I love color. I am an artist because I love line, and shape, and form but mostly it is because I LOVE COLOR. Part of the reason the summer flew by so quickly for me is because I allowed myself to engage deeply with my materials to experiment. I pounded and shaped clay, I sawed and nailed wood, I mixed and painted with paints, I cut, glued and collaged, I LEARNED. Most of the work I did did not end up in any finished piece of art. Instead I ended up filling lots of sketchbooks and created lots of mess with fabric, paint, and paper that was shredded and recycled for future art projects or for a new home in the recycle bin. Self study is wonderful but every now and then I treat myself to a workshop to push myself even harder. Hands down the best experience I had this summer actually occurred this fall (I live in GA right now where we can often claim snippets of summer until late October). I took a trip to the Crow barn to take Carol Soderlund’s Color Mixing for Dyers class. I had looked forward to this class and this trip for months because I was: 1) “dyeing” to take Carol’s class and 2) I was looking forward to the road trip. I wasn’t disappointed. From the 8.5 hour drive up I75 to the unpacking and meeting of my talented classmates (Hi everybody!!!), to the outstanding instruction and mixing of color, I was one happy camper. Isn’t it great when you learn something that you really wanted to learn? Carol is a teacher’s teacher. Any question you can think of about dyeing she has already anticipated and has an idea about it. I am a process geek and it is pretty apparent that Carol is too :). Each day I left the studio with my head in explode mode because there was so much that I was learning and thinking about. Since I returned home a few weeks ago I have cleaned the wet area in my studio from top to bottom, lined up my dyes, bought myself a nice sized digital scale and ripped and labeled my fabric.
Thanks to Carol I now know how to dye the color I actually want to dye when I want to dye it. I know how to dye up and down the value scale, I have an understanding of how elements like weight of the fabric, weight of the dye, and other auxiliaries can impact the dye process and I know how to work in a more efficient and water conserving manner. More than that, Carol gave us many possibilities for how to expand on what she has taught us. She even ended the class with a lovely poem about what else? COLOR! So now I am back at work. I have dyed about 30 yards of fabric since I completed the class. Here are some samples from my recent dye sessions. Sorry about the wrinkles. I couldn’t wait to share. No bucket is safe from me in my studio right now.