Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Sun Dyeing

Another road show over and it is time for me to get serious about the creations I will be making for the Library Arts Show in Deep River, Ontario starting in September and running into the beginning of October. 

I will be focusing on some big items that I have never attempted before, like a sun dyed shower curtain.  Just the thought of the conditions I will need to pull this off makes me shutter.  Usually I sun dye relatively small items out on tables set up on my deck.  The biggest item I have attempted so far is a table runner, and if the conditions are good, lots of sun with no wind, it’s no problem.  If the conditions suddenly turn bad, I’ve lost a table runner.  I can’t image how I would feel losing a shower curtain if a wind suddenly appeared half way through the process of laying down the botanicals. 

The curtain will have to be done on a tarp laying out in my yard in the full sun.  The biggest problem I anticipate having is keeping everything wet until all the masks are in place.  Sun Dyeing cannot be done in sections as an overlap line will appear if one section dries before the next section is done.  Also, I have been wondering ( read worrying) what I will predominately use as the botanicals on the curtain as whatever I choose, I’m going to need a pile of it!  I’ve never collected that many plants at one time before so keeping them fresh and useable for a long period of time will also be challenging.

I will be watching the weather and the plants that are coming into their own in the month of August because one of these days soon, the conditions are going to be perfect and I will be ready with my curtain. 

I will keep you posted when the time comes and perhaps get one of my sons to photograph the progress as I create a Sun Dyed Shower Curtain for the Library Arts Show in September. 

Until then, enjoy the summer!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Eganville Park Art 2013

Renfrew Art in the Park was a big success this past weekend!  My scarves and tiles were well received by the many visitors to the show.  The crowds were steady both days. 

It was scorching hot Friday through Sunday and staying well hydrated was a must from beginning to end.  My banner was very eye catching and allowed me to explain to customers that the art work used in the banner came from a sun dyed creation I made a couple of years ago on rayon fabric.

Since the show, I am finally getting some excellent sun dyeing days and have been working nonstop since I returned from Renfrew in order to be ready for my next show in Eganville this coming Saturday July 20th.  The weather is expected to be nice and not quite so hot which is just fine with me!  Potential visitors should look for the tourist information booth in Eganville as the artists will be in the surrounding area.

I had so many interesting comments about my new artist tiles while in Renfrew.  Some customers had never heard of Alcohol Inks before and were fascinated by the process I used to show off their vibrant colours.

Customers were also amazed by the fact that all of the botanicals in my sun dyed scarves come from my own garden, picked moments before they are used for impressions.  It really hit home to most people how very hands on and personal my creations are.

There is blue sky outside right now.....I’m heading out to the garden to collect more flowers and leaves for my next scarf! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Getting ready for Renfrew Art in the Park!

It has been a busy last couple of weeks in my studio.  I’ve been working hard to prepare for an upcoming two day show in Renfrew, Ontario over the weekend of July 13 and 14.  This show promises to be a big event in the Ottawa Valley and one that I am looking forward to taking part in.  Renfrew Art in the Park is being held at Haramis Park, across from the big Walmart in town and runs both days from 10am to 5pm. 

This show is being hosted by the Renfrew Art Guild and there will be no admission price for visitors wanting to come out and see the great selection of art along with demonstrations.  There are over 30 unique artists taking part in the show as well as guests from Stone Fence Theatre entertaining kids and storytelling.

Please click HERE if you would like to download a printable PDF copy of the information shown above.

I recently ordered a huge banner with my business name and website address on it to display on my canopy during the show.  Hopefully it will arrive in time and get noticed!
Unfortunately the weather so far this year has not been conducive to sun dyeing.   I have found myself getting frustrated with dreary, rainy weather day after day.  Typically by this time of year, I have had many opportunities to get outside to create sun dyed items from my gardens.  This year has been far from typical and I’ve only managed to get out a few times.  I have been forced to work with ice more than sun so far but am still in good shape for the show.  The few good sun dyeing days that presented themselves were very productive.
I will be introducing a few new lines in Renfrew to test the market.  I will have sun dyed aprons and table runners and even something very new to me, artist tiles.
Alcohol Inks dyed tiles
I’ve been creating Artist tiles for several months now and put them through vigorous testing before introducing them into the market.  I use ceramic tiles and decorate them with Alcohol Inks.  

I’ve been working with about 30 different colours to create a further kaleidoscope of secondary colours.  The patterns I am achieving now are amazing!   

After the main surface of the tiles are dyed,  the sides of the tiles are painted, and the product is sealed with 3 coats of sealer.  The back side is finished with cork.  I’m offering them in coaster size and trivet size. No two are the same! Perhaps they will appear on my website at a later date if all goes well.