Friday, June 26, 2009

Fabric Length

I have been working further on the 2 metre silk/rayon length that I showed last week. This is an interesting fabric because the silk side and the rayon side will take the dye differently and be quite a contrast to each other.

This shows both sides of the fabric and the contrast. I have toned the colours down by over-dyeing with green, using the principle that red tones will turn brown with the addition of a green. I have chosen to work with the rayon side.

It still lacked a focus so I screened on some circles part of which were masked off with strips of paper. Originally the circles appeared very dark after printing so I made a decision to wash the fabric before it had completed batching. In hindsight I should have left it abit longer to achieve a slightly stronger print but it can be difficult making such a decision.

Then I decided to screen a block of text in random areas.

Herewith a detail.

And much to my surprise I didn't come across any fabric shops during my travels in Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria although I did sight a FABRIC sign further down one street in which I was walking in Vancouver. Closer inspection showed a very closed up shop front, with a notice describing a suitable dress code for those entering. Whoops! I think it was a nightclub! However, I liked the juxtaposition of FABRIC and dress code.....

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Love Letter

While in Vancouver I visited the Vancouver Art Gallery which is displaying an exhibition called Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art Masterpieces from the Rijksmuseum (open until September 13). Certainly some impressive paintings but my favourite was definitely The Love Letter by Johannes Vermeer (fast forward and he was played by Colin Firth in the film Girl with the Pearl Earring). The Love Letter is not big but packed so much detail and emotion into its frame that I had to return to examine it again. The body language of the two women and their exchange of glances are captivating.

Johannes Vermeer, The Love Letter, C1660, oil on canvas, 44cm x 38.5 / 17+" x 15+"

During the last week I have been working on a new fabric length (2m / 2yd 19"). Fabric is a silk/rayon mix which produces varying colours on each side. It has been printed with soya wax, then a soft orange and a chartreuse Procion MX applied. After more wax it was painted with a burgundy dye mix. These combinations have produced a mix of orange, chartreuse, cerise with the waxed area remaining undyed. Although I like the results so far I feel it is probably a bit bold for any possible garment, unless someone is very confident in their dress sense. Because of this I am planning some further applications.

The length of silk/rayon so far.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Maiwa Handprints Ltd

One of the joys of travel is the unexpected. While in Vancouver I visited Granville Island which has a reputation of being an artisan's and market area. I spent some time drifting around and suddenly I spotted Maiwa Handprints Ltd. I was aware of this place but had not registered where in the world it was situated. I really had to take a deep breath when entering the shop, as it was like diving into a swimming pool of ethic textiles and paraphernalia! It was ablaze with colours and patterns from all around the world. I could have purchased so many things, but settled on a small wooden printing block as my only memento. My suitcase was already threatening to be over weight (which it was but it was ignored). This week I did some pieces with this block.
The Maiwa Textile Symposium is being held September, October and November, and if I were living there I would certainly be attending.....

The wooden printing block I purchased, 9cm x 9cm; 3.5" x 3.5".

Working on some repeats. Printed with a black pigment.

Working with discharge paste.

A detail from a new piece showing use of the block.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SDA Workshop (2)

Here are images of work done in my second workshop at the Surface Design Association conference. This workshop was with Els van Baarle titled Walking The Creative Path: A Combination of Batik and Printing. As I was travelling on to Canada after this workshop I did not want to pack dyed, but not yet washed samples in my suitcase. So during my last day I concentrated on applying wax to several pieces and these have been dyed and completed since my return home. This was another great workshop, with Els being a great tutor full of ideas. I now plan to use soya wax alot more in my work in the future. Images have been posted with permission from Els.

The cover of my workshop folder in which all the notes and samples are filed.

I made this sample into a scarf