May 23, 2008

Preparing for Binding

I'm coming down the home stretch with the stitching on the sycamore piece, and it's time to think about finishing the edges. Although there are a lot of alternatives, and a lot of opinions, floating around, I am a big fan of binding my work. I like the opportunity to introduce a narrow band of color, I like the way it stops the eye and directs it back into the work, and I like how crisply it finishes things off. I don't particularly like applying it--it's the one task in my processes that I find picky and annoying, and I would gladly farm it out to an eager intern, if I had one, but I persevere with as perky an attitude as I can muster. Into each life a little rain must fall....

The rain has finally stopped falling in the physical world; it's a bright sunny day and a good opportunity to paint some fabric I will use for the binding. I started with a nice piece of pfd (prepared for dyeing) cotton and drizzled it with fuchsia paint (above).

Next come some areas of green:

These are blended just a bit with a paintbrush:

It's all left to dry in the sun--as it dries, the paint will wick and move around a bit, producing cool effects. It looks really random and fun, and while it is a lot of fun, it's not really random. I am keeping in mind how it will look when it is cut into strips for the binding, and I want a certain ratio and patterning of the colors. From experience I have a pretty good idea how this will all play out, and that's guiding the dribbling and the swooshing.

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