Cynthia St. Charles Store

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Zinc Squares

 While my laptop was away for repairs and my blog was quiet, I was working on another piece for a SAQA Exhibition.  Over the next couple of days I will share some of my studio photos from the piece I made for the SAQA exhibition called Radical Elements.  For this exhibition, the selected artists were given a year to create a 22 x 36" vertically oriented piece relating to an assigned element from the periodic table.  The element I was assigned was ZINC.  I have been playing around with various ideas over the past year and some of those experiments have made their appearance on this blog.  But the work was due by late September and I had to get serious .......

 I bought this 3" x 50 ft. roll of 99.9% pure zinc almost a year ago.  I played around with it a bit, but finally settled on doing something quilt like that made sense to me.  It just did not feel right to be entirely altering the way I work as an artist.  I am a printer and I work with fabric.  The curator was asking us to try to avoid using fabric, but I just could not figure out how to create something that would meet the criteria for shipping and hanging without using at least a bit of fabric and thread.

I decided to work with a grid, so I cut the zinc into 3" square felt good (but also sort of scary) to cut all these pieces from my precious roll of pure zinc.  There would be no turning back now.....I would not have enough zinc left over to change my course after this.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Printing the Binding

Well, actually I guess I do have one more image of the quilt I can share.  The binding has already been fused in place.  I used leftover fabric from the painted background.  I placed masking tape up to the edge of the binding and screen printed more of the text in place.  When it is dry, I can remove the tape and quilt on that narrow edge to secure the binding.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Quilting the Wind Turbines

At this stage of completion, I am going to have to limit my blog posting to this one last detail shot.  The artists have been asked not to reveal our pieces on our blogs or websites.  I did not get any pictures of the fossil fabric when I was making was a hectic time and I had no Photoshop for photo editing since my hard drive had crashed and my laptop was sent away for repair.  That is one of the many things that slipped through the cracks from late September to late October.  But here is a rather fuzzy shot - you get the idea.

I am afraid this is the most complete image I will be showing you until after the show opens in the spring.  I am happy to report that I was able to complete this entire quilt from plain white and black fabric in just two weeks.  It is fully quilted and bound, with the sleeve stitched in place.  It measures 72 x 72".  I have been able to get it professionally photographed, too.  So this one is behind me now.  Whew!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wind Turbines

I have used fusible raw edge applique for the very large wind turbines.  The smaller ones are Thermofax Screen prints.  All are adapted from my own photographs of the Judith Gap Wind Farm in Central Montana.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Construction Challenges

I have the background / sky fabric ready, but there are other design / construction issues to resolve.  I have sorted through my black fabrics, and have decided I will do an applique of the largest Wind Turbines.  This will allow me to move things around so as to create a satisfying layout.  One thing that really put me off my previous sunset version was the painted wind turbines.  I was not happy with the layout, but could not change it because it was painted.  I am ironing fusible web to the back of black cotton broadcloth.  I will use the overhead projector to create properly sized images from my photographs of wind turbines.

Being without my images for a couple of weeks while I tracked down someone who could get my documents off my defunct hard drive was a problem with this process.  I have taken a lot of photos of wind turbines over the years, but suddenly - they were all gone.  I did finally find a computer whiz who could get everything off my hard drive, but it took many days for them to be uploaded to Google so I could access them!  (I have a LOT of big photo files!)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Painted and Printed Sky Fabric

Here is the background fabric - I started with white.  Painted it by hand, block printed and screen printed it to create this unique fabric that contains direct quotes from the website information on the pros and cons of Alternative Energy vs Fossil Fuels.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Screen Printing the Sky

 I printed the text with white.  All the text has been taken from the website (with proper credit notated at the bottom of each quote).  I lifted text from the website and played with fonts, sizes, and spacing before making a series of Thermofax screens for this piece.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hand Painted and Hand Printed Cotton

 This piece of hand painted / hand printed cotton measures 60" x 3 yards.  (I can't get the whole thing on my design wall so the photo doesn't show the whole thing).  A closer detail is shown below.
I feel like this is a bit darker than I might have wanted it to be.....however, I do plan to use white for the next layer of printing.  That should change things significantly.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Block Printing the Sky for Earth Stories

 I tried not to panic when I discovered the silver Jacquard Lumiere paint I planned to print with was probably not sufficient for the entire piece of fabric I needed to cover.  I mixed in some blues to stretch it.....
I just barely had enough paint to do the printing.  I am now out of silver paint, so I am committed to this piece of fabric.  Ordering more would take too long.....I cannot purchase this locally.  Trying not to stress out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Earth Stories - A Fresh Start

 Starting over - I hung a 3 yard piece of 60" wide cotton broadcloth on my clothesline and started flinging paint at it.  The whole piece is shown above.  Details below:
 I decided the sky needs to be more neutral / stormy.

The paint dripped down the fabric.  I love these areas.  I am not sure how they will appear once I add all my layers of printing, but I am going forward with using this as my background.  I do not have time to do this again.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Up Against a Deadline

 I was selected as a participating artist for a SAQA Exhibition called "Earth Stories".  Selected artists are to create two pieces  - one to fill a 72" square display area and another to measure 12 x 14".  The work is to be associated with a story relating to some organization that is working to help or improve our planet.   My theme is Alternative Energy vs Fossil Fuels and my organization is  We were given a year to complete our works.  The year has come and gone and I have done many trial pieces.  I decided to use a collage of vivid handpainted sunset fabrics, overprinted with text from the website.  I spent a lot of time getting the fossil fabric for the base to look right.  I used an overhead projector to trace images of my photos of Wind Turbines onto the fabric.  The wind turbines were then painted by hand.
This 75" + square piece has been hanging on my design wall for months.  I have been fairly paralyzed - finding it overwhelming and intimidating.  Just 3 weeks before the looming deadline - I decided to scrap the whole thing and start again from scratch!  Yikes!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

First Snow

 This first snow actually fell on October 4th.  Lovely  - isn't it?  I cut all my blooming iris and brought them inside.  The smell in the house was heavenly!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Lavendar Lion Iris in Bloom

This iris was planted just 6 weeks ago and is blooming already.  I don't believe it is supposed to be a rebloomer, (fall bloomer) based on my research.  I am not sure why it is blooming now, but I have no complaints!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Immortality Reblooming

This iris - Immortality - is a reliable rebloomer for Zone 4.  It is the first time it has bloomed for me and I have been so thrilled with it.  It is very fragrant, and I had probably 8 stalks  from a single plant (that was planted last summer)!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Quilt Life Article

 I am back at last, after nearly a month without a computer or access to any of my files, images, photo editing software, etc. Horray!  This magazine has been out for at least a month and I see it will be taken off the store shelves in two weeks.  I am really pleased with my current article in "Quilt Life" Magazine.