lørdag den 3. december 2011

And the forest grows...

Now I've worked a couple of layers in my forest... This time I began working on the branches - there are always so many of them in the woods - and then I moved up in the colour skale: up towards red!

It's kind of funny working on an autumn scene as my trees outside are bare and grey... We're already in the Danish winter:  grey, wet, dark and foggy. So I had to tune myself into the right atmosphere. And for once I was really happy I've been taking thousands of fotos with my camera. I used some time observing my old pictures, and when I felt as if autumn was getting under my skin again, I set the computer to slideshow my many autumn pictures... Her are a couple of them.

Back to my work, I've managed to keep the printing of the dog walking motif still visible beneath the layers of forest. The white vertical lines in the foto beneath are the light reflections on the soluble plastic. I wonder how it will look like when it's gone!

I guess my forest is getting to the point where it's ready to be stitched as a layer with fine nylon thread - my magical invisible thread.  That's what I'm going to do now and then when everything is sewn together, I'll wash the forest layer in water, so the plastic will dissolve. Sounds like magic, doesn't it? :-) It's so high tech! :-)

onsdag den 30. november 2011

A forest is born

Today was just a good day! The sun shining outside all the time, gave me a lot of light to work with my art quilt which I haven't decided on a title yet, but is about walking in nature, with your dogs and enjoying the freedom there is to it.

So today I 'gave birth' to a forest. Well, it's not finished yet, but it's pretty much on the way. :-) I'm using a new technique this time. Since I printed on the previous layers, I wouldn't want to have to wash the whole work if I used my old method: layering would just continue until I was satisfied, and then I would spread a piece of soluble plastic over the whole thing, stich throu it very tightly with invisible thread and then wash the piece, so the plastic would dissolve.

Today I just changed things a bit. I put a layer of soluble plastic under the first new layers and when I had to stop working, I put another piece of plastic on top. Tomorrow I'll layer on, until the forest is finished. And then I'll be able to stich the layers separetly from the bottom picture itself. Does it make sense for you who is reading? Mmmm. Maybe it's too much nerd talking without images to show! :-)

Anyway her is the forest so far:

I really really love that the printing behind, in the bottom layers, is still visible. I hope they still will be tomorrow, once I've finished the forest. I need some more layers on with the other orange and reddish colours of the autumn.

Her is an overall picture of the whole piece so far... Once I'm finished with the forest on the left, I'll have to do something about the sudden vertical sharp line on the right, I think... And I have to add teksture to the main tree and... yes, many other things.... Just wait and see! :-)

fredag den 18. november 2011

A walk with the dogs

Efter a long while I'm back working with my art! It feels great! My trip to Brazil in October brought med inspiration and most important, life experience which actually makes it easier for me to do what I do: my art! :-) But that's another long story...

Today's story is about the joys of walking in the forest with the company of our best friends - dogs or even cats, as it often happens to me. Pets are wonderful and bring a new dimension to our lives.

In spring time I took a photo of one of my friends while she was walking with her three dogs past my house. Some of the pictures were quite good, so I managed to change it into a couple of nice hard black and white version that later were made into two Thermofax frames. If you are wondering what this is, I can tell you it's a frame similar to those used in silk screen. I wrote a post about printing with Thermofax frames in february 2011 - the pictures speak for themselves!

I printed the motif on a cotton piece I'd used to try other prints on for some time ago. I chose some pastel and autum colours. And when I felt it was time, I stopped and now I'm having fun finding some motifs to work on some time later:

It's fun to move my card strips to find new possibilities. But I have to choose at a time... But undtil then, I'll work on my bigger project, an art quilt I've been working on since 2009 for my vet. Now it's time to finish it. And since I've seen how the two frames with the dog walking lady have been tried on, I have a much clearer idea of how I'm going to use the print in the large art quilt... I'm ready to work again in my studio. Paints and frames, her I go!  And soon a new post about this big art quilt will come!

onsdag den 24. august 2011

Old glass and chrystal stamping

It's always amazing to go to a second hand shop and go hunting for beautiful aged things. Last month I found several bowls of glass and chrystal and I saw the unique possibility at hand for me: to use them for stamping.

I've always admired the patterns of old glass - specially when today's are so plain and annonimous. The patterns always take me back to my days back in school, where I learnt how to draw less complex geometric motifs. I know it takes a lot of precision and patiente to make such patterns, so I appreciate that somebody long ago took the time and made his/her drawings and later made them into real things.

Last year I started a portrait of my mother, and I played with the idea of using mandalas in the background, as a way to describe her incredible skills in telling stories and creating webs and contact with other people. But then I drove away from the project, because other projects took over...

Looking at the bowl glasses, I finally found the perfect tool to take this project up again. But first, I have make some samples - and that's what I did yesterday.

It was really fun stamping with the bowls. The most successful piece is show in this entry.  The very first is a full view and the other two are details I specially liked.

I'm pretty happy with the first results. I'm looking forward to my next samples! 

tirsdag den 22. marts 2011

Danish gift traditions and my own gift card

In Denmark there's a tradition about gifts. Whenever a birthday or special season near us, people ask each other what they would like to receive as gift. If you're invited to a jubileaum party, a wedding og some other celebration, you'll most certainly receive a list of gifts which the person wishes for.

When I moved to Denmark I felt this was weird. But it's just another example of the logic mentality of the Danes. In Brasil sending a list of gift along with the invitation would be almost offensive - except maybe at weddings. Cultural differences...

But that's not the only thing about the Danish gifts. Many wish for a 'gift card' - or in Danish "gavekort" - usually from a specific shop. For example if I'd like clothes from a nice shop in town called 'Hos Hanne', I'd state that I wish a gift card to 'Hos Hanne'. My friends would then go to the shop and pay ie. 200 kr and get a voucher for the same amount, which is packed as a present. Now if you've got many friends who do that, then you can buy almost a new collection to your wardrobe - at your own choice! Not bad!

I wonder if some other countries also have the same tradition? Or is it just a Scandinavian thing? If you know it, please tell me. :-)

And so it happened that one of my customers told me she was going to her sister in law's birthday and wanted to give her a purse. Her sister in law is a very creative person herself, so one of my hand made purses would be a nice gift.

When we agreed on the price, I went on and made a gift card for her. Of course it shouldn't be just a piece of paper. No, no. As a textile artist I'd rather use some cloth - specially some of it I'd just painted and printed on! :-)

The picture above shows the front side of the card, which is a mini art quilt. I machine qulted and machine embroidered it. On the back I mounted corners where I could attach my business card, the gift voucher and some pictures of other purses I've sewn, so she could have an idea of what I do.

My customer told me later that she was very happy for the present - that is the gift card - the mini art quilt. She also told me that the other guests at the party admired it - good to know!

Since then I've talked to the lady and received information as to what kind of purse, size and colour she desires. I'm really excited about this project! I loved making the mini art quilt and I've already got some ideas for the purse... Don't miss my next entry! :-)

onsdag den 16. februar 2011

Expanding layers

Now my experiment is getting really interesting. Last night I painted two pieces of cloth with EXP binder. EXP binder is a kind of paint that expands when you gently float iron on the back. It's magic! And you can't control it all the way - so chance's got a chance! :-)

The samples I painted yesterday evening were quite good, except that the cloth shrank quite much. One would probably could strecht it back and sew it, but I wasn't satified. So today I strechted a piece of silk organza over an embroidery frame and when the binder was dry, I ironed carefully not to touch the cloth. And surprise! I managed to achieve the same structure without shrinking my cloth!

Her is how the organza layer looks like with the EXP binder painted and expanded (the white rubber like texture):

In the pictures above you can se the difference it makes to paint with broad and thin brushes... The first retains the feather lightness of the brushstrokes. The latter adds so much binder that the texture of the brushes disapear, leaving instead the binders own texture.

While I waited for the binder to dry, I sew the three layers of forest I made yesterday together. When the binder was dry and expanded with the ironing process, I painted the rubber layer with pastel tones as you can see above. The I cut the pieces I wanted to use and sew them to the forest background. And her is how it looks like:

The EXP binder is quite sensitive, so using the sewing machine damaged a little of the structure. So I stopped and decided to hand quilt it. That would be really nice, I think! I can't wait to start quilting! :-)

tirsdag den 15. februar 2011

Layers of forest

It's just so exciting to try something new. It's challenging and it pushes you forward. And today was another chapter in my adventure painting cloth!

The motif I chose is very well known to me. Last year I worked with forest as a theme. That was when I used a soldering iron to melt polyester and other synthetic materials. But since the gases released in the burning process are carcinogenic, I decided to drop this technique. I wondered whether or not painting would bring the same transparency and delicacy I achieved with the melting process. But the first result is promissing:

The picture above is the final result. I startede with painting a background on cotton...

..... Then I laid a piece of fine silk organza on top and painted some trees. ...

... Finally I laid another layer of organza and painted some pink pine trees.

Tomorrow I'll try another binder, EXP, which adds texture to the cloth. I'm excited to se what it will do to my pine trees. But I think I'll sew the three layers with nylon thread before I use the EXP binder... Keep tuned! News are coming soon!

torsdag den 3. februar 2011

Explaining Photo Screen

It seems I forgot that most people aren't artists! I realize I've used a very technical language, and that wasn't very reader friendly! Sorry, folks!

Luyckily I've got some good friends who are very curious and asked med a lot of questions about the process. So her i a short explanation... after these pictures:

The first thing is to have a nice black and white photo printed on paper. At www.spektrumtextil.dk they have a machine called Thermofax, which makes a special photocopy of my picture to a transparent piece of cloth, which then is pulled over a frame.

The first picture shows the two frames and one of my paper prints.

Once I have my frame, I put some paint on it, and then I use a flat thing called a squeegee to push the paint over the frame. The paint goes through the motive to the cloth underneath. Then I lift the frame, and voila! Her is a brand new print of my motive!

So when I was talking about printing, it had nothing to do with computer printers, but the simple old fashioned meaning of the word: with paint and my own hand... One might say I'm going backwards on technology... :-) I'd rather say I'm using the best of all technoloogies. I use the computer to prepare my image, but the most vivid artistic expression is much nearer when it's me that's controling the paint... :-)

onsdag den 2. februar 2011

Photo Screen

I did it! I finally did it! I went to Copenhagen last week and visited a shop that specializes in paint and dyes for textiles, which are not harmful to the environment or to my health. They also have the technology to make thermofax frames for printing.

So I found a couple of my best nature pictures and prepared it for the thermofax copy with Paint Shop Pro. I made it black and white, then Addet a lot of contrast and light. Finally I printed it on paper - this is what I gave them at the shop, and a day later they sent me two frames. And wow! It looks great!

So today, efter using some time in the last few days to blend colors and binders, I finally did it! I printed on cloth! First I made a background using an watercolor binder. Then I printed the first layer with green and the second, with another motive, in neon pink.

Tomorrow I'll try some other stuff on this surface! A lot of fun is coming up! I can hardly wait!