Monday, January 9, 2012

Local Continuing Education Opportunities

This is Floris Flam, the gallery blog editor for January. The following material was written by Betty Ford, one of our gallery's art quilters, and discusses a workshop she took on fabric painting.

We've discussed how our gallery members travel to attend workshops to improve their technical and design skills and to master new techniques.  Sometimes we have the opportunity to learn without leaving town.  The Washington area is rich in learning opportunities for fiber artists such as the Art League School in Alexandria, VA.

Recently, gallery member Betty Ford learned new fabric painting techniques from gallery member Julie Booth at a series of classes sponsored by the Art League.  It consisted of seven weekly classes at which Julie presented various techniques where the students had time to experiment and learn by doing and to produce a large number of exciting samples. Here is the report of a happy student.

"The class began with our creating painted background fabrics using Pebeo SetaColor — fabrics on which we could layer other surface design techniques. These backgrounds were created in a number of ways, some resulting in pieces that were quite plain:

while others were more complex:

On these and other backgrounds we stamped, using stamps we carved ourselves or made by other processes. Stamps also included natural materials such as leaves.

"Julie, recipient of the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild’s 2011 Margaret M. Conant grant, has spent the year studying and experimenting with “kitchen” resists. She shared a number of these techniques with us . Below is my fabric made using a flour paste resist on a pale blue background that I painted in the class.

"This fabric was made by using rubber bands as resists then adding paint to the bunched up fabric. To me this piece has a very gardenlike appearance so I will probably make it into a whole-cloth quilt.

"Our entire class agreed that making gelatin plate monoprints was exciting and produced some of the most useful pieces. This is a completed small quilt using one of these prints.

"Of course, for a quilter, seeing this work in a finished piece is the major satisfaction for all the fun of painting fabric. The little quilt below was made by the “wipe-up” technique — dribbling paint on mylar then doing as the name suggests.

Betty concludes, "Excellent class!" I think that, seeing Betty's photos of both her fabrics and her finished work, you'll agree.

No comments: