Sunday, March 28, 2010

New Thickened Dye Prints

I started a 10 week class last week at LillStreet Art Center dealing with all kinds of printing with thickened dyes. The teacher is Rebecca Rinquist who I have had as a teacher before (she is fantastic!). I will Also be taking a four day Natural Dye workshop at LillStreet with Pamela Feldman. I hear she is extremely knowledgeable in her field and that she is an exceptional teacher. I am really looking forward to taking her class. Every time I have tried to take her class in the past there was always a scheduling problem (this time is no different, but I will only miss one day of her workshop, which is workable I think).

Anyway, in the first thickened dye class we worked with stamping. We stamped fabric with all kinds of things, from rubber stamps to fruit and vegetables. Of the fruits and vegetables we used there were potatoes, lemons, onions, radishes, endive, and mushrooms (I think that's it). We also carved up sponges into shapes and stamped with those. And, of course, there were rubber stamps. Rebecca also pulled out the syringes and we drew with syringes. I wish I had gotten a picture of the lab after the class was through. I don't think there was a space left on the clothes lines (and there are multiple clothes lines covering all the walls). At some point in the future we will be discharging over what we did and adding more.

So here are some pictures of the three pieces of fabric I printed. Some of them I am going to overdye before I get to the discharging phase.

And, here is a detail shot of the last photo above:

I will post regarding the Natural Dye workshop at some point in the next week. I also have to make some nuno-felted scarves in the next few days for the shop I sell at since they are actually running low, so I will post pictures of those too when I actually get to doing them. It is going to be a busy week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Life, Death, Beginnings, Endings, & Beginning Again

An old and very good friend of my family died this morning. Pat Shafer was a friend of my mother's. Her son played with me and my sister when we were kids and he went on to become a life long friend of my sisters. Pat had a great influence on me, particularly in the last 5 to 8 years. She was a very talented artist and very supportive of me when I was trying to find my way back towards a more creative life. She was one of the people who made me think that yes, I could be an artist. That it wasn't an outlandish idea and that maybe there was room in the art world for me. She lived in a lovely old house in a small town in Michigan. Although I visited her only a few times there in the last several years they are fond memories. We kept up mostly through email and internet communities such as Facebook and Artella. She encouraged my experimentation and I am very grateful to her for that. She taught a number of classes and workshops and if I go by my experience she made a greater impact than she probably knew. She will be sorely missed. I wish her well on her new journey.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This & That

I have been sick on and off for the last couple weeks. This past weekend I was feeling fairly miserable. Today I am feeling somewhat better (knock on wood). For the most part the only thing I have really gotten accomplished is some reorganizing of my studio space (a constant job I did wash out a scrap piece of vintage fabric that I dyed a while ago an painted recently with thickened dye. This is what it looks like now.

I am now going to embroider on it (maybe do some beading...not sure yet).

On another note this is an example of the weird weather fluctuations we have had over the last week. We went from this:

To this:

And then back to this:

The Garlic Chives do not seem the least bit upset by the snow we had on Saturday (which disappeared by Sunday evening). I suppose I should not be surprised. They are tenacious little buggers and have taken over a third of the yard over the last few years (much like the lemon balm). A good percentage of the Garlic Chives go to seed each year but I don't mind because the flowers are pretty and tasty in a salad.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Vernal Equinox

Happy Spring!
All week the weather here in Chicago has been fantastic (of which, unfortunately, the weather report says is going to change at some point in the early morning hours today). In celebration of the Vernal Equinox I am posting some pictures that I took over the past week showing sections of my back yard and of the Lake Michigan & Montrose Harbor area. I hope you enjoy this taste of early spring!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Just a Quick Post

I am a guest blogger over at the LillStreet Textile blog again. Today I talked about my felting process briefly (with pictures). So hop over there and take a look . All of the staff/monitors from the LillStreet Textile Lab will be blogging each day this week about what they are doing and/or showing their studios. It should be really interesting. And, since I hate doing a post without pictures here is a peak at my studio which is in the basement.

And, for a bit of uplifting in the spirit department (at least for those of us in the Midwestern part of the United States) looks might be that...Spring is here (or almost)lol!