Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Surface design workshop with Betty Busby

Last weekend was triple booked with all kinds of things (including a funeral), but the main thing was the opening of fiberworks (which I'll share pictures of next week) and a two-day workshop with Betty Busby.  Betty's absolutely fantastic-  I've known her for a long time and she's the one who organized the invitational show at the NM State Capitol last summer.  Her work is phenomenal, you can see some of it here.

She does several workshops, but this one was for surface design.  We did a bunch of silk painting using different approaches, did some sun printing using custom cut vinyl, and then spent a bunch of time doing what she calls post-processing.  This is surface embellishment with all kinds of things, colored pencils, inktense pencils, fabric markers, paint markers, shiva paintsticks, gel pens, and many more.  She had tons of tips and tricks to share, and huge bags of different things to try.  It was a lot of fun and I have lots of notes of things I want to incorporate going forward,  particularly with regards to her overall approach.

I did a lot of testing different fabrics during the class just to see how well her approaches would work on different things.  She uses a lot of silk, and I did a fair amount of that, but I also used a bunch of my shiny bridal-type polyester and some polyester velvet.  Usually I'm all about the candy colors- and Betty brought every color of paint you can imagine, but you can see from what I did that I was in a sort of muddy orange mood!

This is a piece I "sunprinted"  It's not traditional sun printing, but you wet paint the fabric and then put down the vinyl shape and as it dries a print is left behind.  The black star, white spiderweb, and black cambrian shell are all vinyl cutouts on the wet fabric.  This was shiny white polyester.

After they dry, and you peel back the vinyl, it's lighter underneath.  Here's the shell after I removed the vinyl and started coloring on it with paintsticks and markers.

Here's the lily pad after I started embellishing it and its background.  I used painsticks and markers and paint markers and colored pencils and gel pens.  Just to experiment!

This one was printed onto a chunk of an orange sari-  I liked the formal gold woven edge contrasting with the organic feeling of the prints.  No post-processing yet.  I might piece a halloween quilt with this and the one above

Here's another one I sunprinted-  this one is on silk, but no embellishment yet, this is just what it looked like after I peeled off the vinyl.

This was painted silk over rubber bands

And this one was silk painted over a place mat.

This started out as some sort of tablecloth-  it was beige, but it had flowers woven in it a sort of jacquard weave so it had a lot of texture.  I wasn't sure whether the printing would work but it did!  

And this one was polyester velvet, painted using a faux-shibori technique.  Came out with lots of great lines and organic stripes even in the velvet which doesn't pleat well.  The next picture shows what it looked like as I was painting it.

And of course the side of my hand was covered in paintstick, paint, and marker after coloring for a while!

The workshop was really great and I had a good time.  It was nice to just be creative without any particular project in mind.  Definitely take a workshop from Betty if you have the opportunity!

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