Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Printing 2 from Prue

Here are photos of Prue's samples from the printing playday back in November.

This one was her rolling pin print. I love the texture this method gives the fabric.
This one is two prints from a texture plate.
And here, more printing on paper.

In this one, a piece of grid was used to print.
This one used a mixture of techniques (it's half the piece).
And here is the other half.

This one was her monoprint, from the paint on the tile.
Aren't they interesting? Printing on fabric gives it such interesting texture, as you can see on Beverley's piece. It's such a great starting place.

Merry Christmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ....

we have 3 house guests for Christmas - and in keeping with the real meaning of Christmas, they've been told that there is no room in the house, and they have to sleep in the garage.

They were very interested the other day when I was doing some textile painting on the deck. I had a piece of green fabric, commercially printed - but I wanted to go one better. I added gold paint, by putting it on a texture plate then putting the fabric on top, and pressing firmly on the back of the fabric. I didn't bother to line things up very carefully.

I machine quilted the fabric, with thin batting and lining, in a rather random pattern. Some of it follows the patterns in the fabric - some of it just wanders.
I also couched down some fancy thread for added texture.

When I showed the finished result off at Fibrecircle, some people were horrified that I wanted to cut it up. But as I sat here last night, and saw the late night news come on ... well let's just say, I was much happier with my sewing machine, than I would have been Christmas shopping until midnight, and I think my aunt will like her matching glasses case and notebook with cover.

have a great Christmas

Monday, 8 December 2008

More melting stuff

Today we had another playday with our heat guns and soldering irons. Each person focused on different things.

Nola was interested in making stamps by melting, and in melting media onto another surface. The first attempt was to melt polystyrene meat trays with the soldering iron. These meat trays are more dense than polystyrene boxes, so they looked a promising media for stamp-makingby melting. First, the rim of the tray was cut off and the base was cut into two sections about 3 1/2in x 2 1/2in. One was drawn on with a sharp biro, to give a fine line drawing when printed. The second was drawn on with the soldering iron and most of the background was melted away, leaving some textural marks like woodcuts or linocuts. They're hard to photograph since the meat tray was black, but the results were very interesting. I'll show the resulting prints when I have some. I was surprised that melting the meat trays didn't cause more of a chemical smell, but I'd still recommend the use of a mask when melting any media.

I've also been given part of a yoga mat, since we'd been told that the material these are made from behaves like Memory Foam - when heated, it will take an imprint which remains until the foam is reheated. This is certainly true of this yoga mat. I cut a small rectangle, heated it with the heat gun and pressed it onto a Fiskars Texture Plate. The result was an interesting stamp. Why bother if I have the plate? The Fiskars Texture Plates are designed for embossing paper, so the pattern is below the surface of the plate (intaglio). If you take a print from the plate, the background of the pattern takes the ink or paint, and the pattern remains unpainted. Sometimes, you want the reverse of this - the pattern, in relief, to take the paint and the background to be unpainted. This process allows you to take a positive imprint of any negative pattern and print from it. When you apply heat to the yoga mat, the pattern disappears and you can take a different imprint.

I was interested to see whether the yoga mat would melt under the soldering iron and whether this would still make a removable imprint. I drew a design on another small piece of the yoga mat with my soldering iron. The yoga mat meltd more reluctantly than the meat trays but it did produce a rough outline. However, this outline is permanent, i.e. doesn't disappear when the medium is reheated. The meat trays seem like a better medium for this purpose.

I also tried using FunFoam, a very cheap craft foam, readily available from Two Dollar shops and other thrift stores. It did not take an imprint from the texture plates very well, and it did not melt well with the soldering iron, though it was possible to make a stamp of sorts. When reheated, the marks were found to be permanent, but the foam, being thin, tended to curl on itself.

Finally, I wanted to try melting media onto a base. I tested some felt, and found it was wool-based, so it wouldn't melt when hot things were added. Using the heat gun, I gently melted some children's wax crayons so they dripped and drizzled onto the felt surface. I also used the soft wax to hold down a tiny piece of organza that I melted onto the felt. The wax crayon dried stiff, so it might be too heavy for fabric, but it was fine on wool felt. The result was interesting but was improved by the addition of some embossing powder. The powder does tend to fly about under the heat gun, unless the base media is held up to prevent it. It's an interesting way to get a fine sprinkling of sparkle all over a piece, with some areas much stronger. I think this process offers some interesting possibilities. The melted crayon could be stamped into while still wet, and it could also be used to hold down other media.