Latest Fabric Designs

I don’t mind the trial-and-error involved in art making; I just prefer the trial part, it always seems more open ended at least. The error part stinks!

Last weekend I made some fabric that didn’t turn out as well as I hoped. Drat!

I had this idea to make fabric with a large mountain motif. Here in Tucson, the Catalina Mountains are a familiar sight, so I drew a large shape of the mountains and then traced it onto contact paper (what you’d use for kitchen shelving) using my “light table” a.k.a patio door:

Here is a rather dim view of what the contact paper shapes (white) look on white fabric out on my patio on a hot day when the glare from the sun, even on my patio, made everything seem very white:

Here are the same shapes with dye screen-printed on top. Warm weather is very good for dyeing. The 4% ambient humidity might frighten some folks who dye, but I find that by adding enough urea to my dye solutions, that seems to be just enough of a wetting agent. As I’ve said before, I don’t batch my dyed fabric. It’s usually sun-dried and tossed in the washer within hours of being dyed.

I usually have better luck, but the above fabric didn’t turn out very well. I was planning on getting a fabric that I’d screen-print again, but what I got isn’t worth it. Sigh.

Though before learning the outcome (before it went in the wash) I made some foccacia, following a recipe in The Olives Table cookbook which I just got as a gift from my Aunt Mary. I find making some yummy food in the middle of a day of art making feels very luxurious. The focaccia recipe in that book is fantastic, here are how mine looked, slathered w/olive oil and peccorino romano and about 5 minutes from being done:

Anyway, a whole work week went by and today I picked up from where I left off, this time trying a different spin on the whole mountain theme. Here we have a panorama view of the Catalina mountains, made from color photographs photocopied and then taped together. I burned the edges of the bottom one and will do the same for the top one, as I like the effect:

Here they are on top of some previous screen printed fabric, also of the Catalina mountains. My plan is to laminate these photocopies onto silk organza, and then to layer the silk over the original fabric:

This is the roughly 20″x30″ piece of organza, pinned down on foam core with one of those contact-paper mountain shapes stuck on top. Not giving up on that idea! This fabric was screen printed this afternoon but not washed. Since it’s a sheer, and since the yardage is smaller, I’m hoping for a better outcome since the effect is supposed to be subtle. We’ll see tomorrow!

2 thoughts on “Latest Fabric Designs

    • Yes, likewise; we’ll be out more often now that it’s hot….but you know, all this week it’s supposed to be just 100 so that’s not really that bad. 🙂 Could be 105!

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