Friday, March 4, 2011

Thoughts on recent testing....

Firstly, regular readers of this blog will have received a 'blog doesn't exist' posting during the week. All my fault entirely. I was making a start on preparing this blog and inadvertently pushed the Publish button when aiming for another button. I quickly deleted the posting but it does remain in the system. I promise to try harder...

This week I have quietly contemplated my recent exercise in repeat dye and paint applications on to three different substrates. All three may be viewed here. The following are some of my thoughts on the outcome.

* I like the freedom in painting on the paper; gestural applications can be expressive, whereas on the fabrics they drag.
* Wet paint pools and blends on the paper, but the fabrics soak up the dye and restrict this activity.
* All printing and stamping techniques, using printing paints, respond the same on all three substrates.
* Applications don't dry as quick on the paper allowing for further activity, they don't dry quickly on the fabric substrates either where they sink into the fibres but are difficult to spread or shift further.

My preference, at this point in time, is the results on the cotton duck. I really like the way the wet dye wicks along the grain of the fabric. This seems to happen in one direction only, and in my test piece, this runs vertically. It softens the application and merges with the edges of previous applications. Also, wet dye does give total coverage, but not always fully as it will settle partly on the top surface of the fibres in some areas which I like.

Applications on the cotton duck.

As also mentioned in my previous blog I was planning to make a cot quilt to donate to the Christchurch earthquake victims. Using previously hand-dyed cottons, I have now finished my first cot quilt. I am not a quilter but did recall how to stitch and quilt at the same time. And with the help of the walking foot on my machine, I was able to machine stitch the whole piece.

My selection of hand-dyed cottons waiting for a purpose.

No, it is not an art quilt but I did enjoy the simplicity of the task.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Testing, testing...

Testing times indeed for New Zealand. Many thanks for your messages of support and concern. These are much appreciated.

Putting aside the tragedy here for a moment, I have finally done something I wanted to do for quite sometime. I decided to experiment with different substrates for the techniques I use in producing my art.

Set up ready to go. Left: paper (sketch book). Middle: my favourite silk/linen cloth from Thai Silks, USA. Right: cotton duck.

Each application was repeated at the same time on to all the substrates.

The final outcome. This is not an exercise in 'great art' but an attempt to record how different dyes, paints, techniques responded. I shall publish my thoughts in the next blog.

Testing times indeed for New Zealand. It is difficult knowing how one can help when living in other, unaffected, areas of NZ. Donations are important but there has to be more. Yesterday I realised I had a collection of co-ordinated hand-dyed cotton fat quarters left over from my previous business. I now plan to purchase some wadding and turn these pieces into cot size quilts. Autumn is around the corner, followed by winter. It will be cold.