Friday, 19 May 2017

NEW!! 2 Day Weekend Tapestry Workshop



I wanted to share with you some of the exciting textile courses I am teaching at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design.

The 2 Day Weekend Tapestry Workshop is a fun course where we learn various weaving techniques suitable for creating both geometric and organic designs while exploring form, colour and texture. 
Tapestry weaving is portable, fun and expressive technique with endless possibilities to create fabric for rugs, cushion covers and decorative wall hangings. The technique is incredibly appealing as the yarns can be used to 'paint' a picture across the supporting warp.


By the end of the two days we aim to have finished a small wall hanging. 


Join me for more creative adventures. I'd love to see you there. 




REGISTRATION CLOSES : May 19, 2017


COSTS : $60 + materials fee $30 payable to the instructor on first day of class

WHEN : 12:30 - 3:30pm Sunday 28 May & 4 June 


WHERE: Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design, Halifax  


 

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Rust Fabric Dyeing


It is week 3 of my Irresistible Dyeing Techniques class at the NSCCD. In the first couple of weeks we explored different shibori techniques using indigo dye, and last week we created 3D fabrics using thermo-plastic techniques and I demonstrated how to use rusty objects to create beautiful designs and patterns on fabric. 

At the beginning of each class we always have a 'show and tell' where we share the outcomes of our methods from the previous week. This is a lovely way to learn from each other, as we all bring our unique life experiences with us to the class room. 

This week, one of my students brought in a large panel of fabric (approximately 60cm x 60cm) to show her exquisite rust design that was inspired by my rust demonstration. It is created using an old metal ceiling tile she collected on her travels. Isn't it lovely!

And the best part is that the technique is very simple to do. 


How Does It Work?
The rust-dyeing process is extremely simple.  When a rusty object is in contact with fabric, fibre or paper, it leaves an imprint. Place your rusty items on fabric, wet it with water and vinegar to hasten the oxidisation (rusting) process, and leave the fabric and rusty item together until we are satisfied with the colour or pattern. Then remove the item, and wash the fabric. The whole process takes only a few days and requires little effort.

Equipment
  • Fabric - cotton and silk are the best fabrics for dyeing. Wool fabric will take dye, but the rust tends to colour it a bit harshly; a wool/cotton blend can be a better choice, if that works for your project.
  • Plastic kitchen gloves
  • Spray bottle filled with a mixture of 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar
  • Plastic bags or wrap (optional)
  • Plastic bin, box or tray
  • Rusty items which can be used over, and over, and over again.
  • You can even rust non-rusty iron items. To aid the rusting process place in a shallow pan with a bit of salt, water, and vinegar, and in a few weeks, it was fabulously rusty and ready for dyeing.

Method

Cover your working surface with plastic bags or wrap. Rust will also dye your clothes, so wear old clothes that you don’t mind staining.

Lightly spray your fabric with the vinegar/water mixture.
Place your rusty items on the fabric in any pattern you like.
Place another piece of fabric on top.
Keep your fabric slightly moist for the next few days; this will help the rust designs to develop. (Tip: Weight down the fabric with small items such as rocks or bottles if you want to make your imprint clearer.)

Lightly spray your fabric with the vinegar/water mixture (1:1 ratio). You can add extra vinegar at any time, to help speed the dyeing process.

Now, wrap loosely with a plastic bag to keep the fabric moist, which hastens the dyeing process, but you also want to make sure air can reach the fabric as well. Oxygen is necessary for the rust to develop.


Length of the Dyeing Process
Check your fabric once a day or so; make sure it’s damp, and see how the colour is developing.

For light colours, you may only want to leave your dyeing project for one day.

For very dark intense colour, you might leave it for 4 or 5 days.

If left too long, the rust can eventually damage the fabric, especially if it is thin or delicate. However, if you check your fabric every day or so, you should not have any problems.

I find that the rust-dye develops more quickly in warmer environments; I especially love rust-dyeing outdoors in the summer, as it goes very quickly.


Finishing Your Dyeing Process
When you are satisfied with the colour and patterning of your fabric, remove the rusty items and keep them for use in your next project.

Next, immerse the fabric in a light saline solution; this completely stops the rusting process and neutralizes the fabric. For the solution, I use about one tablespoon of salt in 4 litres of water.

Then wash the fabric as normal – if it’s silk or wool, hand wash with dishwashing liquid and rinse thoroughly. If it’s a cotton or synthetic, you may machine wash and dry as normal.





Thursday, 27 April 2017

Charmed by new prints in Prints Charming

This week is the start of a couple of workshops I am teaching at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design for the Spring term: Prints Charming and Irresistible Dye Techniques. It was delightful to see a few familiar faces in the group who have participated in my previous classes. 

Prints Charming is a four week course where we cover designing and printing a one stencil print;  exploring different effects through printing with more than one colour ink through the screen; registration techniques to create a two colour print; block printing; and combining all methods to create some stunning designs.

Below are some of the charming prints created in the first week by my talented students.

Beetroots by Rebecca


Lavender by Maya


 Doily Blossoms by Roberta

Two tone hearts by Elizabeth

Layered sunflowers by Linda

Marine Sticks by Moira 


Thursday, 13 April 2017

Art Mentor

Earlier in the year I was approached by a Masters student studying Education who is writing their thesis focusing on the phenomenon of student learning within the context of adversity. Trauma can interfere with the healthy and normal development of academic and cognitive skills needed for students to succeed in school. 




They asked me to assist them in the creation of an altered book that would visually represent their experiences of adversity as a teaching aid for the classroom to provide a better understanding into the academic failure and struggle that children can encounter. 




We are currently exploring different options on how to represent the visual journey. It is anticipated that the altered book will be completed by the end of the year, with a printable version available for the school curriculum available shortly thereafter. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Furoshiki at NSCCD


This weekend I taught a two day workshop to make furoshiki Japanese wrapping cloths. Working with cotton and silk with indigo dye we experimented with different shibori (resist dying techniques) to create beautiful fabrics that can be used as an alternative for wrapping paper.
  



Both beautiful and functional they can be used as a lunch bag alternative, a eco-wrapping technique, and even a clothing garment. The fabulous thing about furoshiki is that the fabric can be as special as the gift inside and it can be reused many times.



Ne-maki shibori - thread resist pattern

The end result is a gift that keeps on giving.

Itajime - folded and clamp resist pattern

For more information: 

Pinterest board for shibori designs - a collection of ideas and techniques 

Facebook page - A place where workshop participants share images of their creation

Furoshiki - fabulous site on ways to fold and wrap your present using cloth 

Honeycomb shibori

This course will be offered again as part of the Spring program at the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design  over two Saturdays, May 27 and Jun 03, 2017 from 12:30 - 3:30 pm. 

REGISTRATION Details:
It is easy to sign up for a class! We need your name, contact info, and a payment.
We will take payment over the phone with visa or master card.
Pay in person with debit or cash.
**A payment must be taken to secure your spot in the class.**
Class registrations are first come first booked.
Call us! (always the best way to sign up)
Call Alexis, our Studio Coordinator, at 902-492-2524. If you're leaving a message, please make sure to - Leave your Name, Number, and the Class you want to sign up for. If you're in a hurry, you can also call Becky, our Administrative Coordinator at 902-492-2522.




Thursday, 16 February 2017

Detached Objects: live footage at CFAT



Detached Objects was a light art animation that was projected upon sheer fabric into a courtyard space on a snowy Thursday in February 2017. This footage captures the mood evoked using 3 projectors and combining the imagery of the Detached Objects files. The project was compiled using Isadora.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Detached Objects at CFAT


Detached Objects is an investigation into stone and its human-lithic relationship with the development of the human mind. 


Heavy physical ceramic objects that resemble stones or asteroids were animated, distorting our perceptions on their size, scale, and weight. The title refers to comets that inhabit the distant regions of the Solar System, and it is theorised by scientists that the impact upon the Earth of one or more of these objects may have been the catalyst for life as we know it.


The screening of the five scholars work: Jeighk Koyote (Mentor: Sam Decoste),Tamar Dina (Mentor: Becka Barker), Todd Fraser (Mentor: Lukas Pearse), Ryan Josey (Mentor: James MacSwain) and myself, Kate Ward (Mentor: Susan Tooke) took place on a snowy stormy night last Thursday. A big thank you to all who braved the conditions to attend.


My work was screened from 3 projectors which projected Detached Objects simultaneously onto sheer fabric in the central courtyard space. The snow enhanced the effect, dancing in the projected light, and shimmering on the fabric. Each of the detached objects had a sonic audio personality which appeared as each of the objects appeared in the dark. 

For more images of the event visit the CFAT Facebook page.

A big thank you to CFAT for such an amazing experience. I really enjoyed my time , and the experience of the scholarship surpassed my expectations. I learnt so much and met so many wonderful and talented people - it truly has been the most marvellous experience! 

I was super impressed by everyone's project - I thought they looked incredibly professional which demonstrates the wonderful knowledge that has been shared with us through the workshops and mentors. Being paired with an amazing mentor (Susan Tooke) is such a great experience and I couldn't have achieved what I did without her support. Lukas Pearse was also incredibly helpful offering his time so that I could catch up on the missed sound workshop and he also shared his passion and knowledge for Isadora with me - its definitely a program I would like to learn in more depth once the dust settles!

Id also like to say a SUPER big thank you to CFAT staff Tori, Tom and Sally for all their amazing help with the lead up to last night's exhibition. It takes a lot of hard work, time and dedication to have such a successful show. 

xxx

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