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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.