Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Art Pillows and View From the Loft

Art pillows have become my new go to project for fun and relaxing creative play. Some of the pillows are one or two of a kind, while others are made from digitally printing my fabric designs onto cotton sateen. I started digitally printing so my customers would have the option of purchasing several identical pillows. Plus, I end up having many more options to fool around with as I am not using the original hand painted fat quarter. And I get to print images from my art journal onto fabric!

Sometimes I do a little hand embroidery on them. Whichever way I get to the finished product the process has cleared my brain and given me some respite from the more difficult work of creating wall hung, fine fiber art.

This is my latest art pillow.  The original image was created using Jacquard Dye-na-flow and Textile Color textile paints and my hand carved stamp. For the pillow I digitally printed on Jacquard cotton sateen fabric that has been pre-treated to run through an inkjet printer. The fabric comes on a roll and is called Fabri-Sign. It has a paper backing to help it feed through the printed. Once the fabric is dry you can remove the paper. The fabric is water resistant but not washable. However I then spray it with a coat of Scotch Guard making it hand washable in warm/cool water.

Remember that these are art pillows. They are not pillows that are meant to be tossed around the floor or given to you pet! :)

I have an Epson Stylus Pro 3880 printer that prints up to 17" wide. My art pillows use a 16" wide pillow insert.













This is the hand carved stamp I used. A very simple yet effective image. I'll be teaching a 2-day workshop on hand carving stamps along with techniques for printing them on fabric here in my studio. Click on the subscribe button if you'd like to have my blog posts come directly to your email so you don't miss my workshop announcements.




 All pillows are for sale from my Etsy Shop. Click here for a direct link to the art pillow section.


AND HERE IS A VIEW FROM THE LOFT!


All the electrical wires and the plumbing are now in. The building inspector came today. The next thing up is the roof. We had such great results with the metal roof on our house that we decided to put it on the studio as well. Winters here in New England can be unpredictably harsh with lots of heavy snow that can stick to your roof. With a metal roof it all just slides right off. No more roof raking for us! Been there, done that. Plus we are simply too old! :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Finished Student Work From My Batik with Soy Wax and Textile Paints Workshop

These last photos are really great examples of how well my students at the Fletcher Farm School for Arts and Crafts grasped the concepts of batik work as well as the use of the tools and paint.

We used a variety of resist tools found in my kitchen and garage as well as those found in hardware stores and my beloved dollar store such as potato mashers, metal napkin rings, bolts, metal spatulas and more!

We used brushes and the traditional tjanting tool for drawing and writing with the hot soy wax.

For color we brushed and sprayed Jacquard Dye-na-Flow textile paint. To learn more about the techniques and products we used simply scroll down for the last 2 postings or click here for day 1 and here for day 2.

By Hallee

By Adele

By Linda

By Adele

By Marilyn

By Maddy

By Sookie

By Marilyn

By Cynthia

By Maddy

By Jeanne

By Jeanne
Jeanne's full name is Jeanne Marklin. She is an exhibiting fiber artist who traditionally dyes her own fabrics. She often works with commercially printed black on white fabric like her second piece above and uses circles as a common element. I just love the effect of the black and white fabric painted and batiked! To see more of her work click here. It was great fun to have her in my class and see how she incorporated her artistic voice into a new medium!

Don't forget to click on the images for a larger view.

Have a great day - Cher

Monday, August 1, 2016

Batik with Soy Wax and Dye-na-Flow Textile Paint - Day 2

Here are some pictures from the second day of my batik with soy wax and textile paints workshop. I was up at the Fletcher Farm School for Arts and Crafts in Ludlow, VT.

We were using soy wax flakes for batik and Jacquard Dye-na-Flow textile paints. If you want to read about how this technique is executed click here to read about the first day. Or simply scroll down.


This is a great example of how the layering effect is achieved. This is Dana's piece. In the above photo you can see her first layer on the right hand side. Using the Dye-na-Flow in spray bottles she sprayed pale yellow and a bit of coral on the white fabric. she them laid down her first layer of wax. On the left hand side she is beginning to paint the second layer of paint. The wax will resist this layer of paint preserving the original colors of the fabric. When the paint dries she filled in all the areas she wanted to stay that second color with wax and so forth. Below is the finished piece.

Everyone thought it looked very Indian.





Here is someone beginning to remove the wax by placing her piece between layers of plain newsprint and then using a dry iron over the piece. She'll keep replacing the paper and keep ironing until almost all the wax has been removed. The last little bit will be washed out in the washing machine set on hot.


Drying the paint but being careful not to let the sun remelt the wax!!!


Above is one of Hallee's pieces. She works on small pieces of fabric to use as pockets on her tot bags.
If you click on the image to enlarge it you'll see that some of the wax has a milky color to it. that means that for a variety of reasons the wax did not fully penetrate the fabric. This will allow the paint to lightly seep under the wax. Generally thought of as a mistake it actually works to Hallee's advantage here.
With the wax ironed out you can readily see the areas where the wax resist fully penetrated the fabric and where it didn't. 



This is another one of Hallee's. The image above shows some of the early stages of the wax and paint applications. In the image below, the piece is second in from the left. You can see how with each application the piece gets darker and darker as she very successfully worked from light to dark.




Sookie worked with silk scarf blanks.


Really beautiful this scarf is loaded with texture and depth.


This is Maddy with her silk scarf. She just tore off a piece of silk from her stash and plans to hem it later.


Created by Marilyn the above image shows a great use of color and the traditional batik "crackle".


Linda also worked with a variation of tones and tints of the same 2 colors. She free hand "drew" the flowers using a tjanting tool. The three shapes on the bottom with a leaf motif was made with a metal cooking spatula dipped in hot wax then stamped onto the fabric.


This is one of Jeanne's pieces. She created a beautiful color palette and a wonderful overall sense of movement in the piece. You might recognize the main circular image. It was created by loading a metal potato masher with hot wax and then stamping it onto the fabric.

I think that is enough for today. I'll share the last of the images with you tomorrow!
Have a great day everyone and don't forget to click on the images for a larger view.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Batiking in VT and Studio Progress

The first day of my Batik with Soy Wax and Textile Paints workshop at the Fletcher Farm School for Arts and Crafts was great. I had a wonderful group of students, all eager to learn a new technique.

In some respects batik is relatively easy. We used hot soy wax (formulated for batik) as a resist and in this case we used Jacquard Dye-na-flow textile paints instead of dyes. Soy wax is a great replacement for the traditional paraffin wax as it's melting point is much lower then paraffin, thus reducing the risk of fire. Also, it is non-toxic and once you iron out most of the wax the rest will easily come out in the washing machine set on hot.

Jacquard's Dye-na-flow is the consistency of dye with beautiful, deep penetrating colors. But in contrast to dye it is non-toxic and washes up with soap and water. What's not to love?! So in other words this technique with these materials is what I like to call "kitchen friendly"!

The difficulties lie not in the use of the materials but in the technique itself. For one thing you have to work consistently from light to dark. Once you have used a dark color paint you cannot go back into it with a light color or tone. Also, you fill in the images with wax where you don't want paint to go. So it feels like you have to think backwards when you are working. You keep adding layers of paint and wax until the fabric is completely covered.

My students were so awesome that everybody got the knack of it by the end of the first day.




The supply table.



The small spray bottles you see have been filled with Dye-na-flow.  I might mention here (just in case you go out to buy some) that Jacquard has changed the bottles Dye-na-flow is packaged in now. I have transferred the new paint to the old bottles because that's what fits in my boxes. :)


The electric frying pans is what I use for melting pots.





This image shows a person applying the wax to a stretched piece of fabric with a tjanting tool. This tool allows one to draw with the hot wax.


Here is a piece of fabric completely covered with layers of wax and paint.


This is another piece completely covered with wax.

Okay. More on that tomorrow!!

Here are the progress pictures of my new studio.



This picture was taken from my front deck. What looks like a second floor is really a loft on the inside. The overall dimensions are 28 feet by 40 feet. The greenery to the left and in the foreground is my flower garden. Once the construction is over I can get back to gardening!


This picture is taken from the north side looking south. You can see my house through the doorway.
You can also see the loft. The space under the loft is the painting/dyeing area. The loft itself will be for storage of finished work, a shipping area and my computer/office stuff.


This is looking north from the painting area just under the loft. The big triangle space above the doors and windows will have 3 stationary windows to let in all that wonderful neutral, northern light.


This is the west wall. There are very few windows because I wanted a really big design wall. When it is all finished the design wall will be 18 feet wide!
I am planning on making big pieces but it also gives me lots of room for student work too.


I was standing in the north west corner to take this picture. You can see the loft and part of the east wall. The windows arrive on Monday!

Have you ever worked in Batik? If so I'd love to hear about your experiences.
If you haven't but always wanted to, I'll be offering this 2 1/2-day workshop this fall here in my new studio. So stay tuned for the details!



Batiking in VT and Studio Progress

The first day of my Batik with Soy Wax and Textile Paints workshop at the Fletcher Farm School for Arts and Crafts was great. I had a wonderful group of students, all eager to learn a new technique.

In some respects batik is relatively easy. We used hot soy wax (formulated for batik) as a resist and in this case we used Jacquard Dye-na-flow textile paints instead of dyes. Soy wax is a great replacement for the traditional paraffin wax as it's melting point is much lower then paraffin, thus reducing the risk of fire. Also, it is non-toxic and once you iron out most of the wax the rest will easily come out in the washing machine set on hot.

Jacquard's Dye-na-flow is the consistency of dye with beautiful, deep penetrating colors. But in contrast to dye it is non-toxic and washes up with soap and water. What's not to love?! So in other words this technique with these materials is what I like to call "kitchen friendly"!

The difficulties lie not in the use of the materials but in the technique itself. For one thing you have to work consistently from light to dark. Once you have used a dark color paint you cannot go back into it with a light color or tone. Also, you fill in the images with wax where you don't want paint to go. So it feels like you have to think backwards when you are working. You keep adding layers of paint and wax until the fabric is completely covered.

My students were so awesome that everybody got the knack of it by the end of the first day.




The supply table.



The small spray bottles you see have been filled with Dye-na-flow.  I might mention here (just in case you go out to buy some) that Jacquard has changed the bottles Dye-na-flow is packaged in now. I have transferred the new paint to the old bottles because that's what fits in my boxes. :)


The electric frying pans is what I use for melting pots.





This image shows a person applying the wax to a stretched piece of fabric with a tjanting tool. This tool allows one to draw with the hot wax.


Here is a piece of fabric completely covered with layers of wax and paint.


This is another piece completely covered with wax.

Okay. More on that tomorrow!!

Here are the progress pictures of my new studio.



This picture was taken from my front deck. What looks like a second floor is really a loft on the inside. The overall dimensions are 28 feet by 40 feet. The greenery to the left and in the foreground is my flower garden. Once the construction is over I can get back to gardening!


This picture is taken from the north side looking south. You can see my house through the doorway.
You can also see the loft. The space under the loft is the painting/dyeing area. The loft itself will be for storage of finished work, a shipping area and my computer/office stuff.


This is looking north from the painting area just under the loft. The big triangle space above the doors and windows will have 3 stationary windows to let in all that wonderful neutral, northern light.


This is the west wall. There are very few windows because I wanted a really big design wall. When it is all finished the design wall will be 18 feet wide!
I am planning on making big pieces but it also gives me lots of room for student work too.


I was standing in the north west corner to take this picture. You can see the loft and part of the east wall. The windows arrive on Monday!

Have you ever worked in Batik? If so I'd love to hear about your experiences.
If you haven't but always wanted to, I'll be offering this 2 1/2-day workshop this fall here in my new studio. So stay tuned for the details!