Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Filed Notes from New Zealand - New Work

I have been playing with cyanotype printing again. While in New Zealand, I made more prints with ferns and various leaves, and now I'm working on a piece which includes three of these prints. The process itself is most satisfying, using fabric already prepared with the necessary chemicals, and laying the pressed fern on the fabric, holding it in place with a glass plate, and then exposing it to direct sunlight until the prepared fabric becomes a muddy brown. When it's rinsed in cold water and dries in the light, the fabric becomes a rich, dark blue, while the fern or leaf imprint turns a light blue-white.
I have used both red and yellow to offset the blue in previous pieces. This time I decided to use a piece of hand-dyed fabric from Ricky Tims, that allowed me to use lighter colours at the top of the piece, and progress to the darkest colours at the bottom of the piece. This latest addition to "Field Notes from New Zealand" is being made for an Surface Design Association exhibit, and must measure 12" x 60-72" when completed.
This is the portion at the bottom of the work. The fern seems a bit dark in this print, but I will be doing some hand-stitching in off-white to emphasize some of the fronds so hopefully they will show up a little better.
With the three focal blocks made, I next needed to work out how to join them together. The theme of the exhibit is "Pathways", so my goal was to create an implied path using a run of the colours used to border the fern prints. I used strips of blue offset with narrower strips of navy to do this.
Once I'd joined all the blocks together, I basted it to a reclaimed New Zealand wool blanket - heaven to needle through - and began to add some hand-stitching. Which only leaves the backing and facing to be added. So back to the studio and back to work I must go. I'll be sure to post a photo of the finished work next week! 

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