Thursday, July 29, 2010

Lunching in the Treetops

During the course of our Fiber Junkies meeting we stop for lunch - of course!  Carol often brings a bottle of her home-made wine - YUM! Her husband thinks we should rename ourselves Fiber Freaks and puts that on the bottle. I personally like Fiber Junkies but the wine with either name is still delicious.
We sat on Vals deck which is in the treetops. You can practically reach out and touch the branches. Looking down on one side gave me this view - scaaarrrrry,
or this.
The view while eating was breathtaking; you can see all of downtown Asheville.

One of the trees had these huge leaves - as big as dinner plates. Wish I was close enough to pull one off.
During lunch, we do a "show and tell" which is always inspiring. Patsy showed us a piece she finished. She initially didn't like the yellow although we all did so we told her to repeat it in the border and stitching, which she did. It looks great and the machine quilting as always is wonderful!
Some beautiful dyed fabric - I think it was the new Radiance which is a silk and cotton blend so the dye reacts differently depending which side you look at (silk or cotton).

Nancy showed us a tone on tone she dyed and thought it had some interesting results from back to front.

Carol brought us her latest pieces which were filled with detail - so much fun to pour over.

Great fun!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Screening with the Fiber Junkies pt. 2

To continue with our Fiber Junkies adventures in screening, here are some of the very interesting and pretty results. Besides making our own screen, we had access to Val's personal collection of screens. I've never seen so many in one place. It was like being a little kid in a candy shop - given free reign for the day! This piece started with multi-colored hand dyed fabric and was printed using one of Vals screens. The color movement in the fabric shows through.
Mary Stori used a wonderful piece of felt. She was experimenting to find some interesting backgrounds for her beading. She wanted to use a screen all the way down this long piece of felt. To prevent smearing of the already printed area, a small paper towel was laid on top of that area and the screen placed a little further down to do the next section.
This is one of Val's screens. Val used "reinforcements" as a pattern to burn on the screen - think it's pretty unique.
Multi colors on felt.

Carol used more than one color on the screen at the same time. This is a fun thing to do as the colors merge or meander and you're never quite sure of what it will look like.
This is one of Val's screens done on top of a batik.
I really like this next print except too much paint was applied or too many swipes with the squeegee so the lines lost their "crispness" but sometimes that can be a good thing!

You do not have to wash the screen if you're using it again right away. Once done though, it's important to get the paint off the screen quickly. A screen can be ruined if paint dries and clogs the open areas. It was such a hot day, the screens dried quickly.
Back inside the garage, some double printing going on. This is when you screen an image, let it dry and using a different image, screen on top of the first image - lots of good dimension.
This next piece is done on paper using the screen Carol made and one of Vals' screens. The light gray design was done by Val who created her own batik fabric then copied it in black and white to make into a screen - great texture.

This next design was one of Val's screens. She made by doing a drawing. Val recommended the book "Keys to Drawing" as a great book for teaching yourself.

Patsy Thompson did these wonderful butterflies. Patsy uses a lot of nature related things in her quilts.
And this is a piece that hangs in Vals house that she created! Wonderful!
As I write this, I have the chance to revisit each person in the group, to see how they work and interpret ideas, the creative potential they personally see. I'm overwhelmed at the talent and feel incredibly lucky to be part of this amazing group of women!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Screening with the Fiber Junkies

What a great, fun-filled and informative day. Our Fiber Junkies met Thursday at member Val McGaughey's house in her garage where she has the most unique set-up for silk screening. In the morning, we burned screens with a table created/built by her daughter Molly. In the afternoon, I led the group with improvisational screening. Val showed us how to make an effective "print table" using 1" foam on top a table. We have the store "Foam and Fabric" near by, so there's no problem getting the foam.
After the foam is down, a vinyl on one side - flannel fabric on the other was placed on top with the vinyl side up. It resembled those inexpensive table cloths you find at chain stores. Then to top it off, covered with a plain light colored cotton fabric.
Scrubbing a screen is the first step. Even though it's new, it still needs to be scrubbed with an abrasive type cleaner and plenty of water.
And rinsed really well with a hose. The pressure of the hose gets off any residue from the cleaner.
The screen is allowed to dry before "painting" on an emulsion - Ulano TZ used in burning the screen. Propped up, makes it easier to apply this mixture.
A thin coating is applied to front of screen and gone over with a squeegee to make sure it's even.
Not expecting that color
This mixture is very "light sensitive" and must be protected from the light so it's stored in a dark place to dry.
Next the image is prepared for burning. Using a transparency is a good way to go but you can also cut something out of black construction paper.
And here is the table - the magic table. I want one really bad! I think I've already talked my husband into making me one for Christmas - what a guy!
It uses 6 - 250 watt light bulbs to burn the screen.
And a fan at one end to offset the heat of the lightbulbs.
The transparency is laid down along with the silk screen and covered with a black cloth and heavy book.
The clock is set for 4 minutes - enough to burn the image. Immediately after it's done, the screen is rinsed to reveal the burned image
and dried - soon to be ready for printing.
Ready for screening, Val uses Pro Chems color concentrates which screen beautifully.
A multi-colored print - nice!
Stay tuned for more wonderful prints, our lunch in the treetops with Fiber Junkies wine and improvisational screening.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tid Bits

My two crazy and fun weeks are behind me and I'm into my third - still crazy - still fun but as my mom used to say "I'm too pooped to pop".
I had a wonderful time at the Southern Highland Fair, saw lots of "interesting" clothing combinations, hair styles, etc. I love people watching, just wish I had my camera handy. One thing I loved was seeing a "jeans" skirt being modeled by a young woman. She took it apart and added "gores" made out of recycled men's ties. It had a nice "swing" to it and quite colorful with the addition of ties. I thought of taking a picture long after the fact. One of the highlights of the fair was meeting a gal who follows my blog (from Florida) and made her daughter's wedding gown as I was making my own daughters. We made them side by side and had some good stories to share.
    Today I happened on a little stand that sold corn from their cornfield. There was a giant container for the corn - you're on the honor system - take what you want and put the money in a cool contraption.
There's a little slit to stuff the money into.
The "Money Tube".
One hundred feet down from the cornstand was another wonderful vegetable stand and the honor system once again. I love this shed.

Might have to go back and take more pictures of this, really interesting!
And fresh corn we're about to eat for dinner.
Tomorrow it's Fiber Junkies and our silk screening day. In the morning we'll burn our screens; in the afternoon, it's improvisational silk screening. It will be a fun day with lots of pictures and things to report.
Signing off for now

Saturday, July 17, 2010

2 Days Left!

If you're in the Asheville area this weekend, please stop by the Southern Highland Craft Guild Fair going on at the Asheville Civic Center on Haywood Street. There are 2 floors of wonderful arts and crafts, pottery, clothing, hand-wovens, woodworking and furniture, glass and gorgeous jewelry - something for everyone. There's even a booth with hand made stuffed animals for the little people in your life. It's great fun and I hope to see you there.

Demos are going on outside the civic center also.
I'm in booth # 36 so stop by and say hi.
I love Asheville in the summer, lots of hustle and bustle going on.
Hope to see you this weekend