Cynthia St. Charles Store

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mail Art Project - Week Eighty Four

Block Printed
The centers are hand painted with thin brown Setacolor paint after the block print is dry.
Machine quilting with black thread.

This week's quote:
"There is a muscular energy in sunlight corresponding to the spiritual energy of the wind."
-Annie Dillard-

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Foot Square # 17 - Black Tree

 I have finished block printing the background fabric.  Now, I think it needs a focal point, and I audition these screen printed trees.  This image is a ponderosa pine near my home that was killed by a wildfire a few years ago.  I think the remaining tree skeleton is especially dramatic.
 Two trees or one?  I think one.
 OK, so now - how much orange fabric does it need?  Narrow (above) or wide (below)?
The piece is machine quilted and bound by zig zagging a black cotton yarn around the outside edge.
Here is the finished piece. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Working on Foot Square # 17

 This piece begins with a randomly pieced grouping of leftover fabrics in shades of red.

 Next, I print it with black ink, which changes it completely!
Continued tomorrow.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Deconstructed Screen Print Series

 This one has some stains in the white areas.  I think this is backstaining from another area that came into contact with it during batching.  It makes for a somewhat interesting panel, though.

Committed to Cloth has a number of nice books about surface design.  I recommend their book on Screen Printing, which includes many different screen printing techniques and a video.  Here is a link to their website. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Breakdown Screen Prints in Shades of Brown

 As I worked with this process, I discovered I liked my screens better when I did not wash them.  When the screen was nearly done, I just added more dye to the back of it and let it dry.  This created much more improvisational prints that spoke to me on a deeper level.
 When screenprinting in this style, there is often excess dye that is left over.  I had a bowl I was saving the leftover dye in and that mixture of leftover colors is what I used to print this group.  That's why it is so brown.
 I really like this piece.  Some more details are below:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Deconstructed Screen Printing

 Yesterday, I showed some "deconstructed" or "breakdown" screen printed fabric I did recently.
Here is more.  To build this screen image, I used corrugated cardboard and some fly swatters as the resist when I applied the base coat of thickened dye.  After it dried, I used clear alginate to print.
Here is another one (above).  I only printed this one four times.  There was not much dye left on the screen (only in the white areas).  I mixed and blended different colors of dye directly on the screen to create this effect, which I think is lovely.
There was not much dye coming through this screen, so the prints are very white.  I used netting and rubber bands to create the texture.  I did not do many prints of this one.  I later realized I probably could have continued printing over and over and might have had something interesting, but I didn't love it, so I moved on to my other screens.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Breakdown Prints

  I recently spent three mornings screen printing with friends (no pictures of the actual event, though, sorry).  We used the "Breakdown" or "Deconstructed" process, which involves the application of alginate thickened dye to the screen, then allowing it to dry.  The dye is later activated by applying either clear alginate or alginate thickened dye to the screen for printing.  The moisture causes the dried dye to soften around the edges, but the part that is still dry acts as a resist.  This creates very interesting prints and no two are alike, because of the dye on the screen breaking down throughout the process.

This is one of the first prints I did.  I covered the back of the silk screen with thickened dye in a dark teal color.  Then, while it was still wet, I used the handle of a spoon to doodle swirls and spirals across the surface.  After it was dry, I printed first with clear alginate.  This clear alginate mixed with the teal blue dye already on the screen and this is how it printed (the dye came through the parts where I had scraped the spirals with the spoon handle, but it did not penetrate the areas of the screen that had thick dye on them). 

 For the next piece of fabric, I switched to thickened red dye for the printing.  The screen continues to break down, affecting the color of the prints and the image.
This fabric is cotton broadcloth that has been presoaked in soda ash solution and allowed to dry on the clothesline.  The dye is activated when it comes in contact with the soda ash in the fabric.

I printed up a lot of fabric over the course of three mornings.  I will show them over the next few weeks.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mail Art Project - Week Eighty Three

"Chickadee #3"

I've used chickadee imagery a couple of times already in this postcard series.
This one is an unsuccessful art quilt.
A gelatin plate plant print, Angelina leaves and some sparkly tulle made this one really tacky art quilt. Slightly less tacky as postcards, I guess.

This week's quote:
"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer,
it sings because it has a song."
-Lou Holtz-

Sunday, April 22, 2012

16th Foot Square

Block Printed and Machine Quilted.
This is a study for a larger piece, and also my 16th Foot Square.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Red Nebula - Juried into the SAQA "Sense of Scale" Exhibition!

I am happy to announce that this piece has been juried into the SAQA "Sense of Scale" Exhibition, which will premiere at the International Quilt Festival in Houston this fall.  This piece measures 84 x 77"

Friday, April 20, 2012

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

New Printing Blocks for Red Nebula

 Last week, I showed the progress on this piece, which I am calling "Red Nebula".  I was initially unhappy with the printing and the blocky look of the edges.  I overpainted the edges with red paint.

Now, I feel like I need some specially shaped blocks just for these overpainted areas.  My new blocks are shown above, and the printing I did with them is shown below:
I am feeling better about this piece now, and feel that I am ready to do the quilting.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Travel Log Tuesday - Gorge Overlook

These are a few more images from our visit to the Steens Mountain area in July 2011. This gorge view is to the west.

This is from the same area looking to the east. The plateau is still mostly snow covered.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Mail Art Project - Week Eighty Two


This week's postcard is hand dyed cotton canvas. It is so thick, I decided not to add batting and quilting.The bamboo is screen printed, then accented with a metallic fabric marker.

This week's quote:
"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow
survives by bending with the wind."
-Bruce Lee-

Extra postcards are going out this week to:
Carol in Sheridan, Wyoming and
Louisa in Vancouver, British Columbia

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Red Nebula - Overpainted

Yesterday, I showed this piece with printing I was unhappy with.  I decided to overpaint the edges to create some more fire-like areas.  I used the most opaque red I had - an irridescent red Speedball screen printing ink that is recommended for dark colors.  I just brushed it on with a paintbrush while it hung on my design wall.

I think this is a significant improvement, but I am not done with it, yet.  More next week.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Red Nebula - First Printing

 Here is my Red Nebula after printing . . . . . and I am not really happy with it.  Wanting to create some visual interest on the edges of the "nebula", I carried some of the blue printing over onto the red, but I don't like this look.  I also feel it looks too blocky.   I am going to have to make some changes.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hand Dyed Quilt Backs

Yesterday, I showed a piece I've begun featuring primary colors.  It is large - around 70" square.

I realize because this piece is so large, I really need to hand dye a sheet for the backing.  I am going to dye two - as long as I have the dyes out.  Then, I will have one for the back of this piece and another to save for another project.
When I see how the one on the left has turned out - I wonder why I am bothering with the collage process!  I am thinking about creating something that will represent a nebula.  Looks like I nailed it with the dye. . . . I will save that piece for the future and will use the one on the right for the back of the current project.