Monday, February 27, 2017

Dyeing Lessons


You Tube is a wonderful thing! Though I read a lot, I learn better by watching, and best of all by doing.  This afternoon I've been watching dyeing videos. 
Gene Shepherd has a Wool Dye Session that he's recorded showing his dyeing basics.  He covers equipment and supplies and uses 1/8 teaspoon of cherry dye in 2 cups of water to dye 1/2 yard of wool. He demonstrates that by adding the 3 separate wool pieces with a short delay between them, he can get a succession of values. Gene makes the process very easy and non-threatening.

Wanda Kerr has a video explaining spots dyes, The Beet Goes On. Wanda wrote an article on spot dyes in the Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Rug Hooking Magazine ( pages 76 -79) in her column "Colors to Dye For".  The article describes the steps for doing a spot dye and offers 10 recipes for some beautiful wool.  The piece she dyes in the video is one of the recipes from her article.  Wanda dyes a 1/4 yard of wool in a 9" x 13" cake pan with 2/32 t red violet, 2/32 t bottle green, 1/32 t seal brown, and 2/32 t yellow (Magic Carpet dyes).  All the dye colors are mixed with 1/32 t of citric acid before she spots the wool.  The video covers how to properly place the wool in the pan, mixing the dyes, pouring the colors in a pattern,  and finally processing the dyed wool. If you don't use Magic Carpet dye (I use ProChem and Cushing's Perfection dyes), Wanda says that the recipes from her article can be tried with dyes from other companies. "The results will not be the same but they will be interesting and useful." (p.79)

The final video I watched was Casserole Dyeing Wool for Rug Hooking by Sandra L. Brown.  Casserole dyeing  creates transitions from one color to another in one piece of material. The dyeing wool can be many layers deep.... adding wool on top of wool and repeating the dyeing process. Sandra's video is a follow-up to an article she wrote, "From Edge to Edgie", in the 2013 Sept/Oct  edition of Rug Hooking Magazine (pages 18 - 25). Sandra says her casserole dyeing is a modification of Edna Flemming's One-Hundred & One Formulas for Casserole Dyeing, Copyright 1965.  (Edna used Cushing dyes and adds vinegar to her dye solutions.  Sandra uses Pro Chem dye and does not add the mordant to the dye as she thinks the color takes up too fast on the edges of the wool and makes the color more difficult to spread with her spoon.)  The video follows Sandra as she dyes wool with grasshopper #719, saffron #228, burgundy, and mahogany #508.
Sandra says that the 49 grape leaves in the "Bonanza" pattern below were dyed using the casserole method.
  "Bonanza", 42" x32"
Pattern by Pearl McGown, Hooked by Sandra Brown.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lion by Edyth O'Neill

Lion, Designed and Hooked by Edyth O'Neill
38 x 47

Though I am still finishing up the Rockefeller rug, I've already started color planning the next project.  This pattern was designed by Edyth O'Neill as a gift for her daughter.   I purchased the linen pattern from a fellow ATHA member who bought it and then decided not to hook the rug.  This is truly a beautiful primitive pattern created and hooked by Edyth, but for my project I've redrawn the lion's head in the pattern, and the colors I've chosen for the rug are cooler.  The lion's face will be a little less gentle....a little fiercer.
Using drawing paper and Prismacolor colored pencils, I've worked out the color study for the lion's face and eyes.  We'll see how it goes.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Fabric Books

This one hour and 38 minute video by Traci Bautista was live filmed during a day long workshop at the Art & Soul Retreat in California.  I was able to borrow the DVD through my local library program.
In this, Traci shows the step by step methods for creating mixed media books/journals with pages made from a variety of fabric and papers (paper towel, newsprint, etc.). She decorates and dyes her pages and book covers using paint, inks, markers, colored pencils, stencils, stamps (some artist created from cardboard), iron on transfers (Print n Press), doodling, collage, and stitching. Traci uses water media in coloring her pages.  She suggests that artists check out the kids' art supply section at the big box stores, because of the variety of fun materials available at reasonable cost.  
Traci follows the process of her bookmaking from creating the pages, making signatures (groups of pages), adding the covers and creating a latch hooked spine to the assembling of the final (very "funky") book.  The video is easy to follow and the directions so complete that anyone could make one of her "Retro Rags".
I was thinking this would be a great support to hold a theme based series of drawings or paintings. many ideas....