The Never Ending Process

Weaving, dosage dyeing, ambulance weaving, medications dyeing, weaving, weaving, weaving, dyeing…is all my my past semester seemed to consist of (not that I’m complaining… I loved it!).

I have been working on different types of weaving with different fibres and different dyeing processes. Here are some results you may have already seen:

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One thing I had never tried was dyeing my own skein of yarn, which led me to my next project…

I had a skein of plain white wool which I dyed using 4 different colours of fibre reactive dyes in squirt bottles. I laid out the skein, applied my dye, and let it sit overnight wrapped up in plastic. When I went to wash out the dye the next morning, all of the colours seemed to have bled into each other, creating a VERY subtle colour. Although it wasn’t what I was expecting the colour to turn out like, I was quite happy with the end product. Here are some progress shots of the wool once it was dyed and then turned into a woven scarf:

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Trying out this new process was really fun for me and I think I will definitely use it again and try it with a different material.

~Madde~

 

Sydney Sogol

I came across a wonderful artist on Instagram named Sydney Sogol (@sydsthread). She primarily works with weaving and dyeing her own yarns – no wonder I found myself interested in her!

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Sydney completed her Bachelor of Arts in Weaving and minor in Biology at Earlham College and then completed her MFA in Textile Design from East Carolina University. Her work is very inspirational to me because of the beautiful colours and patterns she creates in her weaving. You can see how unique each piece is because she hand-paints most of her warps and dyes her other yarns.

I’ve gotten a lot of inpiration and tips and tricks from seeing her work and her process. In one of my classes this semester I have been focusing on hand-dyeing my own weaving which I had never done before and was partially inspired by seeing Sydney’s work.

Not only does she make beautiful functional pieces, mycoplasmosis she also makes work she calls ‘woven paintings’. This body of work is another reason why she is an inspiration to me because they show how weaving, which is traditionally all about functional use, can be brought into a completely different atmosphere and can be looked at as fine art as compared to craft. My work tends to focus on the functional side of weaving, so being able to see this series of work is important for me in order to remind myself that I can branch out and try something different with my woven work.

wovenpaintingSo go check out her instagram page to follow her process and to keep up to date with her most current work! Also give her website a look to see her woven paintings series and a lot more professional work!

 

~Madde~

Chakra Cushions

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I’m working on a full set of chakra rugs as my body of work for class. The further I get in my process of making this set, cough the more I’m liking it – the accumalative process is something I am drawn to.

When I am finished there will be 7 rugs, troche each one representing one of the chakras. Each rug/padded cushion will have its respective chakra symbol lino-printed on the bottom on durable canvas.

It is interesting to connect the meditative process of weaving to the meditative function of the finished work. Although I’ve never personally meditated, tadalafil it is something that really interests me. Perhaps that is the reason why I am drawn to the colours and symbols of the chakras and what they represent.

Because I’m essentially making 7 of the same thing, the repetitive nature can sometimes get to be too much. So I work on two different colours at the same time so that if I get sick of one colour I can switch to the other one – it helps a little bit!

I’m excited to see the finished set of all seven cushions at the end of the semester…stay tuned!

~Madde~

//Unshelved// Art as Future-Making

I am lucky enough to be able to participate in an exhibit titled “Unshelved” with a lot of great artists from ACAD. This exhibit comes from Mireille Perron’s FINA 450 class and includes the work of students from nearly every department!

I wanted to take this great opportunity to create something different from my usual practice while still incorporating it in some way.

I chose to create a book of weaving – I used a found book of collected stories from one author who I chose to keep anonymous as it is not necessarily important in discussing what I wanted to portray with my work. I titled it “Anthology of Weaving” in which there are pages upon pages of hand woven book pages. I ripped out many pages throughout the book and cut them up into strips to weave back in to the remaining pages. By doing this I distorted the remaining text into my own story. This takes the traditional form of weaving into new dimensions.

On the inside cover I included this:

    ” Anthology of Weaving synthesizes two great art forms. Placed between the covers of the label “The Collected Stories”, see the viewer encounters a commentary on the versatility of the craft of weaving. Where the traditional practice of weaving utilizes a loom and fabric, syphilis this piece of art takes the pages of the art of writing and rebuilds it into a woven work. The sudden encounters of capital letters or italicized words draws in the readers attention, impotent which occasionally reveals complete sentences in the chaos. Such a thing can be found in woven fabric as well; highlighted stitches or dyed fabric capture the intrigue of the viewer and provides a means of contemplation as to the depth of the piece itself. Anthology of Weaving ultimately creates a commentary on possibilities, and depth of, the craft itself. With the combination of writing and weaving, the viewer begins to wonder just how far the craft can go. Look past the cover and lose yourself in the collected stories hidden within Anthology of Weaving. ”

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This exhibition is on display in the ACAD Luke Lindoe Library from March 8th-April 7th, 2016. There is an opening from 5-7 pm in the library on Thursday, March 10th, so come on down and check out some fantastic work from graduating students  at ACAD!

~Madde~

 

 

Weaving the Techniques Together

I have two sides of my practice: weaving and…basically everything else (usually with a hand-dyed element). I have never tried incorporating hand-dyeing in my weaving and so this semester that is what I’m working on.

I have done one project so far, see in which I wove a plain white scarf and then dyed it afterwards with fibre reactives. I always work with vibrant, beautiful colours so weaving initially with just white was a little different for me! I had to keep reminding myself that I was going to add colour later.

Most recently I’ve mainly been working with bamboo, but after being told about tencel and how it is similar to bamboo but is more environmentally friendly, I wanted to give it a try. My aim was to mix different materials and then dye it together to see how they would pick up the dye differently when already woven.

12714096_10153286920190986_351118774_nThis was my scarf immediately after taking it off of the loom. I used tencel for the warp and organic cotton for the weft. I used a more simple twill weave so as to focus more on the dyeing technique than the weaving pattern. I also tried something new for the hemming – a simple hemstitch – while the scarf was still on the loom. It saved me a lot of time in the long run which I appreciated.

12666244_10153286921150986_164927088_nThis is sadly one of the better photos I captured showing my first dye dip. I wanted to achieve an ombre affect in the purple dye as my first step. This photo shows the lightest and darkest areas. When seeing it in person, I was much happier with the results.

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This was the finished result after the second dip in a navy dye. To get the pattern shown on the bottom of the scarf, I did a simple tie with rubber bands.

I was extremely happy with my finished product and I will continue to experiment with different mixtures of colours and materials.

 

~Madde~

Hulahoop Weaving

Generally, orthopedist I have only woven things like scarves and shawls – things more luxurious than ‘heavy-duty’ and sturdy per- say. I discovered something called hula-hoop weaving on Pinterest not too long ago and I immediately wanted to try it. Being somewhat restricted with a traditional loom and having to make rectangular objects, anorexia I was drawn to this new activity. I am basing part of my work during this current semester on this new technique. My goal at this moment is to make a set of 7 chakra rugs (one for each colour of the rainbow in simpler terms). Here are a couple photos of how my first rug started out:

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I used a tutorial from a site called Flax and Twine for making my rug and you can also if you visit this link! I found it very helpful with a lot of images.

During this time of year it is surprisingly difficult to find hulahoops! I eventually found some super cheap ones at a random dollar store (probably not ideal, but they worked well enough). I need to figure out a better way to work with the tension because after I completed it and cut the warp threads it started to curl on itself and ended up looking like a shallow bowl, which was not my intention. When this did happen it did generate some new ideas for me, but ultimately I would like to figure out how to solve this problem.

I’m sure I will continue to learn and expand from this project!

~Madde~

Quilting!

Last week I went to check out the library book sale that ACAD had going on and I found some goodies! The one I was most excited about was this “Kaleidoscope – New Quilts from an Old Favorite” book.

photo by Madison Appleton
photo by Madison Appleton

I have made a couple blankets in the past and have really enjoyed the process. Lately I have been thinking about learning how to quilt but what scares me is how precise and exact you have to be. The style of quilts that you traditionally see are very…well, cost traditional, side effects so it was nice to see the quilts in this book which are more brightly coloured and ‘funky’. This style of quilting interests me a lot more and fits more with my practice using crystals and the geometric shape. The use of colour in the quilts in this book inspire me to continue using such vibrant colours in my work.

 

~Madde~

Art & Craft Market Reviews

This past November I went back home to Regina for a week and while I was there I attended 2 different holiday art and craft markets with my family. I love going to these because you get to see so many wonderful handcrafted items and a variety of a techniques and mediums. They are great to go to for more ideas about your own practice. Another reason why I love them is because those are the types of markets that I potentially want to be in.

The first market I went to was the “Our Best To You – Art & Craft Sale”. It was a huge market with probably over 200 vendors and it took HOURS for me and my family to get through. There were a lot of booths that were familiar to me, viagra including Winterlux Cashmere, this a company from BC that was also at the New Craft Coalition here in Calgary. There were also many booths that made me think to myself, ailment “Do people actually buy this stuff??” – but if I continue to see them at these large holiday markets somebody must be buying their product! There was definitely something for everybody at Our Best To You!

The second market I attended was MUCH smaller – Holiday Bazaart – held at one of Regina’s larger local art galleries, the Mackenzie Art Gallery. There were 38 booths sorted into 12 categories including ceramics, fibre, jewellery, leather goods, painting, and soap. Because I attend a lot of craft markets in both Calgary and Regina I often see one familiar vendor, Adam Lefebvre, who is a recent ACAD ceramics graduate and was at this market. There was a fibre artist that caught my attention – Worsted Rose, who creates a variety of crocheted creatures, animals, and other items that I found particularly adorable. As per usual at markets like these, the jewellery vendors make up a large chunk of the vendors. I noticed quite a few common designs and materials used by many of them which made them all meld together in my mind. It helped to make it even more prominent to me that being unique obviously helps you stand out – and if you have a unique product it can help your business to thrive.

~Madde~

Experimenting with Colour

When I chose to do some weaving for Barbara’s class I knew right away that I wanted to use bamboo. But I had to figure out what I wanted to make and what colours I wanted to use. Once I chose a dark green and a copper colour to use for my warp I had to choose 3 different colours that went with that combo for the 3 separate scarves I was making.

I wanted to experiment with colour and the interwoven aspects that change the colour, treatment so I ended up using an orange to almost melt into the copper…

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…a rich peacock blue to melt into the dark green and a a light purple/blue that wouldn’t ‘match’ either colour of the warp but would still compliment them.

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It was really interesting to see how the warp colours changed once I tried the different weft colours. When I used the purple and blue colours it almost made the warp colours disappear . I loved how the colours play with each other. I discovered some great colour combos that I am thinking about using in future projects.

~Madde~

Interview with Nicole Charlton

While chatting in our studio, pancreatitis Nicole and I came up with 3 questions for a peer interview:

Q. Did you always know you wanted to go into fibre when you came to ACAD?

A. Not really. Before going to ACAD I had went to school for graphic design I only had just had a diploma, healing so was aiming to get a degree in design at ACAD. I took a first year fibre course and had liked the projects and what you could do with the materials. After the first semester in first year I decided the VCD program wasn’t for me so fibre had become my new plan for school.

Q. What do you like to focus on in your practice? (materials, sovaldi techniques, concept?)

A. My practice this year has mostly involved knitting incorporated with weaving. I have chosen colors for my pieces inspired by photographs from traveling and I have been trying to use sustainable fibres like wool and promote the hand made.

Q. What is one of your pieces (or series) that you are the most proud of?

A. Right now I am pretty happy with my machine knit scarves. I knit several yardages of super bulky wool on my knitting machine then hand knit them into large scarves. I have been looking at ways to create them into more sculptural pieces in ways of hanging them and draping them.

It’s good to do peer interviews because you can learn things about your classmates that you never knew before. Here are some photos Nicole provided relating to her practice:

photo by Nicole Charlton
photos by Nicole Charlton

Thanks Nicole!

~Madde~

 

 

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Connecting Different Mediums

The only other studio class I am taking this semester is a Linocut print class with Heather Huston (PRNT 211), website so I was wanting to somehow connect that with the only fibre class I was taking! As most of you know, I’ve been focusing on crystal and fossil imagery in my fibre work so obviously that is what I included in my prints.

For the first project, I used the ammonite fossil as my main image:

ammonite print 1
photo by Madison Appleton

The first assignment was a simple black image and was used to become familiar with the technique.

 

crystal print
photo by Madison Appleton
crystal print detail
detail shot by Madison Appleton

As the class went on we were taught how to experiment more with colour and different techniques and layers. This was exciting for me because I love to play with colour in my fibre work! For my second project I chose to go with the crystal image. I was wanting to create a sense of heaviness on the bottom of the image – a weight or force.

 

 

 

 

 

photo by Madison Appleton
photo by Madison Appleton

For the last project we were given free reign, so I decided to stick with my crystals but combine them with fibre. I created a crystal print for crystal pouches – something to keep your precious crystals and gems safe! I used the materials and colours that I did because I wanted to give off a comfy and warm feeling, a cozy feeling. I had an interesting discovery while making these – prints by definition are made almost in a production line which I was not enjoying when I started down that path for the grad class…but I really enjoyed the process in making these pouches! What was the difference? Maybe it was the technique? I still don’t know but I am excited to grow some more and find out.

~Madde~

Creating my business

Where to start?

My ultimate goal as of yet is to sell my handmade fibre products online and at markets. But first things first – coming up with a name. This has proven very difficult for me and it’s very frustrating! I don’t think I want to simply just use my given name… and I know I don’t want my business name to be too specific because I make a variety of product and will most likely branch out from there. I found this page on Etsy that gives you tips for choosing a business or shop name. Some of the points may seem obvious but they all made perfect sense and would be very helpful for beginners!

Hopefully I’ll figure out a name for myself soon…

~ Madde ~

Patches Galore!

I try to combine my love of textiles and crystals into hand embellishments in my work – and I like to find other artists who do the same! Like many of you I find lots of inspiration from Pinterest, prescription and I came across this Etsy account called Shiny Fabulous Darling. The artist, Robin, sells a variety of embroideries but the ones that drew me to her were her embroidered crystal patches/brooches.

photo by ShinyFabulousDarling
photo by ShinyFabulousDarling

These are the types of things that I’m wanting to use to embellish my products for selling. Not only am I thinking of crystal imagery for patches, but also animals, flowers and other natural imagery.

 

~ Madde ~

Dyeing Your Own Textiles

Recently I’ve been dyeing my own fabric with fibre reactive dyes that I bought from G & S. Experimenting with my own dyes at home is a first experience for me. I’ve only done a limited amount of fibre reactive dyeing at school in one of Bill Morton’s classes and from that I only know some basic pattern techniques. I wanted to explore more to find some different and unusual techniques to get some great patterns!

I came across this great blog post titled “Techniques for Dyeing Fabric at Home”. Lindsay Connor describes 4 different general techniques to do at home, pharmacy my favourite being sun resist dyeing! Lindsay got her information from another blog linked here, written by quilter and blogger, Kathy Schwartz! Kathy writes about her step-by-step process and accidents that she came across.

photo by Kathy Schwartz

Check out the different techniques on these blogs and maybe try a few if you’re interested!

~ Madde ~

Silver Lining…

Like many of you, tooth I shamelessly check my Instagram at least a couple times a day. Through the constant updating and exploration, I sometimes find myself in a snowball affect; I find a cool account and from there another…and another…and another. The majority of the time these accounts are other artists and small business owners.

I have a large interest in rocks, gems, crystals and fossils and that shows through in my work. Through research for my own practice I came across a ceramics artist named Katie Marks. She creates ceramic mugs primarily with crystal imagery. The crystals ‘grow’ off of the mugs in a very interesting style!

photo by Katie Marks
photo by Katie Marks

Her Etsy shop is currently sold out but heres the link: Silver Lining Ceramics

Katie’s Instagram account – anotherseattleartist – has lots of great images of her work!

Enjoy!

~ Madde ~