Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bridging The Mixed Media

For the past year I've been hosting an artist book exchange.  Actually, it's a round robin and there have been 2 of them. One is finished - a paper arts exchange, called Book Arts Round Robin (BARR); the  current one is a fiber art book, called Book Arts Round Robin 2 (BARR 2).

This is the one I thought I'd begin to share a little with you because it bridges the mediums of carving and printmaking with fiber art.

This is the cover page for my own book.  Each person will make 2 pages for my book, the theme is "Pattern and Design." It is being sent off to 9 other artists and when each of them is finished adding to it, it will return to me and I will then bind all of the pages into a book.  Of course, all 9 of us are doing this and so we will each end up with one book, our own, with 18 pages of fiber art executed according to the parameters that we set out for our own theme and size, to bind together for their own unique artist book!

 In this first page, you can see that the edges of the pages are loose so that I can bind them into a book when they are all gathered together at the end of the round robin.

First, I took some muslin and painted on the blue, brown and black loose stripes with fabric paints, heat set that and cut it into the sizes and shapes I needed.  I don't plan these steps in advance.  I do it as I go along.  Of course, I sometimes screw it up royally and rip out scads of stuff, but that's what happens in my little domain!

Then I took another piece of painted muslin and transferred a clip art tree design onto it using Leslie Riley's TAP (Transfer Artist Paper).  I made a pocket out of that and sewed it on to the bottom half of the page.

For the tree branches I sewed up some fabric scraps as you would do to make a binding and I wrapped that around and around and quickly stitched it as I held onto one end by my teeth. I shoved the other end and dropped it  under the presser foot of my machine  freeing up my other hand to hand to guide it through the stitching process.  Then I just sewed it by hand onto the upper half of the page and attached a print of my crow carving on muslin and covered that with a bit of organza, so it's a little shimmery and exciting ( of course some of these things just don't read as well on the computer as they do close up and in person. For the finishing touch I added hand embroidery and beads.

To continue on with the subject of trees, I dived into my first effort at gelatin printing on fabric.  I made leaf shapes out of tag board and rolled some fabric ink over them - I had a blast doing this!  I love gel printing! Again, I added more twisted up fabric for seam binding, hand embroidery and beads

Then I made a card stock tag to go into the pocket with an artist statement. It was so much fun to get started and mail it off to wait for the first arrival of someone else's pages!


  1. Thanks for the wonderful description of your process.

  2. And the illustrations aren't half bad either! Seriously, it's all very good. I wish now we had all done what Kathy asked for her BARR2 book--a description of inspiration and techniques.

  3. Yes,good, it helps me when I read how others do things too!