16 September 2009

4" square challenge

I showed you the beginnings of my 4" square challenge pieces here and now that the art is swapped I can reveal more of the process and the finished results.

After I had fused on the prepared-for-dyeing fabric to the 4" squares of fast2fuse interfacing, I applied a wash of acrylic paint diluted with water, mixing colors as I went.

Even after they dried they were a little too bright for me so I added another wash over all of them, this time in a diluted off-white color.

Then I added pattern with designs from stamps I made, applied with more of the off-white color, undiluted this time.

And finally, I screen-printed thermofax images of insects with black acrylic paint randomly to each of the squares. After the paint was dry, I trimmed the squares and topstitched around the edges. I added labels on the back and headed off to the meeting for the grand swap. 28 artists traded 4" squares and a good time was had by all! I found a cool box (meant to store ATCs) that I need to alter to store them all in.

At the meeting it was really interesting to hear how varied all of our approaches to this project were. Some people started out planning to make 29 similar pieces and got bored after 10 so switched to making groups of similar pieces. A few people began intentionally by making definite groups. Several people made all completely different pieces, some within themes, and some not. A couple of people made large backgrounds and cut them down into 4" squares and proceeded with more design. There were a lot of different edge-finishing techniques. Many people chose to work entirely or mostly by hand due to the project's portability. So many different ways to get to the same place!

I find that the assembly-line process works best for me, as you can see from my pictures above. As a printmaker, I'm used to work in editions and this is very much the same thing - all originals, but absolutely an edition or series.

Of course, as soon as we had swapped and discussed and admired, we jumped right into a new challenge - stay tuned!


Natalya said...

that was fun! i love my little squares. thanks for putting it all together...

Vivien said...

Thanks for posting your process. I LOVE my beetle!

I agree with Natalya -- great project.

my croft said...

I'm enjoying exploring the squares -- you're right, the edge treatments are especially interesting.

I'm so accustomed to making one-offs, the mechanics of the "in production" aspect of this exercise may have been the biggest part of the challenge.

Gail Ellspermann said...

Yummy squares! Love the finished ones :)

Nancy said...

Jane, What a delight series. Art comes in all sizes. Nancy G Cook

Plain Jane said...

just lovely! And I loved reading about your white on pastel background approach. perf.