Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Terrible excitement

Now I have my work cut out for me - as I have a bank of Nudibranchs and sea creatures that I have done the samples for and only need to scale them up up up and stitch.
This samples goes with another sample to create anemones... and I can't wait to add the batik tips and create long lengths of Nudibranchs in fizzy/exciting colours (reach for the NASA launch-pad glasses)!  I wouldn't hold your breath though, I am off to Jasper and the Canadian Rockies for the Easter weekend.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Kikaigumo Shibori

Here is the sculptural form of Kikaigumo Shibori created on a synthetic fabric of unknown fibre content, I thought initially that it was 'nylon' so first it was dyed in Acid dye with little pick up and later with disperse dye which was fine.
The flat-ironed fabric's pattern is typical tie die, except that the spiders' webs are tiny and I feel these are more typical of shibori.

As I am using such a mixture of fabrics that, today, I found myself working with acid, disperse and fibre reactive dyes.... wow I had better not do this when I am tired.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Trial by cocktail stick

I had been thinking about how to make  Kikaigumo (tool-aided spiderweb) Shibori work in a less antagonistic way...... by which I mean that I want to stop fighting the natural tendencies of the slippery fabrics so that they simply want to stay in place instead of wanting to unravel.  I had come up with a solution and was trying it today when I thought...what I could do is wrap around a last that will stay in... I began working with cocktail sticks.  What wonderful representation of protuberances these will make.
I love the way the meditative actions involved in Shibori allow one to develop ones design or process.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


This turned out to be silk organza not nylon...
And I use the word potential because I am the master of understatement.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

During my City and Guilds in England I was presented with a beautifully turned shibori tool, seen here with some pieces of wrapped fabrics.  The one on the left didn't take the acid dye - perhaps it is viscose. The piece on the right is a nylon that took the colour beautifully and I can't wait to see it unwrapped.

Pink Lady - skin (not so) tight

I don't know why this particular fabric isn't photogenic, perhaps the silk is too shiny.  I have tried it in daylight, floodlit and in shadow...  But always the highlights come through on the image over-exposed... is this what happens when you lend your camera out and someone changes settings.... anyway here is Pink Lady's skin.

When Pink Lady is in her normal resting state she is so tactile, that she lived for a while on my shoulder yesterday and has a tendency to snuggle rather like a guinea pig in the crook of ones arm....  Here she is shown extended which she tends to do when provoked.

Ombre is IN

Ombre dyeing or Ombre in blogs, both seem to be very popular and I wondered if I have been subconciously affected... like in subliminal advertising... because what I am producing right now is the fade in fade out look of ombre.... Hey and didn't Tara say Tie die is really in right now... wasn't tie die in and out and in and out since forever... I do want that fade in out look for my Nudes.

Above is the next skin that I have produced... am I pleased with it..... well yeh, der.  And is it Ombre... well it is, if only you could see the entire fabric... OK I'll show you.... this afternoon.
Keep trying, tying and dyeing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

You asked: So I post

An exhibition by Karin Millson
Organic Landscapes: Mountains or Mushrooms

This location is very difficult to photograph, it being in the +15 of The Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts.  The lighting in the display windows is great for my work as it gives the feel of a marine aquarium.  But isn't good for photography.  So my apologies.
In the upper image the glass window to the right hand display area has been opened to arrange the works. Below are some close ups.

Now I am aiming at a bigger space to accommodate the sensitivities of Nudibranchs... ie., particular salinities, water clarity, circulation patterns and with temperature and lighting controls.


Thanks to all at Contextural and the critique meeting last night I am even more inspired and have decided to sign up for the Artists Residency at ACAD (Alberta College of Art and Design).  The group are really a talented crowd who teach me so much and generally keep me buzzing along.

So today I have been working on Pink Lady a particularly delicate Nudibranch (they will all have latin names eventually, I might go for Italian rather than latin as giving organic art forms latin names is a bit passé (don't you think?).  I have continue with the colour swatches of Opulence Acid dyes (see below), Stitched a couple of patchwork squares and done some recording of worm types.... essential as I am getting rather confused and need to get to the dye stage with these creatures as I am losing the plot rather.  I think i have 6 species so far.

Don't ask about the jelly beans.  But let's just say it is allegorical for what goes on in my head for most of my waking hours.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Acid Dye - merely the beginning (again)

The sentence on the instructions for use of Opulence Acid dyes did have me a little confused...
"Because the dye colours vary in volume but weigh the same, teaspoons are a general measurement."

I have used Acid dyes before but not for quite a while and since I am switching to a local supplier I am beginning again with test strips for dye colour on different fabrics.  It seems that Mathematics plays a role in dyeing: the amount of dye I used had to be calculated (without the use of any electronic gadget, I may add) using the formula:-
Amount of dye stock = Total dye stock x 1/4 x 1/16 x 1/3 which in the end approximated to less than one half of a ("general measurement")  teaspoon in the pan of hot water plus vinegar!!!

Oh well, the proof of the pudding lies in the eating... or in this case the test of a good shade lies in the making of it.

- as you can see - I have almost fully exhausted the dye bath with my tiny scrap of silk... 

The next test will be the same only using one full "general teaspoon" of dye stock and so on.

Paper, acid, quilt

I seem to have hit a new level in juggling.
This morning involved the Washing (domestic), Acid dyeing, School bussing, Paper construction and Free machine quilting.  Not to mention emailing, sorting out our accommodation for the weekend, ordering Gluten free bread mix from Ohio, Cleaning the kitchen (what you find on the floor of that room really begs belief) and other activities to make the world go round.
so here are some images of my paper constructions.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Looks like chocolate brownies but it isn't

Today I bought a myself a blender to dedicate to paper-making... just a cheapish one from Canadian Superstore, not a 15 speed one, which they also sold... honestly 15 speeds.
What you see above is my kitchen surface.... protected!  and a new paper... potassium permanganate paper.  And boy do I have plans for that.

More on this tomorrow all being well.

i just wanted to say an online thank you to Anna for a lovely special card she sent to me recently and she must have known what was in my husband's mind as he gave me these wonderful orchids.  Problem was that he is working too late and they got nipped by the frost which had turned a bit mean that evening here in Calgary.

Thanks again Anna and John.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Discovery - Magic shop

Yesterday a great development - I discovered a magic shop... not that it sells stuff for magic, I am no closet abracadabra, I am just yer average muggle.... no it is Science Is and I went there to buy some Cyanotype paper but that was not all I left with....
Here is a worm in progress with magnetic counters along its back.  They aren't magnetic in themselves but work wonderfully on a desk (executive toy) magnet...
They certainly lend a little pizzazz to this nudibranch but you will have to wait till later to see the finished worm.