Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fun with silk dyeing

I have been wanting to try using citric acid instead of vinegar to prepare silk scarves for dyeing, and finally did some experimenting yesterday. I had a few scarves I had purchased for a class earlier this year that I never got around to using, so I decided to try them. Two were Habotai, one was silk satin. I tied and dyed the silk satin, but wasn't thrilled with the outcome.. not because of the citric acid... because I didn't apply enough dye and there was too much white remaining. The next one, a long habotai, I soaked in the citric acid solution, scrunched up on a piece of plexiglass, then applied 3 dye colors using an eye dropper. Then I sprinkled on some rock salt and let the scarf set for awhile before gently placing in a zip lock bag and nuking for about 2 minutes. That one worked very well:

I tried this technique of dyeing on cotton earlier this year, and was pleased with the results, but had not thought to try it on silk until now. Needless to say, I will be doing more like this! Now I'm trying it on another long scarf of silk satin... the markings aren't so pronounced, but I still like it. However, I do think I will need to get some more Habotai scarves to play with as well!
The good news is, citric acid has no odor.. the vinegar darn near drove my hubby out of the house when I used it to pre-soak the silk, so harmony has been restored to our happy home!

Monday, October 18, 2010

New Art Quilt Blog

I was invited by Chris Daly to join a new blog, The Art Quilt Blog, which is a wonderful resource for inspiration! There are several other art quilters there who have already inspired me to try some new techniques... check it out!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Update on Taos art quilt, flower pix

I haven't had much time recently to work on my Taos quilt, but I think I'm almost done with the pine tree on the right side:
I have used 4 thread colors to create the branches and needles, stitching over a piece of hand dyed fabric. I'm not trying to replicate the tree in the photo here... just using the photo for inspiration and letting my artists' creative license take over. I live in an area that has the largest Ponderosa Pine forest anywhere, and I will admit that my tree looks more like the one outside my studio window than the one in the photo! I may come back and add a little more stitching, but for now I'm satisfied with how it's taking shape, and I think I will move on to other areas for awhile...
On another note, I recently took pictures of some Sunflowers growing in the yard, the result of sunflower seeds that the birds missed!

I love these... not quite the giants I think of, but bigger than the Brown-eyed Susans we get here naturally. I'm sure I will need to create something using these as inspiration... just don't know yet if it will be fiber art, or maybe I'll get back into painting again... stay tuned!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Great Article for professional Artists/Crafters

Yesterday I picked up the October issue of the Crafts Report... first time I have read it in a long time. It's a great issue, packed with great articles about Internet Marketing... I highly recommend it for anyone who is serious about selling their arts or crafts! I'm not one for subscribing to a lot of magazines, but may break down and subscribe to this one... I think it would be a worth-while expense!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Featured Artist for October

I have been selected to be the 'Featured Artist' this month at the Artists' Coalition Gallery in Flagstaff. We had First Friday Art Walk last night, and had a good turnout, which is pretty standard for Flag... lots of art lovers here! Here's a shot of my wall:

"Prickly Pear Cactus" and "Fallen Leaves" got lots of attention and good feedback.
I was wearing one of my 'Autumn Leaves' batik shirts to stay in keeping with the 'Autumn' theme of many of my pieces. We also had a great display of other artists' work in acrylics, oils, watercolor, pastels, photography, jewelry, mixed media... what a great goup we have in our little gallery! If you get to Flagstaff this month, stop by on Saturday or Sunday. We're at 13 N San Francisco St., Suite 103.