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Archive for July 22nd, 2008

Doing the Mashed Potatoes

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

Today, we mixed up potato paste for out background. It is a mixture of dehydrated mashed potatoes and rice flour. Akemi uses the potato mixture because it is cheaper and a lot of paste is used for the background.

Let me stop here and say that this technique requires a lot of left brain work — and those who know me at all can understand that this can be a bit frustrating for me. You start with the top layer and work back and it is just not an intuitive way of working — at least for me. It has caused me to stop and think more about what I am doing.

I used grasshopper green for my background. To prove that I am not proud, I am going to show you my first piece. I used mochachino for the leaf which kind of blends with the green so you do not see  much detail.

I started work on another stencil. I wanted to do a cut pomegranate. Here are my stencils which will become the pomegranate. Yes, I am cutting each little seed.

Akemi showed us how to stamp with found objects using the color rice paste. We are doing a community piece which will be cut up to share. We will do a black background on it.

I forgot to take a photo after it was all stamped. It is going to be cool.

With Akemi’s urging, I am doing another piece with the leaf stencil. I used leaf green for the veins and grasshopper green for the leaf shape.

I stamped with a sponge and a piece of styrofoam, using mustard and brick red. I am loving this. I can’t decide what to use for the background color — maybe a pale blue.

While we were eating lunch, these Japanese quilters showed up and were surprised to find Akemi there teaching a class. They have quilts in a show at the La Connor and were here to teach classes in Sashiko.

I have done my first layer for the pomegranates. I am using silk noil and silk organza.

Here is Judy with her gorgeous chiffon scarf. She had a much better first result.

And here is all of the work from the first day. One caveat here, the rest of the class have all worked with stencils on silk. Almost all have had classed with Betsy Sterling Benjamin, Karen Miller or John Marshall. So, I am the amateur!! That is my story and I am sticking to it. (Click to see a better view.)

After class, we came back to our suite. While I was on the phone with Mr C, Judy went outside to look down at the cove and saw a Bald Eagle in a tree so close, it was unbelievable. Good news – I came out in time to see him. Bad news – neither of us had a camera.

We walked down to Front Street for dinner at Toby’s Tavern — a good old boys hang out. I took this nature photo of the day on our walk:

We shared a pound of Penn Cove mussels and a plate of fish and chips.

Here are our dinner dates:

This place had enough foreign currency to cancel our national debt to China.

I gotta say that Judy is a great companion. We are having a lot of laughs as we share the same sense of humor.