Monday, June 29, 2015

Janet Echelman in Boston

Janet Echelman creates aerial sculptures that float between buildings, over roundabouts, inside huge lobbies - anywhere that a monumental work of art can be installed.

Boston commissioned her to make a piece that would hang over the Rose Kennedy Greenway for the summer of 2015. Echelman named it "As If It Were Already Here". I made a special trip into Boston to see it and am so glad I did. It's breathtaking!

Here's a photograph from the daytime. It looks a lot like the fishing nets that originally inspired her to try making sculptures with the material at hand. She was a painter whose paints were lost by an airline when she was traveling. She noticed the local fisherman's nets were intricate and lovely, so she learned how they made them and developed the idea into a series that is ongoing for the past 18 years.
This is the full sculpture at night when the lights have come on. They change color continuously and the sculpture changes with it. It is mesmerizing to watch it!

This is a shot I made with a zoom lens. The many colors, stripes, shapes and changing wind provide so much inspiration. 

 Echelman did a Ted talk that has been viewed by over a million people. Looking at the images on her portfolio page reveals how this series has developed. Anytime I can be in the same place as one of her sculptures I will definitely make the effort to spend an hour or two with it.

Monday, June 8, 2015

SAQA Auction videos

The SAQA Auction is coming up again in September. Some of the artists have made videos of the process of making their quilt. It's educational to watch how they are created. Lots if techniques are used, with fusing the most popular.

Jim Hays video includes him making cookies and we learn that he lives in the countryside in Japan. This is a good model for making videos in the future - it tells the story of the quilter and the quilt. Next year, I will try to do a video like it. For now, enjoy the videos and decide what you'd like to bid on in September.
SAQA Auction videos

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Designing with snow dyed fabric

     I now have a stack of snow dyed fabrics and have puzzled over what to do with them. The variations in color and pattern are so enticing!

     After trying many different arrangements, I decided to just start. I work in an intuitive way and figure it out as I go along. I move fabric around in a lot of different ways and then get to the point that I sew it together. This is the design before it was quilted or trimmed:

This is the quilted piece. It is all pinned for blocking. After that, I have ideas about what else I am going to add to it, but want the base to be blocked and flat first. 

Come back soon and see the finished piece. If you still have snow, it's an intriguing way to dye since the results are very surprising.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow dyeing with MX dyes

In the North East we have had snow storm after snow storm. Although it would be great if we could have the snow along with 70 degree weather, the snow is beautiful and a gift for dyers!

I've been doing some snow dyeing almost every day. The process is fairly easy and the results are unpredictable and often breath taking. Using dye concentrates from mixed dyes - rather than primaries made from single dyes - means that the dye splits into different colors.  Here are some photo's showing the process, and some of the resulting fabric.

The fabric is soaked in soda ash first and then hung to dry. I use a folding home drying rack that can be folded away. 

I wrapped the fabric in Whiffle Balls and small plastic golf balls. It's a method that I had read about on Carol Eaton's blog and wanted to try it. See Carol's blog here:  Carol used dry dye powder on top of the snow. I used dye concentrates but will try the dry powder as an experiment.

Here are a couple of images of my fabric covered in snow and dye:

After the snow has melted, the fabric is soaked in cold water for anywhere from 4-24 hours. The longer it soaks, the easier it is to wash any leftover dye out of the fabric. Then it is washed in very hot water with a small amount of Synthrapol or Dawn dishwashing soap.

Here are a few pieces of fabric after they have been washed and ironed.

Diane Franklin has an excellent post with detailed instructions on snow dyeing. Rather than repeating her instructions I'll direct you to her blog:

I can look at the color combinations and patterns in the fabric and feel transported to the Hubble Space ship or an underwater world. It's challenging to figure out what to do with the fabric, but I'm enjoying making it so much that I'll keep dyeing until I figure out how to use it.