Cynthia St. Charles Store

Monday, February 12, 2007

Purple Jacquard Silk Noil Kimono

This jacquard silk noil kimono has raw silk bands. It has been hand dyed in shades of deep purple, grape, and indigo then screen printed in metallic shades of copper, bronze and light gold. The delicate screened image is of leafy bamboo. The kimono is generously cut for a dramatic drape. One size fits most. Machine wash and dry on delicate cycle and touch up with a warm iron for easy care. $250

Red Raw Silk Screen Printed

This 100% silk kimono of jacquard silk noil has raw silk bands. It has been dyed a glorious shade of red and screen printed in metallic shades of gold, bronze, copper. The screen printing includes text from Blackfoot, Cherokee, and Sanskrit written languages, the Chinese 5 Elements and the Chinese symbol for Love. It has been generously cut for an elegant drape to mid hip. One size fits most. Easy care - gentle machine wash / dry, and touch up with warm iron as needed. $250

Golden Brown Silk Organza Kimono

This 100% silk kimono of soft organza has satin silk bands. It has been hand dyed in shades of golden yellow, soft apple green, chocolate brown, and charcoal gray using a stitched shibori technique. It has been generously cut for an elegant drape. Easy care - hand wash and iron dry. One size fits most. $250

Green Petroglyphs Raw Silk Kimono

This kimono is jacquard silk noil with raw silk bands. It has been hand dyed in chartreuse green, golden yellow, sage, and tangerine. It has been screen printed with images of petroglyphs from Painted Desert National Park in Arizona (I took these pictures myself!). It has been generously cut for an elegant drape. Easy care - machine wash on delicate cycle, hang dry, and touch up with an iron as needed. One size fits most. $250

FFAC Reverse Auction Garment

This is my donation for the Fiberarts For a Cause Reverse Auction sponsored by Virginia Spiegel.

This 100% silk Kimono is organza with satin silk bands. It has been hand dyed in shades of fire red, charcoal, and bronze using a stitched shibori technique. It has been generously cut for an elegant drape. Easy care - hand wash and iron dry. One size fits most.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Thermo Fax Machines for Screen Printing

When we were driving home from Coffee Creek a few weeks back, we got stuck in the middle of a cattle truck convoy. They were bringing a bunch of cattle down from Alberta, Canada. Apparently, Canadian cattle are being allowed back in the US after the mad cow disease scare has settled down. Anyway, I liked the circular grid pattern created by the vent holes on the side of the truck.

Several people have written to ask about the process I use for obtaining screen prints from photographs. Here is a brief explanation, starting with a photo of a stock truck:The photo has been manipulated in photoshop to convert it to a black and white image with clean lines. This image has been converted into a screen for printing, seen below with some fabric that has been printed using the screen.

A closer look:

This is the machine that does the magic. It is a Thermo Fax machine - an ancient piece of office equipment once used by schools for making ditto masters and transparencies. I used one of these on a daily basis back when I began my teaching career in the early 80's. Photocopy machines have made it much easier and quicker to make duplicate images, so 3M stopped making theThermo Fax machine, and many of them have been discarded by school systems all over the country. I have picked up several of them at school surplus sales. They are a hot commodity on eBay and we have resold them on eBay for up to $800.

I thought I would post this image so interested people could be on the lookout at garage sales, etc. They are also available on eBay and Welsh Products sells reconditioned ones.

Thermo Fax machines are very popular with tatoo artists because they can quickly convert a black and white image to an transfer medium that can be applied directly to the skin as a guide for the needle.

I use my Thermo Fax machine with a RISO screen (available from Welsh Products). The screen is a plastic sheet embedded in a fine nylon grid. The plastic sheet (RISO) is placed over the black and white image and when it feeds through the machine, the special light creates intense heat that melts the plastic where ever there is carbon on the paper, leaving the fine mesh through which the paint will pass when applied with a squeegy Does that make sense? Anyway, the result is a delicate screen of the image. The screen can be used about 100 times, with proper care.

This is an image of my shrubbery screen prints on hand dyed cotton.

I made stock truck printed fabric in several colorways.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Screen Printing Afternoon

Last weekend, Joe and I went up to Coffee Creek to help my parents move into their new home. We stopped several times along the route home so I could take digital pictures. I set my camera for black and white images and when I got home, manipulated some of them on Photoshop, resulting in clean black and white images. This afternoon, I finally found some time to get into the studio to make the screens, and print them onto some hand dyed fabrics. Here are some of the images of cottonwood trees growing along the Musselshell River in the tiny town of Barber, Montana.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Diving into the Scraps

Over the years, I have established a habit of dumping all my leftover scraps from my projects into a big Rubbermaid tub. It is BIG - 40 gallons, maybe? Every year, at some point, I find myself compelled to dive into the scrap tub and make something useful of all those scraps.

One of my very good friends is getting married this summer. I wanted to make a bed quilt for her, and I wanted it to be a scrap quilt. I could not decide on a pattern, but I also wanted it to be EASY to use my scraps. Since so many of my scraps are strips, I decided to come up with a pattern using string piecing. Here is what I came up with:

This has not yet been sewn together, but the blocks are shown here on my design wall.
I used only commercial prints (not any hand dyed fabrics) for this bed quilt.

As I was sorting through my scraps, I pulled out all the hand dyed pieces and set them aside.

Then, I sorted them by color. I had four piles.

Here is the first one I put together of greens:

BLUE - this is the collage of blue fabrics

RED - this is the collage of the red scraps.

I have one more to go - it is a pile of neutrals - beiges, blacks, and browns. It will probably be my favorite.

Then what?

I will probably do some screen printing on these collages, maybe some discharging. I will probably cut them apart and sew them back together after that, maybe inserting some other strips of a contrasting color. I dunno for sure. Any suggestions?