People love color! And hand painting and dying fabric offers numerous ways to bring color to fiber. My heart is very much with my eco-printed silk art. However my many years of painting cannot help but be enthusiastic about my first love of hand painting.
When I began to work with fiber art-silk predominantly-it did not take me long to realize that there are as many ways to put color on silk as there are to put paint on canvas!
Block printing, screen printing, hand painted, hand embellished, detailed, abstract….all play a part at some point in what I create with silk.
Drawing and Painting
My tools are simple. Wood stretcher bars, eye screws, elastic and clips. For a hand painted design, I’ll first stretch a silk piece such as a scarf onto the frame. I’ll use a resist which to free hand draw my design onto the silk. The resist acts as a dam of sorts-containing the liquid dye within its boundaries so an artist can create a particular image. The end result can be anything from super realistic to whimsical to abstract.
People are intrigued with artist demonstrations and rightfully so. Nothing is more fascinating to watch than a painting of any kind, come to life as they watch.
Watching a work being created is an experience that cannot be duplicated simply by looking at a finished piece with no knowledge of how it came to be. I have noticed that people do understand painting. A canvas, paints, etc are in the experience of most people. But painting on silk is not. There is a huge difference between the cheap scarves created in masses with digitally imprinted designs vs an artist’s one of a kind handpainted scarf!
To add to the zen like feeling of slowly hand painting on silk and watching the dyes spread out onto the silk as if pulled by an unseen hand, is the ability to take it outdoors. I work with my ecoprinting outside all the time, spilling out onto my silk studio deck. And when those moments click into place, an artist truly has it all.
As professional artists, we have 2 art studios on our property. The larger one is big, beautiful and built from a torn down 1910 house!
Our smaller one is my “cabin in the woods” and was a tired 10 x 20 storage building that we renovated for additional room in our ever expanding art business!
So in my small Art studio that I use for my silk making, I needed a place to hang my scarves while I worked on them. I use an outside clothesline which is perfect for drying. But in between some stages of my techniques, I needed a place to gently hang silk without folding it or dropping it on the floor 🙂
Crib rail hinged to wood attached to wall.
The solution came in the form of parts of a free baby crib! Used cribs can be found at yard sales for next to nothing and the sides can be used for any number of creative projects!
My idea was to attach hinges to the bottom , attach it to the wall of my small studio and have it fold down from the top. When in use, the lightweight chains would let me lower it to pretty much any height I wanted. I did not want it level, just out a foot or so from the top of the wall. When not in use, it folds back up to the wall and hooks with regular latch hooks 🙂
Small chain, latches and hinges are easily found in any hardware store!
A little paint on the wood the piece is hinged to will make it look finished 🙂
As you can see, the lightweight silk dangles easily from the rack away from the wall. It could be closed as well if I choose.
A perfect solution for everything from fabric to paper to your laundry room.
Raise the chains higher if heavier items will be hung. The ceiling is barn style so hanging this from the ceiling where the lights are was not an option-too high and the lights were in the way so this “Murphy style” rack was the perfect solution!
An easy DIY project accomplished in an afternoon or less! (Depending on the number of breaks and how long it takes you to find the tools you put down somewhere!)
Wow-somehow I fell seriously behind in this blog and am frantically updating it-luckily my Store stays current and up to date. SO enjoy at least one updated post, the next one is coming!
If you’ve been following my “Small Studio Cabin” odyssey then below is an update from my “artsyJourneys” blog which is the same post but here 🙂
Making my “Cabin in the Woods” happen!
In less than 3 short months, my “cabin in the woods”project-the smaller art studio-has seen a some changes. Once I committed to the idea and stopped waffling, things began to happen!
First, because the only convenient place originally to set the 12 x 20 shed down was at the edge of our dirt/gravel driveway, I knew I had to make another entrance opening.
I also needed more light-a door at the north end or bigger windows!
Bringing in a re-modeler friend who happened to have a spare 6 ft. sliding door, he and his crew made short work of the 10 x 16′ deck and door installation!
I hired the neighbor’s son to dig the “trench” to lay electrical wire. Our big studio is on a separate meter so it seemed logical to pull power from that. Brent had a lot of help from one of our chickens the afternoon he dug it!
Our remodeler came out the next day and he and hubby hooked up the power to the small studio and I was in business so to speak! Even the simple ability to turn on lights was inspiring 🙂
Here you see inside work
I’ll add a small stoop to the door side-I might just close it off but in the summer I know an amazing cross breeze can come through there so…still thinking!