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Showing posts from March, 2016

An Altered Journal Bit Of Fun

I've been using sketchbooks as art journals for a while now.  For me, they are a way of documenting my ideas for art and business (instead of just using them to practice art).  I first started utilizing my sketchbook as a journal a few years ago when I found a sketchbook at a thrift store - and the sketchbook had been covered in fabric with a pocket for pens etc.  LOVED that!  (didn't love the colors of the cover.. but it was unique!).

My next sketchbook-turned-journal was a cheap (and I mean CHEAP!) sketchbook with rather awful paper in it.  Horrible for artwork (anything wet would almost destroy the pages) but lOTS
of pages and perfect for note-taking!   I ended up decoupaging the cover with papers I had originally used as drop-cloths for my artwork.  I LOVED the result!!

Now I'm on to my 3rd art journal.  I've been carrying it around for a month or so now... and while I've loved the color, I did NOT like the lack of anything interesting on the front! (I foun…

Is Silk Fabric Organic, Sustainable, and an Eco-friendly Option?

When I started painting on silk, I gave little thought to it's original origin.  And now that I am pretty firmly entrenched in using reclaimed silks in my art, I find that while I personally know I do my best to stay eco-friendly - I have wondered about the processes used to manufacture silks! 

I happened to run across a great post from about this exact subject.  They supply a LOT of great information.  

I'd highly recommend reading their post "Raw & Organic Silk: Facts behind the Fibers" if you're at all interested or concerned about buying silk fabric or goods. I'm going to be sharing their post with my students.  

They also have a lot of other informative articles - overall I'd say they were a great resource!

OH, and my conclusion to the question I posed (is silk fabric organic, sustainable, and eco-friendly?), is a big MAYBE.  Yes, much of it is... but not all.  And probably less-so when gotten from large manufacturing fa…

My Gather & Prep Processes For Reclaiming Silks Part 3 of 3 Cutting Time!

Part 3 of 3 Cutting Time Taking apart silk items for use in art projects So in my previous 2 posts .... I've found some used silks, I decided that they will work for my purposes, I bought them, brought them home, cleaned them, and put them into storage. Now I want to use them!   
7) First (of course), I decide which silk(s) I want to use.  And then you have to decide how you want to use them... or perhaps you should decide how you want to use them first AND THEN decide which silks to use!  Either way, you need to pick out the silk(s) you want to use!
8) Your options for how to use the silks are probably limited only by your imagination... but here's part of my decision process:

You could of course, simply paint or dye the item as it currently exists! I have done that to a few things so I have some fun silk clothes to wear - in colors that work with my personal wardrobe!  

Or perhaps you don't have a plan, you just want to have some silk on hand - ready to paint. This is often m…

My Gather and Prep Processes For Reclaiming Silks Part 2 of 3 - Cleaning And Storing

My processes for gathering and prepping reclaiming silks for use in silk paintings and other art projects (part 2 of 3) In my previous post, I talked about buying used silks...                          so now that I have them, what do I do with them? 4) When I've picked out a group of silk items (like the shirts and dress in the previous post) and I know the silks will work with my preferred art methods.  My next step (other than purchasing the silk!) is to take the silks home and wash them .  I ALWAYS wash my silks. ALWAYS!!!   I can almost hear you shouting - WAIT DID SHE SAY SHE WASHES ALL OF HER USED SILKS?...  WHAT ABOUT "DRY-CLEAN ONLY"??  FYI - There are a few (VERY FEW) silks that don't respond well to washing because of how they were woven... but in general all silks love to be washed...and in nice hot water!  The hot water restores luster and suppleness, and in raw-types of silks - it helps to remove the left-over bits of sericin from the original cocoon (whi…

My Gather & Prep Processes For Reclaiming Silks (Part 1 of 3)

My processes for gathering and prepping reclaiming silks for use  in silk paintings and other art projects (part 1 of 3)
I've had several people ask me what steps I take, when I find a silk item that I want to use for my art. Since you've asked, I thought I'd tell you (I'm always happy to share!).

First of all, I usually find my silks at thrift stores and garage sales.  I have found a few on Ebay (that I was willing to pay for) and I've even had a couple of artist friends provide me with some new silk remnants (which is lovely because then I don't have to worry about prepping the silk for use).

(These are pictures of just a few silks which I've found at various thrift stores)   

1)The VERY first thing I do while in the store, is decide IF I can even use the silks I find.  It's important to know how you want to use silk!  Are you painting on it, sewing with it, twisting it, decoupaging it, (the list of options - of things that can be done with silk, is probab…