I’m an Artist Because . . .

Posted on: October 15th, 2012 by deborah 6 Comments





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.

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Categories: Projects and Series

6 Responses

  1. Karoda says:

    yes, why don’t I live just around the corner…sighing 🙂

  2. Thelma Bradshaw says:

    Such yummy colors! I love color too and the class with Carol was so awesome!!! I am dyeing some stuff up today, will share with you all later.

  3. I relate to your feelings during the class as to your head filled with information. It was really jammed packed. I had dye studio just like your about 10 years. Proof that these dyes aren’t toxic 😉 Looks like you had a great experience and your fabrics look wonderful. Thanks for sharing your success.

    • deborah says:

      Thanks, Terry. I think I failed to mention that my little kitchenette is in the corner of my studio and NOT in my house where I prepare food or eat. I agree that the dyes aren’t toxic but I do think it is smart to keep dust, paint, dye etc. away from where you cook. Just mentioning this for folks who may not dye fibers a lot. I did have a wonderful experience and can’t wait to do more. 🙂

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