Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Weekend Walks With Sharon

I'm delighted that "Weekend Walks With Sharon" was juried into the upcoming Local Colors exhibit! The premiere opening will be May 4th at the Haas Library, Western CT State University from May 4 - June 14, 2013.

Ruth Haas Library
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
http://www.wcsu.edu/campustour/haas.asp


In July the show will travel to the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, 300 Capital Avenue, Hartford CT and in September you'll find the exhibit at the Slater Museum in Norwich! More venues will be added around Connecticut as we move forward. I can't wait to see to all the wonderful pieces depicting each artists interpretation of Connecticut.
 
My piece was inspired by my weekend walks with my buddy Sharon. We try very hard to reconnect each weekend by taking walks together - we've been doing this for a number of years now. Each walk I tune into to our natural surroundings and incorporate what I see, hear and feel onto the surface of fabric when I get back to my studio. Each fabric in this design was created after a walk!
 
Weekend Walks With Sharon
The techniques used in this piece are stamping with pine needles, discharge technique, painted fabric, dyed fabric, stenciling, silk screening and machine quilting!
 

Detail of piece


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snow Dyeing - It's STILL winter!

Since we seem to be having a "real" winter and the snow isn't melting quickly I thought I'd build up my stash of snow dyed fabric!  

I measured out one yard pieces of PDF cotton and soaked them in warm water. I selected some dyes and was ready to ring out the fabric when I spied some whiffle balls. I wondered how tying the whiffle balls into the fabric would alter the way the dyes meandered and blended.... I had to give it a try!

Tying the whiffle balls in the fabric using rubber bands

I placed a couple of small bowls under the fabric so the entire piece didn't
completely sit in the pool of dye as the snow melted

I'm about to put the snow on top of the fabric

Here is the line up of fabric covered in snow all ready for the dye

I sprinkled dye directly on top of the snow. Many people mix the dye with
water and pour on top of the snow but I find the dyes come out brighter
when using dry dye powder.  

The snow is melting and the lovely colors are peeking through... it's hard to wait!

The finished piece is bright and fun!


The color explosions are unexpected!

I'm not sure if it reminds me of underwater or outer space...

Monday, February 25, 2013

Batik

I've always been fascinated with the Batik process but haven't made any consistent attempts to figure it out. Over the weekend I pulled out my soy wax, hot plate and found objects to see what would happen.

In the past when I dabbled with the technique I realized that soy wax was much easier to clean up and doesn't smell as strong as typical wax. I bought the wax already flaked which melts quickly in this form. I was mindful of never putting a pan of wax directly onto the heat source and created a double boiler from thrift store purchases, (no need to ruin my good pots!).

To apply the wax I used either a carved wooden block, a round sponge, a manipulated sponge or a paint brush. The details in the wooden block were lost and I didn't care much for the end results. That fabric went back onto the pile for a "do over" at a later date! I liked the round sponge as it created a mysterious pattern that could be used in many different projects. The manipulated sponge was interesting. I was thinking about the shape of grasses when I sliced up the sponge... not sure the design reads that way but I don't dislike it. When I painted the wax onto the fabric surface I used a light tough and wanted to create a fun free flowing design.

Here are the end results:
 
Round Sponge
Blue on white fabric


Round Sponge
Multi colored dyed fabric over dyed with lavender

Round Sponge
Raspberry on white fabric

Manipulated Sponge
Multi colored dyed fabric over dyed with purple


Paintbrush
Raspberry and blue on white fabric
I might continue manipulating the surface of these two pieces - what do you think?
 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Fabric Dyeing!

With the backyard encased in snow I feel the need to create vibrant bright pieces of fabric! Don't get me wrong, I love and appreciate the colors of winter but by the end of February my soul needs a pick me up! I used the ice dyeing technique for the first three pieces. The next three incorporates confetti dyeing but with a twist. My goal was to create the illusion of folds in the fabric giving it a 2D feel.

Ice Dyed

Ice Dyed

Ice Dyed

Confetti Dyed

Confetti Dyed

Confetti Dyed

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fiber Art - From Conception to Completion!

People often look at art quilts and say, "wow, how long did that take to make?" It's a well meaning question but typically difficult to answer. Taking a design from conception to completion can take many paths. In my case an idea will pop into my head where it will roll around as I try to work out the construction and design details. Once I formulate a plan I start to sketch, next comes auditioning of fabrics and sometimes the creation of fabrics specifically for the piece. Then the construction of the work begins, the quilting gives it life and perhaps some embellishments and finally the binding and sleeve. So you see it's difficult to say how long an individual piece takes to create but the journey is well worth the effort!

I do my best to stay connected to my buddy Sharon as our busy lives take us in many directions during the week. We've been fairly consistent over the past 7 years in meeting each week for our "weekend walk". We catch up, swap stories and enjoy being on a woodland trail. During our walks I try to keep an eye on our surroundings looking for inspiration for new work. As my passion for surface design continues to grow I would come home from our walks and create a "weekend walk" inspired piece of fabric. For example I'd collect pine needles and stamp them onto fabric or perhaps the color combinations I saw would go into an ice dye bath. The below piece was designed and created from fabrics that resulted from my experiences on my walks with Sharon. It was fun to create and filled with happy memories!

Weekend Walks With Sharon
36" X 29.5"

The techniques used when creating the fabrics are confetti dyeing, iced dyeing,
discharge, stamping, stenciling and silk screening


Detail of silk screened and quilted leaves

Sunday, February 10, 2013

30" of Fresh Snow = A Snow Dyeing Opportunity!

We had 30" of fresh snow in a 24 hour period which has been overwhelming. After 3 days our street hasn't been plowed... not even a pass through. The good news is the weather today was beautiful - sunny with a bright blue sky and about 30 degrees - perfect! I used the snowshoes over the past few days and had an opportunity to visit with neighbors who were also enjoying the "forced" relax-mode.

With so much fluffy new snow I just had to dye some fabric! I soaked 10 yards in soda ash and water to prepare the fabric for dyeing. I put one yard lengths into smaller pails and added snow. Next I sprinkled dry dye powder over the snow. I brought the pails back inside and left them alone for 24 hours. After rinsing, washing and pressing I have the results. One piece had too much white in it so I tossed it on my pile of fabrics I plan to over-dye.

Here are the results!
 

I thought this color combination was the most interesting!

Here is a detail of the unusual color combination
 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Stamping with Pine Needles

For anyone who likes to stamp found objects onto fabric I suggest pine needles. They typically hold up well and for me at least they are easy to come by.

Speedball is my favorite printing ink because it's thin enough to leave the fabric soft after stamping. I used two shades of green and some brown applied by sponge brushes. Once the ink dried I painted a wash of color using diluted Pueblo Setacolor paints with some salt tossed on to help the paints wander.


 
I typically purchase my supplies from Dharma Trading Company - they're the best!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Thermofax Screens + Fabric Dyeing = Cool Results!


I recently purchased a couple of thermofax screens from Margaret Applin's Etsy shop and I love... love... love them! This is my first experience using a thermofax screen and thanks to a tutorial posted on Lynn Krawczyk's Etsy shop (her screens will arrive this week!) I felt confident on how to use my new tools.
 

Once I had a feel for the results I was able to think through how to incorporate them into my surface designs. The door is wide open now and I can't wait to keep experimenting! I encourage you to check out the Etsy shops or create your own screens... then the options will be truly limitless!


Solid Feather - Confetti Dyed

Feather Outline - Confetti Dyed

Dandelion - Drippings Dyed

Dandelion - Confetti Dyed

Solid & Feather Outline with Stamping - Discharge Fabric

Dandelion - Confetti Dyed

Friday, February 1, 2013

Fabric Dyeing: More Experimenting

Lately I've been focusing on ways to create interesting textures on fabric. By textures I mean the illusion of folds, wrinkles and anything that isn't flat looking. Once I try manipulating fabric in one way a new idea shows itself. I don't think the ideas will ever run out and it seems that the sky might not even be the limit!


Confetti Dyed: black dye sprinkled across the folds

I've also been getting back to my Ice Dyed fabrics. I'm gearing up as a vendor for the upcoming Village Square Quilter's show in April. I've been working out a seasonal palette and plan to come up with bundles of fat quarters to represent all four New England seasons. Below are some of the color combinations I've been playing with... more to come!
Iced Dyed: Winter

Ice Dyed: Soft Summer

Ice Dyed: Strong Summer
It's hard to tell with a photo but the colors of this fabric
are very vibrant and jump off the fabric!