Saturday, April 28, 2012

10 Techniques with Acrylic Inks

We had a great time with the acrylic inks class, this was the first official time through it so there is always so much to learn, for all of us. I'm glad it was a small class, I can see where timing will have to be adjusted for a big class, as well as needing space to put wet fabric. 

We did start to run out of time when it came to drawing on the fabric with calligraphy and ruling pens, so there aren't any samples showing that, but I did demonstrate it, lol.

Now that I've gone thru it one time, I could see this class working well as a multi day workshop with one day spent covering all the different techniques and then the next day combining them into larger complex cloth.


We were just getting to scratch the surface with combining and layering multiple techniques by the end of the day.
 All in all, it was a fun day.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Embossing Metal at Shake Rag Alley

It was so nice to teach a few small classes for a change, don't get me wrong, I enjoy the energy and excitement of large classes (25 students) at festival, but day after day on your feet circling the room on those carpet covered concrete convention floors can get tiring. 
At Shake Rag things were very relaxed by comparison, with eight students in the metal class and one of them was a 12 year old boy who stepped in to fill the spot of his grandmothers friend who was unable to make it. This is his work below, he did a lot more work than this, cutting up and manipulating the metal and experimenting with what it could do, but these were the pieces he wanted to show.

I enjoy having young students in class, as long as they have the attention span for a 6 hour class, because they are often more courageous with their art making and this in turn can be inspiring to the  adult students.

We use two different methods for coloring the metal; alcohol inks and art markers.

When embossed designs have a lot of dimension, it's a good idea to use a filling paste on the back to give more structural integrity to the big spaces so they don't get crushed.

I was thrilled to see so many lilacs in Wisconsin, I love them. I know they are in Chicago, but there aren't that many in my neighborhood and I will miss them when I move back to California.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Road to Mineral Point

I've been slow to get a blogpost written because it took me a couple days to deal with some computer issues. Basically my computer kept telling me my startup disk was full and before I could upload any photos from my trip I needed to clear some space on my hard drive, but now that that's done I can start to tell you about my grand adventure in Wisconsin.

Friday, I left Chicago on a dark and cloudy afternoon. There were occasional sprinkles but luckily no real rain for the 175 mile drive to the southwest corner of Wisconsin. Before leaving I printed out a map from Google but also had my Garmin to navigate the way. I drove about halfway on the freeway and in Beloit, Wisconsin my Garmin decided to take me the rest of the way by the scenic route.

It was a little desolate but lovely with rolling hills and farms on country roads.

In just over 3 hours I arrived at Shake Rag Alley Center for the Arts. It's a wonderful facility housed in a cluster of historic buildings on beautiful landscaped grounds.

Shake Rag is an amazing place, I can't recommend it enough as a fabulous place to go for classes. It's a non profit school, run by a group of people who want a place for people to make art. The classes are small with great space to work in.

One of the other fantastic parts about taking classes at Shake rag Alley is it's in an architecturally beautiful small town filled with artists and galleries. I loved walking around Mineral Point and seeing all the stone buildings and houses, most of it was built in the 1800's by Cornish miners.

I loved seeing these little free libraries, they seemed to capture the warm and friendly personality of the town.
There's lots of hills!

I had to buy a mug from the Johnston Brewery Pottery
A gorgeous fern outside the studio/gallery that made me think of New Zealand :-)
There's a lot of deteriorating barns in Wisconsin, that are really amazing looking.

I had a pasty which is a meat pie, like a giant meat and potato empanada, that the miners used to pack for their lunch.
I bought a couple skeins of interesting yarn from Simply Scarves, although I have other ideas in mind for it than knitting.

I love these old houses!
One thing I hadn't expected to see in Wisconsin was a beautiful Japanese tea house and koi pond in the back yard of my hosts house filled with huge koi.


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