Sunday, August 14, 2011

A New Twist on an Old Favorite

Last week I tried something I've been wanting to try for a long time: shaving cream marbling on fabric. I've been thinking about how I can get a nice gentle swirled affect with a variety of shades of blue without dyeing (I'm just not up to tackling the complexities of dyeing my own fabrics, but I am willing to paint and try other surface design techniques). I saw a quick demo of shaving cream marbling on paper and I've heard about other fabric artists who've tried it with cloth, so I thought I'd give it a shot.

What you do is take shaving cream and spread it onto a washable surface (I used a large piece of plexiglass). Then stir in drops or streaks of various paints until the shaving cream looks marbled. Then all you do is lay a piece of prewashed fabric (or paper) over the shaving cream and the swirls of paint will transfer to the fabric. I would've taken shots of myself doing this, but it's amazing how quickly that shaving cream got everywhere so I didn't dare pick up the camera! But above are the peices of fabric I marbled laid out on my outdoor table to dry. Below is a close-up of one piece. Not bad for my first try!

I decided I might as well dive right in and see how it looks as a watery background. I decided to do another one of my favorite little seahorses. I keep doing this over and over again because although I feel like I'm getting closer to the look I want, I still haven't achieved it yet. For this guy, I stitched wavy strips of the sheer aqua fabrics I've been working with onto the marbled fabric, then added the "sand" fabric below, and the seaweed and seahorse. I used copper accents this time, painted on the seaweed and on the seahorse before I cut and stitched him. I also used copper metallic thread.

Here are two close-up shots:

Once again, I think it's closer to the look I'm shooting for, but I don't think this is the "eureka" yet. I want it to really be amazing, I want viewers to feel like he's so life-like and likeable that they just want to hug him. I want them to be able to smell the salt water and feel the cool wetness of it. I want them to feel like it's magical! I don't know if it's there yet...

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