tired now.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Crazy Quilt

I have an antique Christmas stocking ... (made for me when I was born, so it is definitely antique),  that is hand crazy quilted old ties. It has been an inspiration for my interest in fibers and now I realize is what is driving me on my first and perhaps only attempt at real honest to god three layered quilting.

This still unfinished piece began with me embroidering on a piece of hand dyed and wax resist white Doupioni. Here it is prior to embroidery and shows different ideas about fusing on shapes. I was keeping my friend company as she recovered from open heart surgery and brought the piece with me to embroider while we talked. We probably had about 15 or so hours of talking and stitching and I thought it would be called "Conversation. It looked something like this... 
Of course it stopped before the magenta edge and was single layer and raw. ( Now I see that I really should be better about documenting as I go). That year I had a piece accepted to a quilt show but mine wasn't quilted... it was layered and stitched and I didn't see anything in the call for entry that mentioned three layers or padding etc. So off it went and it got in and when the actual piece arrived it was Fed Exed back to me so that I could do a nearly invisible running stitch through the layers... SIGH . So I thought I would use the "Conversation" as the basis for my first quilt. Well I added lots and lots til it grew from its APPROX. 18"X18"  to its current 60"x55" It is the approximately that has caused this to be an on going adventure.

Now renamed "Looped" it continues to lead me down the paths less traveled by me. My initial discovery was that one does not quilt from the outside in. Many stitched removed and asking folks who actually knew how to do it found my basting from the center etc. etc. It was then that I learned that I had gotten better at it but my initial center was wonky .... so my now very nice and squared boarders were just a little off!

So it has been back to the drawing board, or in this case silk scraps to wrap the hard edge in a more organic frame. Who knows if it will ever be finished. But it is "Looped""

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Only in LA

I was delighted to find that my all time favorite store signage is still in place, talk about one stop shopping!  All your personal needs taken care off with just one stop! Was back to Calabassas CA for the graduate school trifecta ( 3 different graduations, one big party!) and had no time for tanning or neutering, but am glad to know that the opportunity still exits.

Molly and Harry in Garden at USC

This is my first spring visit and found it amazing to see the hills decorated with lively yellow flowers and lots of sage green growth. Previous trips have been July in August when the dried wheat color lets you know that they are just about ready to burst into flame.

And always sure to be pleasing all the color and form variation possible in the succulents.

It was lovely to spend time with my family and congratulations to the new graduates.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Spring Madness

2 layers with drawing
Well with the earth warming up pushing forth wild and rampant growth,  this is surely not a time for minimalism. I have just unleashed a most baroque response to spring. My original influences were the acid greens and grape hyacinth in the back yard.  I drew on a screen and then printed it when dry. Well that was just the beginning. I was working on close to 4yds. of fabric... making 4 small squares... that you are seeing above and below and 2 shawls.
2nd and 3rd layer diamonds
The shawls will be 28"x72" and were begun with the same deconstructed screen.
sycamore screened over deconstructed screen

You can see that the deconstructed screen did not release as much dye on the left as it did on the right. No matter as they will be two different pieces. I am discovering that I don't much like the white to remain and so let the wild rumpus begin as I build on another two layers of color.

The next layer was a warm rose color both screened and brushed depending on where I was working. The roses will make two small squares... you can see some of the warm color on the left in the form of circles screened over the diamonds.

I also brushed on a pale cool rose violet. Now I am awaiting the results from the washer. I think that each of these will have beautiful isolated passages... but over all it is an abundant wildness. Good thing they will be folded in ever varying ways around the wearers body.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Spring Retail

Silk Organza Kimono
Well April has been a great month for retail for me. Starting with a 4 day show at the Art Alliance where lots of work including three of my favorite Kimonos found new homes. One to a woman who start to finish completed the transaction and the try on in under 5 minutes. I can only assume she had her car at a ticking parking meter.

Crinkled serged Chiffon with stone washed crepe and dupioni
Mid month was Art Unleashed a fund raiser for the University of the Arts , seven of twelve pieces off to new homes. The piece above was one of them.

But most exciting of all happened through Etsy. Now I have yet to sell anything on Etsy, but the buyer from the gift store of the Phillips Collection in Washington DC found me there and we met last Friday. He  purchase a dozen pieces outright and wants more by the end of May! To say I am excited is an understatement. I first visited the Phillips on my honeymoon. I love the collection and this was a wonderful way to return. So when next you are in DC be sure to visit the Phillips and check out the Koppisch's. Here a few that were selected.

Discharged Chiffon
Silk Charmuese Cabbage Rose

Sunday, April 10, 2011

the Icebox awaits

In less than a year it will be our turn to fill the Icebox at the Crane with fabulous art work. Please be sure to be following Outside/Inside the Box.

Last night it was Victory for Tyler 11 ( Tyler alumni works on paper and poster show) and it was a lovely show and a great turn out. I meant to take photos during the opening but as many hundreds turned out for it and I was too busy socializing to take shots. I will post the images I took prior to the opening to give you a sense of the size of the space. The paper bag you see in the images was large enough to allow its 6'+ maker ample room to stand and draw his way out of it.

It really sets my imagination whirling to envision this space hi lighting the best in fiber work.

This show features works on paper from Tyler Alumni, but I am posting so fiber folks can begin to organize their thoughts to apply for Outside/Inside the Box... applications go live May 1 and are open til Oct. It is a wonderful space. The next shot shows the back of this wall and you get a sliver of the large room (the gray area) that adjoins this room.

This will be just one of the many shows occurring during FiberPhiladelphia 2012.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gone But Not Forgotten

Navy Doupioni discharged
Saffron Organza Deconstructed and hand drawn
I spent last week having new photos taken of new work just prior to being part of the Philadelphia Art Alliance Art Wear show. The good news is it was a very successful show, the bad news is I didn't even get the shots cleaned up before I sold the work. So will post now at these babies are out in the world on their own! They are gone but not forgotten!

These two beauties went to a fellow craftsman... they looked wonderful on her! In fact the first thing she bought was this scarf... but then came back the next day for the Kimonos I couldn't be happier. She collects and sells beautiful Tribal jewelry and I am delighted that Koppischs are now part of her collection.
Screened, drawn and discharged on silk crepe.

Just as the show was concluding my fabulous assistant Brooke also made a double sale. This time it was two scarves. One will never be repeated as I made the pattern in a rice paste resist class and while I enjoyed the process I doubt that I will ever repeat it. 

It had languished in my samples drawer until I dragged it out just before this show. It paired up so beautifully with the purple crepe and gold doupioni that I knew it was going to have to be made. I was particularly excited by how the purple crinkled crepe rippled after the serging.
It also looks great when it is wrapped around your neck and shoulders but I have no shots that show that.

This customer also selected a large square of stone washed crepe that drapes beautifully.

Well that gives you a bit of an idea of what I have been up to. Will hope to post more soon.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Call for Entry

Here is a great show to enter and become part of FiberPhiladelphia 2012. Just follow the links embedded in this document. I look forward to seeing all your exciting work at the Crane. An amazing building that houses my studio.

notes from 207
OUTSIDE/INSIDE THE BOX, Call for entries. Apply Online May 1 - October 31, 2011. Seeking innovative fiber/textile art that transcends disciplines; combines traditional with cutting edge technology and/or historic concepts with contemporary perspectives. Artists working in any medium with a fiber/textile reference are encouraged to apply. Size, scope, materials and subject matter are open. Submissions may include surface design, 2D and 3D structures, quilts, stitching, body art, etc. Jurors: Elisabeth Agro, Associate Curator of American Modern and Contemporary Crafts and Decorative Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Bruce Hoffman, Independent Curator; Judith Weisman, Designer and Curator, Acquisitions Chair of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery Support Group. Outside/Inside the Box will take place March 2 –April 14, 2012 at the ICE Box Project Space, Crane Arts Building which will be the hub of FiberPhiladelphia 2012,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Stainless Steel Love

It is truly love... Not only is Big Steel big and beautiful, she is also capable of storing most of my screens and allowing me to wash all of them right here in the studio.

She is such a graceful multi-tasker  she came with one set of faucets, but had holes for two more so the plumber devised a great addition and I can spray with wild abandon. This is a real help as the sink I had been using down the hall had no spray, as I am sure you can imagine spraying the glop off the screens is really satisfying.

One does have to use some restraint or send small globs of thickened dye everywhere. But now that I have the washer and dryer I can just grab a handy old towel and mop up the mess. The artfully draped black pipe is the drain for the washer. I am still working on getting the dryer vented out the window, but as I have only used it 2x that has not been such a problem. I am still fiddling with the temperature setting on the hot water heat as I would like to make the water a bit hotter.

You can see the two blue panels they cover the thermostat, so I will have to get at that.

And the final joy is that The Orgasmatron is now on wheels and he can hover near Big Steel and the soon to be dryer vent while steaming and then scoot off to a more convenient spot when not engaged. To say I am thrilled by my new additions does not really express my joy, but it will have to do. Now home to make a yummy Thai curry. Life is good!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Thank You Craig's List

After several years of half-hearted searching I found the sink of my dreams. She was delivered today and I will have to come up with a name for her... I currently think of her as Big Steel... really almost big steal as she was most affordable. All stainless... 6 feet long.. the basin is 18" deep by 36" x26" will accommodate most of my screens. I am told she began her career at Jefferson Hospital, I bought  her from a closing restaurant. She is lovely! Now no more excuses... I will purchase a washer and dryer and a new hot water heater.  I did go and price things out at Loews yesterday. No more dragging fabric home to wash and screens down the hall to scrub. How exciting!

Between the bullet steamer affectionately known as the Orgasmatron and my new sink I am in stainless steel dyeing heaven. If you look to behind the steamer you will see the sink that is being replaced, adequate, but certainly not in the same league as Big Steel. Even more pathetic is the tiny hot water heater nestled in between the leg of the sink and my blue plastic kitty litter pan ( good for all kinds of things). By the time the water got out of the faucet I was out of hot water.

I will keep you posted on my plumbing progress.. today I will just look lovingly at the new sink!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hope springs eternal

Even with slush a sunny day is beautiful.

Looking East 5pm
Spent the better part of the day visiting my old stomping grounds observing student teachers in Upper Darby. Nice to see old friends and watch student teachers learn how to make art available to young students. Nicer still to leave before the end of the school day and get to the studio in time to do a little work! I am sure there is a way to eliminate the sun glare on the window, but it helps capture that fleeting time when the shadows stretch blue across the pink snow just before the whole field turns blue.

I did get here in time to take a few snap shots of the fruits of my "spring cleaning". I found small pieces of deconstructed and clamp dyed shibori that I could make into pieced scarves. Have not had time to have them professionally shot but will share them hot off the serger.

Clouds, blue sky and bronze
This shibori clamp dyed raw silk had been in my sample drawer for at least a year. It's use hadn't suggested itself to me until last week. I find the combination of colors and textures really exciting. The raw silk is lined with a deep sage colored silk gauze.

 I only had a small piece of this deconstructed stonewashed crepe, but it was enough to form this new piece. The serged lines are really pleasing to me through the sheer pale chiffon.
Seafoam chiffon, doupioni and deconstructed stonewashed crepe