Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Calgary Public Library Sharpie Marker Dyeing Project

This past Saturday was the last of 7 sessions for the Calgary Public Library using Sharpie Markers™ and rubbing alcohol to create a lot of interesting patterns. Our original project, a cotton scarf, often morphed into just having a lot of fun making marks on the 100% cotton fabric and adding 99% alcohol with an eye dropper to see how the Sharpie pigments moved. 

Let me tell you about our 2 main supplies – we did use Sharpie™ Markers for this project, but any alcohol based marker will work. Bic Markit™, Copic™ and Spectrum Noir™ are others that you can use. Sharpies™ and the Bic Markit™ alcohol markers can often be found on sale at Staples here in Canada.

The second ingredient is rubbing alcohol, and if you read our post in June of this year you may remember that rubbing alcohol comes in three main strengths, 70%, 90% and 99%. We used the 99% for this project and used an eye dropper to drop it onto the marker ink. Rubbing alcohol (perhaps due to its therapeutic use) also has an expiry date, so it’s probably wise to buy a fresh bottle for this project. Costco here in Canada has the best price and does sell the 99%, where many pharmacies do not.

The rubbing alcohol pushes the marker pigment concentrically away from the drop location so you can experiment with where you are making your alcohol drops for different effects. If you want to repeat a motif, it’s not a bad idea to do a sample piece with your motif before and after dropping the alcohol so that you remember how you made it.

Other supplies needed are 100% cotton, an eye dropper, a table covering and a good supply of fresh air!

We also did this project at our June FOG group on silk scarves, so visit that posting if you want to know more about doing this process on silk.

Although many finished a scarf during the session, we only had the pleasure of seeing one of our participants wearing her creation as she brought the finished piece to another session. As you can see from the photo below, she folded the 54” piece of cotton in half lengthwise, sewed around it, right sides together and then turned it right side out. She then did a beaded fringe on one end only and lovely beading up the seam side. Folding it gave it a nice feel and the beaded fringe some nice weight.

Carleen's finished Scarf with beaded fringe

What follows are some awesome examples of motifs that our participants came up with.

In each pair, the motif before the alcohol was dropped is on the left,
after the alcohol was dropped is on the right

In each pair, the motif before the alcohol was dropped is on the left,
after the alcohol was dropped is on the right. In the bottom example,
the drawing was enhanced with black marker lines after the alcohol was dropped.

In each pair, the motif before the alcohol was dropped is on the left,
after the alcohol was dropped is on the right.

Other uses for the decorated cotton could be quilt blocks or small fringed pieces for the fronts of cards.

Joan's southwest sunset.

Once all the decoration is completed, let your cotton dry thoroughly overnight and then heat set with your iron set on the cotton setting. Once heat set, they are washable and the colours will not run.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Calgary Public Library:Meet the Maker Sessions

The Calgary Public Library is offering a number of “Meet the Makers” events over the next six weeks and Jan and I have been invited to lead two of the sessions.
These sessions are a chance for library patrons to meet us and for you to learn a new skill with these easy make-and-take projects.
No registration is required and all supplies are provided.
Our sessions are:

Wire and Bead Pendant: Monday, December 15th from 1 – 3 PM at the Central Library downtown This session has been rescheduled to Tuesday, December 16 from 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM.
Recycled Jean Journals: Monday, November 24th from 1 – 3 PM at the Central Library downtown

November 24 Central Library "Meet the Maker"
Two decorated and completed recycled jean journals.
Journals were bound using a 3-hole pamphlet binding.

We hope to see you there and we’ll be back in 2015 at the Saturday Arts Club at the Central Library with 4 new projects!
Recycled Jeans Journals

Monday, 17 November 2014

FOG Tuesday Collage Exercise

We’re nearing the end of our exploration of the Elements and Principles of Design with our look at Balance and Symmetry.

Balance can be achieved in an art piece using any number of the following criteria:

·          position - an element further from centre is heavier
·          texture - complex texture has visually more weight
·          value - darker is heavier
·          quantity - multiple small objects balance one larger object
·          size - larger appears visually weightier
·          shape - simple shapes are lighter than more complex shapes
·          colour - brighter and more intense colours are visually heavier
·          isolation - an isolated elements has more weight
·          value contrast - the higher the contrast the more weight
·          orientation - diagonal orientation is heavier than vertical or horizontal orientation
Warm Up Collage

Design Principle - Balance and Symmetry
Symmetry in a piece of art can take on a number of different forms:

·         Radial - elements radiate out from the centre
·         Symmetrical - reversing the design, or having elements of equal weight along the vertical or horizontal axis
·         Asymmetrical - considering the influences above, balance is achieved using disparate elements
·         Crystallographic - allover pattern, repeating elements like a quilt
·         Unbalanced - can be specifically used to create a disturbing or uncomfortable effect