Monday, August 12

A week of workshops

I arrived back home and then jumped right into teaching a week of Stitch and Surface summer intensive. I had a lovely group of ladies, including some familiar faces and some fellow elementary art teachers, so we had a great time learning and chatting. Sadly I didn't take a single picture!! However, I can share the samples I made instead. we started off with an easy symbolic stitch sampler, experimenting with new stitches on a personalized shape. We did a smattering of shibori experiments including pole wrapping and clamping. We tried gel medium photo transfer on fabric. And we created a 4x6 fabric postcard using a variety of the fabrics that had been created over the week.
I'm not a big fan of adhesives in fiber art. However, I knew a number of the students were collage and mixed media afficionados, so we tried gel transfers to create a photographic image on fabric. The trick is to paint a layer or 2 of acrylic medium onto a color photocopy and press and smooth it onto fabric just after painting out the last layer. We let them dry overnight, and then dampened and scrubbed off the paper to reveal the image adhered to the fabric. This technique does reverse images, so text is reversed, but I kind of like how that altered my graffiti transfer above. I think this technique would work better on a wood surface. However, it was interesting to have a different surface to work on in stitch. In fact, I may do more fabric postcards using the transfer technique..
 My fabric postcard was inspired by my Montana trip, of course. I used my arashi shibori sample as a background layer and then showed everyone how to use fusible web with fabric scraps to design a composition. Finally I embellished the surface with some straight stitches, feather stitch, buttonhole, and satin stitch. I was planning to put in "O Montana" in the sky, but the O looked so much like a moon, which made the sky look like aurora borealis, that I just left it. Finally I demonstrated how to bind the edges with some double folded bias tape, which framed it quite nicely.

Although this fabric postcard could probably be sent as is through the mail, I decided to protect it with a custom-made envelope cut from a brown paper bag. It's headed back to Montana as a thank you!

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