Friday, February 27, 2009

"Elliptical" Robin

What started as a round robin on the Complex Cloth list should probably now be retitled an "elliptical robin," since it took me forever to add my surface designs; instead of moving smoothly around the circle, the fabric got to me and waited . . .and waited . . . (so imagine my "point" on a sketch of the process being stretched WAY out). I received two of the pieces of cloth last year while I was in the hospital, and I'm just now getting to them.

The truth is, I can't blame all of the delay on my illness. I could have worked on these pieces starting a few weeks ago, when I felt well enough to take up art again for short periods at a time. But this is my first fabric round robin, and I've been terrified with each piece that I would ruin it. With my own fabric, it's no big loss (though a big disappointment) if I completely screw it up. With someone else's, though, there's a lot of pressure (I put on myself, of course) NOT to screw it up.

Ironically, once I finish adding something to a piece, there's a sense of accomplishment and joy above what I usually feel with my own pieces, since I know I've given something to someone else.

Now to the good stuff: the pics!
I knew I wanted to add some kind of stamped design to Margo's piece to give it some focus. I started by making a stamp out of some foam kid's beads I picked up at Michael's. I glued them to a little wooden plaque (probably not the smartest idea, because I didn't seal the wood and so I can't really wash the stamp now). I really liked this stamp until I used it on a test piece of fabric. Turns out there's too much space between the shapes for my liking. I'm going to play with the design more, or maybe I'll use it to stamp on fabric with a lot of color or texture or something.

I pulled out a sort of stamp/printing plate I made a long time ago out of cardboard, double-stick tape, and twine. I liked the test stamp I did with this one, but I discovered I couldn't really "stamp" with it very well, since some of the impression didn't show up.

I got out the Lumiere Halo Blue and Metallic Bronze paints and applied them to the plate, then laid the fabric on top of it and rubbed along the twine lines.

Because there were a few "character" blobs of paint on the fabric and I wanted to continue with the rubbings, I didn't want to wait too long for them to dry.
I laid a "serendipity" cloth I had on top of the rubbing and rubbed again to remove (or at least spread out) the little blobs. Then I moved right on to the next area to be printed.

I really like the way this turned out. I upped the contrast on the photos of the finished piece to show the paints better. The piece isn't really as dark as it looks in the photo.

As soon as I heat-set the paint and mail it off to the next participant, I'll start on the other one. I hope I won't be as intimidated this time :-)


Alis said...

Well done. I think getting started is the hardest thing.
I love the way it turned out.
Looking forward to seeing the next one.

Margarita Korioth said...

Thank you Michelle, I love what you did! Mmmm my fabric is looking good.
regards from Florida

tiedyejudy said...

Hi, Michele! I know that feeling of terror... oooooh, noooooo! I'm going to ruin it! I have left some of the round robin pieces on my design board for a couple of weeks, trying to decide what to do, for fear I would ruin them. But once I started working on them, I find now that I look forward to what the piece will say to me, guiding me in a direction to take. I like what Susan Purney-Mark said on her instruction sheet for the round robins she started: 'The goal is to experiment; there are no restrictions, rules, etc. on techniques or materials'.
So have fun!

BarelyKnitTogether said...

Your work is GREAT! I have not really seen anything quite like it before, which says a lot about you :)
I can't wait to read more, just wanted to let you know I am so happy to have found your site.