November 21, 2018

Messing around with monoprints

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I am on hiatus from making wet cyanotype prints, but I had gathered a wonderful batch of leaves to work with before winter descends. Monoprinting is endlessfully fun and I hadn't done it in a while, so I pulled out the big gelliplate, opened some new bottles of textile paint and had a printmaking session.
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I was working with royal paulownia leaves, which I love because they are huge, and pawpaw leaves, which I also love because they are huge. I used a mix of white pfd (prepared for dyeing, free of fabric finishes) cotton sateen and fabric I had previously painted or printed in some way.
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In no particular order, here's a selection of the prints I made.
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I did positive prints by painting the plate, pressing the leaves on it pick up the paint, then pressing the leaves on the fabric. I also did negative prints, using fabric to pick up the impressions and paint left on the plate. Basically, I just messed around.
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It's hard to go wrong, because any print that's a dud, and those are few, can always be cut up for patchwork.
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I was making these just because I could; I don't have a particular project in mind for them.
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I also had some royal paulownia leaves that were too big for the gelliplate, so I made heliographic prints. The basic process is to coat the fabric with diluted paint, cover with the leaf, and put in in the sun to dry. The paint wicks out from under the leaf and forms an imprint.
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Here's an example, my White Mulberry, where the center image is a heliographic print.
 Here's a detail image from Groundhog and Green Bean:
And the mustard plant from Skunk and Garlic Mustard:
For these prints, I added lots of gold polka dots:
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The sun was too weak to produce a clean white print, but I love the nuance in this one:
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And the pawpaw heliographic print has good edge definition. Stitching to add leaf veining will really make it pop.
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I haven't promoted this in a long time, but my Quilting Arts instructional video, Surface Design Essentials for the Printed Quilt, is still available for download. It covers heliographic printing and a whole lot more, is clear, concise and easy to follow, and you can't beat the price. Available here, treat yourself!

November 17, 2018

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 33

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 Welcome to part 33 of my ongoing experiments with the wet cyanotype process on fabric. I made this batch of prints on the last  two days of October. Conditions here in Pennsylvania were very pleasant, with temperatures in the mid 60s (F) and plenty of sunshine.
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 I collected some fallen sycamore leaves on a walk in the woods.
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 I also collected some white mulberry leaves, and some burdock leaves, one of which was satisfyingly ridden with holes. All were set to expose on treated cotton sateen and covered with glass.
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 There was enough sun, and heat to push a good reaction, especially for this time of year.
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 The days are shorter now, so I left them to expose for a full 24 hours.
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 These finished but unrinsed prints are full of promise.
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 Here are the finished prints.
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 I'm very happy with the tones of the leaf areas, and even more so with the cool breakdowns all around them.
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 The weather has since taken a distinct turn towards more wintry conditions. I have some leaves preserved with glycerin that I may or may not be tempted to mess with at some point. I will let serendipity be my guide--I had a great printing season this year and am somewhat content.
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 If you are new here, welcome! For the past year and a half I've been documenting my experiments with the wet cyanotype process. You can access all the information by clicking on the Wet Cyan tab in the top header, or click here.

And a reminder that you can also follow along on your social media of choice:

Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
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November 2, 2018

Experiments in wet cyanotype - part 32

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 There were a few warm, sunny days in the tail end of October, and I took advantage of them to make some more wet cyanotype prints. I had resupplied myself with my favorite cotton sateen, and treated some panels with the cyanotype chemicals in the usual way and let them dry. I began with a hosta leaf, showing the first signs of autumnal decay.
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 And followed with my usual stalward, a plume poppy leaf. Next were some goat's beard leaves, Aruncus dioicus.
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 I finished the batch with some calla lily leaves, also approaching the end of the yearly cycle,
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 and a bit of ornamental sweet potato vine.
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 The sun was warm, but the days are shorter now, so I left these out for a about 27 hours to catch two days worth of rays.
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 This seemed to be a good strategy, as I got a lot more movement and colors shifts than I typically do this time of year.
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 These exposed, unwashed prints are gorgeous!
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 Lots of promise in these. I removed the leaves and let them dry overnight in the dark before rinsing.
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 Here are the finished prints. This is a very good batch by my preferred standards.
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 This hosta leaf print is magnificent.
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 I love when I get those streaky orange and yellow bits.
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 All of these are destined for stitching and inclusion in a larger project. The spots on the calla leaves will be a real pleasure to stitch.
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 This is the darkest and most mysterious of the batch. Stitching will really make it pop.
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If you are new here, welcome! For the past year and a half I've been documenting my experiments with the wet cyanotype process. You can access all the information by clicking on the Wet Cyan tab in the top header, or click here.

And a reminder that you can also follow along on your social media of choice:

Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sue_reno_studio/

October 18, 2018

New Work - Low Pressure

Low Pressure, by Sue Reno
Low Pressure
I am delighted to share with you my latest work, Low Pressure. It's the fourth quilt I've made using my wet process cyanotype prints. This time I used prints made in late fall, as the weather took a dramatic turn into winter. (Previous wet cyan quilts are Storm Watch, Heat Lightning, and Heat Index. I've got a meteorological theme going on, which seems appropriate as these prints are very weather-reactive.)
Low Pressure, by Sue Reno, detail 1
Low Pressure, detail 1
The prints were made with leaves foraged in my garden that had not yet succumbed to frost, along with some sweetgum leaves I had preserved in glycerin.
Low Pressure, by Sue Reno, detail 2
Low Pressure, detail 2

Several batches of prints were subject to freezing temperatures in overnight exposures, and one batch had a light snowfall obscuring the light for a few hours. They were all great fun to do, and to observe developing.
Low Pressure, by Sue Reno, detail 3
Low Pressure, detail 3
Overall, the effect of the cyanotype chemicals breaking down was much more subtle than with the summer prints made in high heat and humidity, but still more complex than a traditional cyanotype. I think they are beautiful, complex, and worthy of contemplation.
Low Pressure, by Sue Reno, detail 4
Low Pressure, detail 4
The quilt measures 78" high x 37 inches wide.
Low Pressure, by Sue Reno, detail 5
Low Pressure, detail 5
As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

A reminder that you can also follow along on your social media of choice:

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October 15, 2018

Low Pressure, New Work in Progress, Part 2

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As I was working on designing and constructing Low Pressure, I took some time to make a custom painted back for the quilt. The back is not normally displayed, but I enjoying making them unique, and like looking at it as I spend many hours quilting the work. I followed my usual procedure of swirling textile paint on cotton sateen, misting it with the hose, then letting it dry on my cracked driveway. There is wet, above, and finished, below.
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I added leaf vein details to the prints with stitching, then worked to the edges of the blocks with echo quilting, repeating and merging the shapes of the leaves.
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The connecting strips for the blocks were all pieced out of silks, many of them with plaids or floral designs. I felt that the prints were low key enough that they would be balanced by some intricacy in the sashing. I quilted the sashing with swirling designs representing turbulence.
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Up next, the reveal.

As always, thanks for reading and commenting.

A reminder that you can also follow along on your social media of choice:

Facebook page:http://www.facebook.com/suerenostudio
Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/suereno
Tumblr: http://suerenostudio.tumblr.com
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