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September 07, 2015
Today I want to introduce you to our guest blogger Susan Purney Mark. Susan is a quilter, stitcher and artist who also owns Fabric Imagery in beautiful Victoria, BC, Canada. She loves playing with color, pattern, and texture on fabrics and does this with various surface design techniques such as screen printing, stenciling, stamping, painting and dyeing. I was honored when she agreed to be a guest blogger, I couldn't wait to see what she did with Artistcellar stencils!
When Lisa asked me to write a guest blog for her and sent me a package of Artist Cellar stencils, it couldn’t have come at a better time. Last fall my husband and I traveled to Ephesus in Turkey and spent a wonderful day exploring all the ruins and soaking in the culture and history. It has become a magical place for me, full of mystery and wonder. The sort of place where you want the walls to talk and tell you of the 2,000 years of history that they have seen.
I took dozens and dozens of photos, knowing that there would be inspiration for years to come to create art quilts inspired by the sights that day. I’ve been working with improvisational piecing in my work with random strips of fabric, sewn and cut, then sewn and cut again, letting the design evolve and change as I work with layout and composition. I love this way of working, I find it both exciting and challenging as I try to let the work tell me what it should become within a loose framework of my ideas. My fabrics are hand dyed, screen printed and sometimes coloured during the sewing and piecing phase.
I made a small sample to test some ideas of what might evolve, this piece was whole cloth, screen printed and free motion stitched. In a small corner of the work, I used Shiva sticks and part of the Paris stencil (Cathedral series) and gently worked in colour to give the illusion of what the ruin might have contained. Though perhaps it’s a flying leap from an Ephesian ruin to a Paris Cathedral image… but that’s art!
I think it turned out very well. I’m going to add some more colour in the stone work and then mount this piece on canvas board.
When I teach, some of my workshops require students to have a print table to pin the fabric on and make it stationary. I’ve produced a short video that may like to see about an easy way to make your own print table: https://vimeo.com/118942877 I think you’ll find a print table to be an indispensable item in your studio.
Next, I decided to roller print with textile paint through the surf stencil and Paris stencil and have prepared a sheet of Plexiglas and covered it with a piece of Glad Press and Seal, that way when I’m finished I can remove the Press and Seal and throw it away without having to wash the Plexiglas. There are two colours of paint and I’ve rolled through it a couple of times to get it soaked into the sponge roller.
Generally when I work, I will attempt to give suggestions of images rather than the full stencil, so the pieces I created for this post will be cut up and inserted in some part of the larger quilt. I like to think there’s a bit of mystery for the viewer to spend a little time looking at the surface of the quilt and finding parts that engage their interest. So when the quilt is done, you may not recognize the Paris Window in an ancient ruin!
Here’s the fabric I’ve assembled in preparation to work on this quilt next month.
If you’d like to see more of my work then come by and visit at www.susanpm.com
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