Sunday, December 9, 2012

More Surface Design

 My Fiber Arts group did another surface design round robin, or renga.  This time, each person brought a half-yard of fabric with one treatment done to it.  That was then cut in half and passed to two new people, who each added a second treatment.  Then those two pieces were cut and passed again to four people.  These photos show the second treatments I did on the four pieces I received last month.

Above, I got a piece of fabric that was painted with teal green acrylic paint.  Although the fabric did not feel stiff, as you might expect with paint, it was on the dark side and a challenge to add to.  The second person added the dotted circles using more paint and a pencil eraser.  I simply dipped a pastry cutter into gold acrylic paint and made the thin wavy lines you see running all around.

Below was a piece of fabric that was dyed with a shibori technique in that beautiful blue color.  The second person added the black dots by printing with bubble wrap.  I added the white lace effect by printing with a metallic paper doily and acrylic paint.
 We were supposed to try some techniques that might be new to us, and I thought I might try distressing the piece below by adding some rusty touches.  The first person had made the dark purple rainbow-shaped monoprint at the bottom, and the second person had added dark purple rectangular shapes all around the edges.  Since I wanted to add rust stains, the first thing I did was wet down the fabric.  Unfortunately, the ink the previous person used was not permanent, and began running.  I wrapped up a bunch of rusty screws in the wet fabric and let it sit for a few days covered in plastic so it wouldn't dry out.  I got a few rusty spots, as you can see, and also an interesting effect from the running ink.  I kind of like it, despite the unexpected results.
 I found this last piece to be a challenge.  The first person had painted on the vertical green stripes, which also have a wavy texture to them.  The second person tried to join the stripes by adding horizontal dark blue stripes.  I tried to unite everything into a sort of plaid effect using a glue-gel resist and acrylic paints.  I debated whether or not to use contrasting colors, and then decided to go for it.  I like the color combo, but I'm not sure it really ties the other elements together very well.  Something in the blue-green family probably would have done that better.  Live and learn!
This was another fun experiment and learning experience.  It was fun to try new techniques without really being too overly concerned with the final product and to learn new techniques from other group members.  I feel like I'm beginning to get a better sense of what works and what doesn't, as far as texture and color combinations.  It was also fun to compare how the four pieces of the original fabric looked after all the different treatments they received.  Some of them looked great together - similar, but different, like fabrics in a designer's collection.  I'll share the results of my fabric in the next post...

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