Monday, September 30, 2019

A Summer Divirsion

A Summer Diversion

A friend and I are putting together a small show for our local Surface Design Association group. 
Our show concept is that we will augment each other’s work, she uses my dyed fabrics and I use her eco print fabrics. She makes beautiful eco print pieces.  So I decided that I would make leaf prints that would echo hers. However, I don’t want to get involved with steaming and mordants, etc. so I remembered a sun dye, SolarFast made by the Jacquard Company, that I played with years ago. Even though I bought it 2 or 3 years ago. it still worked and we were in the only really warm and sunny part of our year, so I experimented.  I live on the Olympic Peninsula in the Pacific Northwest where our summers are cool and damp.

This first effort was on a 70 degree day with bright sun, the leaves were laid on a gray hand dyed cotton that had been painted with yellow and red dyes, covered with plexiglas and put into the sun for an hour or two. 



This turned out pretty well, so I tried it again on a hot day, 85 degrees, with blue dye on white cotton.  My thought was that I would over dye it later, turning the white parts into color


The leaves became so hot under the plexiglass and the sun that they cooked and released those lovely brown colors. That was a surprise. The begonia leaf on the left burned in parts, so the colors are mottled. The grass leaves on top were thick enough not to burn.
Then I decided to try using brightly dyed cotton for the background.

This is a piece of cotton dyed with procion dyes using the bucket method. I painted on black dye, placed the leaves, plexiglas, put it in the sun, forgot about it and remembered three hours later.
This was the result.

I’m including this leaf to show the detail possible with this dyeing method.  That thin white line on the brown canna leaf is a piece of thread from the cotton trapped, unintentionally, between the plexiglas and the leaf. 




This is definitely worth exploring.

Monday, September 23, 2019

The Fabric of Invasion and Conquest


Recent discoveries made possible by advanced technology, like DNA studies and isotope analysis of textile fragments from Viking ship burials have brought to light the importance of cloth in the extensive conquests by the Vikings. In August, 2019 I visited two Viking ship museums in Norway and Denmark. I learned about the seafaring Vikings and was able to photograph some fascinating displays.


Centuries before Scandinavian farmers left their homeland to conquer and plunder throughout Europe, Central Asia and North America there was famine in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. It was theorized that this was caused by a series of volcanic eruptions that produced a great deal of ash in the atmosphere. This resulted in extreme cold (the little ice age) and famine. Desperate to survive, Vikings left Scandinavia by long wooden ships powered by a revolutionary discovery—the sail. It was the development of the cloth sail that made their voyages across oceans possible. Between about 700 to1100AD Viking warriors invaded and conquered lands far afield from their native land. 

Viking women wove the square woolen sails for the ships.
The fiber came from Northern European short tailed tough little sheep. They had double coats, an outer coat of long strong hairs and a soft inner coat. Weavers used the course long fibers for the warp and the softer inner coat for the weft.  It took the wool from about 700 to 1000 sheep to make a single war ship sail. 
The sails were a variation of the basic woolen cloth that was used for clothing and other domestic purposes.
Textile fragments gave evidence that natural dyes were used to color the fabric 
The woven cloth was “fulled” or felted and then coated with a resin, which helped make the sail sturdy, wind and waterproof. Thus, the sleek ship was powerful, feared and beautiful.



Thursday, July 4, 2019

Call for New Members

The Art Cloth Network call for new members is coming soon!

 September 1 – October 31, 2019

Please visit the Art Cloth Network website to learn more.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

WORLD OF THREADS FESTIVAL

Last fall I took a trip to see the World of Threads Festival in Toronto, CA. It ran for about 6 weeks. This is a biannual exhibit that gathers fiber art from all around the world and is displayed throughout the Queen Elizabeth Community Center in Oakville, Ontario, CA.  The Festival is a showcase of local, national and international contemporary fiber and textile art. It is one venue where you can see a wide range of art and see much of it in depth because they will feature several pieces from one artist.  I spent most of a day there this past fall and came away with a ton of new ideas and new artists to admire.

The organizers and curators for the festival are Dawne Rudman and Gareth Bate.  There approach to the exhibition is, in their words:

we don't have predetermined curatorial ideas or impose our cone[ts on the artists. Each festival is a blank slate. Shows develop entirely out of the submissions received. To find our thematic exhibitions we look for connections between thousands of artworks from around the world. 

Along with the thematic shows that develop, there are many solo shows and installations which is a great opportunity to see a body of work.  This year there were 25 solo shows featured. Another area features the Cat Walk - one of a kind clothing - some meant to be worn, some meant for performance, some meant to be display only.  The opportunity to see this work up close and in the round is great.

One of the solo shows this year that I most enjoyed was In Between: Presence and Absence, created by Sun Young Kang.  This massive installation 9the floor of a very large open area0 was created by casting hundreds of vessels from every day life and arranging them in the display. Each vessel was sliced open so  you could see the relationship between inner and outer.






Below are a number images from the exhibit.  If you are intrigued and want to see more visit www.worldofthreadsfestival.com. The website is extensive and includes not only the artwork form this past festival but previous years. Also includes artist interviews and lots of interesting info.  I encourage everyone to think ahead to the next call in 2020 and enter. I had a solo show of my Tree Ring series in 2014 and it was a great experience. And there is nothing wrong with having an excuse to visit the  Toronto area!






















Monday, March 4, 2019

Splat!!!

Deborah Weir here with a wild collection of art I've made since last summer (2018).    I've been on a tear.   If you would like to see details and know more, please visit my blog (http://fiberfly.blogspot.com/) and portfolio (https://www.behance.net/FiberFly) and website (https://www.deborahweir.net/).  For now it's just a crazy wall full of fiber art in mostly, but not quite, alphabetical order.  ENJOY!!!