Sunday, September 21, 2008

Playing with rainbows

Long weekend of mucking about with dyes and fabrics. Our guild did an inhouse workshop where we played with fabric and colour. It is part of a project where we are creating an installation piece for the hospital as well as putting on a show in February. We have to use the work we dyed this weekend, so there was a lot of playing and learning (and swearing and angsting over results). Started off hand dyeing - which I enjoyed, but made a mess at it. My second attempt was much better then my first. Here's everything rinsed and ironed (the photo is rather dark, sorry). Since this is my first effort, I'm fairly pleased with the result. We worked mostly with beer cups and baggies.
Yellows were my downfall. Mostly because when I did my final rinsing in the washing machine, they all bled out. I'd read in advance that this has been known to happen, but took the risk anyways.
The fabric below was from my first batch - which had some really wild mottles. I wanted mottles, just not that er... psychadelic? The second batch turn out better. I loosened up the fabric so that the dye could penetrate better. Those who worked with Fat Eighth did better at that. Honestly, a Fat Quarter is a lot of fabric to shove into a beer cup!
Can't claim the following ones - they were done by one of the other participants. She went rather wild with twitsting and turning the fabric before placing it in the beer cups. Not sure they are going to be all that colourfast though - she took some risky shortcuts.
We also played with Shiva Paintsticks, did some batiking, painted with the dyes. We were going to do some sun printing, except that 'no sun', instead a wonderful heavy snowfall mixed with slushy rain. I think sun printing is off the agenda until next spring :) Some people also worked on blocks for block printing. I've done both Shiva and block printing a fair amount, so concentrated on dyeing. The overall theme of the weekend was reminding people to put their gloves and masks back on! My hands are just shot! (and somewhat tinged blue!).
Below are our Guild President's Fat Eighths

Since this was a week of experimenting, we all did some extras. I dyed some crochet cotton, embroidery floss and silk ribbon and we all did some cotton thread. I really don't think the cotton thread is going to work all that well. Not sure if the dye will penetrate the fibres? It looks nice though.
Finally we dabbled with natural dyes. The results are much paler. Will post photos of those once I do a final rinse and iron.
More later.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Excuses Excuses Excuses

Hello and I'm welcoming myself back from the dead!
While my creative endeavours didn't exactly peter out the last six months, they did take a backseat for a while to other pursuits. I'm not back with a vengeance, but I have been puttering about some in the textile arena. I did participate in the festival this year - put five things in and sold three. My old lady fire pieces were the ones that sold. I knew they would because the festival is a cultural arts festival and those pieces were very 'northern'. My other pieces were the experiment with Shiva paintsticks and a landscape thread paintings, and they are now hanging in our entrance way.

I've another idea for a drum dancing piece, but it involves some sketching and planning.

I don't know why, but I've been thinking about Dad lately. It's been almost a year since he died. Maybe part of that sluggishness is strill grieving? Don't know. I did find a photo of him on the web - here he is toasting the Columbia River

Upcoming pursuits involve a two day dying workshop which should be fun and I've been playing with rust dying as well. The embellisher has been put through its paces and I will post photos of the work I've done soon. I've also been doing a lot of felt prep - so I expect one of these weekends will be spent soaping wool up. I'm trying to felt thinner pieces since the embellisher HATES thick pieces of felt and I've broken countless needles (and they are expensive.)

Okay enough for breaking the ice again, back to work.