Thursday, August 26, 2010

Off To Fabrications!

On Sunday morning, I leave for a week-long workshop at Fabrications in Kalamazoo, MI., with Carol Soderlund called Color-Mixing For Dyers. I'm excited to go and while I wanted to pretend I was on vacation all this week, my work ethic just wouldn't let me, so things got done!

Two 1-yard x 45" pieces of white Pimatex cotton got the deconstructed screen printing treatment.

After printing this piece off, I was sure it would be my favorite coming out of the washing machine.

And I am pleased with the results.

(36" x 45"- a little blurry, sorry!)


It has some nice details, but once it was washed, dried and ironed, it looked a little blah to me. Not sure what will happen with it, next, but that will have to come after my retreat!

The second piece I deconstructed this week, which I forgot to photograph before I wrapped it up for batching, looked when it went into its plastic package like it could just wind up a blobby mess of ugly color. I held out hope that it would still wash out beautifully, but I was blown away by the result I actually got.

(36" x 45")

I used the same screen on both pieces, allowing the first few pulls on the turquoise/black piece pictured above to help soften up the dyes, and then moving it to this piece. 

The screen was constructed easily enough. I cut wonky X shapes out of clear contact paper and pressed them onto the front of the screen. Then, from the back, I wet the screen with thickened black dye. After it had set up, I hit it with the black dye again and left it to dry for a couple of weeks. When it was dry, I peeled away the contact paper and the screen was ready to use.

To deconstruct it onto the fabric above, I started with lemon yellow print paste, covered most of the surface with pattern, and then when the yellow dye was used up, I switched to turquoise print paste, knowing it would mix beautifully with the yellow to produce a lime-y green. 

I'm excited because I feel like this is the first truly successful deconstructed screen printing I've done. From this piece, I've learned how to achieve bright, vibrant colors, and I feel like I'm beginning to add depth and sophistication to my usual color palette of bright, cool colors with the stark addition of black.  So yeah, happy all around, today!

Earlier in the week, I finished the last few 2-page spreads in my Sketchbook Project journal. I will hold onto the book for a while (I'd like to be able to show my dad when I see him in September) and then send it back to the Brooklyn Library.

The last page, pictured above, contains a listing of the materials, mediums and grounds I used to construct this book. 

I will be home again on Saturday, September 4th... until then, happy creating!
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