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Complex Cloth: A Comprehensive Guide to Surface Design Paperback – June 15, 2009
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Issue 156, Jan 07 Although this title has been around for a while, with the increasing interest in Art Quilts and use of mixed media techniques in quilt making, it is worth revisiting. Complex cloth is defined as white fabric which is altered by dyeing, painting, bleaching and foiling. The author is invironmentally aware, she recommends reusing containers and claims to use only safe products. There are constant reminders on safety and using materials with care. All the procedures can be done at home. She starts by testing the fabric's contents, even taking measures to test fabric samples before buying them, discreetly outside the shop. She explains how t make one's own stamps, stencils and screens for silk printing with clear instructions and photographs. She uses instant potato as a resist as well as more sophisticated techniques. Dyeing, painting and discharging with bleach are illustrated with examples of her work. This is a comprehensive well-written guide, a good introduction to creating unique fabric but it is unfortunate that only US suppliers are listed although email addresses are given. Patchwork & Quilting
About the Author
Jane teaches and lectures internationally, and maintains working/classroom studios in San Antonio, Texas. Her work has won numerous awards and she is the former President of the Surface Design Association.
Everything Jane teaches and does is filtered through a deep connection to the energetic, spiritual aspects of human experience. She believes each of us has an inner "creative." Making things - whether it's cooking or painting a room, or dyeing cloth - is supremely satisfying. In the process of creating we are linking to every generation of makers before us and reaching for the Divine at the same time. It's a gift and a pleasure everyone should experience! And can.
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I ordered this book used, but it was in great shape and was delivered in timely manner. Thank you!
This everyone else audience needs to create its designs with other skills, most of which are some form of printmaking. So the book focuses on creating your own stencils and rubber stamps, using a silk screen, transferring photos, etc., It also covers discharging fabric (removing dye) and a wide variety of resists.
Setting up for this art form is not for the faint hearted. You will need a fair amount of working space and also a fair amount of equipment, including safety equipment, as some of these processes are hazardous to your health. Setting up will also be a bit costly because so much is required. The author details all of this.
The author does not cover phase two, which would be sewing the fabric into a garment or quilting it into a hanging wall piece, or other uses. That is covered by a slew of other books. This of course means that one needs more space, more equipment and more cost to go into phase two. It is doubtful the two phases could be done in the same room as the processes are so different. Many of the artists who will buy this book, however, are already set up for phase two.
All of the above is why some artists bypass this medium and go onto another, particularly first rate drawers and painters. It is so much easier and cheaper to just paint and draw on the traditional surfaces of canvas and paper.
So who will want to do this? Lots of people. Wearable artists and costumers are the most obvious users of this book. It is a bible for them on creating their own fabrics. Quilters for another. Often the main thing keeping a quilter out of exhibitions (if his or her sewing skills are sufficiently good) is that the quilter has not done anything unique with fabric. If she creates her own surface design on fabric and then uses that fabric in her quilt, she has just taken a giant step ahead in the field. If you are a very frustrated quilter or wearable artist or fashion designer who just can't seem to vault ahead into more exalted ranks, this book is a MUST for you. You CAN make it into the ranks you aspire to enter by creating better fabric which will require simpler designs. Beautifully hand created fabric will not do as well as part of a complex dress or quilt design so you needn't really be an ace at phase two either. Complexity of design obscures brilliant fabric painting. This book will also be the bible for those who create textiles for many other uses, such as interior decor.
Visit my blog with link given on my profile page here or use this phonetically given URL (livingasseniors dot blogspot dot com). Friday's entry will always be weekend entertainment recs from my 5 star Amazon reviews in film, tv, books and music. These are very heavy on buried treasures and hidden gems. My blogspot is published on Monday, Wednesday & Friday.