Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Monday, December 3, 2018

The 'Ole Dawg Learned a New Trick!

Now that I have more time available to pursue my passions I took a Tiny Tapestry class at the Denver Student Arts League. It was a great experience and I was thrilled to work in a new medium. 

My ultimate goal is to create free form tapestries but FIRST I must learn weaving basics! What I quickly discovered is that it takes a really long time to weave - I had no idea! I tend to be an instant gratification gal but I'm finding great joy in methodically working the soft fibers. 

This was the cardboard loom and tool the instructor gave us during the class. They aren't much to look at but they were effective and a great starting point for learning. 

Try not to giggle at my first creation! It took HOURS to weave and was enough to get me hooked on the technique. I have to say I've shown unaccustomed strength in resisting the urge to buy every fiber that I fall in love with! I am taking it step by step and putting in my hours to get better and try to master a few techniques so I can spin off into a more freestyle design approach.
To get started I purchased a small 10" loom at Shuttle, Spindles & Skeinsa local shop in Boulder, CO. I also bought a book titled, On the Loom, A Modern Weaver's Guide. It shows the basics for getting started along with instructions for non-traditional projects. I borrowed, Tapestry Weaving by Kristin Glasbrook from the library. That was a great find - it clearly explains a variety of weaving stitches along with great photos. I'm thinking of buying a copy. After the experience of creating a few small pieces I purchased other tools for my new adventure; a wooden beater and a couple of 12" pick-up-sticks. 

I am off to complete two more little coaster rugs... it's the holidays and a great way to learn a new technique while checking off my Christmas gift giving list! HO, HO, HO!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Permission to Reinvent Myself!

It's been months 4 months since I resigned from my job! I spent 15 years working in a very stressful environment and over the past two years my relationship with upper management became more challenging. Despite retirement being a few years off the decision to resign now was the best one for me. 

The new me is all smiles! I approach each day with purposefulness in the choices and decisions I make about how to spend my time! With that being said, I've had an evolution of self since I resigned. 

I realize now that I compartmentalized my creative self with my outside work image. My boundaries were so firm and formal that my whole self was constantly split and at odds with each other. Moving forward I can embrace my soul and nurture my passions... it feels good just saying that out loud! 

I'm shedding what is no longer necessary whether figuratively or literally. The changes may never be noticed outside my family but each evolution brings me joy and freedom. I can fully explore my creative and artistic self. There is no longer a need to "hide" any parts of my personality for fear of not conforming to my former employer. 

I've given myself permission to explore other forms of art while enhancing the skills I've already acquired. To date I've dabbled in watercolor, sketching and weaving. I'm learning about what makes my heart sing and I feel "whole" for the first time in years! 

My wish is for all creative souls to have the ability to nurture what makes their hearts sing and to find joy in each day!  

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Channeling Cave Paintings!

My attempt to go back in time and create like a cave dweller! 
I created a piece of confetti dyed fabric that I thought was too plain. I lived with it on the design wall for a few days and thought it looked a little like stone.... mmm.. something prehistoric was creeping into my mind! 

I pulled out a thermofax screen created from pictographs. A few years ago on a family vacation near Moab, Utah I took a photo of the ancient symbols.
Terri Stegmiller custom made the screen - check out her shop!
The design is a group of antelope (?), horseback riders and a dog (?). I am not 100% sure what the story is telling but the area in Utah has many similar stories left behind by our ancestors. 
I wasn't quite satisfied so I laid the fabric on cement and rubbed it with Shiva paint sticks
I checked out cave painting books from the library to research the tools, colors and typical subject matter our ancient forebears recorded. It is amazing to me that in such a primitive culture artists were active in making marks and recording their stories in the caves they used as dwellings. 

Thank you ancient artists - I hope today's mark makers  do you proud! 

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Look What Charlene Created!

Charlene O'Rourke made this fabulous fabric collage titled, Baroque. Charlene used a piece of ice dyed sateen for the background, Indian batik and a floral print. Charlene outlined the print with stitching to create this lovely design. 

Beautiful job Charlene! 

Charlene made the ice dyed fabric I made look beautiful. If you need a unique piece of fabric for your art work please hop over to my Etsy shop to look around. My fabrics are one of a kind so hopefully you will see a piece that grabs your attention! 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Soak + Sprinkle + Spray = Confetti Dyeing!

To create a confetti dyed piece you start by soaking the fabric in soda ash and water for about 30 minutes. Remember this step prepares the fabric for dyeing and accepting the dye in the most colorful way! 

Next wring out the fabric and lay on any surface. I've used a table, the ground and even a bush! Sprinkle the dye powder across the surface. 
There are multiple ways to go from here. Just have fun and experiment! One idea is to hang the fabric on a clothesline and allow the dyes to drip and blend. If you want more interaction try spraying the fabric with a solution of soda ash and water.
Another option is to scrunch the fabric and allow more opportunity for the dye particles to separate and spread. Again, if you want more movement spray the fabric with soda ash and water. 
How about moving the dye around with a found object... go for it and try weird things! 
What do you think might happen if you were to fold your fabric before sprinkling the dye?
I encourage you to go have fun - you can't possibly make a mistake because there are no rules! 
Let me know how your experiments go. 

Friday, June 22, 2018

Indigo Dyeing - First Batch of the Season!

There is something special about Indigo. It connects us to a very ancient tradition of dyeing textiles. The traditional indigo recipe is tricky so I chose to use pre-reduced crystals from Dharma - I know my limitations! 
It is very freeing to grab found objects to clamp or tie into the fabric to create a design. I know there are methods for creating very specific designs but I tend to approach loosely with a free spirit. I am happy to experiment and just see what happens!  

These marks were made using old CD's and hotel key cards! 

The crackle look was created using rubber bands. Once the fabric was washed and dried I sprayed the surface with a bleach/water combination to create the fun spots.   

This piece was loosely pleated and rolled with rubber hands to keep it in place! 

I folded and clamped this piece!

The design came out very different in each section of the fabric! 
I'd love to hear about your Indigo dyeing experience! 

To learn more about the ancient traditions I recommend, Indigo - In Search of The Color That Seduced the World, by Catherine E. McKinley. 

I had a group of artists from SAQA over to enjoy the new Indigo vat. We had a great time! SAQA is an organization dedicated to promoting the art quilt and those who create them! To learn more about SAQA I encourage you to click HERE 

Please take a peek at my Etsy Shop where I sell my hand crafted fabrics!