Thursday, June 28, 2018

String Painting

One of our blogging friends - Robbie Payne wrote a wonderful blog on the art of string painting. We knew it was something our Fiber Junkies group had to try. Robbie wrote the most thorough directions for doing this technique; check out her blog to get a real feel for how it is done. Thank you Robbie!!
So we started with all kinds, widths and fiber contents of string...this was the time to experiment.
 We also used small muffin tins and containers to hold paint. I save the little measuring cups from laundry detergent - they worked well also. It's best to use something small.
  Denny had some string that split which was an added element.

You will also need some paint with a pourable consistency. I still turn to Createx airbrush colors as they are fiber friendly and so easy to use. We also tried and had good success with inks. You will also need an old heavy book...old because it could get paint on it.
You cut off a piece of string @ 18 to 24" in length, dip it in the paint and lay on fabric in a swirl-like pattern. If your fabric is wide enough like the one above, just fold over the side to cover the string. If not, lay another piece of fabric on top of the string. Lay the book on top and slowly......pull the string out which creates wonderful patterning.

You can use more than one color on different parts of the string. We also found very skinny ribbon to work (right side).

We found string that was all cotton worked very well as it was able to hold the paint (top).
Denny tried a string that was synthetic. It did not hold the paint well and was not as successful. 

Left side is the paint-loaded string laid on fabric. It was a small piece of fabric so I couldn't fold it over itself. I used a white piece of fabric to lay on top of the string (below). You can get an idea of the type of patterning you get with each string configuration.

Gen was working on paper that she uses in her many beautiful journals and collages. 
 Here Gen has created a tri-color pretty and interesting.

Mary had great success working in felt which she'll use in making her felted bowls.
  It's a fairly easy technique to catch on to but we had many glitches along the way such as using too fat a string or loading too much paint on it. Any mishap can usually be worked over which we all find challenging and fun.
Kate was doing some great stuff...the print on the right was a happy accident when she lifted the fold over piece and the string moved. She tried to re- line the string but was off by a tad creating this wonderful double line print
  and the printing on some of her hand dyes was lovely.

I had some successes also. The top right I thought had too much paint on it, but everyone saw a mushroom - so there you go. It's always nice to have another pair or 2 of eyes to see things from a different perspective.
  Denny was doing something quite different - working with disperse dyes on paper. She also did a lot of layering - going back and adding another painting on top. Denny is a master at layering.

She had created bunches of papers which can be used more than once. The color is released from the paper when it is ironed onto a synthetic fabric - it's amazing to watch.
 And here are some of the results. By using the disperse dyes, Denny can go back and iron another paper on top and keep the layering going. It looks like a watercolor and is just beautiful.
Here's another Denny...

And a wonderful and productive day with good friends, some yummy treats and beautiful results.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Getting a Little Rusty

Every once in a while, I get the urge to rust some fabric....I don't use it a lot in my work but it does add a very distinct look when I do.
So a friend of mine gifted me with an unusual gift but one I went wild over. There are several of us from the Southern Highland guild that are working on pieces for our Wabi Sabi exhibit opening June 30 (more on that later). I was thinking of using some love the box ...
this wonderful heavy chain came in.
When I rust I like to use a variety of fabrics including mercerized cotton, silks like noil or crepe du Chine...organza is another favorite. I mix them all up and use a solution of half white vinegar and half water...pour it over and cover with plastic to keep it moist.
In the warm weather, it rusts quickly and within a day I was ready to rinse and iron.
So some of the results....I'm not sure which is which as far as fabric but I know I used mercerized cotton, noil, silk broadcloth and organza...and was
very happy with the results...
All fabrics worked well and were "very" rusted.
On another note, on a recent day trip to Little Switzerland which is on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I came upon this wonderful 2 seater bike....
which has been hanging on this wall forever...(we've gone to this area before)
And also this wonderful sled...
It might be fun to incorporate these photos and rusted fabrics into a small piece.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Fiber Day Fashion Show

The Southern Highland Craft Guild always has a fashion show on Fiber Weekend. This amazing event has always been organized and run by Liz Spear.
It is held in the auditorium of the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville, NC.
Although the stage and surroundings are simple, the garments and accessories are not. This year 81 pieces were represented in the show.
Why is this so amazing you ask?....because each piece is either dyed, woven, deconstructed etc or a combination of many techniques. It is a feast for the eyes if you love fiber. The above top is handwoven...beautiful colors.
This jacket was a combination of techniques. The same models volunteer each year....who wouldn't want the chance to wear one of these beautiful garments, if only for a short time.
I loved these pants and they looked adorable on this model.
Annette is modeling a beautiful handwoven scarf/shawl which works beautifully with her black outfit.
This ensemble is a trademark look for Barbara Kazinski who dyes all her own silk for these outfits.
This oversized hand woven jacket could work on any figure type.
This magnificent long shibori dyed coat was lightweight and flowed beautifully.
A beautiful handwoven vest and
another scarf and top from Jude Stuecker. I love this gals work. Not only does she dye all her fabric, but creates her own designs to be made into silkscreens which she then screens on top. You can see some on the scart and near the shoulder of the jacket.
A beautiful top woven with hand dyed yarns...
and this lovely hand painted silk piece.
This piece incorporated the use of paper as one of the interesting and quite durable to my surprise.
This loosely woven jacket was interesting and very comfortable.
So this was my favorite, created and modeled by Vicki Bennett.....the left side (our left) is all eco printed using Eucolyptus leaves and yes they printed that color. They do print well but I've never seen that color print on fabric. The jacket was magnificent and had offers to buy it before Vicki had it off her body...As an eco printer myself (and a very "beginner" one at that) I'm always fascinated by the process and the many results you can get.
The grand finale...this is Liz's last year for doing the show and after 20 years it was time for a break. I told her, it's always good to go out when you're on top and on top she is! Liz is a great gal and puts her heart and soul into everything she does...Thank you Liz for 20 wonderful years.