Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back To Work!

After two weeks of nearly no artistic endeavors (the first week spent just grooving on Spring, the second week caring for my hubby after his hospitalization), I found it more difficult than I thought it would be to get back into the studio. However, come Sunday afternoon, I nonetheless had 14 yards of white cotton sateen cut into nine pieces, ready to be pre-washed and soda-soaked for Monday morning LWI jar dyeing. 

So why am I doing even more jar dyeing? Because in addition to entering this competition, I've also decided to enter the art cloth competition, Blurred Boundaries. It will be held at the end of the Fabrications Retreat and since I'll be attending this year, it would be a shame not to try.

So, coming off the clothes lines all day on Tuesday were some fabrics that were lovely all on their own and ripe for further surface design, and some disappointing fabrics that were begging for more color.

From the top of the jar to the bottom (and with the accompanying dye color listed below each photo):

(chartreuse, 54" x 44")

(emerald green, 54" x 44")
 (cobalt blue, 54" x 44")

(deep purple, 54" x 44")
(deep purple, detail)

(ice blue, 54" x 44")
(magenta, 36" x 44")
 (carmine red, 54" x 44")
(rust-orange, 90" x 44")

(lemon yellow + golden yellow, 54" x 44")

(yellow, detail)

Some of the fabrics were pleated before dyeing, some scrunched. As you can see, a few pieces have an inordinate amount of white fabric showing. As a dyer, it feels like an amateur mistake; as an artist, it's mostly unusable white space.

The culprit was the weight of the fabric. This is the first time I've worked with this sateen and while it's a lovely, heavy product, it obviously likes a LOT more dye solution than I gave it- although how I could have squeezed even one more ounce of liquid into my jar is beyond me!

Not a problem, though, because there's always The Almighty Overdye (do I hear organ music?)


Over-dyeing boring fabrics is the staple "Do-Over" of fabric dyers through the ages so in that tradition, two of the failed pieces are now sitting in fresh dye baths and will hopefully produce more interesting results in tomorrow's wash-out.

In other activities, the carmine red piece went from this...


... to this:


A flour-paste resist in the making. Hopefully it will begin to set up soon so I can move it- possibly even to the outdoors for a little while. I'm going to try something quite different with this resist and I'm very excited about its possibilities, but I'll save telling you about that for later in the week when hopefully I can also show you finished photos.

Surface design has, for me right now, eclipsed art quilting or adding stitch to my art pieces, although I am still slowly working my way through several UFOs that are currently under the needle. I think I need to face the fact that production of finished work might always slow down when it comes to the stitched layer because it's simply not my strong suit. Still, only time and practice can help that.

I hope everyone has a creative week!
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