Sunday, January 27, 2013

Arashi Shibori Quilt Design

Well, another week plus has gone by since my last post.  Starting a new semester always takes a lot of work.  Due to the state not funding public education the way it used to and should fund, I have to spend many hours figuring out  how much of a colored pencil or ounces of glaze a child will use on a project, so I can come up with a figure to charge them for materials that they take home on each project.  It's a very long, horrible mathematical word problem, and math is not my strong suit.  After spending too many hours on that yesterday, I finally got to spend some glorious time in my studio.  I squared up one of my arashi shibori pieces that is a painting in itself and cut up another piece to place narrow strips on each side of the larger piece.  I played around with the placement of the lines to create some movement from the center out to the edges. Next, I played around with a variety of fabrics to use as a border or binding, but decided against all of them.  They just looked like unneeded additions to extend an artwork that was finished already.  Here's a picture of my new design on the wall, ready to stitch up.  Let me know what you  think.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Arashi Shibori Fabrics

Sorry I haven't posted in a week.  Being a middle school art teacher, this is a very busy time of the year.  The semester is over tomorrow,  grades for the 180 students I teach are due and then there's gearing up for the next semester, complete with some new students, parent letters, collecting materials fees, ordering supplies and yada, yada, yada.  On top of that we have been having many discussions on school safety with implementation of new policies that are quite frankly, just depressing.  What kind of crazy society do we live in where we have to practice herding children into a safe place because someone might be outside our door with an assault weapon and 30 clips of ammo.  If President Reagan could get shot with 10 highly trained secret service agents surrounding him,  I don't think arming teachers, many of whom have never fired a weapon, is the answer either.   This whole tragedy and its ensuing discussions and arguments is just depressing.

I'm hoping to find a little time to escape to my studio during this three day weekend to play more with my arashi shibori fabrics that I have on my design wall.  They've been up there for a couple weeks or so.  Years ago, I heard a very interesting talk on creativity and the importance of the incubation period when designing.  So, I like to place fabrics that I'm thinking will work together in a quilt, up on my design wall, so I can see them and play around with them before cutting into them.  This allows me to come up with a variety of ideas for color pathways and arrangements.  So this is what's on my wall now.  What do you think?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Shiva Paintstiks Again

In my last post, I shared how I used some oil based paintstiks to create a design in the border areas of one of the quilts I'm working on.  Here is another example of how these easy to use paintstiks can create color, light and texture in your artwork.  I know I sound like an advertisement for them, but believe I'm not getting any money from anyone for promoting their use.  I just feel they are a wonderful resource to have handy to use when you need them.  This is my quilt entitle Entangled II.  I had used soy wax batik to  protect an orange, low-immersion dyed background and then used thickened black dye to paint the tree branches.  However, in the 24 hour curing process, the soy wax, which is very low temperature, melted, which caused some of the  black dye to wander into the background areas.  So instead of getting the rich contrast between the orange and the black, which I was hoping for, the background looked rather dark. So I tried using the painstiks using a rubbing technique over some unmounted rubber texture stamps to get some light back into the background.  I feel it worked well to provide the contrast I wanted.  What do you think?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Using Shiva Paintiks

How time flies!  My school break is almost over.  We had a lot of great family time and after my sons left, I was able to transform my son's bedroom back into my studio once again and get some work done.  I machine quilted my ice dyed quilt, as you can see below.

Below is a closeup of some of the quilting.  I used two different colors of thread in the top of the machine, going through the single needle, which was something new for me.  I really liked how the stitching shows up more than when you use only a single thread. 

I wanted to add some interest to the border areas so inserted a couple of free form cut strips on both of the long sides and then did some rubbings using Shiva Paintstiks over one of my carved blocks. (See photo below).  If you haven't used these oil based stiks, they are fairly easy to use and lots of fun.  If you want to learn more about them go to the Cedar Canyon Textiles' website  They have a lot of information about them and some good examples.