I had a commenter ask about where to get Thermofax screens made, so I decided to just do a post about it.
Thermofax screens are awesome to use if you don’t want to mess with the photo emusion process on silkscreens. They are great to use to make prints on cloth or paper with your own photography. I turn my photos into black and white and then darken the black as much as I can. The copies of these need to be toner copies when you send them off for making Thermofax screens. HOWEVER, I have an Epson CX4800 printer that uses Durabright inks. Believe it or not, I accidentally send these prints to my screen maker and she was able to make screens that work perfectly from them, SO that means that the Durabright black ink has enough toner in them to burn a screen with. I was amazed. But for most of you out there using an inkject printer, this won’t work. You need copies with toner in the ink, either from a laser printer or a copy machine. I hear the copy machines with toner are getting rare.
So here is the list of people that I know from the quiltart list who make Thermofax screens for a small fee. Get in touch with them! Your other option is to spend tons of money purchasing one of the old machines that does this and spending money on supplies for it. I find it easier just to make my designs or prepare my photos and just send them off to these gals.
I’ve been sickly this week, just a cold, but still had to push on and get some silk scarves dyed and printed for another art festival this weekend. Starting life as the dropcloth for printing a scarf…I think I see the start of a new piece…I added some more marks to it.
Besides black, I used Dharma’s Greenish Brown color, doubled. It looks really brown when first printed, but after batching and washing, it looks more olive brown, drab olive, whatever. I like it. This is on cotton, not silk.
Dear Readers: In my haste to get ready, load up the van and get to breakfast on time yesterday, it never once entered my head to get the camera! I’m just not in the habit of carrying it with me to meals…yet! I am going to have to get advice from Gerrie since she always has lovely pictures of food and meals, even when they eat out.
But I can describe it for you…we had a fruit dish of bananas and strawberries, small stack of pancakes, sausage patties, hard fried eggs with a soft white cheese melted on top (never had that before!), juice and coffee. Yes, it was another wonderful breakfast. If anyone questions my infatuation with my breakfasts the past few days…let me explain. My husband goes to work early and we don’t fix breakfast. Every morning I have a bowl of bran flakes with soy milk and dried cranberries on top…that is it. Being at the bed and breakfast this week was quite a treat as far as breakfast was concerned! And someone else was fixing it…and it was way better than the continental breakfasts you get at a motel for the same price.
Anyway, I sold a few more scarves yesterday…that was very encouraging. Right before I left, I worked on some large square chiffon scarves and was quite pleased with how they turned out. Every day I draped a new one over my “dummy” to see public reaction. The third one sold, and it was one I ran out of time on and planned on doing more to it when I got back. The sale saved me more work!
I still have these two…the one that sold was a bit more reddish than the orange one above. I discharged it the same way, but didn’t like the color so I overdyed it. The discharged areas were more muted. I also used the same screen print on it that the orange one has. It is a Thermofax print of a picture of tree branches.
I’m back home now and need to re-stock my inventory…next art show is in two weeks.
I’m such a slacker on this blog! I really didn’t have much of anything interesting to report. I have been getting ready to teach and vend, so have not been making any art, that’s for sure. I have some new products to sell and the class I taught last weekend was machine quilting. What’s there to say about that?
I do have a sample that I quilted with my Featherweight machine. That might be interesting to see.
A complaint I have about stitching this way on the Featherweight, and it may be a problem unique only to mine and not to other machines, is that when the needle goes down in the hole a second time, a pretty noticeable knot appears (at least with black thread on white cloth). But I made the sample to show my class that it is possible to do this on a Featherweight.
I love Kathy Sandbach’s books on machine quilting. The one I used for the class was Show Me How To Machine Quilt. She has developed a method of creating unique continuous line designs in stitch for quilts with diagrams showing how to start and continue. It’s a great book especially if you are looking to go beyond stippling and other filler designs. I have some left over from the class. They are $16.95 plus shipping. They are not up on the website yet.
Another piece of news: I now have Rayna Gillman’s book for sale on my website! See here.
Well, I guess that’s all for today…hopefully it won’t be so long between posts this time!
When I started screenprinting, I used credit cards. They were cheap and always on hand. Then I bought a real screen squeegee. It is an 8 inch one with a rubber edge and a wooden handle. I like it, but it is a little unwieldy because of size and doesn’t always fit inside every screen. I can’t imagine using a larger one. Then I heard about Bondo scrapers. So off to Auto Zone I went. Yep, they had them…and this is what they look like.
Here are my observations:
1. credit cards are too small to get a good grip with your hands,
2. regular squeegees can be a bit bulky to handle, but are large enough to get a good grip with your hands, and
3. Bondo scrapers are wonderful…they have a bit of give, they are a good size for your hand…I love them!
Here is the piece I started the other day. The quilt is red orange and blue green. So I used blue green rayon thread on the red orange part and red orange thread on the blue green part. I quilted a pattern and left parts of it unquilted, which, in the end, made another design, because the unquilted parts “pouf” a bit. Can you see the “stripes” in the red part?
They are very subtle… if you click to enlarge, you might see it better.
I’m not sure that it’s done…I was thinking of doing something in those “poufs” but I don’t think I want big contrast, so I may just let it be.
On another note, I am working on a lecture/demo on Journal Quilt techniques. This is a sample I did today using painted fusible web and dryer sheets on a gessoed quilt block. The two metal pieces aren’t attached, but I like the looks of them. I may use them…I may not. I’ve been hoarding them because I couldn’t get any more.
I shut the phone off today. I can’t stand it when it rings while I am trying to concentrate. And I only have two weeks left to plan this lecture and workshop. I have to be able to think. So I left a very polite message that I was working very hard on a class and wouldn’t be able to answer the phone today…it was heaven.
New thermofax screens arrived in the mail today…then I remembered…I forgot to send her toner copies. Well…they still worked…printed on my Epson inkjet printer. I guess there is carbon in that there black ink. Lucky day for me indeed.
I have put it off for too long. Last night I messed around with some ideas for Thermofax screens. I am mostly drawn to, 1. buildings, structures, or architectural elements, and 2. patterns, grids and the like.
Here is a pattern I like…it is plastic mesh from a potato bag.
Here is a building I want to use.
This is from a piece of dye painted cloth. I like the pattern of it.
I don’t have my own Thermofax machine…yet…so I work on a group of designs and send them off to have screens made for me.
Not much else going on. I didn’t get any dyeing done this weekend, but watch out tomorrow! We are having some early spring-like weather… terrific for getting some dyeing done. I’m ready to do some serious work.
Friday/Saturday I sorted through a pile of unfinished small projects. I get inspired with ideas as I go through stuff like this, and made notes for a lecture I will be giving in March. There are other computer-related jobs to do too, but sometimes I just don’t want to sit down and do those!
The Christmas artisan’s fair is over again. I didn’t have a lot of sales, not enough actually, but it’s funny how one thing you do leads to another….I was asked to do a solo exhibit in a gallery…in 2011. I think I can get ready in time!
So this week, I have a goal. I am planning and writing up a proposal for a commercial commission job. I had started it a couple of weeks ago, but then other things got in the way and took my attention and time. Now it’s time to get dreadfully serious about it. I’m not one to sit still and do a lot of paperwork and all the thinking that goes along with it. Perhaps I need this exercise. If nothing else, I am sure I will learn a lot. So that is my plan for this week…after I go teach (that got cancelled)…and go to the dentist…and bake a cake for Jesus’ birthday party with my 3-5 year olds class at church…and make my nieces’ Christmas presents…and the list can go on and on. It’s the holidays, right? If you are already busy, the holidays just doubles or triples it for you.
My scarves are selling pretty well this season. I’ve sold 4 out of my etsy shop in the past couple of weeks. And I got a check from the shop I consigned a dozen to…she is selling them too. I keep them pretty simple with what I do to them, because I am not sure that my current market will support higher priced work. But when I do the exhibit, I think I will do some that are very special with more surface design on them.
Here is a rose pink silk crepe that I decided to do more to. I was wanting to experiment with it a bit. It was going to be my play scarf. I screened some words on it with a Thermofax screen. Since the scarf was still a bit damp, the words blurred just a bit, not bad. Not being satisfied with that, I came back with the discharge paste and a sea sponge and stamped it. Perfect. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to sell this scarf…but sadly (or happily, depending on your view) a girl wanted to buy it, so I “let” her. Sigh. Maybe I can duplicate it. I really did like this one.
I have been reading Betty Edwards’ book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, as I have mentioned in previous posts. She says that learning to draw is not so much about drawing, but about seeing. She writes extensively about how to turn off the left brain dominance and make a shift to the right brain creative mode. The exercises in the book are there to help make this happen. I find it interesting how one can start to “see” things even when they are not expecting it.
For instance, my husband and I made a trip home for the 4th of July. I was talking on the phone when he pulled into the parking lot of the Dairy Queen in McLeansboro. I thought he had to use the restroom and he never said anything to me as he exited the car. While I was waiting, I began to “see” the side of a building in front of me. I think my mind made the shift to the right brain. Wow! There were some awesome markings. I got my camera out and started snapping pictures. I found watermarks and pitmarks on the building. I just kept shooting anything I thought I might find interesting, because you just never know.
Here are the markings that caught my attention:
This building with the blue doors also intrigued me, so I took a few pics of it too.
I think it’s time to get a new Thermofax screen order ready. I am loving buildings.
For most of my adult life, I have been a bit of a photography bug. Perhaps that’s why I went to x-ray school…to take pictures! But I’ve traded all that in now for a more artistic and interesting picture-taking experience. I love my digital camera.