Archive for the ‘Color’ Category

Creative Gambit – a risky show!

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

I’m working alongside Liz Kettle (textiles) and Jennifer Hanson (pottery) to present a show of new work in Manitou’s Commonwheel Gallery in July.  Although most of fine craft is just plain hard work, sometimes it needs a playful start to find new directions.

Creative Gambit will have risk-taking moves by each of us individually, as well as three assemblies combining our work.   For three artists who work in primarily functional mode, these collaborations are a distinct departure.

‘Tea for 3’ will be a still life vignette inspired by Alice in Wonderland.   The stack of cups is turned off-center in two sections; the handles are bent spoons.  Liz is making a fabric vase, and Jennifer has crafted a whimsical teapot.     We realized early on that in a gallery, we should do gallery things.  The still life painting is a popular genre, but we can go behind the scenes to make our own subject matter.  That is one of the powers of fine craftwork!

 

 

My studio has a kitchen!

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

Ridgeway Studios’ clay studio and woodshop are in a cottage that I lived in until 2009, complete with a working kitchen and sunny windows.

Yesterday I was working with underglazes on two different colors of clay.  Surface design for clay has been a long study.  It is only after working with pyrography and color on wood that I begin to see the amazingly easy ways to design for the clay surface, starting with the plasticity of the forms.  The bottle in the darker clay, for example, was shaped while wet with four sides, while the top remains round.  This suggested squares for the application of color.

Surface design only works when the form requires it for a sense of wholeness.   That is, it has to be much better with the surface design than without it.  I think I have been intimidated by that standard for a long time.

Milkpaint madness

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

‘Earthenware’ uses carved cross-hatching through layers of milk paint, which are also sanded back.  About 9″ diameter.

The center medallion is turned on the offset axis, but moves visually back to the center!  It seems that the effect of the offset bowl is obscured by creating a center for it.   Won’t do that again…..

Milkpaint is subtle.  I find it very difficult to photograph the actual appearance of these platters. 

‘Mums’ uses deeper carving in order to fit the scale of this 18″ platter blank.  The mums are sanded back to the original red underpainting so that the edges of the petals emerge.    Sunflower milk paint provided a deep layer over the whiter paint, which was textured with deeply textured paper while it was wet.  It has a little more of a silk brocade feeling.  A thin wash of sparkly gold covers the entire platter.

Merryl Saylan in my life!

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

Merryl has been using milk paint on platters and fruit for most of her career as a woodturner.  Even when other turners became more and more flamboyant, she stayed with her restrained shapes and quiet colors.   She is best known among symposium attendees for her use of milk paint finishes.   In November, the Center for Art in Wood will present a retrospective of her work.

In honor of Merryl, I ventured into some unknown dimensions.

I haven’t made platters this large (13″ diameter) before, so scaling up the surface design to the bigger surface area was challenging for me.  I also wanted to explore ways of using milk paint as a finish.   I chose to layer 5 colors of milk paint in a very free way, with big brushes, while the layers were still wet.  I had burned and carved some areas of texture before painting.  Often, sanding back through the layers works well.  This time, however, I wanted to stay with manipulating the texture of the wet paint, by lifting off some of it.  I liked that effect well enough to forego sanding back through the layers.

STORMBORN clothes ready for sale!

Saturday, September 8th, 2018

Ice-dyes are like tie-dye on steroids, and much less predictable!  After dyeing some quilting fabric, I couldn’t resist making garment-dyed dresses, camisoles, harem pants, lotus capri’s, and a few jackets and vests in the Game of Thrones colors of ice and fire.

The clothes are rayon jersey or woven rayon, sewn for Dharma Trading in Indonesia.   The dyes are Procion fixed with soda ash.  All of the garments have been washed three times in the dying process, so they won’t shrink.  A curious thing about rayon is that the fibers are weak when wet, so no wringing or line-drying!  It really loves a medium hot dryer setting.   The woven garments benefit from a touch-up to hems and bindings with a cool iron (wool setting).

Garments are one-of-a-kind, in women’s sizes M-L-XL-XXL

Polishing up for the Studio Tour

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

 

 

These turned pears responded well to a bit of Goldfinger enhancement.

Wooden fruit is a very traditional product of the turning shops in England.  It provides a wonderful pallet for me to collect samples of finishes that I use.

Pipe Dreams

Wednesday, June 27th, 2018

 

 

 

 

Tubes of dubious origin and doubtful usefulness!

Aspen cut in the face grain orientation on the lathe.  This orientation does not present aspen to its best advantage, so there is a good opportunity for fun with texture and color.

To 9″ tall

Inspired by my collection of Richard Raffan wooden tubes, which I use all the time

 

 

 

Stormborn Garments Provide new color frontiers

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Inspired by Game of Thrones on HBO, I decided to interpret ‘Stormborn’ in two different colorways for ice dyeing.

This is the ‘Ice’ colorway on rayon, which gives the most vivid colors.

I will have Stormborn products for sale for the first time at our September Studio Tour, the 8th and 9th here at our home studios.  Come try them on, and join the fray!

Getting back to greens

Friday, December 1st, 2017

All fabric for this quilt was made in a class with Linda Colsh several years ago.  It wasn’t until I started using metal paints on fabric that I knew what to make.

This one uses the energy in the green arches and the figure to evoke Vesuvius.  The figure is transposed from a photo of the statue of Pan in Pompeii, painted with brass and iron paints, and patinating solution.

The floating ash came from the way we layered the scrolls of fabric in Linda’s class.  The paints moved through the fabrics, creating unexpected effects, like floating ash…

‘Pompeii,’ uses the same printed black fabric from Linda’s class.  The leaves are metal paints printed with a stencil, both negative and positive versions.

The wine bottles were drawn after a photo of wine bottles in the ruins, then machine quilted without any other enhancement on the hand-painted fabric.

Interstellar silk

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

‘Distant Planet is the second of the Interstellar quilts.  Dyed silk combines with commercial cottons and machine quilting to evoke an unfamiliar sky.  The shape of the quilt and the green silk reflect the quadrilaterals used extensively in Star Wars.

Photography from space exploration and science fiction blend freely in my first efforts.  As I make more fabrics for this series of quilts, I hope to find the quilt-like features of space exploration that we tend to overlook.  Most habitations, for example, come from archaeology or submarine design, and feature weapons as the most common human artifacts.  It will be good to nurture a different vision…