my residency challenge

Today is Contextural’s residency orientation, a procedure we all do, no matter how many times we’ve done residency. It reminds us of where everything is, proper studio procedures and safety, and introduces us to each other. I don’t count it as “Day One” though—household matters aren’t going to let me start today with actual work there! And because i do have that pesky Day Job, the first day may not be until later in the week.

This year, amongst the glorious free-form do-what-they-want-to-will-do natural process fabrics i’ll be making, i set myself a challenge.

In a previous post, i showed you these, the original painting sketch and the Dreamscoped “amber fractal” result:

res 2016 challengeI could take an easy way out, and simply dye paint the fabric and do the usual “crackle stitch” to delineate the lines and fractures, but i want more than a flat surface.

From previous experience, i know that each type of cotton weave or finish has a different effect on rust marks. Cotton sateen lets the rust have crisp, almost floating marks, broadcloth lets small details be clear, twill and anything with a distinct “motif” (stripes or florals woven in, think damasks) “interrupts” itself, flanellette is, well, fuzzy, haremcloth makes the sheer aspect visible, and pima can do all of the above, except for the fuzzies! I also know how any dyes will “spread” or separate on the surface. This year, because of my participation in a recent Susan Purney Mark ice dyeing class, i may try to exploit the effect in combination with natural processes. I’m going to work with specific colours–if i can find them in ACAD’s student supply shop! This all being said, rust does what it wants to, as it wants to, so we’ll see how much control i really do have 🙂

First i’ll have to draw up a basic pattern for placement. There’s going to be a fair amount of piecing, and i’m thinking by hand, simply because the seam line is softer, and because there are so many “directions” the small marks are making on the “fabric’ in the drawing photo edit.

But first, i must “pack” for it! Greyman has to chauffeur me there, as i can’t carry all my supplies on the bus and train. Fortunately, we have a home studio there while in residency, and everything can stay put. And i’m looking forward too, to the student cast off box–always interesting to see what ends up as hopeless in someone else’s eyes, in this box. Reminds me of the old “free boxes” in the 70’s and 80’s!

Edited: Some of my previous fabrics done during residency are here, here and here.

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