Friday, May 26, 2017


We were all so looking forward to our first 2017 FJ gathering at Val's house....where we are treated with our own tables/space to work in her garage studio.  Val graciously hosts us from Spring to Fall, and we literally take over her house as well.....

Unfortunately, we've experienced a prolonged spell of rain and coolish weather, requiring us to nix our plans for deconstructive screen printing, fearing the screens wouldn't dry in a timely manner.
 But heavens.....that doesn't stop the FJ's from playing with thickened dyes.  We all kinda just did our own thing....mostly mono-printing, stamping, and fabric painting.  Denny had brought this textured roller that I FELL in love gives the appearance of strings wrapped around the hard rubber cylinder.
Instead of beginning with soda ash treated white fabric, I brought a stack of previously dyed (in various manners) fabrics that I wasn't keen about.  Denny's adage of 'if you don't like it.....add more', was my motto for the day.
Instead of working with so many different dye colors....which often yields fabrics that may be wonderful, but don't seem to coordinate with anything else I own, I decided to work exclusively (we'll almost anyway) with Indigo dye.

Here's a scrap of felted wool that had gotten lightly stained so it was getting a do-over.  Roadside foliage was placed directly onto the wool.
 It was covered with a silk screen and the dye was pressed through. Unfortunately it didn't penetrate as evenly or well as it should have....look, the foliage hardly appears discolored.
Here is the result.....not wonderful. Which actually became my theme for the day......not wonderful results.
 The next attempt was a previously rejected dyed cotton piece.  Yee gads!
But here it is after batching and washing.....fairly usable.
Another mess that was worked using leaves and a fern stamp.  I didn't like the way the stamped fern looked, so in an attempt to 'fix' it....I got mud. never know....after batching and washing....I was surprised.  Both these pieces are similar in color....neither are good enough to work as whole pieces, but will most certainly get cut up and incorporated into future work.
 Lot's of stamping went on.....this nice piece is Judy's.
 Denny, always the innovator of our group.....smeared thickened dye onto plastic and then printed white fabric.  Great idea to generate textured backgrounds. 
 Kate was using some of our 'group collection' of resists....dabbing paints on and around them.
 Val used a rubber scrapper, applying paint in a landscape orientation.  She ALWAYS makes it look so easy.....and has developed her own unique signature to her designs.
 Judy had great success printing ferns.  She applied paint to a fern, placed it on the fabric and covered with Plexiglas.  The image transferred from the pressure of running a hard rubber roller over the surface.
 Denny, (as I said...the master of layering designs) used stencils, resists, and a polka dot roller for this piece.
Kate too was using some of her 'failed' previously deconstructed screen printed fabric.  I love what she's done here; printing a fern and using the edge of a credit card to depict more foliage.

We all went home with transformed fabric....some real successes, others candidates for another 'do-over'.  Deconstructed screen printing is on our agenda for June....and we can't wait!!!


Linda Swanekamp said...

Sounds like a great time even if you did not like what you came away with. I would love to find a group like yours!

The Inside Stori said...

Linda.....START your own group.....that's how Fiber Junkies came to be.......I started it with the goal of having a small group (limited to 6) of like minded, sharing, inspirational pals who were willing to commit to meeting once a month to PLAY!!!

Angela said...

Oh my gosh! You have some really great fabric there! Your group seems like so much fun.

Nancy said...

Another productive day! The fern printed in remarkable detail. And that roller looks like a great tool to add to your collection. Experimenting is the name of the game!

The Inside Stori said...

Mary here......regarding the textured roller brush. I assume one could get a similar affect by placing rubber bands or string around a plain roller.

quiltedfabricart said...

So very interesting and great playtime ideas! How do you thicken the dyes? Is there a tutorial on that somewhere? The fern idea is a good one.

I've recently learned about an app that I think is originated from Facebook called meet up where you can locally find and start new groups of people with the same interests to meet up and engage in whatever that interest is. There are hiking, biking, writers, book clubs - all sorts of things. In my area there is no fiber play groups but doesn't mean I can't start one. I think you just post your idea of a group and wait to see if anyone joins. I think the key though is to have a place to meet for fiber painters / dyers since it can get messy and you do need some room to spread out. My house is way to small so I need to figure that out first. Your post today makes me want to pursue the idea. Thank you :-)

margaret said...

you have lots to play with here, when I did my embroidery course the teacher said if you make a mistake make a feature out of it similar to what you do at your group

The Inside Stori said...

Funny you should say that motto that I shared with students was and still is "There are no mistakes....merely design opportunities!

Kathy said...

Your motto is the same one I use and it works 'cause it's true! And just for future reference--in a class with deconstructed screen printing, we just dried the screens with a hair dryer and they worked just fine. I do think we used the cool air setting though. You always do find a way to use what you make, though, even if you don't initially love it!!

The Inside Stori said...

Kathy's suggestion to use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process of screens is a good one....and one we've used in the past.....but this time we simply decided to make it easier on ourselves and save deconstructed screen printing for another time. We are def. a NO stress/make it easy group!

Robbie said...

Mary, I love your pieces!!!! They are subtle but beautiful!!!! You just don't know what you'll get!!!!