WEEK 13

The very last week felt so bitter sweet, but it felt good to have some of these tees delivered to new homes! 

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Packing up slowly as I make it through the last of my sampling and painting, I have a few beautiful finds from the woods like this dragonfly to use for studies and sketches later! The silk in the background was eco printed with goldenrod and sumac and I couldn't be happier with the color 

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I dyed some more embroidery floss to use, and eco printed another piece of linen with goldenrod, oak, and madder- I love the way the madder blushes through. This oblong piece of material is begging to be embroidered but I can't make up my mind of the imagery to use.

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I finished the last of the sampling that I will do at pcci! I plan to continue sampling through the fall so I have a broad range of colors and plants to refer back to in the future. Bellow is pictured queen Anne's lace, sumac, bloodroot, goldenrod, false sunflower, and blackberry

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I printed a few more shirts in a different color, and designed a logo to be printed on the back of the neck- I'm excited, I may be able to sell these in the PCCI gift shop!

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A few weeks back, the other Gordon Art Fellow, Jordyn Romersberger helped me model the jackets I sewed and dyed. Photographer Chloe Berghorst is still editing but sent me this as a sneak peak, I can't wait to see the rest of the photos!

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On my final day I took one last hike through the woods and was amazed to find some Indian Pipe growing along the trail! This is one of those plants that has been there all along, and I never knew where to look for it. I've learned so much and gained so much awareness for our West Michigan landscape through my time at PCCI, I couldn't have asked for a better summer.

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WEEK 12

The first of the goldenrod is blooming and ready to be used! the lemon yellow dye layers wonderfully with a weak indigo to make a lovely emerald green. It seemed to be about time to practice making something useful out of the skills and material I've been studying, so I made a garment! I look forward to re-working these in the future but it feels good to have a tactile application for what I've been working with

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My tie dye skills came in handy with these, with two dyes I can get 4 different color in the patterning. I also began dyeing cotton embroidery floss to stitch with!

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I took these emerald jackets along with some that were eco printed to a makers market in Fennville. I had the opportunity to exchange tips and information with some folks that did natural dyeing themselves, and even though we got stormed on quiet a bit, we met some fantastic sheep

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Over the weekend I finished the massasauga drawing, proofed it on a screen, adjusted the composition and got it printed on tees!

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WEEK 11

more fun eco printing with blackberries and the last of the coreopsis! 

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I spent some time sketching and found that I love the repetition in the structure of the leaves- I plan to do a woodcut similar to my sketch!

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The calvin researchers are heading home soon, its been a week full of bonfires before we say goodbye

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I began a drawing to screen print on t shirts for the Massasauga researchers! The detailing is easy to get lost in, I'm hoping that all the fine linework comes through

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The Summer Dye Harvest watercolor is nearly finished! It just needs some gouache highlights and deeper shadows and it will be complete.

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WEEK 10

At last I made up my mind of what plants to focus on for the Summer Dye Harvest Watercolor and got a good start on it! First up, Mulberries...

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One evening, the bird researchers from Calvin invited us along to go bird banding with them. Although we didn't catch anything, it was breathtaking. The Soya fields we visited are the site of the 3rd largest population of the declining Henslow's Sparrow, they could be heard calling nonstop as the sun set! Spending time crouched in the waving grasses was so calming, meadow imagery is inevitably going to continue to reoccur in my coming work. I can't get over the rhythm of it.

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I prepared a batch of bundles to try out the false sunflowers that had been blooming, as well as the blackberries!

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 Look at those little bubbly berry imprints!

Look at those little bubbly berry imprints!

 dark and soupy oak and eucalyptus 

dark and soupy oak and eucalyptus 

I have missed painting berries, I managed to get the pokeberries almost completely painted in this week! After a stop at the Barry County Fair of course... I have been taking videos as I paint this piece, I think they'll be really useful in my final presentation video!

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WEEK 8&9

After mid term presentation, I took some time off for the 4th of July to visit friends and family, relax and recharge. My first night back at PCCI, July 5, a visiting professor from Olivette college hosted a moth observation night! It was so great to see so many beautiful specimens up close, and to hear firsthand stories from a research biologist that regularly has to stay up all night to do his work.

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I spent a lot of time these two weeks focusing on my textile project for a print exchange hosted by Bend Gallery for August's first friday. I attempted to do my drawing for my screen print with charcoal to avoid the flat, graphic quality that screen prints often have. After proofing the print, I found I had issues with clarity-the small details didn't come through. That means time for 3 hours of work with a micron to clean things up! 

 original charcoal drawing

original charcoal drawing

 micron detailing on the reverse side of the transparency

micron detailing on the reverse side of the transparency

`Finally, success! The drawing was printed onto 10x10" squares of fabric dyed with the depicted plants

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 The print was designed to be pieced together into one 20x20' flag  - shown here before it was sewn & finished

The print was designed to be pieced together into one 20x20' flag  - shown here before it was sewn & finished

WEEK 7

The focus of last week was presentation preparation! A lot of time was spent putting together a powerpoint full of photos and trying to figure out how to fit an explanation of 6 weeks of diverse work into a 12 minute presentation! Its difficult for me to keep it brief and give an overview of techniques when I'm so passionate about all the details of the processes. 

Other than computer-work, I finished dyeing samples and assembled them into the book !

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WEEK 4

It's been a busy one! This week lead to an exciting discovery. Though it is far too late in the season to see it flower, I discovered some bloodroot to test! I am so grateful for the guidance and wisdom of the naturalists here, Matt Dykstra took me on a hike to identify dead trees from which to pull bark (for experiments coming soon...) when we noticed the oddly lobed leaves among the mayapples. 

 

 I also stumbled across an abandoned and very overgrown rose bushes on part of PCCI's property that used to be a farm, fingers crossed for some vibrant pinks from these. I am beginning a small edition of screen printed bundle dyed textiles pieces this week! Still working out the imagery of the drawing that will be screen printed atop the natural colors, but the flags are all bundled up and simmering over the weekend. I am trying so very hard to spread myself less thin, to focus more on each project I work on. For this reason I only plan to make 5 flags, enough to allow me to experiment with color and pattern variation, but not too many that I begin to rush and to finish them all and sacrifice quality and craft. I will have pictures next week of how the first round of eco printing on these flags turns out! 

I've also made quite a bit of progress on my Spring Dye Harvest watercolor! the bedstraws in and nearly finished, and the mint just needs a bit of detailing 

WEEK 3

A short but busy week! I arrived at PCCI on tuesday morning and worked straight through late thursday night. Here's what was accomplished! 

I finished up the last of the fabric strips that will be a part of an installation for an upcoming show HUMANATURE. They will hang from the ceiling, forcing viewers to interact with the material as they travel into the exhibit. The colors were selected to match the palette of the artwork, mainly pastel yellows, greens, and pinks. These strips are color first with a bath of Dandelion and Horsetail ferns for the butter-yellow, then re bound and simmer in a low temp Madder bath. The top 5 strips are patterned with Arashi shibori, a technique where a corner of the material is tied to a stick, then the rest pleated and wrapped around, bound tightly with spring. The word "Arashi" is japanese, meaning storm winds, but coupled with the fleshy Madder pink I can't help but think of muscles...

 Material after an hour in Dandelion/Horsetail Fern

Material after an hour in Dandelion/Horsetail Fern

 material re-bound and soaked in Madder overnight

material re-bound and soaked in Madder overnight

Exciting results from the second batch of bundle dyes !! When creating these, I paid attention to the plants that imprinted the darkest, mainly oak and maple. I also used some dried Eucalyptus I bought from Trader Joe's nearly a year ago, Surprisingly it still yielded bright scarlet.

 Dark mirrored Oak impressions on a cotton pillowcase

Dark mirrored Oak impressions on a cotton pillowcase

 Sorrel in the center printed very dark! Deep red is from Eucalyptus

Sorrel in the center printed very dark! Deep red is from Eucalyptus

 coreopsis on a rayon bodysuit - look at those binding patterns !

coreopsis on a rayon bodysuit - look at those binding patterns !

This batch of bundles was cooked for only two days and yet turned out so much more defined. I attribute this to the fact that they were simmered in an aluminum pot, which provided extra mordant, and that the bath was mainly sumac shoots. These are high in tannins. Coreopsis are now finally blooming, which provided rich golds and oranges! some of them printed so well that you can see all of the little pistols from their centers.

I tried layering the plants on the fabric a bit differently this time. I would place a leaf with an interesting shape but that would not yield color (such as pine needles), onto the fabric first, with an oak or maple leaf behind it. The pine needles would then act as a resist, with the pigments from the oak bleeding around it and turning grey, while the silhouette of the pine would remain white. very interesting results! 

 layering trials in a bundled cotton strip

layering trials in a bundled cotton strip

While foraging for bundle dye plants I finally found some yarrow in bloom! Once more of it flowers I'll be testing the colors it makes. For now, I'll just begin blocking in the foliage, returning to it with gouache for the flowers as well as the dandelion seeds next week. 

 Yarrow blocked in 

Yarrow blocked in 

I headed for school Friday morning in order to print last weeks woodcut for HUMANATURE that evening, eeek always squeezing things in last minute. I'm really happy with the ink colors on the linen! I also printed the bottom portion of the woodcut on some of the fabric strips for the installation. Photos from the show can be seen here !

 "Grounded" woodcut print on natural Linen

"Grounded" woodcut print on natural Linen

WEEK 2

Some watercolor progress, dandelions are half painted in ! Their flowers and leaves make a strong yellow, but I was anxious to try their roots, having heard that they make a deep red-purple. I was disappointed by a soft olive brown. Still a beautiful color, but not at all what I was expecting.

 dandelions in !

dandelions in !

Started and nearly finished a woodcut this week! Planning to print this on linen flags colored with dandelions, which are featured in the print itself.

 

I have also rinsed out the first batch of bundle dyes! Many plants that I tried left little to no impressions. This may be due to the face that the sheet that I cut into strips was not the highest quality cotton...more experimentation will reveal the answer to that!

 Madder root and Oak leaves left bold impressions. 

Madder root and Oak leaves left bold impressions. 

The iron I added to the bath reacted with the tannins that are plentiful in all parts of oak trees to create that dark slate color. The soft green overcast is the result of Lupine in the bath

 more Oak and Madder root

more Oak and Madder root

 Bedstraw root 

Bedstraw root 


The most impressive result to me was the Bedstraw root. I foraged these at the institute, which is rather tedious work as they are so thin an fragile...but look at that color!! The impression is so crisp and hair like, it is definitely a plant I will return to. The hue is nearly identical to Madder, and Bedstraw grows natively all within the forrest undergrowth

WEEK 1

 Lupine Harvest

Lupine Harvest

My first day at the institute I stumbled across more lupine growing wild in the meadow than I've ever seen in my life, I was ecstatic as my bag filled up rapidly

I also gathered a good amount of sorrel and spent the following day testing the colors of each plant with alum and an afterbath of Iron

 

 Lupine and Sheep Sorel, cotton strips patterned in an iron afterbath

Lupine and Sheep Sorel, cotton strips patterned in an iron afterbath

I finished painting both plants in my Spring Dye Harvest watercolor! I'm aiming to keep pace with this painting as I test each plant species. It's such a dream to be able to paint all of these from life, laid out right on my paper where I'm working

 Spring Dye Harvest progress, watercolor and gouache

Spring Dye Harvest progress, watercolor and gouache

The first bundle dyes have been prepped, rolled up, and set to simmer in a bath of sumac leaves, leftover sorrel, and some found bark ! I'm going to let these cook for a week and determine which plant species work the best. This batch includes Lupine leaves, Sheep Sorrel, Oak leaves, May Apples, Dandelion, Red Onion skins, Yarrow leaves, Ferns of some sort,  and both Bedstraw and Madder root