Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Small Works - S'hrooms and Trees I

Back when nicer weather prevailed and I was able to walk outside, I collected mushrooms to use in Deconstructive Screenprinting - a wonderful technique I learned from Kerr Grabowski.
Currently, I'm working on a large piece using prints made from these mushrooms, nowhere near completion but in the meantime, I love doing these little studies with leftovers. They go together quickly and a good break from the designing process of a larger piece.
I was able to make quite a few of this print, all a little different as each print changes as the amount of dye released changes. I also had these smaller mushroom prints made from some different mushrooms both using the same color dye.
I used some blue fabric I dyed, then discharged using a silk screen pattern of cheesecloth.
I love to include writing in my pieces and screen it with an old family recipe. This one is for "apple cake" written by my grandmother - a fun personal touch.
My friend Val - an amazing artist, makes her own silkscreens. My favorites are those that add texture to the background. I love her dot series and was inspired to make something similar. I like to screen a sample on clear plastic to keep in the folder with the screen (my screens are made with a Thermofax which turn out very flat). This way I can lay the plastic over a piece of fabric to see how the design will work - a little more work up front but a good design tool.
The dots, I used on the blue and other areas, using a discharge paste. The "weeds" screen I used over part of the mushroom print. These pieces are really quite small - around 14 x 16".
I used Candlelight couching thread between the seams to offset the busy-ness of the prints. These prints are fun to work with, but they have a lot of energy. It's hard to find something that will work with them.
On the bronze piece, I used my favorite stamp/stencil - a gridded tape used in tile work. I think you can see the little squares on the left on top of the bronze fabric.
Now to combine them all. It still has to be quilted which will be minimal and finished. It was a fun piece to make.

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