Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Under Color, an exhibit of Chuppah's created by Jeanne Williamson

Easter weekend I was very lucky to be in Massachusetts and able to go see the exhibit Under Color at the Kniznick Gallery in the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University which runs until May 22.  it's an exhibit of Chuppahs, or Jewish wedding canopies,  created by Jeanne Williamson during her artist in residence at Brandeis in mid March to mid April. They were made using her techniques using construction fence.The amount of work that she created in this short amount of time is beyond amazing.

The exhibit was very impressive, but I had some favorites, which are shown below. 

More of Jeanne's Chuppahs work can be found here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Today is the first day of a blog hop to celebrate the publication of my friend Lynn Krawczyk's book The first stop is Sue Blebleiweiss with a chance to win a copy of the book.

I am still waiting for my copy, but knowing Lynn I am certain the the book will be chock full of interesting ideas and easy to understand instructions. Sue's blog gives a wonderful summary of Lynn's approach to printing and creating fabric.

Intentional Printing - jacket art

Today I am in the process of doing some low water immersion dyeing of silk scarves using some new colors I just received from Dharma Trading Co.  I am excited to see how beautiful spring like colors come out.  Will be posting photos of some of the scarves later this week.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014


Meet my new studio assistant.
He just turned 7 in January. After his previous owner died, he was taken in by New Beginnings Animal Rescue. His description said that he was good with children, o.ther cats, and dogs.  Perfect, so off I went to visit him at their adoption day at a local pet store.  Atticus went with me and while he had not interest in the cats -- the treats in the open boxes were much more interesting -- not one of them was too happy about Atticus.  I decided that I would go to the shelter on Wednesday when they would be open.  I met several other cats --  I wanted one at least 7 or so.  I liked Fuji, a male Siamese, but he had never been around dogs nor had his sister.  Actually, this boy was the only one who had dog experience.  He wasn't super friendly but he did circle me, rubbing my legs all the way around.  It was this behavior which prompted the rescue to name him Saturn.  Unfortunately for him, that name just didn't resonate with me and so with the advice of my granddaughter I have renamed him Scout, keeping up with the theme already started with Atticus. He is declawed and that it good for Atticus because greyhounds have think skin and if they get cuts often need stitches. I have never had a cat without claws, it is not something I would ever do and it is interesting and sad to see him trying to sharpen his non-existent claws.

When I first brought him home, I confined him to two rooms, including the one with the litter box. When I went to look for him I couldn't find him, and the I realized like some cats before him he had jumped up to the half door to the basement.  Don't know where he went, he finally came out, rolled in the catnip and then ate some food.  Fortunately he stayed out of the basement overnight. Unlike his predecessors, he is not able to make the jump out of the basement.

This morning he ate and then over the door he went.  He wanted no part of Atticus's excitment over food.  I dropped Atticus off at daycare and when I came back, no cat to be found.  I thought that he would be sitting on the steps meowing to come out, but no.  I opened the door, called him, but no cat.  He finally reappeared and has been wondering around getting the lay of the land.  I am hoping that he will eventually realize that Atticus cannot get up the stairs and will use the second floor as a refuge instead of the basement.

Based on the photo below I would say that all will be okay. May take awhile, but I think that we will all be okay. As I write this he has come to visit and jumped up on my lap.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Snow Dyeing

Here in Detroit we have now had the snowiest January on record.  When we got the monster snow I decided to dye some t-shirts on racks with yardage underneath to catch the runoff. Here is the setup before I added the dye.  The racks are from the kitchen organizing section at Meijer and they were sitting on shallow food trays.

Here are the shirts after the dye was added. The yardage is underneath and is a variety of white cottons that I had on hand. Some of them were white on white that I had purchased some years ago.  In fact I didn't look too closely at the fabric before I put it in the soda ash and didn't realize what they were until after i rinsed them.  Not sure how I will use them, but they are interesting.
You can see that I am partial to blue, although as a nod to one of my friends I used orange on a few.

Here are the ones I did today. T shirts on top and various white yardage underneath. In the upper photo you can see I changed to deeper aluminum roasting pans.

I learned not to use shallow pans to collect the melted snow with the dye, there will be more dye water than the pans can handle. I had to use paper towels to collect the water as the snow melted.  Emptying the trays was a challenge.  My studio is comprised of three connecting rooms, none of which is very large.  The dyeing room is next to the bath and hence it is necessary to carry the trays into the bathroom to empty them.  I managed without spilling any, but realized that I would have to make some equipment changes before I dyed anymore items using snow.  

I also learned to use less dye this time.  I will have to wait and see how this works when the snow has melted and the items washed.

The items  in the following photos are from the first round of snow dyeing.

Some of the fabric I dyed was pinatex, and here are shorts of two different areas of one piece.

I had some white on white fabrics from some time ago when I was making more traditional quilts and decided to see what would happen if I dyed some of it.

Two sections of the same piece of cloth. The design does not show on the back.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday Art Group

The second Thursday a group of like minded women meet to make and talk about art.  One of the group comes up with a project.  The techniques are varied.  This month we made collages on recycled cigar box tops. Took provided a wide variety of paints, pens, markers, and books and magazines. Here are Peggy, Took, Joan, Leann, and Jane working hard on their creations.

 At some point someone mentioned that the next day was Valentine's Day and Joan said she was going to make a Valentine for Andy. Using some risque text from a novel covered with a wash of color and shapes from magazines she created a lovely Valentine.

Unfortunately Peggy's piece is difficult to see in the photo, but it was pure Peggy, bold and abstract with a palette that she often uses in her art. 

Took had a wonderful book of photographs of animals of the world, and I really wanted to hide it in my coat, I resisted that urge and removed two pages -- on of an orangutan and one of a mother and baby gorilla.  After some experimentation I realized that the shape and color of the orangutan photo wasn't working with my chosen palette of phalo blue and light green, so used the gorillas and made a Valentine for my sweetie.  Certainly not hearts and flowers,  but I like it.

Leann left her piece with Took, who I believe is planning to deface it, oops, I mean enhance it with her unique voice, which can be seen in her two pieces below Leann's

Jane also tore pages out that fore mentioned animal tome and created a collage with an eagle on the back of a turtle/tortoise.


Took commented that while we were all using the same materials, our styles were very apparent, and it's true whatever our project we all have a style that is easily recognized by the others.

Whatever the focus, we always have a great time making art without feeling any pressure to make masterpieces.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sunrise and Moonrise

These pieces were made for the members show at the Northville Art House The paint colors were applied to a Gelli Arts printing plate.  The background colors and the shapes of the sun and the moon were applied at one time.  The fabric was placed on the plate and rubbed to transfer the paint to the fabric.  Once dried, additional sunrise colors were applied randomly to the plate and the fabric with the sun image was again placed image side down on the plate and rubbed to transfer the color.  The same process was used to create the moon.  A plastic ball with studs on it was rolled in paint and rolled over the grey evening sky to simulate stars. Then a little more yellow was applied directly to the fabric to lighten the moon.  An image of trees in winter was printed over the sun and the moon using a thermfax screen made with one of my photographs.

Before being mounted on the canvas, they were fused to felt and trimmed to fit the canvas, which had the sides painted in colors coordinating with the backgrounds of the prints.

Due to space limitations only sunrise shown mounted on canvas below was hung in the show at the Northville Art House 

 This is a fantastic felt piece by Jan Waller.

This one is by Peggy Kerwan.

I do not know the artists of the ones below, but in addition to the two above these were among my favorites at the show.  The bargello art quilt is quite impressive. The two following are mixed media pieces which caught my fancy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Artist's Reception at Grove Gallery

Sunday February 2 my husband I went to the artists reception at the Grove Gallery for "On the Surface, An Exploration of Paint and Thread on Fabric".showing the works of Lynn Krawczk and Jackie Lams. For this show Lynn's work focused on collages using screen printed and stitched fabric,  while Jackie's work included repurposed textiles and new farics,  using printing, stitching and dyeing. For more information check out their blogs.

 Lynn talking to one of the attendees about her work.

Jackie doing a demonstration of screen printing using Thermofax screens.

 These small works show the talent of both Jackie and Lynn.

Two of Jackie's pieces with a musical theme.

Lynn's larger works showing her graphic style and love of coffee. The middle one on the right will be heading to my abode after the show closes February 28.  A bonus -- I will get to meet Carter, the new resident pooch at Smudged Textiles Studio when I pick it up.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

DeColourant and Discharge

Janet Pray of Islander Sewing Systems conducted a day and a half workshop at the January meeting of NTGM
The piece she is holding was one that was discharged with bleach and then dyed.

After providing the participants basic information on discharging with bleach and using the DeColourant products. With a single application DeColourant products remove color from fabric and then add a new color.  Some also worked with bleach and/or bleach pens to remove color from the fabric, taking them home to wash hem.  On the second day we continued to experiment with various, stencils, screens and stamps to create designs.Some used painters tape to create grids on their yardage.  I spent the time playing with small pieces; however, some brave souls plunged right in and worked on large pieces with the possibility of using the fabric to make a jacket.

This is one of my small pieces made using a stencil of calla lilies and stems using fushia and emerald green Decolourant on navy blue. Not sure what I will do with it, but,  with a 2-3 inch border of coordinating fabric, it has potential to be an exquisite pillow.

 These were created using bleach to remove color from the fabric.

The creator of this piece used painters tape to create the grid and then bleach was spritzed all over the fabric creating the background.  After washing and ironing, the allover design was printed using a screen and one of the Decolorant products. Unfortunately I didn't record which DeColourant product was used, although I believe it was one of the metallic colors.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Free Form Basket Weaving

On Wednesday January 8th I met with a group of women to play with basket weaving, but not the structured type.

After a brief introduction to the technique we all choose a material to work with.  It was fun, but it reminded me why I had never been able to conquer weaving in the distant past. I created a small free form basket and am pleased with it.

It has a few loose ends which I will eventually correct by soaking it and hiding them or perhaps make them a design element  by curling them. 

Below is a small 16 x 16 inch art quilt I made many years ago in which the hearts were made by weaving strips of fabric.  I never used this technique in any of my subsequent work.

I think that it is safe to say that while I had fun making both of these items 12 years apart, weaving is not really in my past and I assure you not in my future.