02 Mar

Test Run

I’m trying some new-ish things. I have an idea for a series of art quilts and I need to experiment a bit with some techniques before committing to one of the pieces. I am also teaching a workshop for our quilt guild on marbling fabric. I’ve only done this a few times, but everyone loved my scraps and convinced me we needed to do this at the guild retreat next weekend.

So, a dry run was in order. When I saw Judy’s colorful felted soaps a while ago, I figured they’d be the perfect size project to experiment making felted rock. On Saturday, while coming down from our tsunami high and realizing that we didn’t need to stockpile water in case of disaster after all, the kids and I made soap rocks. Well, I made rocks, theirs were far more colorful. I highly recommend this easy peasy lemon squeezy family friendly activity. Great results! And now I have a better idea of where I’m going in my larger project.

On Sunday I prepared my paints for marbling. I use textile paints formulated for marbling and/or airbrush. Each paint behaves a bit differently on the thickened water so I wanted to do all my mixing and thinning before class. I also wanted to test the “size,” or thickened water, I made the night before (with some of the water reserved in case of an island wide shut down). I was worried that the formula I used last time I did this in Germany might not be the appropriate one for warmer, more humid, Hawai’i. I was right. Not tragic, but I’ll mix up the rest of the batch a bit thicker.

Anyhoo, my Jr. Redhead was really curious about what I was making, so I enlisted her help in floating each color on the size as I mixed it and let her be in charge of swirling and combing to make patterns. She had a ball and my new airbrush colors are intense! We made the pebbly background above by swirling some cool colors and then flicking the whole thing with a bit of dispersant which made all the paint run away, leaving “blank” spaces. I’m feeling much more confident about the class and the kid-friendly projects were a great way to kill two birds with one stone (ha, that pun just snuck up on me).