Carol R. Eaton Designs

Carol R. Eaton Designs

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Silk + Sharpies + Isopropyl Alcohol!

I've been working with Silk, Sharpies and Isopropyl Alcohol again = yippee! The more I experiment with this technique the more I learn and look forward to expanding my approach!  
After some trial and error I decided the best way to stretch the silk was to use the largest quilt hoop I could find. 

Using permanent Sharpie Markers I colored across the surface of the silk.

It's a very slow process as I move the hoop around to fill up the fabric surface.

Here is a detail shot of dropping the alcohol onto the colors which gets them to move and mingle! As you can imagine this is why the technique takes so long. After dropping alcohol across the surface I let it dry and repeat the step multiple times until I'm happy with the end result. 

Here is the completed orange, brown and green piece!

Detail - orange, brown and green 

This finished piece combines blue, purple and yellow!  

Detail - blue, purple and yellow
When you try this technique please be sure to have a fan in the room. The Sharpies tend to be smelly - not toxic - but not pleasant either! The good news is they dry super fast and you can keep going. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Staying on Track!

Life piles up sometimes and it's easy to veer off track managing your priorities! I work full time and I need to carve out daily creative arts time for my overall well being. I imagine many of you feel the same way. Creative people are wired to express themselves through their art in whatever medium they are passionate about. If more than a few days go by without studio time do you feel it? Something is missing right! Make sure YOU are a priority; put yourself on the calendar! 
To manage my projects I recently developed a Project Tracker document that forces me to set beginning and end dates. Having project details visually displayed for a quick review at a glance is hands-down the most helpful. Being reminded that I have 20 yards of ice dyed fabric due in February triggers me to stagger dyeing fabric in-between a different project due this month. It's a very basic system but when life goes sideways I need a reminder so I can pick up where I left off. This may be too rigid for your style but for me staying on track of commitments keeps stress at bay. When stress is reduced it allows for free flowing free time and creative energy bubbles up and jumps out! I'd love to hear your process and tips for staying on track. 


PROJECT TRACKER
CUSTOMER:

DUE DATE:

PROJECT
DESCRIPTION
START DATE
END DATE
RETAIL PRICE
TOTAL SALE
\\\\\\\






























NOTES: Keep detailed notes of design and color specs! 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

More Work on My Leaves....

I spent some time over the holiday stitching my leaves... it's a slow go and I have to remind myself it's OK to slow down and enjoy the process!
The leaves were picked, pressed onto cotton with thickened dyed, colored with more dye and Inktense pencils and now ready to be stitched! 

I decided to back the leaves with organza. I thought this would allow the leaves to have little stability when I adhere them to the organza background. 

I pinned the leaves to both the front and backside of the organza

Stitch... Stitch... Stitch! 

Friday, November 27, 2015

Experimenting With Over Dyeing!

In my previous post I mentioned dyeing with just browns and blacks to see how far I could push the color range. I decided to over dye a few of those pieces - just because! The photos on the left are the "control" pieces to show you what was over dyed. The piece on the right is the over dyed piece.  
I used evergreen on this one. You can still see the browns underneath and when fully opened the fabric has a forest-like organic feel.

Just like the first dyed piece this one is just as mellow. Although slightly deeper the color is less dramatic than the other expedients. With that being said there is no reason to "dis" mellow! I can envision many designs this will work with!  

This piece of over dyed using Cobalt Blue. It's harder to see the browns from the first dye but the brighter blue keeps the fabric interesting and added a
"depth" not seen with just one dye. 
It's always a treat to experiment and "learn things"!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Experimenting with Browns & Blacks!

I have a hankering to see how far I can push the limits of browns and blacks! Yesterday I ice dyed some pieces placing a variety of browns in one bucket and a black/gray combo in the other. Here are 2 pieces I will leave untouched...

I don't usually fold the fabric when I ice dye but in this experiment I thought it was the best way to separate the color particles with the most drama! As you can see the variety of brown I used ranged in the recipe from reds to tans = fun! The black/gray was very mellow as I suspected it would be. This one reminds me of winter so I won't touch it BUT I have some other lengths of fabric from the experiment that will go back into the dye bath. Using the same color combos I will scrunch the fabric back into the dye buckets to see what will happen.... to be continued!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Ice Dyed Cotton!

I rinsed out some ice dyes over the weekend... here are detail shots! 
I love the happy-dance-affect when I see a color combination that looks exciting! 





I hope you had a wonderful creative weekend! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Pounded Leaves = Show Me The Color!

Just before the autumn leaves went from bright to brown I collected a handful for some "pounding"! I'm sure there is a technical term for this technique but I don't know what it is... to me it's transferring the color of a natural fiber onto another surface = pounding! 
I laid the leaves between 2 pieces of ice dyed fabric. At first I used a larger and heavier hammer but it quickly tired out my wrist. I switched to a smaller
lightweight hammer and was able to keep the pounding up! 

Here is the first peek of color - it's a little mellow. I had the leaves stored in the refrigerator for a few days before I had time for the project. I think storing the leaves may have dried them out a bit producing less color.  

I have a garden outside my studio that hadn't been cleaned up yet so I grabbed more plant material. Pounding the fresh leaves was a huge improvement. The colors leeched out quickly saving my wrist! 

Here is the final piece - yes - it's a "quiet" design but that's one of the things I enjoy about the natural world. When I look at the design it strikes me as peaceful. Remember this technique produces 2 pieces of fabric because the natural fibers are placed sandwich style between layers. That's double the fun with a twin fabric created!   
Have you tried this technique? What plant material have you used? 
Have fun creating your own piece! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Painted & Dyed Canvas + Thermofax Screen = FUN!

Sometimes it takes a while to decide what you want to do with a piece of fabric! Last summer I was playing around with artist canvas and laid a gigantic piece on the driveway. I painted it in a collage style but meh... it was too bright and stiff so I set it aside. I decided to wash it to see if it would help with the softness - which it did but it still didn't excite me. Next, I over dyed the canvas with ice. This tipped the scales for my art brain to like the color palette however, I still wasn't sure what to do with it and it just didn't feel finished. 

In steps artist Terri Stegmiller with her fabulous thermofax screen designs! This design is titled "Layered Circles". If you aren't familiar with her work be sure to click here. Using her screen I stared creating a design across the surface and finally I felt like it was working. The design is only on a potion of the canvas and I'll save the rest for another time, (I wasn't kidding when I said the piece was gigantic!). 
Using Speedball screen paint I pulled the paint across the screen. I found using old hotel "keys" works perfectly for this process! 

I love the instant gratification you get when the screen is lifted!

Here is the finished piece. I do like the heavier texture and weight of canvas and will continue to experiment with it! 
What is your favorite fabric for surface design?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

New Inventory!

I'm channeling autumn colors this month and trying to capture the green, red, yellow and oranges I see in my neighborhood. The ice dyed fabrics all represent the colors of our New England foliage but there is soooo much more to be done! Today on a run I saw jewel tones of brown, red, black colored tree... yummy! 
This is the aftermath of my dyeing session! 
The new inventory is up; please click the Ice dyed Fabric tab at the top of the page.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Exhibition Jury Day!

I am so lucky to be part of the SAQA CT organization. The Connecticut chapter is active and full of like-minded artists who support and encourage each other. The group is putting together it's second traveling Local Colors exhibition. This year the tag line is Connecticut Stories. This was completely open to the artist's interpretation and yesterday the artist's work was juried by Carol PadbergAssociate Professor at the Hartford Art School, University of Hartford (pictured above). 

Co-curators, Kate Themel and Diane Wright were on hand (and me too!) to assist the juror but once the theme overview was provided Carol needed little direction. With her trained eye and knowledge of fiber Carol pulled together a beautiful show. She stated the pieces needed to be well constructed and looked for a clear relationship between the design and overall use of textiles.  Carol said she chose both abstract designs as well as precise or structured work to create a more engaging show. She also mentioned looking at the use of color and contrast as it related to the design. Carol said the decisions were hard given there were so many fabulous pieces. With this particular theme the "story" is important to the overall exhibition but when choosing works the artist's statements were not part of the process. The exhibition was limited to 35 pieces so decisions had to be made and some great pieces were not able to be included.  

I was delighted to find 2 of my works in the accepted category... definitely more in the abstract arena! The premiere opening is February 5, 2016 at the Guilford Art Center. The exhibit will travel to varies venues throughout the state with plans for a bi-coastal exhibit with a Californian chapter but you will need to sit tight for details! The exhibition will include traditionally hung work and pieces mounted on stretcher bars - it's going to look great!
Seasons Pass

Birch Grove

Monday, October 5, 2015

Textile Arts Facebook Page!

I'd like to recommend the Textile Arts page on Facebook for anyone interested in an engaging online group! I'm playing around with creating fabric art using organza and had some technical questions. I reached out to this group and within minutes had a number of positive and helpful suggestions! Working in our studios can be isolating at times so it's refreshing to have an online support available! Click here to hop over to their page.

Happy Creating Everyone! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fabric Giveaway - The Printed Fabric Bee!

We have been hosting this giveaway for the last two years. This is our last collection. We will be back in January with a new format which we think you will like. Please stay tuned.


This month Judy Gula was the "Queen" for the month. She chose Caribbean Blue as her theme and the Printed Fabric Bee artists got to work each creating their interpretation of Judy' theme. 

I tried to capture the ebb and flow of the tides as they perpetually move. 
This is my 6X6 giveaway piece! 
Go to The Printed Fabric Bee blog or Judy's blog and leave a comment under the photo of the collection by October 15 and you will be eligible to win the entire collection. Imagine what you could make with 11 squares of fabulous fabrics! Judy will be choosing a winner on October 16. Good luck!
 

Be sure to also stop by all the Bee members' blogs to read about how they made their contribution to this collection. Good Luck!

Carol R. Eaton
Jackie Lams
Lynda Heines
Gerrie Congdon
Susan Purney Mark
Deborah Boschert
Jane Davila
Lisa Chin
Lynn Krawczyk
Leslie Jenison
Julie B. Booth 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Using Unique Fabrics!

I'm having a burst of creative energy and actually creating some of my own fiber art pieces. Typically I create fabric for other artists to use but in reorganizing my inventory I've been setting aside fabrics that "speak" to me. I admit to having a wee bit of trouble focusing on completing a piece once I work through the design process but I'm committed to creating new works and will keep going!  

Here's a piece waiting for quilting. I took some black & white confetti dyed fabric and sliced it up. Next I layered it over a hand painted landscape fabric. I think I'm going to continue with the KISS method, Keep it Simple Stupid and only add a tight machine zigzag along the edges of the trees... does anyone else have another suggestion?





Friday, September 18, 2015

You're Doing What? = SAQA CT Trunk Show Piece!

I just completed my piece for the "You're Doing What?" challenge. Betty Warner and her counterparts are putting together a regional trunk show. The title made me stop to think about how many times I've used that phrase in my life... You're doing what? Usually directed towards my son's but this time I thought about Scott Jurek who ran the full length of the Appalachian Trail last summer. Most people take months to complete the trek from Georgia to Maine but Scott did it in 46 days... that's 2,180 miles of running - sometimes 24 hours in a row. I think Scott's goal was worth a "You're Doing What?"
 The requirements were to create a fiber art piece 6" X 10" which will be mounted on an 8" X 12" black mat. The collection will look really sharp when hung together and can be reserved by organizations for exhibition.

To check out Scott's full story click here
To learn more about the Appalachian Trail click here

Here is a detail photo that's shows a little tiny Scott reaching Mt. Katahdin in Maine - CONGRATULATIONS super man! 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Steeped in Stitches Fiber Art Exhibit - Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective!

Members of the Connecticut Fiber Arts Collective held a Fiber Arts exhibition this weekend at the Phelps-Hatheway House in Suffield, CT.The show took place in conjunction with Suffield town day and there were bands, food, markets and good ole fun! 
The group and friends were even treated to a tea complete with tiny cucumber sandwiches that had their crusts cut off - who knew we could be so fancy! 

The exhibition took place in the very large barn on the property. It was a lovely setting and it's my understanding the barn is also used for weddings ad other types of functions. 
We were joined by SAQA CT co-reps, Barb Adams and Catherine Whall Smith
The artists took a moment to talk about their work and design process - always a treat to hear the back story!
 
What's a tea party without fancy hats?
Thank you Roz for bringing this 1930's hat for me to wear during the event! 
From left to right in the back we have Roz, Mary, me, Denise and Catherine. Front row is Wanda, Carol V, Francesca, Barb, Toni, and Nancy. Linda is missing from the picture.
The group voted on the best hat and Catherine presented Toni with a bag of goodies.
I'm sure you agree that Toni's has the greatest hat ever! 
Later in the day member Mary Lachman was on hand for a poetry reading from her recent book, Moth at the Window. Click here for details - it's a great read! 

Stay tuned for our next adventures!