Posts Tagged ‘Fabric Dyeing’

Greetings from San Jose

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

It’s been a whirlwind couple of months!  I left Chicago on August 4th with my 2 dogs and drove about 2200 miles over the next 3 days to reach San Jose.  We spent the next 9 days living with a bed and  plastic  utensils and paper plates.  The movers delivered our stuff on August 15th.  Since then, I have managed to get mostly unpacked, but we are still waiting for our garage to be built before we can unpack all of the stuff that we had in the basement of out old place.  I am hoping that will go up in the next week or so.

 

My sewing room is set up, but I don’t yet have a place to dye or paint fabric, so I haven’t really started any new work.  I also can’t find a regular sized USB cord, so can’t upload all the pictures I’ve been taking with my phone.  I am going out to buy one this week! 

 

I did manage to take a class at a great art studio in my neighborhood- A Work of Heart  It’s got equipment/classes for everything from stamping to dyeing fabric, to precious metal clay, including a class I signed up for in cyanotype printing on fabric  The place has a great vibe and really nice people.  I am sure to be a regular there.

 

I also joined  the Contemporary Quilters Fiber Artists group.  This is a group of extremely talented people that do lots of surface design techniques.  I am sure to learn a ton from them.

 

To top it off, I went to the regional meeting of the Surface Design Association today as well.  It met at artist Judith Content’s home, which is a work of art in itself.  This is a group working and teaching in all aspects of surface design.  Applications include anything from weaving to designing fabric, to felt vessels.  You name it.  Very inspiring!

 

I learned about a really cool company today as well called Spoonflower.  Seems like everyone but me knows about this.  For what I think is a pretty good price, you can upload an image and they will custom print it onto fabric.  Amazing!  Like inkjet printing you do at home, but on a much larger scale. 

 

More later and I’ll have pictures!!!!

Back on the Face of the Earth

Monday, December 13th, 2010

 

"Cave Series VII" (C) 2010 by Tracy McCabe Stewart

I know it’s been a while.  I have been busy with non-art stuff for a while and haven’t had much that really seemed worth writing about. 

I just completed the piece shown above.  It’s another piece in my cave series; all are based on the incredible images found on the cave walls of Altamira (Spain), Lascaux (France) and chauvet (France).  As much as I work with these images, they never cease to thrill me.  I have another piece on the boards, so it will be a lot less time before the next post!

Interview on Asian Art and Quilts Blog!

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Barb Harms, a wonderful art quilter with a great blog, has posted an interview with me on her blog. 

  Take a look here 

SAQA One Foot Square Auction Begins!

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The Studio Art Quilt Association (SAQA) begins their annual fundraiser today!  This is a great opportunity to purchase some great art work and help a really wonderful organization at the same time.

How the Auction Works

There are 288 Benefit Auction quilts donated by our members. The SAQA 2010 Benefit Auction will begin on Monday, September 20th at 2:00 Eastern Time and conclude on Saturday, October 9 at 2:00 Eastern.

Last year’s Benefit Auction raised $47,325. The funds raised through the Auction are critical to supporting SAQA’s exhibitions, catalogs and outreach programs.

How the Auction works:

The Auction is run in three sections (Section 1 – Pages 1a and 1b; Section 2 – Pages 2a and 2b; Section 3 – Pages 3a and 3b).

On the first day of each section’s auction, the price for all pieces in that section is $750. The next day (at 2:00 Eastern), the price drops to $550. The third day, it drops to $350, then $250, then $150, and finally $75.

The first section will begin September 20th at 2:00 Eastern.
The second section will begin September 27th at 2:00 Eastern.
The third section will begin October 4th at 2:00 Eastern.

On another note, I’ve been vat dyeing again.  This one below was made from a Procion dye that I got from Dharma Trading Company called Mild Wing Sauce.  It was an oops dye they were selling at a great price.  It was screened with golden yellow and scarlet vat dyes.

Scarf Mania! Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

this one was created from another oops! Dharma dye called How Now Brown Cow.  I LOVE this color.  It was screened with scarlet vat dye as well.

More Scarf Mania! Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Vat Dyeing and Dramatic Toad Rescue

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Okay, the rescue wasn’t really all that dramatic.  I did a bit of vat dyeing today.  When I came down to the basement, I had some little toads staring at me through the window wells.  we’ve had rain of biblical proportions the past few weeks and these little guys got washed through the grates.  It seems to happen every time we have really heavy rains here.

Toads!

Toads!

I finally used a great silk screen that I made at a workshop with the fabulous  Barbara Schneider (I love her workshops!).  The effect was made by dribbling the design goop and letting it drip.  I love the effect.  Here it is on some hand dyed fabric.  I’ll be using this for my latest cave piece:

dribble screened vat dye

and here’s a scarf I screened vat dye on while I was at it:

vat dyed scarf

It’s all one screen, but different colors.

Another layer tomorrow!

Back to the Caves

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

 

Cave screen:As you may have noticed, I haven’t gotten a heck of a lot done in the art department over the last few months.  I did revisit a whooping crane piece I’d started before leaving for my trip to Japan, but wasn’t really engaged enough to stick with it when design problems arose.  It is currently in pieces waiting for me to get interested again.

I noticed, over the past few days, that when I thought about starting or working on one of my bird pieces, I’d start drifting away.  Suddenly, any thing else was more interesting:  laundry, walking the dogs, solitaire, you name it.  Interestingly, when I thought about doing some work on my cave series, I began designing and working the logistics of the piece out in my head.  I guess I need a break from the birds for a while.

I began working out fabrics and creating new thermofax screens to use in the piece last night.  I haven’t decided whether this will be a pure fiber piece or a piece that combines fiber and etched copper like my Lascaux pieces:  Horses and Bulls I and II

Anyway, here are some of the new screens I made based on the cave paintings in Altimira, Spain and Lascaux and Chauvet, France.

I am going to try to get some screening done over the weekend.  We are getting house stuff done next week (carpeting).  I need to empty out all of our furniture for the job and move it all back again when they are through.  It will be completely chaotic here for most of the week. 

Have a great weekend!

Big in Japan-A trip to Itchiku Kubota’s Kimono Museum

Sunday, April 18th, 2010

More Falls (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Hi all,

While Ashley and I were up around Mt. Fuji, we went to see Itchiku Kubota’s astounding kimono.  Fueled by Japanese fast food these things I call rice balls:

Behold, the Japanese Rice Ball Thingie. Yum!

I sure wish I could post pictures of the actual work, but no photos were allowed in the exhibit.  I did take lots of pictures of his lovely gardens and have posted them below.  There are more lovely photos of his gardens here.

Itchiku was inspired by a piece of 17th century textiles (tsujikahana)  and vowed he would figure out how it was created and reproduce the technique.  He did that and then some; creating an amazing body of work called the “Symphony of Light”.  Read more about it here.  Much of the series was inspired by the incredible sunsets he saw while he was a prisoner of war held in Siberia.  He talks about how the sunsets gave him something to live for.   He died before the series’ completion, but his apprentices still carry out his work today.  Here’s a link to a 3 minute video of his work.  It has lovely footage of the kimono and a few scenes of his museum, which is a work of art in itself. 

Each kimono represents a year’s work by numerous people.  I have many books of his work, including Kimono as Art which has exquisite photos of his work.  even with all these books, I was surprised at how textural his kimono are.  There is actually very little stitching on them.  All of the work is painstakingly created through the dye process.  when the kimono fabris is untied after many, many dyeings, many of the folds are left in place as texture on the piece.  All of the kimono stand alone as works of art, as well as being part of a larger landscape.

I know many artists who have a “big picture” feel to their work and many who excel at detail.  I have seen very few who have had to be so good at both.  He is the only living artist to ever be shown at the Smithsonian.  I had more than a few tears in my eye looking at this work and hearing about his life.   What an amazing artist.

Anyway, here are some shots of his lovely gardens:

Entry Gates to the Garden (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Detail of Entry Gate (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Garden Path (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Falls (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Garden Pond (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Funky Garden Seating (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Garden Falls in front of the museum (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Monkeys were on the loose! We only saw a tail.

Another Beautiful Gate (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

on another note, the train station had these creepy fairies guarding it.  No explanation anywhere:

Creepy train station fairies (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

and a close up:

Creepy Fairy Close Up (c) Tracy McCabe Stewart

Off to Kyoto tomorrow!

Big in Japan-More Preparation

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Here are the scarves I started a few days ago.  I will bring them all to Japan and let my daughter choose the one that I give to my daughter’s host mother.  I posted about this yesterday here.

I thought the scarves needed another layer of vat dye, so I screened an indigo and grey mixture over them.  I got better haloes today, too.  I think this one below is my favorite.  There’s a real hot spot from my camera’s flash.  The color is much more even:

Procion MX and vat dyed scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

 Here’s the second scarf:

Tree screened scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

The final scarf turned out all right, but the new screeend flowers turned out really blurry.  It was all the same vat dye, so I don’t know what happened.  I like the look of it anyway:

Procion and Vat dyed Scarf by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Big in Japan-Trip Preparation

Sunday, April 11th, 2010

I am headed out for a 10 day trip to Japan this Wednesday.  My daughter has been finishing her last year of university in Kobe and staying with a host family there.  she has a minor in Asian studies. 

Big in Japan is a fun song from the 80’s by Alphaville.  It’s one of the worst music videos ever; complete with Robin Hood sort of outfits that don’t really have much to do with Japan, as far as I can see.  See it here.   We hum it around here because I am 6’2″ and going to the land of 5′ people.  I’m guessing I won’t exactly blend in. 

Right now, I am trying to get gifts together for Ashley’s host  family.  The Japanese have a somewhat complicated ritual of gift giving.  Here’s what I know:  gifts from/related to your geographical location are appreciated.  The presentation is really important, too.  I will wrap my presents in hand dyed fabric to try to make them extra special.  

I am from Chicago, so I am bringing them a book on Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.  I am also making a hand dyed scarf for my daughter’s host mother.   Apparently she wears very plain, dark clothing, so I am trying to do something pretty subdued.  I started by dyeing silk scarves blue grey and screened them with vat dye solution.  Here are the results form the vat dyeing.  They will probably get a layer of fabric paint before they are complete. 

Here’s a picture.  I am having a hard time getting the colors true because the silk is so reflective.  I barely got any haloing on these-too bad.  She wants plain, so I won’t add another design layer, but may screen some paint to make the effect more monochromatic.  

Hand Dyed Scarves by Tracy McCabe Stewart

A Bird in the Hand……..Reddish Egret Piece Completed

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Here’s the final piece of that reddish egret I’ve been working on:

Reddish Egret (C) 2010 by Tracy McCabe Stewart

“Reddish Egret”

(C)2010 by Tracy McCabe Stewart

Hand dyed silks and cottons, Shiva paintsticks, colored pencil.  Fused, machine quilted.

We are off to Cedarburg, WI for a weekend with our neighbors and to see the fabulous musician, Marcia Ball.  I already have another wading bird piece in the planning stages to begin when I return.

Have a great weekend!

Tracy