Many years ago, I took a workshop with a Korean artist who taught me Joomchi. I remember her studio and home was in the Santa Fe Art District but I didn't recall her name. All I remember from that day was looking at her beautiful and intricate hand-made books.
We spent the day felting mulberry papers together until they felt like fabric. When I got back to my studio, I added lots of hand stitching and loved the piece I made. Last week, as I was organizing my studio (once again!) I found the second piece I made in the workshop but never finished. So I decided to finish this piece as well using variegated perl cotton thread.
THEN, I remembered my instructor's name. Sammy Seung-Min Lee. Having just seen her exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens, I never connected my experience learning Joomchi with her amazing exhibit. Duh!
Joomchi is a calming process that can "attach" two pieces of paper into a fabric-like material. I encourage you to try it!
Here are some of the fabrics I dyed last week. I love how they came out.
I used PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric since this fabric does not have any sizing applied to the surface. But it is a very tightly woven cotton and that made it hard to hand stitch throuogh 5 layers! Easier to machine sew.
My friend, Liz Kettle, is the creator of "Stitch Meditation" so I tried her process to create this piece. But next time, I will use more loosely woven fabrics so it is easier on my hands!
I have dabbled with dyeing my own fabric many times but always gave up because I don't have a dye studio and using dye powders isn't very safe. Especially in a closed environment and the powders can get everywhere. So, I have been buying hand-dyed fabrics from other artists instead.
But then, I took a class from BB Henry during the Virtual Art Summit this month.
She demonstrated how she dyes small strips of fabric with diluted acrylic ink and I was hooked! So I spent the day dyeing lots of strips of various sizes in 5oz plastic cups. I didn't measure anything but just experimented with adding some ink to some water and then soaking the fabric. Of course, the more ink you add, the darker the fabric.
I think I will continue this experiment by layering some of these fabrics together (with B&W stripes) and adding some hand stitching. Next week, I hope to share with you what I have created!
I've been using a gel plate for many, many years. I love how it helps me make prints on paper and fabric without having to draw but just work with color and abstract images.
I recently discovered a wonderful NYC artist who has brought working with a gel plate to another level — Fulton Sim. He uses layering, mark-making, and masks to create amazingly beautiful prints. He calls himself the “ArtWhisperator88” and you can find his videos on YouTube.
I am addicted to watching him work. I can never replicate what he does since, first of all, I won't copy other artist's work. But I love experimenting with different masks I create myself as well as experimenting with my own color palette. Here is one of my pieces I especially like.
If you have a gel plate, a brayer, some acrylic paints and a couple of sheets of card stock, I recommend watching his videos and creating some prints that are unique to you. It takes some practice to figure out what works (dark to light, light to dark, shapes, etc) but that's the fun of it! It's only paper and paint so just delve in and experiment. If it doesn't work out, you can use the prints in a collage. Be brave!
Last weekend, I went to a local outdoor art exhibit and saw two fiber artists whose work was different and, in one case, amazing.
The image above is from Kaytha Potts. She wasn't in her booth so I didn't have a chance to talk with her but I loved the grid presentation of her images as well as the various fibers/fabrics she used.
The other artist didn't let me take a photo of her work but her stitching was AMAZING. I thought she worked from a photo but she said no, she painted an image and covered it with stitching. I had to look closely to see that it wasn't a photograph. Her name is Yan Inlow and I recommend you visit her website to see her artwork. Believe me, it is NOT a photo and every inch of her work is covered with stitching.
I have been following BB Henry for many months on YouTube and love her approach to creating art. She has given me lots of techniques and ideas to incorporate into my own art works.
Today, I found out she's been following me too! I am taking an online workshop called Virtual Art Summit and she is one of the instructors. So I couldn't wait to watch her new class. I commented and asked her a question about her dying techniques and she responded, telling me her grandmother took one of my classes and made a quilt that was her favorite.
I'm not into social media but this connection was really special. If you need some ideas about collage or just loosening up, BB Henry is the artist you should check out.
Connecting with other artists is a special gift for me so today is a good day!
Carol Ann Waugh
I am a mixed media artist and love color and texture!