i’ve been thinking about doing a daily or weekly project for some time now. lots of artists i admire have taken it upon themselves to commit to these projects. i love seeing the results of others explorations and watching them grow and progress in their art/craft through these projects, sometimes creating a body of work, and almost always finding that new avenues of artistic growth have been discovered. so i decided to make a commitment to my own project: 52 weeks of surface design.
i have been playing around with surface design on textiles for several years now (really, since college, many many years ago); more recently i’ve been exploring the possibilities of the same on paper. I wanted to make a commitment to myself to keep experimenting and trying different techniques and permutations and see what comes of it in a year’s time.
i chose surface design because i feel like the possibilities are so endless: painting, dyeing, screen printing, relief printing, and more.
i thought 52 weeks seemed the most realistic; every day seemed unrealistic given the demands of life and parenting. a week gives me plenty of time to find the time to explore a technique in the dibs and drabs of time that i have. sometimes i may even get a small project seen through to fruition! some weeks will likely be in-process ideas and experiments, others, finished projects.
this here? i imagine some weeks i’ll be more productive than others, and that is a-👌.
i plan to blog about this project weekly, as an impetus to give this fairly dormant blog a kick in the backside ☺️ #accountability
what’s seen here? week 1: spray and splatter painted fabric!
a veritable rainbow of vintage and new solid fabrics i sprayed with fabric paints — some i painted last year at @textilesatlillstreet but more than half of this color wheel is from this past week, the results of multiple hours in my garage studio.
a fun and fast technique that i’ve been playing around with for about a year. it works best if you start with fairly light, pastel colored solid fabric, as you can add color and build up as you go. if the base fabric is darker, the added colors will likely blend in and not be as visible. i like to start by adding monotone and analogous colors, and then add contrasting colors for zip and interest. you can vary the way the spray looks by varying the distance of the bottle to the fabric. if you hold the bottle further away, you get more of a fine mist, and if you spray closer, you get rings or large splotches or dots. i also like to open the spray bottle and shake the tube inside to get large drip marks. pipettes (you can get these from @dharmatradingco) might also be fun to experiment with; i bought some last week for a different project, i’ll update with the results i the future. i also put some DyNaFlow paints by @jacquardproducts in spray bottles and it worked beautifully as well; the paints are very watery and thin and penetrate through the fabric like dyes.
when i’m done painting a piece of fabric, i hang the fabric to dry and then throw the pieces into the dryer for an hour on high to heat set. you may want to use a pressing cloth when ironing your fabric; i noticed some transfer to my iron’s soleplate when i was pressing my fabric after heat settling. nothing that a little soleplate cleaner won’t fix, though!
the paint i used: @marabucreativeusa Fashion Spray and @ilovetocreate Tulip Fabric Spray Paint. i’ve also had some luck with diluted @jacquardproducts fabric paint and travel spray bottles from @target — Marabu can be found at @blickartmaterials or @dharmatradingco and @ilovetocreate can be found at @joann_stores.
if you give this technique a shot, let me know!