Thursday, February 26, 2009

Goodbye February

I can hardly believe February is almost over. It has really flown by and I'm not the least bit unhappy about that. I spent all last week putting together a "puzzle" as it were. I'm in charge of devising the hanging plan for my local guild's biennial quilt show. I did it 2 years ago and the whole process of hanging the show was completed in record time with a minimal amount of anguish. It was a major accomplishment of organization, if I do say so myself. Of course, the problem with being really good at something is that you get persuaded into doing it again. So I ended up with a database of 270 quilts, pictures of 270 quilts, and a layout of the gym. The rate limiting factor is the number of hanging rods and standards. I tried to group things so that logical groups hung together and was mostly successful. So now what's left is to print up the plan, complete with what's hanging where, labels, etc, etc. The show is next month and I'm very happy that the difficult part of the project is finished and I can return to art.

In the winter I always get the urge to knit. Several years ago I saw a sweater that looked like it had been dyed after it was totally knitted and that has been on my mind every since. I order yarn from DharmaTrading and used a top down method to knit a sweater (I hate sewing up the seams). Here is the sweater:

The plan was to dye the whole thing a golden yellow, then add in some blue, and finally a bit of red, which results in a gold-green-brown combination. So here is the golden yellow. I used the parfait technique that Ann Johnston describes in her book, except that she's stuffing fabric into tall containers. So the sweater soaked in the golden yellow for about 10 minutes, then I added soda ash.

After about 10 minutes I added the blue dye, let it soak for a short bit, then added the soda ash. I wanted the green to only cover the bottom half of the sweater so I tilted the pan to keep the blue dye at that end.

Lastly I added the very dilute red dye, waited a bit, then added the soda ash. I forgot to take a picture. After letting it batch for several hours next to the hot air heating duct I rinsed out the dye. For some reason all the blue dye went down the drain. (It might have something to do with the fact that it's pretty old). So I mixed up a different blue, poured it on, and it's batching again. We'll see what happens.

I've also finished 6 more 12" squares but haven't photographed them yet. Tomorrow I'm planning on going to the American Craft Council's Show in Baltimore. It's an amazing display of very high end crafts and I could easily spend big bucks there. My favorite crafter is the man who upholsters chairs with different pieces of colorful upholstery fabric. They are just beautiful and I know if I bought one it would immediately be christened with a hairball from my cat.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Upcoming Show

Last summer at QSDS I had the good luck to sit next to Anita Kaplan and Leslie Rego. These two were long time friends but I had never met them. They were fascinated with the surface design stuff that I was doing and asked many questions. I gave them a paint flinging demonstration, showed them the thermofax screens I had made, and talked about deconstructed screen printing. They were like sponges and soaked up everything and wanted more. Later on that summer I flew out to Sun Valley, Idaho and to share the how-tos of these techniques. I blogged about it here.

Last Fall Anita had a brainstorm and contacted Leslie, me, and Carol Larson for an invitational exhibit in the town where she lives. With alot of work on Anita's part, the show is going to happen starting next month. Here is the postcard.

The show is at The Sea Ranch Lodge and runs from March 6 through April 1. Opening Reception is Friday, March 6 from 5pm to 7pm. The Sea Ranch is located about 100 miles north of San Francisco, right on the ocean. (Did you know that Google Maps is now showing ocean floor stuff? Very cool.) I would love to attend the opening, but I'm afraid that a cross country airplane ride is not in my future. But I hope that lots of you who live nearby will take the time to visit.

Friday, February 06, 2009

New Work

The past few days I've working on my entry for the Surface Design Association Members' Show. It's not juried; they hang everything that is sent in. In the past the size requirements have been 52" long and 18" wide, and the piece had to be 2-sided. They were hung so people could walk around and see both sides. I've entered at least 3 times (and my last entry Fandangle is with the SDA traveling exhibit and is featured on the brochure) and each time I have struggled with the size requirement. That is, I always had to add on some length to meet the requirement. You would think that by this time I'd have it figured out. Guess again. This time the size requirement is 18"x18", and not two sided. I cut my fabric big enough but by the time I added all the quilting, one side was barely long enough. I wanted to finish it by sewing a facing but didn't have enough of a seam allowance to allow that. So it's zig-zagged around the edges.

Temple of the Sun

As I was cutting the fabrics it seemed to go into a temple shape on its own accord and so I went with that. I think the positive/negative effect in the orange-y fabric is really interesting. It's en extension of the Windows theme I've been working on. The spiral is screenprinted on using a thermofax screen. I spent several hours on the computer trying to get a shape I liked and also have spaces where the background can show through the paint. I think it worked out well.

Current news: Yellow Brick Road has been accepted for the show "Tribute to Fiber Art" to be held at the BlackRock Center for the Arts, Germantown, Maryland. The show runs March 4 through April 9.

And now I'm preparing my entry for Images 2009, at the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts. I know I talked about entering fewer shows, but I just don't seem to be able to control myself. Actually, I'm trying to focus on more general interest type shows and that's my excuse.