Saturday, May 12, 2007

Back to the Studio

Six pieces went out via priority mail this morning for the Fabric Exhibit and sale during the QSDS conference in Columbus, Ohio. If you aren't familiar with QSDS, check out for more information. Great classes there.

It was amazing to return to my studio after coming home from teaching at Pro Chem. One of the best things about teaching is how much it inspires me in my own work. I had entries due for the QSDS Fabric Exhibition and I wanted to explore some new ideas with discharges and resists. I took this photograph of the aging walls at Pro Chem; they just begged to be interpreted on cloth.

I wanted to try and translate the stone shapes and patterns around the building. So over the course of this past week, I experimented with a dye and discharge process that I'm planning to use in a new class called Ancient Cloth, techniques for creating aged looking cloth. It is supposed to premiere at Penland School of Craft in 2008; more on that later once it's definite.

I dyed this two yard piece of silk habotai a medium-dark golden brown. Then I covered the surface with Kraft paper that had stone shapes carved out of it, silkscreened on resist and let it dry. Then I took the paper off and silkscreened on more resist. When that dried, I discharged the whole piece, washed and dried it. Finally, I added more contrast by creating those discharge lines around each stone shape. Great fun.

This piece used much the same process as the previous one, although the cloth was longer and dyed in a gradation of light gold to dark brown. I used the same paper resist as the previous piece, but then I took the cutouts from the paper resist and pinned them on top of the remaining fabric. That preserved more of the dark brown from the original cloth while I discharged the area around it.

I dyed this piece a light golden brown and then monoprinted the entire surface with discharge paste. I was tempted to do more but decided I love its simplicity.

This piece, dyed the darkest of all the fabrics, got coated with potato dextrin resist and then I applied the discharge to the dark brown fabric once it dried and crackled.
Here's a detail so you can appreciate the beauty of the patterning the dextrin creates.

There is a raw, rustic quality to these pieces that is really exciting me. These are just a few from the pile I've collected with various surface design processes and patterning on them. They range from golden to dark brown. I have ideas about how I want to combine them with stitching to create interesting textural works, but I'm heading out on Thursday for an 18 day trip, first to New Mexico for a week and then the Surface Design Association Conference in Kansas City. These ideas will get put on hold for a bit while the travel and conference class and sessions will stimulate and add new ideas. I'll be posting some of my experiences at the SDA conference in a few weeks.


  1. Wow, you go girl! Great pics and I really like the ancient cloth

  2. You show very interesting surface manipulation! I Have to try such too next time!