about the artist

Surface Design…

has currently taken over my life. I have had oodles of website updates to do plus catching up with the conference registration. I just got word that I will receive a boatload of images and text for the many exhibitions that will be in and around Kansas City — all to be added to the website, soon. I haven’t even done my normal weekly website maintenance which I will do next.

A year ago, I took part in an art cloth challenge with 12 other artists chosen by Jane Dunnewold. Now, that I have seen the results of the work, I wonder what in the world I was doing in that group. You can see the beautiful fabric done by the other 11 at a blog set up by Jane, Art Cloth Challenge.

When I sent my fabric off, I was very happy with it, but now that I see what the others did, I think I was too timid in my approach. I thought I would share my fabric and some of my processes. All of the photos are clickable.

Here is the original fabric (silk habotai):


I shibori dyed it with strong orange:


I made a screen using masking tape. Here is where my plan fell apart. The design I made was too stiff. I should have used torn paper and had a softer, more organic print. I first discharged and then over printed with metallic paint.


I then did some printing with vinyl mesh and bubble wrap.


My next thing was to do some repetition of the circles but on a larger scale so I made a thermofax screen of hand drawn circles and printed those.


For the final printing, I wanted to fill in the areas around the linear shapes, but wanted a calmer, receding pattern. I decided to stay with the bubble wrap printing. This time, I used blue and a bit of metallic turquoise.


Here is a detail:


So, there you have it. My first venture into the art cloth arena. Working on 2 yards of someone else’s silk was very daunting. I do hope you will go check out the blog and see the amazing work done by the other women.

Back to work.

8 Responses to “Surface Design…”

  1. Connie Akers says:

    Gerrie, I had read Jane’s blog on this project the other day and think everyone did a great job. Your work is in fitting company.

  2. dee says:

    Wonderful work and thanks for the link. So many different approaches and results. I enjoyed reading aboaut the process very much. YOu always add such vibrant details to an already beautiful piece of cloth. I love the grid lines and would have liked even more of them. As it is I enjoy seeing your journey so much Gerrie. You really work with such passion for every method you try.

  3. Kristin L says:

    I too think you held your own in that group. Besides, it’s the process that matters most and seeing what you’ve done (beautiful) and what the others did (also wonderful) it looks like everyone had an enriching, learning experience.

  4. Reva says:

    Actually I think yours is among the more interesting pieces. It’s so interesting to see what the different artists obsessed and/or worried about in the process.

  5. Deborah says:

    Oh I will definitely have to go back and read that blog more carefully. There was a special exhibit of complex cloth in Houston last year. I think Jane organized it. It was stunning. I think your piece is fabulous. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It seems to me that you generally create your cloth to be cut up and incorporated into art quilts, so creating cloth to stand on its own is an entirely different task for you. You did great.

  6. jenclair says:

    I agree with Jen! The other Jen 🙂 I’m always impressed with your work.

  7. Karoda says:

    I think you were on to something but didn’t carry it far enough…the lines even as you have them might have been repeated more creating a pattern of their own….possibly shorter lines??? The shear act of participating is a growth curve so pride yourself in being up to accept the challenge!

  8. Jen Anderson says:

    All of these are beautiful, so much variety! I think you are being much too hard on yourself, your work holds its own regardless. Jen