Sunday, August 10, 2014

One Week from the Opening ... Let’s Teach a Workshop!

Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraiflua) on paper

For anyone with Sweet Gum trees in their garden, you know that, although they are beautiful shade trees, the seeds are spikey hard spheres that can sprain an ankle or cut through a bare foot in a heartbeat.

Sweet Gum Seed from Eat the Weeds.Com

But on the other hand, the leaves make beautiful prints on both cellulose and protein fibers. The image of the leaf above was made by soaking a leaf (that had been pre-dried and saved back in 2013) in iron water for 10 minutes (iron water = iron bits of metal + water in a jar that sat in the sun for about a week), placed on 120lb paper (that had been soaked for 5 minutes in an alum + water bath), then steamed for 30 minutes in a stainless steel pot between two bricks to hold it in place.

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) and Osage Orange (Maclura pomifura) on paper

With an abundance of trees in my garden and nearby woodlands, I’ve been testing a few leaves, such as Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) and Osage Orange (Maclura pomifura) in preparation of teaching printing with plants and rust to my Art 1 students at Oakville Middle School in St. Louis, MO. 

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) with iron acetate, copper, iron water and alum on paper

In the meantime, my dear friend and fellow fiber artist, Pat Vivod, has agreed to share a bit of her rusting-on-silk magic in my classroom tomorrow with the three other middle school art teachers from my school district. Take a peek at Pat’s blog, Sentimental Pentimento to see her very large  and most beautiful rust printed and naturally dyes silks. Since Pat shared a few of her secrets with me back in 2012, I’ve also been rust printing and eco-dying on fabric and handmade paper. At tomorrow’s workshop, Pat, a retired art teacher herself, will show a few of her pieces and discuss her process while the teachers have the opportunity to make their own rust printed artwork on paper. I’ll bring along a few of my own pieces for inspiration. 

Rust on paper

Although my students return to school this week, Pat and I are crazy busy preparing for our international fibers exhibition that opens in just one week!!! 

 From the Inside Out -
      Felt, Paper, Textiles: 
      Revelations in Natural Mark Making
      A Surface Design Association Exhibition

From the Inside Out is an international exhibition of five artists who share a devotion to ecological, economical and sustainable ways of dyeing and printing natural fibers, fabrics and handmade paper, but whose individual processes and ideas are quite diverse.

Each artist explores distinct interpretations of the overarching theme through personal investigations defined by their individual key words: Tangent, Seeds, Mapping, Feast, and Core. From handmade paper to heavily textured felt, from rust printed silk hangings to profusely embroidered eco-printed silks, the title describes both a process and an artistic vision.

                      Elizabeth Adams-Marks (Illinois, USA)
                      Irit Dulman (Tel Aviv, Israel)
                      Fabienne Rey (Utrecht, The Netherlands)
                      Patricia Vivod (Illinois, USA)
                      Rio Wrenn (Oregon, USA)

Opening Reception: Friday August 22, 5 to 9pm
Artist Talk: Friday August 22, 7pm
Exhibition: August 18 to September 21, 2014
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - Art and Design West Gallery
75 South Circle Drive, Edwardsville, IL 62026

This exhibition is the recipient of a 
2014 Surface Design Association Small Works Grant. 

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