I spoke this week to the members of the Creative Clothing Club of Michigan showing over 40 items: garment, shawls, scarves, fabric and a quilt and discussing the surface design treatments used for each piece.
Silk scarf stenciled with thickened dyes.
This bubble silk coat was clamped and tied in a shibori style. However, instead of dipping the fabric into a dye bath, it was hand painted with thickened dyes.
Claudia Scroggins iis modeling multiple silk screened velvet (rayon/silk) scarves.
Three linen/poly jackets
Habutai Silk Jacket - silk screened with thickened dyed.
The construction is simple rectangles strategically cut for the sleeves and neckline.
Stenciled and painted silk/wool jacket
Dyed, painted, silk screened, stenciled: Details on my 2/8/16 blog article.
Purple Fabric - Discharged with a 50/50 Water and bleach solution sprayed on the fabric. The fabric was laid outside on a large plastic drop cloth. Stencils, found objects (an odd assortment of old tools, lace, rings, kitchen items) were placed on the fabric. With a good mask, gloves and wearing old clothes and an apron, I sprayed the fabric with the bleach solution.
Black cotton twill is folded and painted with bleach solution . Pictures are posted on the 9/2/14 post.
What a fun day! Thank you members of the Creative Clothing Club.
What a wonderful day working with talented and experienced dyers. It was a day of play and learning for all of us.
"Snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef"
When one demos different techniques in a classroom setting, the end result can be interesting and often strange. I took one of my odd looking demo fabrics home to finish filling in details. As I looked at it I thought...I'm looking down at the reef! This fall I experienced snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and it was spectacular.
Barbara Skimin combined shibori and painting techniques to create this stunning piece.
Debra Gash, using her art skills, has created a fabulous "fall garden".
Janice Novachcoff is printing over a previously ice dyed fabric. Beautiful work!
Sue Walton has designed a great pair of linen slacks.
Jeanne Sarna, my extremely talented and dear friend, is preparing to dye the second layer of her shibori fabric.
Linda Poterek is an experienced dyer of wool and silk yarns. This class was her introduction to fabric dyeing. Jumping right in she created delightful patterns and experimented with many different techniques.
I was scheduled to take a workshop from Kathryn Schmidt, author of "Rule-Breaking Quilts". How perfect, I'll dye and paint five yards of fabric to make my quilt...my first quilt. And I'll use several techniques: stenciling, stamping, silk screening, deconstructed silk screen printing, soy wax relief, painting, shabori, sponging and dripping. It was great fun...but what a shame to cut it up....
It took five days to dye the fabric and then several returns to the fabric for painting and detail work.
Next project was to take the class...Thanks, Katheryn, great class...and begin cutting the fabric! Next post!
I'm packing up half my studio and taking it to the Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan for a class I'm teaching tomorrow - "The Joy of Thickened Dye".
With the help of friends, Rose Perkins and Jeanne Sarna, and two on-line courses, I'm learning how to spin. I decided to use my first spun yarns to make a free-form crochet sweater.
Rose gave me one of her spinning wheels, a Louet. My first attempts were bulky and and uneven.
With pre-drafting (Thanks, Jeanne, for the info!) and practice, I am starting to spin my yarn a little more finely and evenly.
I spun these two single yarns into a two plied variegated yarn. A cardboard box and two barbeques skewers work well as my Lazy Kate.
This is a two ply white merino I wound into a skein and washed it before winding it into a ball.
A little over-twisted, curling singles, and unbalanced - Signs of a novice spinner!
Being a fiber adventurer I decided to make some free-form yarn. Following Rose's suggestion, I randomly combined white, grey, brown, and black Corriedale, Romney, and Merino wools with some lovely brown Alpaca. Then I plied the combined yarn together to get a wonderful "art" yarn.
I heard that it was a good idea to keep your first spun yarn to remember where you started. I decided to take mine and make a free-form crocheted sweater.
On the runway - three of my hand-dyed silk jackets.
Felted purses with my dichroic glass buttons
There are descriptions on how I make purses in the August 6, 2014 blog article and glass buttons in the January 4, 2015 blog article.
What a delight to spend the day with friends! Jeanne Sarna is a long time friend and a "partner in (fiber) crime"! Here she is modeling a garment she made for the recycle runway event. She turned an unused jacket and upholstery fabric scraps into an art-to-wear vest.
Sandra VanBurkleo, owner of Artisan Knitworks, and I go back a few years! What a delightful person she is! Helen Welford is quite a seamstress and loves making clothes styled from the 20's, 30's, 40's, and 50's. Helen is modeling her fun 50's recycled outfit made of cruise travel bags with hanging tickets for earrings. Her hat is made by Barb Schutzgruber from woven strips of National Geographic maps.
Sharon McKenna is chief organizer of the day's event and MC of our fashion show.
This year I entered several jackets, a coat, and a free-form crocheted sweater. Some jackets were dyed, some discharged, and one was woven.
Beautiful flowers graced the luncheon table and a wonderful jazz combo played for us. All in all - a very good day!
I had the extraordinary opportunity to take two workshops, back to back, called "Catching the Fugitive" with Kerr Grabowski. We worked with materials that usually are not good mediums to apply to fabric, since they wash out or fade easily. Charcoal, pastels, watercolors, colored pencils, graphite are now materials a fabric artist can use. Careful application of a transparent paint extender and proper heat settings make these products viable. I have worked with these materials before, thanks to a wonderful Michigan Surface Design Association workshop with Susie Krage, an outstanding fabric artist and instructor in her own right. I posted an article on that workshop, under the category, Surface Design With Paint and Pastels.
The Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild hosted Kerr for a three day workshop, plus an evening talk at our monthly meeting highlighting her artist journey.
The workshop was filled with demonstrations on techniques applying each medium starting with black and whites: charcoal and graphite experimentation on white fabric. No color was allowed for the first full day, a challenge to artist who love color. However, it was a great opportunity to concentrate on line and form. It allowed me time to work with charcoal and graphite in new ways.
The next two days we delved into pastels, watercolors, water soluble crayons and colored pencils. Sandy Kunkle and Carol Futado were my table partners. We played like kids at a playground. What fun!
Kerr is known for her deconstructive screen printing. We saw demonstrations of this technique with soluble crayons and watercolors with some pretty fabulous results!
Important parts of the workshop for me were the individual guidance from Kerr and great group discussions about the work!
On the third day I worked on screen printing. Shapes made with a hot glue gun were the basis for my silkscreen design and stamps for the fabric. I limited my color palette to green, blue and yellow watercolor.
These green rectangles became the fabric project for my next workshop with Kerr.
The Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan, another of my favorite guilds, arranged for Kerr to give a workshop while she was "in town". I brought my fabric pieces and started phase two of my project.
Using pastels, watercolors, India Ink, graphite, and Silver metallic paint, I embellished my fabric pieces. There was no purpose other than to experiment in creating each piece in it's own way---to follow the design and see what story it would tell.
My birds were inspired by a blue smudge that looks bird-like in the top left corner. There is more to this story and I will return to this piece adding details, when I know what is it.
Adding the mediums of pastels, watercolors, ink, graphite, charcoal, and colored pencils to my dyes and fabric paints opens up more choices and an ability to create fine details. Thanks, Kerr! It was a delightful and highly informative week!
In January I took a class in free-form crochet. I spent the next six weeks playing with the concept. I found it is not easy, especially if you want to end up with something that is formed into a certain shape. I started making a ruana, a poncho-style garment, but it morphed into a long cape and finally settled into a short a kimono style sweater.
I started making long crocheted shapes of large and small circles and half circles and odd-shapes. Not being a crocheter (except for finishing edges on knitted pieces) I had to learn the stitches I wanted to use. But I had no worries about breaking the rules, since I didn’t know the rules. I crocheted loosely and in a wild fashion with no problem.
I made a variety of crocheted pieces in coordinating colors. One piece draped nicely around the dress to form a neckline.
Using a dress form (as suggested by our instructor, Sandra Vanburkleo, owner of Artisan Knitworks) I pinned sections together. Yes, I did make an investment in pins. I recommend small, medium and large pins to adjust the spacing.
Crocheting directly on the dress form I reinforced the neck-piece and created a collar. Eventually the piece was stable enough to crochet in my lap.
Sometimes it was best to lay out the piece on a table for pinning.
When I had a garment, I tried it on, pins and all, to photograph. This is a great technique to see a piece from a different perspective. I could see my garment was hanging well in some areas and bunching up in others. Yarn need to be removed while other areas needed reinforcing. I became creative in removing yarn (sometimes with scissors, which is flirting with disaster). I crocheted pieces to fit into the holes and added yarn to fill out the edges.
The longer I made my garment, the more it pulled on the neckline. I reinforced it by adding more lines of support and crocheting over any thin lines. This is when knowing the rules of shaping and reinforcing in crochet would have helped. I just worked the problems keeping the design pleasing to my eye.
With reinforcement I extended the length of the garment. But as I studied this photograph, I decided it was too becoming too cumbersome losing the delicate flow I liked. I began removing yarn – another reason this was a six-week process!
I shaped the garment into a cape.
But it still wasn’t right. Capes move around as you wear it and can be quite annoying. This piece called for sleeves.
I turned two side of the cape together to make one piece of fabric for each sleeve, but it didn’t look right. Instead I extended the length of each side, and formed the sleeves with a simple crochet stitch.
I crocheted the remaining pieces together, adding layers of yarn for reinforcement, interest, and color.
I 'm pleased with how my sweater turned out. It was fun learning free-form crochet and look forward to working with this technique again.
The Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan invited Sandra VanBurkleo, owner of the wonderful yarn and button shop in Farmington (MI) - Artisan Knitworks, to teach us crochet. But not just crochet - random, creative, three-dimensional crocheting. She showed us beautiful shawls, vest, hats and sweaters that are truly "works of art".
Sandra explained and demonstrated the process. She and Ellen, her store manager, assisted us with our many questions.
Sandra is showing Sharon Mckenna's 3-D piece. Sharon is one of the talented employees of the shop and a long-time member of NTGM (Needlework and Textile Guild of Michigan).
I found the random crocheting to be freeing and formidable all at the same time. Everyone in the class stayed focused on our task. Lunch break? Who has time to take a lunch break?
The work begins to take form. Barbara is working in lovely jewel tones.
We take a quick break for a few photos.
Here is the beginnings of my piece, a wrap or a ruana. One thing is for sure, it will be wild and colorful.
Thank you, Sandra, for a wonderful two day workshop and a new way to crochet!
I made this piece years ago. "Blue Dragon" is a favorite of mine. It's in my studio because it needed a little repair. Two solder joints came loose. It's repaired and goes back to the owner this weekend. Working with the dragon reminded me how much I enjoy working on these pieces.
This glass, made in France, is two colors, blue on top of clear. One layer glass is sandblasted away and reveals the color underneath. I use layers of contact paper for the protective mask. I cut the design out with an X-acto knife. Very tedious work, but it's worth the effort. Only parts of the mask are removed each time the piece is sandblasted. The deeper and whiter parts of the design were taken off first - the border, wings, horns, whiskers, and teeth. The last part to be removed was the face. The light dots on the face were applied with a fine sandblasting nozzle.
I don't use sand, but 220 aluminum oxide blasting medium. It is much finer and allows for great detail. I have a good booth, vacuum and ventilation system, a compressor, an excellent mask and ear protectors. So much equipment to make something so small and delicate!
I took some of my pieces out of storage.
And decided to put a few around the house.
I had a small order to fill over the holidays. Usually I use my large kiln when I work with the glass, but with this order I only needed one of my small kilns.
Each button is cut from compatible art glass, meaning that each piece of glass must expand and contract at the same rate during the melting and cooling process to prevent breakage. I built the buttons on a piece of thin black glass and added layers of dichroic glass (glass that reflects vibrant colors that often change as the light hits it).
Melting of the glass: The pieces are set on a prepared kiln shelf. The kiln is heated up to 1400 - 1450 degrees F. In this photos the heating is just beginning. There is usually no sign of melting until the temperature of the glass reaches over 1350 degrees.
The glass is checked periodically until the desired effect is reached. Once melted the glass layers now act as one piece of glass.
The glass is cooled until its red glow eases into vibrant colors. The outside cool quickly, but the inside of the glass stays hot much longer. The temperature of the kiln is controlled to allow the glass to cool slowly and as evenly as possible to prevent breakage (annealing and thermal shock).
The sizes of these buttons vary from 1 to 1 1/4 inches round or square.
Samples of the project.
The glass pieces are cleaned, shank applied, carded and ready to mail!
Last Year I visited a silk embroidery production house in China and was blown away by the beauty and detail of the work!
The Chinese have a long tradition of working with silk embroidery. Pieces have been found in tombs as early as the 5th century BC. Now most handwork has been replaced by machine, yet there still is exceptional work being made in Southern China.
This looks like it's a photograph...but looking closer shows there is more going on.
Look at the individual thread! What detail.
Let's get even closer! Amazing detail.
We were shown how each piece is painstakingly sewn with fine threads of silk.
Various widths and colors of silk thread are used.
This picture of flowers is elegant, colorful and so detailed.
Even a portrait is spectacular! This is the costume of the mountain people.
And of course landscapes are not forgotten.
All was for sale, but way past my budget. It was a joy to see and capture a few pieces with my camera.
What a pleasure to be a part of the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild' Holiday Sale.
It takes planning, organization and work to create a show with this quality!
The room at the Washtenaw Community College is huge. It is set with tables and the guild members (and some spouses) bring in grids, displays, props and lighting. It takes a late Friday night and an early morning to have to sale open at 10:00 sharp!
Scarves are very popular and the guild displays many different styles. Some of the techniques include:
Dyed with commercial dyes, natural dyes, snow or rust
Painted, stenciled and silk screened with fabric paints or thickened dyes.
I brought several dyed, painted and silk screened scarves and shawls. These are my silk screened velvet (rayon/silk) scarves
Carol Furtado - Felted with wool, ribbons and yarn
Warm wools and silks are shown for the fall and winter months.
The black and blue purses with matching scarves are mine. The felted tops are created Madeline Navarro (Blue & Pink Shawls) and Barb Schutzgruber (Cream Jacket).
My winter gloves crafted from recycled sweater.
Knitted mittens (and hats) - Judith Bamber
The Sale included handcrafted and design-altered clothing. Thoughout the sale members modeled clothing and accessories and carryied dolls, home goods and gift items to show our customers.
Jennifer Stafford, Sandy O'Brien, Susie Krage, Pat Thompson, Bettie Bahen and other members of the guild displayed their wall art.
Household Goods - Hand Dyed Yarns/Jennifer Stafford and Jeanne Sarna - Hand Crafted Picture Frames - Shawls/Carol Futado
Jewelry - Using Fiber or a Fiber Technique.
There were demonstrations of fiber art techniques throughout the day!
Special thanks to co-chairs, Jeanne Sarna and Kathy Scott. GREAT JOB!
Next Year - The Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild's Holiday Sale
November 14, 2015
10am - 4pm, Washtenaw Community College, Morris Lawrence Building, 4800 E. Huron River Drive, Ann Arbor, 48197
My husband and I often enjoy watching a movie in the evenings: classics, comedies, romantic comedies, mysteries, sci-fi, a good blockbuster, or perhaps a foreign film. We are both movie buffs. But heaven forbid I watch without working with my hands: knitting, stitching, needle felting, beading, or sewing on buttons. I've even woven on my table loom, but honestly with the noise of the beater bar I risk being ejected from the room. Only foreign films and engrossing plots keep me from my hand work!
These pin/necklace pieces are my latest (movie) project.
The base of the pin is needle and wet felted - colored merino wool roving and yarn.
The centerpiece is one of my dichroic glass buttons. Using perle cotton thread, I accent the design with embroidery stitches and French knots.
I fill in the design with beads and a little more stitching.
As I work I think, "Yes, it needed that for the design or color balance." Then there come a point when I say, "No, too, much! Need to STOP!"
I finish the backs with suede cloth and a pin finding that also has a loop to hang the piece as a necklace. It's nice to have the dual option.
Now, what to do for tonight's movie????
From black cotton to a finished coat. It's always nice to complete a project.
I started with 3 yards of 100% black cotton, folding, painting the edges with a bleach/water solution, dripping, unfolding and painting. Details are in a September blog article.
The fabric was neutralized, washed three times and ironed. I adapted a basic kimono style pattern by extending
The seams were serged before turning and sewing French seams. A full length collar was added and the hems sewn. This is a perfect unlined light coat/jacket for a cool afternoon or evening.
I am Terrie Voigt, and I'm a textile and glass artist. I create art in both mediums and at times combine textiles with glass to create multi-media pieces or wearable art with glass closures.