As it is almost time to change the page on the calendar, I thought I’d best write a post. I’ve been a bit under the weather with a cold, but have still managed to get a few things done. I’m working my way through the basement crawl space – no easy feat I can assure you. I’ve unearthed boxes that have not been looked at since they were put in place in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I know that many people would just pitch everything that had been out of sight for so long, but not me. I have found some trash, loads of things to donate and a few treasures that I knew were around “somewhere”. The best thing so far is that I’ve made it to one of the back corners without encountering a single mouse body, though that is foremost on my mind every time I pull a container away from the wall. Also I discovered that the built in vaccuum reaches all the way to the furthest corner, so I am empowered to keep going. I have a very complex numbering system for keeping track of all my boxes. Most of the “boxes” are in fact large plastic bins with lids that fold closed – chosen because they are mouse proof and cannot be damaged by water. So far so good.
One of the reasons for my renewed attack on my excess stuff is the fact that we are planning to create a print studio here at home. This requires a lot of culling and shifting. I am anxious to start work in my new studio but for now must satisfy my creative urges by keeping a watchful eye out for design inspiration. Here are a few ideas to inspire.
The first two photos were taken on a walk in the park, the third was the pattern on a sweater that I donated, and the last photo shows coloured glass rods from a demo at Bee Kingdom Glass. What could be better than rods of pure colour?
The summer is racing along and my summer residency at the Art College is more than half way done. How did that happen? I feel this is a wake-up call and I will be more focused on printing for the next 6 weeks. Today I spent most my studio time working on new screens. I had been thinking about some design ideas while visiting my folks in Lethbridge. I couldn’t get any work done there, but I spent time working out ideas in my head. The notebook that I took with me was untouched. Obviously, it wasn’t necessary.
Here are rough prints made from the new screens. I’m too frugal to waste too much ink testing them, so there are a few light spots that will print properly with enough ink.
You need to use your imagination to clean up the images. I printed them onto my drop cloth because it was handy. The first screen is very delicate and might prove useful when I’m creating overall patterns on fabric. The second screen was the one I planned last week and I think I’ll redo it with a few minor adjustments. Overall I like the effect. The last screen was a surprise and I really like it. The only problem is that the giant orb almost fills the whole screen. I need to figure out how to use it, or how to modify the design to a smaller size. It’s a never-ending job. It’s a job I love but the pay is terrible.
Cutting this short so I can get it posted before it gets lost.
BTW I see that I can preview my post the way it looks on a computer, a tablet and a phone. The only one that is readable is the computer. If anyone can help me make it more viewable in the other formats, I’d love to hear from you! Thanks
Now it seems I can’t even manage to post on my blog once a month. How sad! But the good news is that I’ve been busy printing fabrics and creating screens in readiness to print more wonderful things. For the third consecutive summer I am taking part in a self-directed residency program organized by Contextural, utilizing the textile facilities at ACAD. This amazing opportunity is too good to pass on, and I’m afraid most other things in my life are put on hold for 3 months. We all know how fast 3 months can whip by, so it really isn’t that long, right?
Last summer I spent almost my whole residency printing on commercially printed quilt fabrics to alter or enhance the fabric, and to basically make it my own. I started this summer off by bringing in many of those fabrics and printing another layer on them. I’m delighted with the results, but I wanted to do other things as well. My next adventure in silkscreening involved printing imagery over the surface of a large variety of upholstery samples. I have used similar samples (unprinted) to make pin cushions, and the next round I make should be more interesting. We shall see.
My most recent work involves printing on purchased napkins, tea towels, table runners, place mats and table cloths. A large number of these will be available for sale at the Contextural sale in November. It seems early to start, but then again – we all know how fast 3 months can slip by! (Everyone knows that summer is printing season.) Here are photos of some of my work so far this season.
We’re having lovely hot weather here in Calgary, and I stayed home to write this post and do a few things around the house before I head to the art college. The long week-end is a perfect time to work – quiet studio and free parking. (Don’t get me started on the $10 parking fee charged by SAIT!) (Did I mention no in and out privileges?)
There will be an exhibition at the end of the month, showcasing work done by residency participants. I’ll post details – I promise! Until then, I’d better get to work.
I just returned from a trip to “Art Quilt Tahoe“. This conference takes place at a stunning setting – the Zephyr Point Conference Centre – located on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. It was hard to stop taking photos of the lake and gorgeous surroundings. This was my outstanding view. No complaints here. I spent 4 days working with Jane Dunnewold, an accomplished fibre artist I met last year at the Surface Design Association conference in San Antonio, Texas. I fell in love with Jane’s work immediately, and when an opportunity presented itself to take one of her classes, I jumped at it. The class was called ” Improvisational Design for Digital Printing”. It was everything I expected and more. I have been totally consumed with designing fabrics on the computer and on Sunday night I placed an order. My head was busting with ideas and it was tough to decide what to order first. I ordered from Spoonflower, an online service that does terrific work. I am really excited to see how my fabrics turn out, and I’ll post photos once they arrive.
Here is a piece of Jane’s work, titled “It’s All About Proportion”.
The conference classes were small so teachers were able to give lots attention to all their students. Every lunch and dinner featured a speaker, with established art quilters giving terrific presentations. There were amazing quilts on display to stimulate and amaze, and what fun to spend time with so many like-minded individuals! I met some terrific people, including a quilter whose work I have admired for many, many years – Theresa May. I might have even stalked her a bit after we met, but I couldn’t help myself. She is talented and totally unassuming and I was just so thrilled to meet her. Here is one of Theresa’s quilts titled “San José Beauty”. Totally amazing to see up close!Must get moving now. I’m working on things for a craft sale and I’m a little behind. Where would I be without a deadline?