Tuesday, December 4, 2012

And Now for Something Completely Different...

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending an informal, deconstructed screen printing workshop/mini-Arrowmont reunion.  OK let me explain because this does have a link to encaustic... While at Arrowmont this past June, I oohed and aahed over the most gorgeous abstract paper and fabric one of my classmates (and wonderful fiber artist) Trish had brought.  Long story short, another classmate LeeAnn and I (being two crazy Southern chicks) talked Trish into having a reunion and giving us a workshop on her screen printing process.  Art friends are simply the best!  What transpired was a fantastic weekend at Trish and her husband Ray's house.  Not to already get me off track but you must know that Trish and Ray's house is surrounded by a beautiful wooded forest which on this first week in December was still displaying some awesome color.  More on this later...

Screen printing is a new topic for me so please excuse the lack of details in this simplified post.  Deconstructed screen printing seems to be in some ways the opposite of regular screen printing.  You take a screen, put it on something with texture, apply thickened dye to it, let the dye dry, and then use a goopy sodium alginate thickener to release the dye to make prints.  Being a huge fan of rust, I was immediately drawn to these colorful abstract prints plus this process is just good, messy fun!

Trish went through the process with us and then we were set free with squeegies, vibrant procion dyes, and screens. 

LeeAnn hanging a wet print on the clothes line.

Trish manipulating the wet dye on the print.

This was my favorite screen.  What's not to love about poka dots?

Well - as you have probably guessed, everything turns into a photoshoot with me right now since I'm gearing up for two shows next year.  The second day we woke up to rain and the screens we had inked and left drying the night before had all been washed clean by a cruel, vindictive Mother Nature!  LeeAnn graciously offered to model for me in the glorious woods once the rain had slowed to a slight misting.  With Trish as props master/photographer's assistant and Ray as location scout/briar bushwacker, we tromped off into the woods to make lemonade.

I only brought one prop - a rusty Santos crown with rhinestones.  I'm trying to get more comfortable working with what I find around me and rolling with the experience.
Trish devising an unobtrusive way to secure the crown to LeeAnn.
Ray helping LeeAnn navigate that slippery trunk

Trish stepping in to provide some motion in the scarf when we lost the breeze
Here's two of the images I got this weekend.  What an amazing, soul-feeding time.  I can't thank Trish, LeeAnn, and Ray enough for their generosity.

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