In my previous post about my new (Pretty printed prancing period Persian ponies) Byzantine gown, I mentioned also making new accessories to wear with it – namely the collar (Superhumeral) and hanging panel.
For an A&S night (a SCA evening where we practice Arts & Sciences) one of the local artisans taught a workshop on block-printing, and let me borrow two of her fabulous wooden blocks – winged horses based of an extant Persian fabric. While the original is woven, the blocks make great look-similar-from-a-distance printed fabric!
A few months ago an acquaintance started a Craft Swap – the basic idea is that every month a theme is selected, and we have a week or so to opt-in to that theme…. once she has all of the committed participants, she pairs people up randomly, and we have a month to make a craft (any medium) on that theme for the other person. We then arrange between ourselves where and when to exchange the craft (with the intention of it being near the end of the month).
As I mentioned in my previous post, I made a banner with my device (which has yet to be approved…) for the Artisan’s Village at Sargeant Trials. I have a super-quick post today to show off the making-of.
First attempt – silk
I started off with the intention of making a silk banner – I had expected to have the “village” outside, and thought a pretty fluttering banner would be lovely. I used silk salvaged from a used blouse. This is the same silk blouse I re-used for my earlier Jorvik-style silk hood earlier this summer.
The design was enlarged on a photocopier and paper was taped together to make a large version. I transferred the design using chalk transfer paper and a rotary transfer tool. It worked pretty well, and I hoped to cover all of the chalk lines with my gutta.
For my resist, I used gold gutta from a tube… I had thought I had black gutta at home, but I didn’t. After this point I actually went out to the art supply store and bought some black, but I figured I’d stick with the gold….
I used an embroidery hoop – having to move it a few times because my design was larger than the hoop.
Once I had my design fully resisted – I tested the lines using plain water and my brush – but there was spreading on ALL of my gutta lines! None of them were going to hold back the dye! I wasn’t sure what was wrong – but thought perhaps there was fabric softener or something on my fabric, so I figured I’d gently wash it in the sink……….
Big mistake. I guess I needed to press the gutta first, because as soon as I washed it – all the gutta started to peel off!
So, I abandoned the silk banner project for the time being (I might try a silk meant for painting; hopefully that will work better too!) and decided to go for acrylic paints instead of silk painting.
I transferred the design the same way to some grey cotton canvas, and mixed regular acrylic paints with textile medium, and painted it on the canvas.
I didn’t totally love the look – it seemed a bit ‘soft’ without the gutta resist, so I took the black ‘puff paint’ similar to the stuff we used when we did the silk painting class at Coronation, and went over the lines.
I also made a soft linoleum block of the ermine design for the “counter-ermine” print in the black area.
I cut the device out with pinking shears to hopefully resist ravelling, and strung the banner up on a rectangular wooden “dowel” kind of thing, with eye hooks on either end to string up. Initially I thought it would hang outside my pavilion, but instead it hung off the end of my table. I realized with that – that it’s a bit small… but I think I’ll wait until the College of Heralds passes my device before printing up another, larger (and perhaps silk) version.
The finished banner on display at the Sergeant Trials in August to the left. The large banner hanging behind my display is the banner for the Emerald Rose – part of the regalia I have on loan as the current Arts & Sciences Champion for Montengarde.
… a self-portrait on shrink plastic
When starting to work with shrink plastic I read that if I wanted to use coloured pencil, that it would be a good idea to lightly sand the surface before starting. I had NO idea what I wanted to draw, so while looking around my craft room my gaze landed on a self-portrait I had recently painted, and I decided to give that a whirl – mostly to try out the technique more than anything else.
I sanded down the plastic, and then sketched out the portrait pretty loosely (having thought that the colours would intensify, but also thinking that details would be lost) with two shades of blue, white, and a tiny bit of pink pencil crayon.
I ended up using a full sheet of plastic, since I couldn’t really figure out where to cut it… again – this was just to try out the technique.
When the end result came out of the oven, I figured I’d also test out bending the plastic around a form… and bent it around a can sitting on the counter – so it sort of is a portrait that stands by itself!
While the colours intensified a great deal (I actually am a bit disappointed how much the pink came through) I thought that the detail of the shading marks would blend together – and they didn’t… I don’t really love how I can see every pencil line.. though it’s definitely a different kind of self-portrait!