Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Eco Printing with Fiber Junkies

To continue our wonderful day with Fiber Junkies....as if printing and silk screening weren't enough, our gracious hostess Val set up the workings for eco printing. ...a technique she learned in a workshop in Vermont. 
I've seen many ways to do eco printing, but basically you are using plants and other organic materials and transferring them to cloth and paper. In this case, just water and white vinegar were used. You can see some of Vals beautiful pieces above...mostly Eucalyptus leaves on Khadi paper.
Val's husband Skip set this up for us - a turkey fryer with a steam basket insert (to the left) and a propane gas tank for heating up the water solution. The pot is filled (almost to the top) with water and "enough" vinegar added at the start. I estimated the "enough" to be around1 - 1 to 1 1/2 cups. It's not an exact measurement.You are providing an acidic environment for the transfer to work. Keep the lid on and bring to a rapid boil.
The packs will be placed in this steam basket which in turn will be set down inside of the pot.
In the meantime, cut or rip your paper (can be any color) into the size of the wood blocks they'll be layered between...The papers here are @ 5" x 7". You can use larger papers that fold in half ...better for holding the leaves inside.
Val also had an Indigo pot for us to dip papers in...
Thin pieces of wood  (Cedar Shake shingles) were used to make a paper sandwich. The wood is placed on top and bottom of paper pack. Layer as follows;...wood, paper, leaves, paper, leaves...etc. The top is covered with wood and the bundle is held tightly together with clamps
as you see here. Val had Eucalyptus leaves for us...as they work very well. I brought some Maple leaves which also seemed to work. Val also used some rusted gears (first picture) which are so interesting. Whatever you use should be flat and thin.
After the bundles are secured, place them in the steamer. About half to 3/4 of the way up, slip long screws through the holes...I couldn't imagine why, but it's to keep the bundle from drifting to the top...what a clever idea. The mixture is boiled for @ 1 hour and then removed - CAREFULLY...
Kate taking a quick break here....time to "smell the roses"...or in this case, the Eucalyptus.
And the unveiling...after a short cooling down period...This is exciting.
The colored papers came out beautiful...
and the white papers took on some of the yellow paper's color.
The transfers were beautiful...this is Vals. She used a bigger sheet of paper and folded it in half trapping the leaves inside and creating a mirror image.
In any case, the papers will pick up the images from the organic matter on both sides; if the paper is a hand made paper - usually thicker, you'll get wonderful imagery on back and front.
This was my first attempt and I'm quite pleased...I have to work a little more on imagery placement but all in all, I'm happy with the results and want to try more.
In this one, you can see the vague outline of a Maple leaf (right) so I'm happy to have other leaf options...
This was the most fun day...we all went home happy campers with more treasures to add to our stash.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Fiber Junkies - Printing and other Good Stuff

Come rain or shine, nothing stops the Fiber Junkies....For the last 2 meetings, we've been wanting to do deconstructive screen printing but it's best to have a sunny day so the screens dry quickly. Forecast - rain expected...so we came prepared to do other things. Val who is our wonderful hostess...gets a little nervous when she sees ALL the stuff we bring ! How long do we plan to stay !
We get an early start...coffee, goodies and then playtime...but before that, show and tell. There's always so much to take in...such a creative group! Val showed us some beautiful eco prints she had done on paper...
Mary had her latest, wonderful wall hanging made with some very special batik fabric her son brought her from one of his trips.
Kates latest books created with fabric Kate had made.
We all brought back our fabric pieces from the last meeting...this is one of Denny's...
who is without a doubt....
The "Queen" of layering imagery...She does have a wonderful eye for doing this...all of these are from Denny...
and this one...
and in her spare time, a quilt made from leftover blocks. She placed colored circles throughout the quilt to break up some of the stronger black and white sections.
Gen with her beautiful alcohol ink cards....
And now on to our playing...As luck would have it, the sun did come out but we were prepared for anything. Denny brought her sponge rollers which were so much fun last time.
She also prepared lots of screens for printing..
I loved the roller brushes..
but had the most fun with stencils and thickened dyes...It was a "3 for 1" deal. The stencil was laid down on the fabric, then a blank silk screen on top of that to keep the stencil stable. Thickened dyed was applied with a squeegee.
And the fabric....Don't love it....but then...
A second piece was laid down on the silkscreen which picked up some of the dyes in the process....Using my hands and gently pressing the fabric into the screen, produced......
This....really liked it...
and the third print....the stencil with the excess dye was laid on top (face down) of fabric...
and pressed gently to get this...Really like this!
There always seems to be a favorite "thing" at each meeting and this time it was Denny's tree. It was a little fragile and had to be used underneath a blank silk screen.
The dye was applied to the stencil and then laid face down on the fabric. Next came the blank silk screen to protect the stencil....A squeegee was gently pulled over the top
and the results...
Kate did some deconstructive printing...her colors!
and Denny who uses a lot of masks as a resist...
and Vals beautiful work...a great day and more to come on Eco printing...I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Decorator Fabric

Recently at one of our PTA meetings, one of the members had lots of "unwanted" pieces of decorator fabric samples. I took some of the larger ones with not a clue on what to do with them. 
 They sat and sat in my studio when one day, the lightbulb went on...not a genius idea lightbulb..but a lightbulb just the same. All these beautiful samples would make great placemats...certainly sturdy enough and each one different....what fun to put on a table.
 Each person can sit at their favorite placemat and hopefully everyone will want a different one.
 I used a purchased placemat as a template, and traced around each fabric sample on the wrong side. I cut them out leaving around 1/2" beyond the marked line. I bought buckram at a local chain sewing store and cut out pieces a little smaller than the placemat.


 The buckram was stitched in place using a white thread on top and a monofilament in the bobbin so the clear thread would show on the right side. I sewed a line of stitching around 1/4" from the marked line (photo above)




One of the really fun parts was finding different backing fabrics for each decorator fabric. I used cotton fabric...some were batiks, some prints...somewere very dated but worked well. Each cotton backing was cut the same size as the decorator fabric. It was then placed right side to right side of decorator fabric and stitched around on marked line. The buckram was not caught in the stitched line.

 I switched to using neutral thread in both top and bottom for this stitching. I left an opening of around 6" on one side to right side it. This was not difficult but it was cumbersome as the buckram is stiff. The opening was stitched closed by hand. The original stitching to hold the buckram in place was left and not visible because it was a monofilament and guaranteed no shifting of the buckram (during washing etc.)
 I wound up with 18 placemats...didn't even realize how many as each fabric was so much fun and I just kept going. So here are some of the results...
 and the backing fabric used on the 3 above ...
 The Egret is my favorite one in this bunch..
 with the pretty blue tulip print on back...
 I loved the flowered ones and will probably hold up better ...
 and the backs...
 


I loved the dragon......
and the back.. A fun project....I am linked to Off the Wall Friday and Whoop Whoop Friday.