Friday, August 29, 2008

Itajime folding directions

This will demonstrate the variety of effects that can be gotten with just one folding method, and it really only scratches the surface. All of the samples here are rice paper folded and clamped but the similar results can be gotten on fabric, especially cotton.

To fold:

1. Create an accordian fold (red is mountain fold, up; blue is valley fold, down)

2. Accordian fold again but in a triangle pattern (see diagram), you will end up with a thick little triangle, clamp it so all the layers are pressed tightly together, I usually use squeeze clamps for smaller pieces of fabric.

To make these samples I used 4 colors: medium densities of gold, orange, olive, and a dark brown. I dipped the paper into the dye or painted it on with a foam brush. These diagrams show the placement of the dyes on the bound paper.

here are the resulting patterns...

Sample 1.

Sample 2.

Sample 3.

Sample 4.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Golden Hours

I invent nothing, I rediscover.

Each season we get the chance to rediscover all those tiny notes that make the symphony of life. As summer moves tword fall it takes on this mellow golden glow,
afternoons vibrate as all the little bugs quirk and chirp, nice time to take a few pictures and enjoy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

What each must seek in his life never was on land or sea. It is something out of
his own unique potentiality for experience, something that never has been and
never could have been experienced by anyone else.

Joseph Campbell

Hooray!!! I finished reorganizing the computer, backed it up onto the XHD and have straightened the studio up...

This is a good day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Food For Thought

I will act as if what I do makes a

-William James

Summer has entered its late stage here the mushrooms are sprouting everywhere and the kadydids are singing loud and strong at night.
I continue to slog along at the sorting process, some days I make progress and some not so much. This past weekend was one of those moments when my constant chipping away sort of rolled into a bunch of progress (very kaizen) I cleaned the studio up including the file cabinets and bulletin boards. As a result I feel much less anxious.
I’ve even made significant progress on the computer sorting, I’ve gotten rid of many duplicate files and photos.
This would probably go a great deal faster if the entire process wasn’t tangled up with my “what should I do with my life?” angst… Of course that angst is one of the reasons I have such a big mess on my hands in the first place. I start a project-then wonder if I should be spending time on it-then think of something else to do-and repeat, leaving a wake of unfinished work, various research materiels and notes. The above quote is from

Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design
by Laurence G. Boldt

A book that has been sitting on my shelf unread for 8 years or so, its full of food for thought and a tremendous amount of quotes.
One idea it has me chewing over is world view-the general perspective from which you interpret the world
Is your world view primarily based from a commodity perspective (interested in profit, domination, control)
Or is it based from a sacred perspective (interested in service, duty, protection, love)
Our society is so grounded in the commodity perspective that even when the sacred perspective is understood to be a healthier and wiser direction to follow it can be difficult to do so….
It’s a nice simple guide to frame decisions though even the angsty ones.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Morning Travels

I have been trying to get up earlier in the morning so I can have a little time to work on projects. Once I'm up I find its quite nice to settle down and work quietly while the world around me wakes up. Today I started to stitch the pathway piece to a background. I had created the openwork portals with the idea of red showing through, the red fabric has been toned down with some brown dye work. I like the organic lines of the button hole stitch so as i tack the two pieces together I am creating folds that add a bit more texture and create a more interesting line.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Results Are In

Well these two dye lots were a mixed bag. I like how some of the pima cotton came out and the scarves look pretty but the paper doesn't make the cut. I've never done scarves with these two palettes before (I've used the colors for other projects including a successful group of papers)

The soft pastels performed well on the silk, the darker color densities created a vein like effect that hopefully will evoke leaves and not lungs. Although a healthy lung is something to be appreciated.
The deep jewel tones look nicest when all three colors were used as all of the reds and golds from the purple and green pulled out to create a pretty northern lights effect.
Overall I like 'em.

The pima cotton swatches were less consistent, the darker jewel tones are overall a more successful set. I love three and like the other one.
The lighter pastels well, I only love one of them but the others have their charms. I just find them a bit watery looking for my taste, I prefer more defined shapes. I think I would have liked the results better if I had used a heavier hand when applying the dye. Itajime falls short for me when there is too much white left in the fabric and the pastels were very light in density so they didn't have much "push".
Watery looking is how the paper came out. I think I needed to press it more after dyeing to get the excess juice out. Live and learn.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Wrapped up

Tonight I got the dyes out again. I’ve had some success selling scarves through one of my consignment shops Waves of Creation down in Wakefield (yay!), so its time to replenish. 2 sizes of habotai silk scarves in two color palettes. I’ve worked with both of these color combos before and have been pleased with the results. The first combo is a very soft pastel group of warm muted tones gold, plum, green and taupe. Together they remind me of fields of wild grasses going to seed, very late summery. The second group is deep twilight jewel tones purple, blue and green. For both palettes I mixed a dark and light density of each color then sort of went to town…
I try to keep the number of colors down to 2 to 4 (plus light tones of each) otherwise I find it becomes a big muddle (emphasis on mud).
As long as I had the dye out I went ahead and did some shibori rice paper and some pima cotton in fat 1/2s… tomorrow I get to see how it comes out

Saturday, August 2, 2008

How to Make a Podadah Path

This week I started the first of the paths in the new garden, I’ve dug up so many Podadahs* that it seemed the only thing to do with them was to use ‘em up as the paving materiel for all the paths between the beds. To make them I start with a layer of newspaper that I hope will discourage weeds, lay down a layer of podadahs which instantly and magically become cobblestones. I pack ‘em as tightly as I can then fill in the cracks with stone dust. The stone dust hides the newspaper and helps to keep the cobbles from shifting around. I start at one end and just work along until my knees feel like they will give out. After a heavy rain I will go back over with some more stone dust to fill in where it gets washed in and needs more filling. Don't let that picture up top fool you, that is the part of the garden that is done the rest of it is a tangle of dirt and rocks. Only 3 more large beds to go (dig, amend the soil, edge, and mulch) and 6 more paths…Phew

*podadah: the Rhode Islandese pronunciation of potato, also, a fair description of any small mostly useless rock around the size of a small mans fist or smaller but still large enough to annoy when trying to plant a garden