Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts was where the last SPIN (Silk Painters International) Festival was held Oct. 7, 2016.During the fire that swept through Gatlinburg, TN the end of November, Arrowmont lost 3 building, two dorms and one utility building. Although thirteen people lost their lives, all of the personnel at Arrowmont got out safely. These images are of the destruction. One of the two dorms that burned was where I stayed while there for a magical week. If you wish to help Arrowmont rebuild click on this link. Arrowmont Rebuild Fund
First Annual Montford Artwalk
We are excited to announce the first annual Montford Artwalk on October 29th from 12-5 PM!
Join us for a celebration of the many talented artists, designers and crafts persons in the Montford Community! Enjoy an autumn afternoon as you stroll through the historic neighborhood and learn about the many talented individuals who live and work in Montford. More than a dozen creative people will open their studios for this free event.
The Montford Artwalk will feature original art, craft and design including but not limited to painting, fiber art, jewelry, printing, graphic design and woodwork. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to meet the artists and see the spaces in which they work.
Maps will be available at the Asheville Visitor Center at 36 Montford Avenue and the Montford Recreation Center at 34 Pearson Drive on the day of the event.
Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MontfordArtwalk/, Twitter at twitter.com/montfordartwalk, and Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/montfordartwalk. We hope to see you at the Artwalk for a celebration of Montford’s unique energy and positive vibes. The Montford Neighborhood Association is sponsoring this event.
Next silk painting class is at the Silk Festival at Arrowmont near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I will be teaching a class to beginners and those looking for an opportunity to play with materials that can enhance their silk paintings. Sign up soon as classes are filling up quickly. Click here to read about my class "Discover the Playful Elements of Silk" and here to register for the Festival.
Hope to see all of you there!
I've been wanting to take an Encaustic Class for years. I want to see how well Silk Painting can be married to encaustic. Last weekend I got to finally take my first class and get my toes wet so to speak. We took pictures with mobile devices, extreme close ups, which I love, and turned them into great Abstract Art.
How to Transfer a Photo to Wood then make an abstract Encaustic Tile.
Transferring a photo to wood is a great crafting technique. Transferring any image from paper to another surface is fun and surprisingly easy to do. I’ve transferred images to fabric (transferred images of a friend's granddaughters to silk) and even on to other surfaces (encaustcbord) and Ampersand's Artist Wood Panel.
To begin with, you can use an image that comes from your ink jet printer at home just make sure that the ink is the brand of your printer and that the paper is a lower grade. You can go to a copy shop and have them print your image then photocopy it for you, just make sure that they use 24 lb. paper or less.
Supplies needed to transfer a photo to wood:
Ampersand Encausticbord Panel or Ampersand Artist Wood Panel
Photocopied Image on Regular Copy Paper
Mod Podge Matte
100% pure beeswzx or encaustic medium
Other light objects to embed: feathers, leaves, small beads, painted and steamed silk
Step 1: Tape the edges of your wood panel with blue painters tape.
Step 2: Apply a generous amount of the transfer solution to the wood panel. You’ll need a medium thick layer.
Step 3: Press the image, photo side down, onto the wood panel. Rub firmly to smooth out the image and remove air bubbles. Let it dry completely. (Use a hairdryer if you have to.)
Step 4: Use a damp finger to wet the image. Begin rubbing gently to remove the paper and expose the transferred image below. Have a plastic container with an inch of clean water and rub the paper into this. Keep wetting the image as you rub to remove all of the paper. It's a very fine line between rubbing too hard and not hard enough. Some paper will be left on the image, but ths will be absorbed by the beeswax or encaustic medium. Try removing the top layer first, let it dry slightly, and then repeat the process as needed to remove the “fuzzies” that are left behind.
Step 5: Once you are satisfied with the image, once again let the entire wood panel or encausticbord dry before applyng the beeswax.
Then follow the steps used in encaustic painting in applying wax. You will need a good quality heat gun, an electric frying pan for melting the wax (make sure you keep it at the proper temperature), and brushes for applying the hot wax. 3-5 layers of beeswax or encaustic medium should be good. It is my recommendation that you take an Encaustic Class with a trained artist before attempting any project with hot wax. If you live near Asheville, NC check out the classes at 310 Studios at Riverview Station in Riverarts . The class I took by Erin Keane was wonderful!
These are my first attempts at Eco Printing on Silk. I used a silk/wool blend, nice weight for the winter, not scratchy, and silk charmeuse, great for a more elegant appearance. I will post more info when I get more plants. I mostly used eucalyptus on these scarves. They are available at Flow in Marshall, NC. www.flowmarshall.com and the gift shop at the NC Arboretum.
Come check out my art at the Asheville Airport.
Sorry I missed you at the Carolina Craft Day. Don't miss the one coming up. I will be selling my work: scarves, lamps, pillows, and fine art at the Market. Please come join us.
Welcome to the East Coast. Coming in 2016!
I will be teaching at the SPIN 2016 Festival!
2016 Festival: Silk in Transition
This year’s Festival is about the Silk Artist's journey from the traditional, the static, the status quo, to the inspired, the magnificent, the transformed. Never forgetting the importance of elements of design, we are innovative and inventive in our call to action. Burn and balance, compose and weave; our silk language is in transition and it is expanding. Come on this journey of growth as the Silk Artist catalogue morphs in order to soar.
Save the Dates: October 7 – 14, 2016
Where: Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN
Weekend Conference * Workshops
Fashion Show* Art Exhibit
www.silkpainters.org P.O.BOX 1074 Eastpoint, FL 32328 Phone:949•842•3459
Please join me for my first ever Craft Show, Saturday, September 26, 10-4 at the NC Arboretum near Asheville, NC.
Friday Day 1
The first day was spent marbling. We prepared the Carrageen solution Thursday evening as well as the alum solution for soaking the silk scarf. I have borrowed the directions from Dharma Trading on marbling.
Marbling is the process of floating fabric paints on the surface of a thick cellulose solution (called "size"), somewhat like oil on water. The floating paints are swirled into patterns. Then you capture your design by laying a treated piece of fabric or paper down on top of the paint to transfer the swirls to the fabric. It is that easy! When most crafters think of marbling they think of the fancy end papers in old books. But there is so much more you can do with marbling and all you need to get started is a desire to play!
Most of the work in marbling is getting set up, but once you are all set up you can play for hours!
Making a frame
If you are working with fabric or clothing larger than your available pans, it's easy to build a pan using some 1" x 4" wood. Nail together a frame without top or bottom and just line it with some heavy plastic. You can make the frame any size you need.
*> We made a frame out of PVC plastic pipe and elbows to be larger than the size of silk we dipped. * How much size do I need?
Note: Remember you'll have to change out the size periodically.
Preparing the "size"
The first thing you need to do is to make the size onto which you are going to float the fabric paints.
Carrageen (Blender type): make 24 hours before it is going to be used.
Use 2 tsp per 4 cups of warm water, slowly add to the water through top hole in blender lid. Blend until it's fully dissolved, make as many batches as you need to fill your tray or frame.
Refrigerate for 24 hours to obtain the best viscosity and to allow trapped air bubbles to rise to the surface.
Before use it needs to be warmed to room temperature.
Methocel: can be made 30 min before use
Use 4 tblsp of Methocel and 1 tblsp of ammonia per gallon of warm water
In a bucket, add ammonia to the water and then slowly add Methocel, stirring constantly with a whisk or large spoon.
Pro-tip: Don’t use the blender or it will foam up and have to sit over night, ask us how we know!
Stir until the Methocel is dissolved and appears clear, let sit for 30 min for bubbles to rise.
How thick the "size" needs to be will vary with the brand of paint being used and the effects you like best.
Pro-Tip: We found doubling the Methocel recipe above kept most paints from sinking and gave us neat spreading patterns with the thinner paints.
Fill your pan or frame with the size, and just before adding the paints, skim off any film that has formed on the surface of the "size" by dragging a strip of newspaper from one end to the other.
Hard water:If the water in your area is "hard" (contains lots of minerals) you will need to add some of our Water Softener. Hard water will interfere with the process.
Reusing the size
The size can be used over and over again. It can be kept for 3 to 4 days at room temperature before it begins to mold and must be discarded. To keep it longer, refrigerate. (Mark and tape the container clearly so it is not eaten.) Warm it to room temperature before using. If the "size" has been sitting awhile, clear the surface of tension and dust with strips of newspaper before using.
Preparing the fabric
Pre-wash the fabric with Synthrapol or regular fabric detergent and dry. This will wash out anything that is likely to prevent the paint from sticking.
Dissolve 3 TBS of Alum per quart of hot water. Cool to room temperature. Dip the fabric into the alum solution or if necessary, such as for paper, sponge it on very thoroughly. Lay it out flat to air dry, stretched if possible to avoid wrinkles. The fabric must be treated and must be dry before it is marbled. It is best to use the treated pieces within 24 hours. If you can't, then wash out the alum and try again another time. Careful! Too much Alum or too long of exposure weakens the fabric! Weakened fabric can shred when pulled on or even during sewing and washing, and sometimes doesn't become obvious until it has been washed more than once.
Caution - Ironing the fabric to remove wrinkles once the fabric has been treated is not recommended, as alum plus heat can weaken the fabric too. Small wrinkles will not effect the print.
Now Let's Get Started! Floating the paints
You may need to thin some paints before they will float. Use a few drops of Dispersant and a little water to thin them to the consistency of whole milk in a paper cup or one of the Color Mixing Cups.
With an eye dropper, lay the paint on the surface of the "size" as gently as possible. The drop should spread out to a circle 2-3” in size. As the paint spreads out on the surface some may sink to the bottom - it's ok as long as most of it stays on the surface. If too much seems to be sinking, thin the paint a bit more. If the drop spreads out too far, thicken the paint by adding a bit from the bottle. Keep adding paint to the surface until they seem intense or you are happy with the proportion of the colors.
The order in which you drop the paints directly affects the look of the finished piece. As you add new colors, the ones added previously will intensify as they are pushed together. You can add new colors next to, or on top of, the ones already there. Some paints will spread faster and push others out of the way more, you should keep notes if you want to repeat effects. The colors don't mix, but rather stay separate. You can remove the paint and start over by laying newspaper on the surface to pick up all the paint from the surface.
Pro-tip: Making a small side frame of size for testing your paint consistency can help you get clear how your paints will act before 'going for it'!
Making the designs
Anything goes when it comes to making your designs, in fact that's a main part of the fun. With all the desired colors of paint on the surface, use your rakes, combs or found items to carefully create swirls and design patterns.
Going back and forth with a toothpick or chopstick will produce chevron patterns.
Using a wide spaced comb or sort of rake in one-direction gives an interesting series of rounded, repeating shapes.
Using a skewer to make series of spirals will result in a "snail motif."
Dip a whisk or a bundle of broom straws in some paint and flick drops onto the surface.
Create "negative" areas in the design by placing soapy water on the surface with an eye dropper or by sprinkling it on. Use 1/8 teaspoon of liquid soap to 1/2 cup of water. Use this like a "clear paint" in your designs
Applying the paints to your fabric
Lay the middle of the fabric down first and let the ends roll out onto the surface so no air is trapped underneath. Leave the fabric down for 2-5 seconds before lifting it off. Try to "peel" the fabric off the surface so it doesn’t fold onto itself.
Dash to the sink or have a bucket handy and gently rinse with cold water to remove the alum and excess size. Now lay flat or hang to air dry. Don't wring or squeeze as the paint will not be 100% set until it has dried and been ironed.
Because there were two of us, we did it in washer woman fashion. Each of grabbed the opposite end of the silk and one went down while the other up and washed very quickly for a few minutes. You must get the Alum solution back out of the silk because it will deteriorate the silk. Hang to dry.
When the item is completely dry, heat set according to the heat setting instructions for the brand of paints you are using.
To set the paint into the silk, after the marbled silk is dry, place in the dryer for 2 hours.
If you are doing two-sided items like T-shirts, cut a piece of cardboard to size and cover with plastic or Saran wrap and insert into the shirt. Do one side, re-do the colors and then do the other side.
After each "printing" you can either add more paint or clear the surface with newspaper and start a new design.
Skim the surface of the marbling base with a strip of newspaper. If you're planning to reuse it soon, cover the paint mixture with plastic wrap or airtight lids. The size is usually good for more than one session.
If you’re not using your size again pour it down the toilet or run lots of hot water with it down the drain to avoid clogs.
When we finished, we had a small battery powered pump that we submerged in our carrageen solution after we had removed as much paint as we could from the solution and pumped the solution into a bucket to carry outside, if you live in an area where you do not want to put this down drains like me. Then we washed the pump and cleaned the plastic with hot water.
Rinse the marbling tools in lukewarm water without soap. Soap residue on tools can contaminate future prints.
Rinse the tray thoroughly in a sink. Again, do not use soap.
Our dry marbled silks.
The marbling paints sink to the bottom of the tray.
• The size might be too thin or old. Add 1 teaspoon of Methocel (Methocelulose) powder per gallon of solution, or throw out and start a new recipe.
• Marbling colors are too thick. Add water to thin the colors, skim the marbling base, then test. You may need to add Synthrapol to the paints to improve its ability to spread and float.
The marbling colors spread too much or not at all.
• You might have added too much water or surfactant to the marbling color. Add more paint to balance it out.
• Size maybe too thick causing the drop to just sit on the surface. Add water to the size to thin it out. Skim, then re-apply marbling colors. Experiment with it to achieve the desired effect.
The marbled print appears fuzzy.
• The marbling base is too thick. Add water to the size, then re-apply paints.
• The marbling colors might be too thick. Thin the colors with water, then test.
• There was too much time spent between making the pattern and putting the fabric in the paint mixture. Work more quickly.
• The most frequent disaster is that the fabric falls apart at the end. It's from the Alum. Make sure you are not using more alum then recommended and use your fabric right away or wash it out.
• As you may have surmised by now, marbling can be a messy project, one which is best done with enough space to spread things out, and with lots of newspapers on hand. It's a great outdoor project when weather permits! However, the results are unique and spectacular!
Saturday Day 2
Making a Lamp
Purchase Directions from Karen Sistek, email her daughter:
Kim Sistek <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The following are my adaptations to placing the silk onto the plastic styrene, which is the frame that the silk is adhered to to form the shade for the lamp. I ordered the plastic styrene from The Lamp Shop, www.lampshop.com. I cut it to size according to Karen's directions and then adhered it to the silk
Start by restretching you silk onto a frame of your choice. Make sure the silk is stretched tautly without any puckers. Make sure your table surface is clean and turn your stretcher with the silk upside down.
Hold the piece of cut styrene above the painting to find what part of the silk you want to adhere for the shade. Make sure that you leave at least a 1/2 inch margin around the styrene of the marbled silk because you will wrap at least one side.
Start to unpeel the paper from the adhesive side of the styrene.
Press this side of the sticky styrene to the stretched silk and rub with your hand and then with the brayer, a tool on Karen's tool list for this project. I had the one you see.
Finish adhering the styrene to the stretched marbled silk and rub to smooth out with the brayer.
Take a piece of double sided sticky tape (see Karen's Instructions) and apply it to the outside edge of the styrene that with be part of the back seam for the lamp.
Remove the paper backing from the tape and carefully adhere the marbled silk off the styrene to the back side of the double sided tape. Make sure there are no puckers in the silk.
Next is applying the tape and glue to form the seam for the back of the lamp shade. I use the glue as well as the double sided tape because the tape does not always hold by itself.
Using a stove pipe (see Karen's instructions) size the lamp shade and apply the double sided tape and some Quick Glue (also available from the Lamp Shop online) to marbled silk now with the styrene attached.
Slide the lamp shade off the stove pipe and put it on the frame of the lamp.
Voila! A beautiful marbled lamp.
For many of us silk painters, who find that as we are aging, squeezing an applicator is getting harder and harder, a wonderful tool called the AirPen Pro is available. (I have one, but have not been able to use it yet.) There are 2 videos I have found online by two fabulous silk painters: Pamela Glose and Linda Marcille. I am including the videos here as they say it best.
Pamela Glose (top) Linda Marcille (bottom)
Sign Up has begun at the NC Arboretum in Asheville, NC for the Summer Classes.
To see the catalog click on the image above. To see sign up, click on these words. After you are on the NC Arboretum website, follow the directions.
Sign up today. Class fills very quickly and space is limited.
Click on the picture to change
Click on the picture to change.
Another wonderful class of very talented creative students. (This time I remembered to take pictures.) Proud of their work, although I did not get pictures of their larger circle disks and some very imaginative designs.