Please let me introduce you to today’s guest blogger, surface design artist, Carol R. Eaton.
Carol is a surface design artist creating original, one-of-a-kind fabrics. She incorporates unusual techniques such as dyeing with ice, manipulating fiber reactive dyes, and the use of decolorants. She is an ardent observer of her surroundings always ready for the unexpected color or element to catch her eye and influence her next project. Warm colors, balance and an unexpected variety of texture can be found in every piece of art cloth.
I dream about Confetti Dyeing… does that make me weird?
Have you ever been so passionate about something that it seeps into your everyday life? When I learned about The Slow Stitch Movement it all clicked. Here is a community of people who “get me”! The thrill isn’t about instant gratification and quickly moving onto the next new thing. My joy comes from experimenting and tweaking the process to get different results. It takes time, patience and piles of yardage to truly learn a technique. For me it’s about the journey and making connections with the process. That is where my passion as a surface design artist comes from.
My journey into a Confetti Dyeing obsession started years ago while chatting with a fellow fabric dyer. She described “Straw Dyeing” which involved dye powder and a drinking straw. It sounded intriguing but when I got to my studio I could only remember bits and pieces of what she said – typical for me! I tried a number of approaches always keeping the end result in mind. If the fabric didn’t come out the way I imagined then I tried again… and again… and again! The first fabric to earn a huge smile looked like a handful of party confetti had been thrown across the surface of the fabric. From then on out I called it “Confetti” dyeing.
Over time I developed a process that typically produces the results I’m looking for. I say “typically” because I’ve come to realize that dye powder has its own ideas about design and I am not always the one in charge – respect the dye!
I’ve lost track of the many ways I’ve attempted to deliver dye onto the fabric surface. Creativity has no boundaries so I may never discover all the combinations possible but it’s my personal journey to keep trying new ideas. Although I have many different end results when Confetti Dyeing each piece starts with a strainer, dye powder and the ever present respirator (never dye without one). The secret to success is in how you manipulate the combination of materials and I’m happy to share what I’ve learned!
You can fold the fabric to create texture:
You can create a secondary pattern by letting ice cubes melt on the fabric:
You can blend and mix colors by hanging on a line and spraying:
You can revert to childhood and finger draw in the wet dye:
You can achieve super sweet designs using only one color; a very interesting lesson learned!
I’ve gained so much more as an artist by embracing each step along the journey and learning and growing from both mistakes and successes. By embracing the Slow Stitch Movement you will come across opportunities that you might have otherwise missed. It’s ok to take weeks, months or even years to explore a technique, design or new process. I look forward to being part of this community and hearing about other artists slow stitch passions!
Carol R. Eaton, Surface Design Artist:
You can link to Carol at:
http://www.etuifiberarts.com – Etui Fiber Arts Shop and Gallery
http://www.slatermuseum.org/page.cfm?p=900 – Slater Art Museum Gift Shop
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