Saturday, September 1, 2012

Working with Dogs

I've been working on a lot of different challenges, with my personal art and my commitment to others art, and have been frustrated with every decision I've made.  I will save the 12 x 20 dog for a post on the Twelve site at a later date, but I'm going to share my personal dog with you now.
I have made several pieces using testfabric black that discharges to white and wool felting for the batting, you can see an example below.

Unfortunately, this fabric isn't available anymore, and while I have a little bit left, I'm saving it for that perfect project that is going to pop into my mind any day now.  In the mean time, I'm trying to come up with alternatives, and in doing so, I'm having to change my expectations.  Coming up with a black black that discharges to white seems off the table, so I'm thinking about the colors I can make it discharge to, and besides the obvious orange that happens with commercial fabric, I got a formula from my friend Jayne, that seems to turn the discharge to a light aqua blue.

If I had left the bleach on a little longer, it might have gone white, but I was afraid to chance it.  I pinned this up on the wall started thinking about what to do with it while picking the wool fuzz off.  This can take days, so I've done a lot of thinking.  This piece was about 3' by 3' and the first thing I decided is that I was a bit overwhelmed by the size and design.  I decided to cut it into smaller pieces, thinking I might rearrange it into something more interesting, but that just made it more random.  I decided to work on the smaller pieces separately and since it already wasn't going well, I could use this as an opportunity to play around.

I painted the circles and realized this was really ugly now, so I started thinking about how I want to add more texture to my work without it being obvious that's what I'm doing.  I took some netting and using my embellisher, I stitched some silk roving onto it.  I hung this in front of the painted piece and thought, ok, not great, but maybe a step in the right direction. It kind of swayed nicely, but had enough weight to  stay in place.  I figured I would do this in front of several of the circles, so I set out to stitch around the area on the netting that I would be felting on.

Hmm.  It may be hard to see in the photo, but the netting with the stitching is hanging in front of the wool felted piece, and I think it looks really cool.  I was studying this most of the afternoon yesterday, thinking about how I could improve on it when I decided to take a break.  I turned around and there, hanging over the back of my chair, was this piece of art I purchased in Santa Fe recently.

Now, I know I didn't consciously look at this when I was making my piece and think, I want to model my artwork after this mud cloth, but it's pretty obvious to me it was on my mind.  Suddenly I feeling a  little uncomfortable about this.  Should I be?  I don't know, but I'm going to think about it a while longer before I decide if it's done.


Gerrie said...

87Maybe you should try thiox discharge paste - it reveals a different color than bleach, usually. I kind of like that light aqua blue!!

Karen said...

Thanks, Gerrie. Thiox does turn some blacks white, I just never know which one it going to work on. With Testfabric black, it was pretty much guaranteed, but not anymore.

Pamela Price Klebaum said...

The process is always fascinating, and I love learning about yours. I hope you find the "magic black" formula.

Terry Grant said...

37I think your new art from Santa Fe is now in your consciousness and may have exerted a small influence, but I do not see that as anything to be uncomfortable about. It is what is at work in our creative brains constantly in my opinion and it always morphs with the way you see things and express them. I love what you are doing. Can't help with the discharge questions, but I like the one you thought was ugly!

Karen said...

Thanks Pam and Terry,
I agree with you Terry, I'm not going to worry about where it came from, I'm just going with it.

Mary Ann said...

Try black cotton duck from JoAnns with bleach. It usually turns white or a very light grey.