Saturday, May 1, 2010

Energy Flow

I set a goal for myself with Kristin's color choices to use all of them in this piece.  I know I've come close, probably closer in person than in the picture.  I decided to work towards the volcano image, as I know I work better with images than colors.  The rest is a happy accident.  

I took a class with Holly Brackman at the SDA/SQA conference in San Francisco last month where I learned to dye polyester with dysperse dyes, using a heat press.  At the time of the class, I thought I would not have much use for polyester, but it turns out I kind of like it. This piece is made with a 100% polyester sheer and the best way to describe how I made this is through the pictures.  The picture below is of 2 different pieces of watercolor paper.  The one on the left is scribbled with fabric crayons, then painted over with yellowish dye and left to dry.  The one on the right is painted with red dye.


 The next step was to cut small holes in the yellow paper, and feed some of the fabric through to the back side. The reason it looks pink is because I've already done the next step which is to place the red paper on top of the little pull throughs and press the whole thing in a heat press.  This way, the cloth is impregnated with the yellow dye, and the pulled thru bits are impregnated with the red dye, which leaves you with the center of the above quilt.  The heat press has the added advantage of pressing all the wrinkles into the fabric, and since it's polyester, it's permanent.


I was really impressed with this and and while studying it, I thought, hey, wait a minute, this could work for the volcano theme.  I made a few more pieces with black and laid them all out on a piece of felt.  I added some handstitched green to hold it together and pillowcased it.
Thank you Kristin for such a challenging theme, I really had fun with this.

10 comments:

Terri Stegmiller said...

A very interesting process and a lovely quilt Karen. I am betting even more intriguing if seen in person as it looks like there is so much depth and movement.

Gerrie said...

Yes, I want to pick this up and examine it. Something I always want to do with your pieces. I am now realizing how the best of show piece at the SDA member show last year was done. It was very dimensional and each puff was a different color.

I think this is a wonderful technique for your style of work. This has a very mysterious feel to it!!

Diane said...

Wow! This is fascinating, Karen -- I loved that you were immediately able to put your disperse dye education to use here! And the result is such a strong and clear representation of volcanic energy (to me, anyway)-- ash and movement and firey bits and green foliage dissolving into gray... Wonderful. I'd love to see this in person!

Terry said...

Oooo-ooo-oo! The impression of smoke and heat and the profound power of the earth really speak to me through this magical piece! This is work I would/could never do, which makes me in awe of where such vision comes from. Incredible, Karen.

Kristin L said...

My reaction is the same as Diane's -- fascinating!! I would never have conceived of the pull-throughs and the permanent pleats. How wonderful that you were able to try a new technique on a challenge so soon after learning it. As Terry said, it is so mysterious.

I think there must be some magic in your piece. I can almost imagine myself in the sulfur mists of the volcano at night with the spirit of Pele hovering about....

Deborah Boschert said...

Yes, fascinating is exactly what I thought too! The process is so intriguing, and the results are fabulous! So, is it two layers treated with disperse dyes, one black and the other with the yellow and reds, and then both are stacked on felt? I want to see it in person -- or at least see a photo with a side view. Great job!

Karen said...

My explanation was as clear as mud. It was fabric on the bottom, then yellow/red/black zig zag colored paper next face down with the holes cut in it and the bits of fabric pulled through, then the red paper on top, which was all heat pressed, so the yellow printed onto the fabric with the bits pulled thru printed red on to the same fabric from the top paper. The black/white fabric around the edge was printed seperately and tucked under the yellow for stitching. Then I used the felt as batting. I'll try posting a side view on my blog

Diane said...

I think I get it -- the first layer got the color from the first piece of dye-painted paper; then the parts pulled through got the color from the second layer of paper. Very cool!

Azreada said...

What an interesting technique. Wow, your piece has so much energy and movement!!

Deborah Boschert said...

Karen posted a side view on her blog! You must check it out. It's fabulous.