I've quite a pile of printed fabric from this printing week. These could wait months for me to wash out, but I need them this month for a few lectures and workshops throughout May. Who packs clothes when you can pack fabric?
This silkscreen image came from painting soy wax on my screen. Simple, direct, and best, shows the simple mark making that translates to "handmade." You see it as it is wet, the finish will be a shade lighter.
I've been printing with pink for days now. Perhaps that's why this saucer magnolia bloom had me swoon. Highland Park, the perfect evening to see this spectacle. And I mean spectacle. If you're near this Rochester gem of a park, go see for yourself.
Our critique group met Friday and I offered a couple of small works (yet to be quilted) up for discussion. These are bound for the Quilt Surface Design Symposium at the end of May in Columbus, Ohio. Let's see if I can get these under the needle soon!
My walls are full of my work, but I am a softy for bold graphic color. So, I break down now and again and actually purchase real art. Today I brought home two works by Judy Gohringer. Happy to own more art. Though I may have to build more walls.
As I can now get a few days in the wet studio I'm making good use of my drying rack. I find it is so much easier to get these prints laying flat instead of hanging them on a line. The Styrofoam insulation boards are just perfect as they are light, rigid, and washable. Wish I could take these with me when I teach.
Today's mail had word that this work was not accepted in the Sapphire Celebration Contest for the International Quilt Festival. Although I'm a bit taken aback (who wouldn't want this?) I'm happy to have it hang around with me and not travelling for three years. Lesson learned -- don't enter contests against traditional quilts. Cause this ain't one.
Several demonstration pieces from my last printing class made it home with me. I decided to wash them out, iron, and see what I could make of them. These are always interesting to me because they are done quickly, layer over layer, and with no set idea of design or flow. But that is exactly why I like them. Improv at its best.
I vaguely remember the first Earth Day in 1970. I was in High School and the concern for the environment had new meaning. Now the stakes are so much higher. And the awareness for treating the earth with kindness so critical. Maybe we should have Earth Year. Every year.
Funny that we should end the "On Your Mark -- Print" class that dealt with mark making and free drawn line. This section of wall from the early 1800s is in the Dewolf Tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island. Someone had a bold stroke, a bit of pigment, and free time. Glad it was preserved for us to ponder.
The first lesson to learn is that the print and dye always always always looks great when first printed because it's wet. When dry, and before washing it's all right, but the washout is the true test for the color's vibrancy. This pile is just superb for color -- rich, varied, and strong. From the last day of printing.
Part of the fun for this printing class at Pro Chem was to find a graphic element and print it large. Christianne rose to the challenge and used a screen print to make large donut shape. And we had the fun of seeing it over and over in various formats.
With almost a dozen people printing for days, the prints start to pile up. Good thing there is a great drying rack at the ready. These prints will hang until they are either printed with another layer or head to the wash. Tomorrow we'll take these down and replace them with another batch.
A good, clean, crisp monoprint takes some care and a bit of planning. Melanie used a foam layer to pull an honorable print in class today. I think monoprinting had risen in the list of most fun printing methods we used this week. But, wait, there's more.
You know I love to print. It is the closest thing to painting. Making printed fabric meets my need for original and diverse graphics. So, teaching these printing techniques that transform fabric from white to wonderful is where I feel comfortable and useful.And I get to be with talented and respectful people. Even better.
I've left the glitter and wonder of New York city to ride the rail north to Fall River and my class at Pro Chem. We traveled along the coast, catching sight of beaches, sun, and the greening trees. It's going to be a great week.
Take Two class today with the Empire Quilters in NYC at Gotham Quilts had some great studies for tackling improv designs. I enjoyed myself quite a lot, and saw old friend as well. Loved being a New Yorker for a day.
Before I shut down the print studio for a while, I dragged out a piece I hadn't finished and added some dark line to it. Now that I see what I've got, it may have to be a landscape. We'll do this and more when we take on mark making at Pro Chem. Can't wait.
I'll be in heaven soon. Pro Chemical and Dye is one of my favorite places to print. My class starts next Monday, and goes a week. My two goals are first, make a lot of fabric, and second make great fabric. What more? Still a spot left, I believe. Or two.
In a week's time I'll be at Pro Chemical and Dye teaching "On Your Mark -- Print!" that uses myriad ways to print with thickened dye. We'll focus on marks, the basis of printmaking. There are a few spots left, and I'd love to see a full class. April 15-19 in Fall River, Massachusetts. Heck, if you're one of the last three to sign up, I'll give you a yard of printed fabric.
I was wandering through Walmart (rare for me) and I passed the pool chemical aisle. Sure enough, they've got the 100% soda ash I use for soda soaking my fabric. This works, just look for the ingredients to be 100% sodium carbonate and you're good.
Before the soda soak I sew on labels. I'm showing this (and repeating myself) because I'm hoping the folk heading to Pro Chem in a week will have this labeling done ahead of time. And then I can be crabby about some other mundane thing. Like the weather (what? Not 75 degrees and sunny?).
I've added to my stock of thread for my longarm machine. This time the lineup was with more muted and neutral tones, some dark, some light. I've got some small works waiting in the wings, and if I've got a chance, I'll get to them this weekend. But I've got some printing to do, so we'll see what wins out.
I've got my large work "Genesee" out of storage and hung up to unfold. I'll check it over, redo the hanging mechanism, and ship it off next week for exhibition in Memphis. It surprised me with how the sewn line was so expressive. I must have been in a talkative mood when I made it.
I entered three works in the Memorial Art Gallery's exhibition "Finger Lakes" and got a notice for declining the first two. Hadn't thought about the third, and hadn't read that it was accepted. Come to find, yup, I'm in. So in June, "Take Two: Chinese Lanterns" will be seen.
The day after I visited my friend in Jupiter, Florida, a 750 pound alligator (age 100) was captured from the office park (near the spot I parked my car) and relocated. Just want you all to know I risk my life to be the traveling quilter that I am! And no, I did not take this photo. Courtesy of the Jupiter Police Department.