Thursday, August 30, 2012

My 100th post; not quilt-related

I've been trying to find a way to link this post's topic to quilting, but I give up.  It's not related to quilting, but since it's something different than the usual, I deemed it blog-worthy.  It also happens to be my 100th post!

I spent last Fri. night with my daughter in Portland.   Her neighborhood was hoppin' with excitement (even though there was no street parking within a 4 block radius) because they were filming an episode of the TV show GRIMM at Zell's Cafe, on the corner of SE Morrison & 14th.

Zell's Cafe
Note on Zell's window
Equipment being delivered
Lighting on crane
We didn't see any of the show's stars, but since I've only seen it twice, I wouldn't recognize them anyway.  I couldn't believe how many people, trucks, semis, tools, equipment, electrical stuff, etc. were required!   

We hung around outside til midnight.  Talked to lots of different crew members and some of the extras -- all were VERY nice and friendly.  In fact 80-85% of the people who work on that show live in Portland; only a few come up from L.A.  Also learned that this one little TV show requires:
10 months of filming -- 5 days a week -- 12-16 hrs. per day

We each bought a T-shirt and here's what's on the back (note the Sasquatch on Mt. Hood!):
Back of T-shirt
Close to midnight, the director (I think) told us we could stay where we were standing while they filmed, as long as we didn't look in the direction of the camera.  Two of the extras who'd just finished their shots stood nearby, talking to a crew member. The director told them the same thing, so we may show up as background figures in one of the shots!
The directors' chairs

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sunsets and Screenprinting

One thing I love about Oregon's Willamette Valley is the sunsets.  It was partly cloudy today, which makes for a more interesting sky when the sun begins its evening descent.

Tonight's sunset.
 . . . and a few minutes later.
 Yesterday I did some deconstructed screenprinting.  First, I removed the items I'd embedded in the thick, wet thickened Procion dye on the back of a silkscreen, after making sure the dye was very dry.  Then I mixed up some print paste (urea, sodium alginate, water) and let it thicken.  The screen was placed on top of  my soda-soaked fabric, and print paste was spooned into the "well" at the (inside) top of the screen.  A squeegee was used to pull the print paste across the screen, which releases the dried dye on the back and prints the image.
Ready to pull the next print onto fabric.
Ink remaining on screen after deconstructed screenprinting.
The mess in my kitchen nook (AKA my printmaking studio!)
Wet prints on fabric, ready for batching.
 Today I rinsed the batched fabrics, then wash, dried, and ironed them.  I got a few nice surprises (always the best part), as well as a few duds.
Series of prints from one screen.
Detail shot of print from another screen.

When I finished working with the screens last night, I did a little dye-painting (painting with thickened dyes).  Since the next Fiberexplorations challenge is LETTERS, I played with writing, using a narrow paintbrush and for the very thin lines, a curved plastic syringe from the veterinarian's office.
Detail of dye-painted piece.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A summer Sunday afternoon

How do you decide what to do with hours and hours of free time on a beautiful summer Sunday afternoon?   There's an art fair in nearby Silverton, a small town nestled in the western foothills of the Cascades.  But since I want the day to be both enjoyable and productive, I've narrowed down my choices:
1.  Sewing: Continue work on the small piece I started last week, which is a fabric interpretation of an abstract painting by Katy Vigeland.  Katy's a friend from the other group I'm in, the Salem Art Group (SAG).  I instantly fell in love with these two abstract paintings that she brought to a meeting last fall:

Abstract painting by Katy Vigeland.
Another of Katy's abstract paintings.

This is the first of Katy's paintings I chose to interpret in fabric.
The start of my interpretation of her first painting above.

Some of the other fabrics to be fit into place and stitched.
 2.  Dyeing: A great option for a warm (but not too hot) sunny day!  I mixed up a flour-paste resist and scraped it across this white fabric (taped down to a foamcore board covered with clear Contac paper).  While it was still wet, I scratched some wavy lines into it with an "Afro pick" comb, then used a bamboo skewer to draw other shapes and doodles, plus a bit of writing.
(Dried) flour-paste resist on white PFD fabric

Words and textures scratched into the surface.

A bit more doodling.

My next step is to remove the tape and scrunch up the fabric to make the dried flour-paste crinkle and crack.  Then mix up the dye solutions and apply.  The dye will only penetrate where the fabric is exposed (through the scratches and cracks).  It's always exciting to see the surprises that result from using resists!

I'll also add some thickener to some dye colors for deconstructed screenprinting.  After the thickened dyes are dribbled down the back of the screen,  textured objects are embedded into it and left to dry.  More on the process (and my results) in the next post.

3.  Find new design inspiration:  I played around with some watercolors last week with the goal of then using two L-shaped cropping corners to find what Katie Pasquini Masopust calls "the heart of the image," an area that can be used as the design basis for an art quilt.  (This is just one of the great ideas I've rediscovered while looking through Katie's book Design Explorations for the Creative Quilter.)

My first page of watercolor play -- not very interesting.
My second effort was more exuberant and probably has some areas of interest.
I choose dyeing!  I'll post my results later.