Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Inspiration - Printed Textiles

The printed textile class I took this semester has finished up and I'm already missing it!  This was my first university studio class since I was working on my BFA and I'd forgotten how much I love the atmosphere of artistic, inspiring people working together.  The frustrated tears of not being able to get a technique to work in the way one wants, the joys of a piece that comes together exactly right, the anticipation of critiques ....  In some places, there are groups of artists who work together in co-op or communal studios, but not here.  I have dreams of some day starting one!

So here's the rest of the work I ended up with!  I talked about my first piece here.

My second piece was part of an assignment working with contact paper stencils.  We went through a design process to make a random shape, printed it, and then added other stencils to make a cohesive piece.  The shape I got looked like an sea plant to me, so I added in squids and bubbles.  Why squids?  Why not - they're fun!  After I printed the cloth, I quilted it.  I dyed some of the same fabric a turquoise and printed binding with the same dot stencil I used on the piece.  I free motion quilted the sea plants with leafy designs, the squid with circles, and the background with a random wave-like pattern.

 Things got a lot more complicated for the third assignment!  We spent quite a bit of time learning to make a leapfrog stencil - one stencil that is rotated and printed in different colors.  Four colors are used, but by designing in overlaps, one can end up with a lot more.  For my inspiration, I worked with a photo I took of contoured fields - I think we were over Virginia.  To keep with an airborne feel, I made a stencil of feathers (using drawing fluid - not my favorite method, I discovered) and printed those around the border.  I haven't quilted it yet, but do plan to. 

Before this class began, I was most looking forward to learning how to make photo exposed silk screens, so I was ready and rarin' for the last project!  Since we were learning a huge number of new skills in this class, this last project was the only one that had the requirement of being more purposeful/having something to say.  A few days before, I'd been thinking about my life long dilemma - how to balance having enough time and enough money to do what I want.  They always seem to be out of balance for me - I either have enough time OR enough money (except for when I was in college in my 20's and I had neither!) but never both.  I'm not sure how I would handle having both, but it would be interesting to see! 

I decided to make a meditation mandala, using a shibori fold technique that results in a symmetrical circle for the background.  The money and time pieces were first photocopied and enlarged and the photocopies were printed on transparencies.  Then two days of work began, carefully cleaning off all the spots on the transparencies that I wanted to not print.  I made screens with multiple images, but printed each motif separately.  At some point I think I'd like to get this framed with a dark gray background that will make the circle show up better - it's huge though (38 inch diameter), so that'll take saving some pennies!

Now I'm busy planning how to come up with a surface at home that I can continue printing on - it's pretty addictive! 

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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