Saturday, May 30, 2015

morphin


I have at least a dozen large pieces dating back to 2007 that just don't do it for me anymore. I can clearly remember being less than enthralled with the trend of throwing the kitchen sink onto every piece. A day didn't go by without one faction or another gushing about the Latest Thing with regards to embellishment which lead to discussions on how best to hang a piece freighted with beads, buttons, paint, whatever.

New to dyeing my own and whole cloth work, I was besotted with color and clearly remember being aggravated that I somehow had to have three layers and incorporate stitching if I wanted to be "in the club". Happy to say I never got in.

Still many of these pieces feel unfinished. Experiments in transformation are underway.


Friday, May 29, 2015

eyes wide open

No time for much else. These and another couple dozen will be dyed this weekend. Each one 13 yds of six-strand DMC floss.

Colors?  I won't know until the sun rises on Saturday. I also plan on working some larger pieces of linen and damask in the creeping darkness technique that I was experimenting with two weekends ago.

I spend most of what little free time I have writing, but I had a big bucket of emotional cold water tossed over my head last weekend.

There had been plans to give up both the studio, office and upstairs bath to a renter. I really thought I could do this, but when the preliminary meet with a person who would be anyone's ideal tenant was over, I sat in the studio at my sewing machine for a few minutes looking around, trying to decide what could be stored where and what would be parted with. Then I broke down in tears with emotions that reached far, wide and deep.

It took me a while to realize that I just couldn't take another square inch of loss in my life. So, I cannot afford to let this space, these materials, and most importantly, this practice languish and be wasted.  I have to try harder.
It's not like riding a bike at all.

and of course, there are life's delights.




Saturday, May 23, 2015

moving on

"Fierce" has come down off the design wall and will be outside on the pool deck with the elements for the time being.

It's been getting in the way of progress in the studio.

With these new test pieces just shuffling around up there for now, I've finally been able to see that my lack of passion for getting Fierce done was directly connected to all the ways that the piece went sideways to my original intent. It's helped me see a new way to accomplishing that goal.

Whole cloth with was resist was NOT the path. It was a quick fix that failed. There are too many basic design flaws to admit to and correct. And yet, this cloth will continue to serve. There will be surgeries, overdyeing and more. The base damask was very strong and will not be wasted. I have no time to waste.



Monday, May 18, 2015

early returns

I was just standing in front of the washing machine with my forehead on the lid making prayers to the Overlords of Particulate Physics that this litter of rags should TURN OUT RIGHT.

And, although my eye says "YES" my heart is still a clenched fist until they dry and maybe get ironed.

All this angst over a dream, which may have been a nightmare.

I could blame it (the dream, not a possible dye fail) on wallowing in the Madmen finale and trying to match everyone drink for drink, but those of you who know me also know that that would be nonsense. Still, I was pretty smashed after watching both the show and the encore.

I want to write more about Madmen, but I don't want to be assassinated by some random fan for spoiling it for them.

Besides, I won't write a lick until I find an image of Don stepping out of what I think was a '69 Chevelle SS 454. I didn't know where to look first as he took off the helmet.

It was always about the car.


Back to the nightmare.

Heisenberg, his mask perched over his glasses, sweat running off his face and fumes coming from his hazmat suit like vapors from hell,  leaning across the teacher's desk and intoning.

     "If you warm that bile with blood, better make damn sure it's royal blood and not that damned monkey juice you are so fond of!" 

 I knew exactly what he was talking about!

(note to self. don't forget what H said about the soywax and soul windows)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

capillarian





That's probably not a word, but it should be.

The intensity of interest about my experiments with cloth and dye continues to escalate. I should sell tickets.

I'm going to be happy and not if either of these two blacks turn out the way I hoped because I tinkered the crap out of them right out the jar and wrote nothing down. One was a warm bluish black and the other, cool. I beat them both into submission with orange and copper and didn't measure a thing. Sui generis.



Saturday, May 16, 2015

back to black and white


Karma V (44"x36")


I didn't cook up any of the new black dyes that I ordered yet. Maybe tomorrow afternoon. I dreamed of a technique for getting the fades that I like, if dream-based solutions have any basis in the reality of water, dye and cloth, that is.

The more I look at this series the more I know it's not finished.



Monday, May 11, 2015

poppies and peonies

Now that the "Poppy" project is finished I have to scamper and get these delivered.

As for the rest of the new colors, for the most part, meh.

Happily, I only mixed six ounces bottles of dye stock so there's plenty of room for tinkering.

For the most part, the week was taken up by other things. I went in the pool yesterday for the first time and froze everything from my neck down while I stupidly inspected seams and such, did a little final cleaning and re-met an old friend who hitchhiked around on my shoulder for a while and then decided the photographer needed his help.

Of course, the best part of the week was spent in good company.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

poppies, round 2

I was pretty unhappy with the results of yesterday's foray in red. True truth - it's my least favorite color except for Prochem's Pagoda and Sunrise red which I think comes from Dharma. Each one is about two degrees east and west of dead neutral. 

I'm reworking everything with gradations of the two reds using


a technique I learned from the DyeMaster herself, Elizabeth Barton - as near as I can recall it anyway. I usually let my fabric soak over night in the soda ash soup. This time I put the dye stock in plain water, measured into intensity gradations. stuffed the dry cloth right into the dye bath, and let is sit five or so minutes, diddling it from time to time for better distribution of color. Let it rest a bit. THEN whack all the pots with a shot of soda ash solution, diddle a little more and then stack the pans up. 
I'll cover this with a piece of plastic and will not mess with them until maybe tomorrow afternoon when I get home from Charlie's. 



The annual lesson on NOT trying to make my own green blend was early this year. The one I came up with looked like green lollipops, Quite yucky. Tossed.

This is a piece of warm tan linen in a robin's egg blue dye..the best way to come at green in my opinion.

We'll see what happens..

studio archeology

The churn and burn begins. It's gotten pretty chaotic in there over the past year and a half. I go in, move things from here to there without a whole lot of rhyme or reason and generally forget what I was looking for in the first place. Today I was looking for a recently purchased box of T pins and assessing the results of yesterday's dye session. No pins...lot's things that need work, dye-wise, and this.

It was kinda crumpled up and needs a little invisible stitching and a name. One thing at a time. I found my baseball hat and glove too!


Saturday, May 02, 2015

10 shades of poppy

I'm opening the 2015 Lawrenceville Frankenstein Dyedeck with a commission, from an esteemed patron right here in the ATL she is going to be up to her tail in Poppy done in linens, damask and some cotton that looks snatched off a fast creature. I'll leave these to poach until tomorrow and hope I don't have to redye anything once they are rinsed, washed and dried.


I've been getting pretty smug about my pretty fingernails, so Murphy (He of the Law) slipped a defective glove in the box to put me in my place. Even with doubles...at least it wasn't green or black.

I considered the appropriate gesture for a moment, then remembered I had a tube of Reduran upstairs.

Dyefest 5.2 , part 2 continues tomorrow with the full rainbow cook-up.

My Goodman

Couldn't let this day slip away without acknowledging that it's been six years since we lost Jimmy. He was a wonderful father an...

Play it again Sam.