Sunday, August 01, 2010

a bit of work

Thank you to everyone who wrote after my last post. I am finally feeling better. I think it was taking a trip to Houston, where my allergies only bothered me a little bit after the first day there (I also found that being very tired while on some of my other meds can make mereally dizzy and completely spaced out, so I will have to be careful of that in the future), and my mind was focused on the workshop techniques I was learning.

I don't have many pictures from the workshop as I was busy taking notes and
practicing the techniques, but here are a few. The teacher was Kiranada Sterling Benjamin, and she taught us Rozome (a Japanese technique you may know as batik, though the application of dye is totally different).
The first picture just shows some wax on my silk, the second shows part of the class, with Krianada speaking to students at the front, and the last one is of our wax pots being used.

I got some good tips, like using 50% soy, 50% beeswax to create a less soluble wax (good for Rozome, which uses brushes to scrub in dye, with soy being too soft and allowing dye to seep through). Though it does still require dry cleaning (but I found a local dry cleaner this week who will clean my pieces and leave them as soft as fresh silk!).

The other thing I learned was how to use the brushes (you can see pictures here on John Marshall's site) properly to scrub in dye. This was great for me as I'd tried years ago to teach myself this from a book, but it's not possible. I needed to know the details to make it work right, and now I do.

I really enjoyed this class. Taking with Kira is something I've wanted to do for years but wasn't able to make happen. I am hoping to take with her again in Jan. and after that see about applying to be in her independent study program. I really love this technique, the way it looks and the process of working with wax and the brushing on of dyes. It's a very time consuming and meditative process, which has been missing from my other dye work. It fills a need in my creative soul to work in this fashion and I really want to do much more of it.

While I was gone for the workshop I was contacted about bringing in work to a local gallery for consideration of entry into their local artists show this fall. I had nothing completed on hand, but promised to work on 2 pieces and bring them in before going back out of town (we leave tomorrow).

So I worked as hard as I could, shutting off the heinous little critical voice and just going. Here are the 2 pieces I finished:

Circles 6
Silk, cotton, dye, colored pencil, silkscreened, stitched
Circles 6 closeup

Circles 7
Cotton, dye, wax, paint, silkscreen, monoprint, hand stitch, machine stitch

Tomorrow Will and I leave for Santa Fe. It will be our first trip/vacation together in 3 years, and only our second in 13 years of marriage. I am going to be taking a 2 day workshop on silk shibori with Yoshiko Wada, while Will is working (programming, emailing, taking calls). Then we'll have one day to see the town and galleries. We're driving so Monday and Friday will be spent in the car. 12 hours. Not something I look forward to, but he got a new car recently and I thought he'd enjoy taking it on a long trip. I hope to have lots of fun and see some new and different things out in New Mexico (and west Texas as we speed by!).


Deborah Roach said...

glad you are up and running again! Have a great trip and enjoy the class.

Suzanne Sanger said...

So happy you are back! If I could dash off work a FRACTION as good as these two pieces, I'd think I was in heaven.

Kris Cochran said...

That's my girl. Isn't she amazing!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing, this looks so interesting!

Christine Amaryllis said...

oooh, i am loving the circles series!
glad you are feeling perkier. hope you are having fun on your trip, ladybug!