May 10 2017 · 0 comments · Blog, experiments in marbling, marbling, process ·

Suminagashi

 

Several years ago I took a wonderful marbling workshop during which I was introduced to the Japanese marbling technique of Suminagashi. I bought the set of inks and Photo-Flow but never pursued experimenting with them until now. What I remembered was the sense of almost meditative calm of the process. Beautiful in its simplicity, these complex patterns are formed with only tap water, two paintbrushes, and some ink. I was playing with some different formations and densities; you can keep the patterns more open with fewer concentric rings or wider clear rings, or you can make them almost solid by layering many, many circles. The slightest disturbance of the water surface caused by hand movement or even your breath will send the ink patterns swirling and moving, creating new and unexpected contours. I obviously haven’t done this before – my circles are jagged and uneven, I jostled the water way too much and lacked the control needed for clean patterns but I think I ended up with some very cool pieces!

(This video is 2x normal speed – I wasn’t going this fast!)

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From top left: 1. Multiple ink colors on gold silk. 2. Black ink on red silk (I especially like the way this one turned out) 3. Blue, black ink on a natural colored linen. 4. This one is interesting – multiple colors of ink on silk color blocked in shades of green and gold. I love how the different background colors change the color of the ink. (looks kind of like a map to me) 5. Multiple colors of ink on canvas. 6. Black ink on white silk (very dense – I may have overdone the circles a little bit on this one!)

 

Nov 09 2015 · 0 comments · Blog, process ·

Evolution

When Mauveine was first conceptualized I was talking about silk scarves dyed and painted with different “themes” like city names or song titles. When I discovered the marbling technique I was more interested in the different textures and effects I could get with that (still focusing on scarves). Then it became about expanding the product line; not just scarves but bags, hair accessories, flower clips, jewelry, pashmina shawls, furoshiki squares, one piece of fabric that could be worn and used in a variety of ways. Which was way too ambitious for what I could realistically accomplish given the limited time I had to devote to Mauveine.

The idea and reality of Mauveine has been not so much about planning, marketing, and sales as it has been about opening myself up to the business of art and creativity. Painting with oils and pastels were where I started. It’s been a very long time since I picked up a Rembrandt pastel or paintbrush. I attempted a pencil self-portrait sketch a while back. I felt rusty and stiff, like the Tin Man left out in the weather too long, creaking back into motion but the final result wasn’t horrible it definitely started to feel more natural towards the end.

Discovering the myriad ways a piece of silk fabric can be used has led to more experimentation in surface design with different techniques and the realization that “Mauveine” really is more about the unintentional and wonderful results that happen as I’m splashing and dabbling around. Fitting, considering the color mauveine came about entirely as a happy accident in a lab.

The convoluted course since starting the idea of Mauveine has led me to repurposing and redesigning garments. I want to find things made from quality natural fabrics – silk, linen, wool, cotton — and then deconstruct, embellish, and stitch them into something new and beautiful. This doesn’t mean moving away from marbling and dying and surface design; in fact, there will be even more opportunity to play with color and texture and patterns and bringing it all together to create artistic, but functional items. Things someone would wear and use and enjoy on a daily basis.

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I’ll try!

 

Mar 20 2014 · 0 comments · Blog, experiments in marbling, marbling, marbling tools, technique, process, silk ·

Exploring and Experimenting Followup

Phase Three:

Another dip with wine red loosely swirled to try to tone down the magenta from dip two. Meh.  Not crazy about this one.  Set it aside and maybe I’ll get a flash of inspiration about what to do with it.

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Closeup:

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I really like this one.  Third dip with light green and light blue.  Definitely gave it kind of a “fern” feel I think.

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Closeup:

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The jury is still out on this one.  It’s not what I was going for, but it’s growing on me.  Added the dark purple in an attempt to fuse it together.  Looking at it now, I probably shouldn’t have used that bright yellow.

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Closeup:

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Aaannnddd… my favorite.  Definitely going to do this technique again with other colors. I did a final dip with more dark indigo blue swirled and pushed into loose flower bloom shapes.  Really pretty!

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Closeup

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I did try some silver on top of the purple lacy one but it didn’t show up at all so I’m leaving that one alone.  I might embellish it with some handpainted filigree kind of linework.  Or not.  I’m not sure yet.

I’ll be using these DecoArt paints a lot more!  I like what’s happening.

Mar 12 2014 · 0 comments · Blog, experiments in marbling, marbling, marbling tools, technique, process, silk ·

Exploring and Experimenting

I’m playing around with some new paints, DecoArt So-Soft fabric paint that doesn’t require heat setting (one less step!) and doesn’t leave a residue on the fabric so the sheen and softness that makes silk… well, silky… isn’t compromised. They come in a rainbow of gorgeous colors and they’re working pretty well except that they stop floating after two or three colors are laid down on the size. I want to see what happens when I over marble two or even three times to get more depth and richer colors.

Phase One: Plain white 8 mm and 5 mm habotai.  Left:  Orange, scarlet and yellow pushed into veins and lines by topping with soft peach stones, then pulled into loose scallops.  Center: Two shades of red with black loose freehand swirl (red looks pink).  Right: Sienna and brown raked diagonally.

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Below: Three shades of purple/lilac combed into peacock pattern. (hard to see here but my peacock pattern always comes out kind of wobbly and distorted.  Not sure what I’m doing wrong, but even wobbly distorted peacock pattern still looks pretty.)

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Phase Two: The sienna and brown overmarbled with chocolate brown, more sienna, and purple raked diagonally in the opposite direction.  I feel like this is starting to take on kind of a botanical look. I’m thinking of adding a moss green and/or turquoise blue combed into leaf-fern shapes.

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Close-up:

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Red and black overmarbled magenta and scarlet along with more wine red.  Not sure about this one. Where do I go from here?  Would another layer be too much?

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close-up

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Orange and scarlet scallops overmarbled with blue, purple, and a darker melon color.  The orange became more cinnamon brown which is nice.  The melon is feeling a little obnoxious.  I want to fuse the whole thing together, but how?

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Close-up

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Purple peacock overmarbled with the same color combo combed into a peacock pattern again. Very pretty, like lilac lace.  Giving some thought to a finishing layer of subtle silver swirls.

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Close-up:

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I didn’t take a Phase One picture of this one but it started out dyed a pale aqua color, then marbled with 3 shades of blue freehand swirled.  Overmarbled with large stones of 2 deeper blues loosely swirled that look like large indigo flowers.  You can see the places where the pattern was broken at top center and lower left corner where the fabric creased as I lay it down but I’m not too upset about it.  It adds some interest and dimension and I think I’ll hit it with one more layer to camouflage those flaws a little bit.  I’m really liking this one.

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Close-up

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Phase Three to come…