Friday, 18 May 2012

More fun stuff

How on earth did it get to be May already? I'm sure those Time Monks have been stealing our time!

Here at Fibrecircle, we've added a new member; well, not so much a new member, as a regular visitor who's come Down Under for a while longer than usual. Jan brought along a piece she's working on for her home guild. She began with  some pieces of fabric she dyed earlier. She painted primary colours of fibre reactive dyes onto dry fabric to give the lovely rainbow shapes. Then she scrunched the dried fabric around a pole, in the style called "arashi" in shibori , and dyed with activator in a cold black dye bath. You'd think that the pieces would end up very dark, but instead she had these wonderful patterned fabrics with lots of the original colour.
This one looks like palm leaves, doesn't it? She took two of the fabrics and laid them so that they made a symmetrical pattern. It's going to be the background for an illuminated letter.
The letter will be cut from another fabric Jan created. First she did some rust-dyeing using various nails, brads and staples and then dyed it with used teabags.Then she took some fabric inks, thickened with guar gum and dripped them onto the fabric.
 
Can't wait to see how this progresses!

Some of the Fibrecircle girls are working on a collaborative piece at present. One design challenge is how to represent some large purple textured leaves so Jan and Nola used some of these rusted cloths to try some alternatives. They took some fabric inks and thickened them with DR33, a modified guar gum. First they tried laying down a little thickened ink on a Plexiglas plate and taking a monotype from it.
This piece was painted with rice flour and water and left to dry until the surface crackled. Then Jan took some of the fabric ink and worked it into the cracks in the dried flour surface. It made really nice crackle marks where there were large cracks in the surface but, because the ink was very runny and it was hard to work it down into the finer cracks, it simply spread out underneath in some places, so those lines became very blurry. Interesting, though?
Nola also tried painting fabric with rice flour. The second one was painted with rice flour painted over a net, to encourage the crackles to form in specific ways (they did).  When they had dried, they had thickened inks brushed over into the cracks that formed.
It looked promising but, unfortunately, there was no visible pattern on the fabric once the rice flour was removed. It's possible that there were delicate lines that were not visible on the pattern of the fabric, or that the ink colour was too close to the fabric colour. This brand of rice flour, from the health food shop, was much finer than the one from a Chinese grocery that Jan used, so the crackles were finer. The flour paste really didn't adhere to the fabric well and it was hard to keep it on the fabric long enough to get media into the crackles. It's an interesting technique but the product obviously varies a great deal. Some people have found that rice flour sets so solidly that it's difficult to remove, and that certainly wasn't our problem!

Here's a piece of work that Maz made. It's for a ATASDA mini exhibition of 25cm (10in) works at our stand at the Sydney Craft and Quilt Fair in June.
The theme is Little Fragment, in keeping with the Fragment theme of this year's main exhibition at the Palm House, Sydney Botanic Gardens in August. Maz hand-stitched Aramaic letters onto hand made paper and built them up into layers.
 
Meanwhile, Bev went to the ConTextArt Forum in the Blue Mountains near Sydney and took a workshop on Surface Design with Sue Dennis. In the class, she experimented with different media and various ways of putting pattern onto cloth.
 
This one used Shiva PaintStiks to make rubbings from different textured surfaces.
This time, she pleated the fabric randomly and took a monotype from a piece of tablecloth plastic, rollered with a brayer from the back, first in purple, then in yellow. She added a ghost print from the plastic afterwards.
This one is printed directly from feathers.
For this one, she was interested in anything that made a circular pattern - buttons, washers. drawer liner, bubble wrap...
The first layers of leaves on this one were created by sun printing, using actual leaves as the resist.  Then the same leaves were used to print directly on the cloth in two shades.
 Bev was really excited by the workshop, so she went on looking for interesting textures. This one is a dry roller brayed over the back of a platter that held sushi.
 The following two pieces are from the same piece of cloth. First she sun printed the fabric with Dynaflow and then stitched it. Finally it was dry brushed with Lumiere paints, which picked up just the high points.
This part was made into a journal cover.
We've also been swapping postcards. Here's one by Bev. You can probably guess at the techniques she used!
 This one is from Helen...
... and this one is from Nola.
This cloth has a story, which she's shared over on her own blog, Inch by Inch Textiles.

When we met, Helen was working on another rug canvas embroidery. It's part of a triptych she has in mind, so there'll be more to follow.

Maz was making a beadwork bracelet from these beads:
Nola was trying out monotypes for the collaborative work, as part of the background for her piece.

She laid down Permaset paints on a glass plate, laid the cloth down and ran a brayer over the back. It doesn't look like much yet!

Once she'd done a couple of monotypes, she began drawing on one of her "paint rags" with a black pen. It ended up like this:
It will probably be cut apart for postcards, so I guess it will appear here again in some form!