Monday, July 16, 2012

More Surface Design

 Thursday evening, my FANE group met to share the Renga fabrics we've been collaborating on (read more about it here).  Everyone is so creative and using so many different techniques and materials!  Some used stencils or rubbings with Shiva paint sticks, some used dyes or acrylic paints or inks, others stamped an outline with Staz-On inks and used crayons to fill in the design!  It was fun seeing all the varied results.  A few of the observations I had were that a) some people were afraid of "messing up" a piece of work that another person started; b) some people seemed to be thinking more in terms of a finished piece of art with a focal point rather than a piece of fabric with a design on it; and c) I was either impressed with the clever additions people made or feeling like I would have approached it differently.  All these things made me want to go home and try some more experiments with surface design, so that's what I did!

Below is another fat quarter that I spritzed with water, randomly painted with two different shades of Setacolor paints, then left crumpled up to dry.  It's interesting how the random paint blotches left less of a visible impression than the crumpling.
 I liked the results right away, but knew it needed more.  Since I'm doing this process solo, I don't have to wait a month to have someone else add the next layer - I went ahead and did it myself!  I decided I'd continue with the green theme and print some leaves on next using acrylic paints.  I've learned through trial and error that the best way to do this is to cover the back of each leaf with a thin layer of paint using a paintbrush, then invert it onto the fabric where you want the print, covering it with a paper towel and rubbing it with your fingers to ensure a good print.  You can really get a nice detailed print this way.
Here is a close-up shot:
I think it still needs something else, so I'll probably add another layer or two during the week - maybe some copper or gold veining or patches of yellow here and there.   I had so much fun with that, I decided to reproduce the original first layer I did for the group Renga.  I used Batik EZ by Crafter's Pick to make wavy lines over my prewashed fabric, let it dry, and painted over it with watered-down inks.  I think this one came out even better than the original one I did for the group. The lines are smoother and wavier, rather than somewhat angular, and I used inks instead of paints (I couldn't find the certain bottle of ink I wanted to use last time, but found it exactly where it was supposed to be with the other inks!).  I wonder what I'll add to this next...
I had a little bit of ink left over, so I used it to tie-dye this small piece of cloth.  I accordian-folded the fabric, then rubber-banded it at various intervals and poured the ink over it.  After it dried, it looked like this:

I was never real big on dyeing my own fabrics, but with inks and paints, it's really easy and not as time consuming as I originally thought.  And it makes your art that much more original.  Maybe I'll make a habit of doing this once a month or so, if the mood strikes me!

 After all that, I still had a little ink left over!  I found some plain wooden beads that were unvarnished or finished in any way and soaked them in the remaining dye.  After they dried, I doodled little curly designs on them with gel pens and coated them with an acrylic varnish.  Cute, huh?  Now I have some original beads to use in my jewelry designs!
 Gotta go get the girls from camp now.  One thing I really miss about the school year is the buses!  I don't particularly enjoy all this chauffering!  Oh, well, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do!

1 comment:

Vivien Zepf said...

Very cool surface design. I've gotta try the crunch and paint approach -- looks like it's right up my alley.