Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Creating a Silk Scarf

I begin by sketching out my ideas with a mechanical pencil (mostly commuting on the train between yoga and the studio).

I completely redraw the sketch onto Bristol Board. I use tiny .005 micron pens to trace over the drawing (if you live in Brooklyn and your art store is sold out of .005 microns, I probably bought the last one.) I tend to leave a trail of them wherever I go...

I scan in the pen and ink drawing and print the design onto vellum. The transparency becomes a color separation (stencil) for screen printing. I screen print the image onto the blank white silk scarves with a black, water-based resist called gutta.

After the gutta dries, I stretch the scarf onto plastic stretcher bars using tiny pins. I hand paint the background with special silk dyes. I have to work very quickly and carefully to avoid getting watermarks or bleeding through the lines.

I paint the design using the silk dyes in a similar technique to watercolor painting, using the white of the scarf for highlighted areas. The painting process can take up to 7 hours for intricate designs.

Once the scarves are dry they need to be steam set. I roll them up in newsprint and aluminum foil and then steam them in a pot for 4 hours.

Voila! We have a silk scarf. Ready to wear or hang as a beautiful piece of artwork. If you order them from my Etsy shop they will be packaged in screen printed wrapping paper. Perfect for the holidays!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Deity of Grace

Deity of Grace tells the story of Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of spiritual and material wealth and prosperity. She embodies the elements of light, wisdom, fortune, beauty and grace. She is believed to bring good luck and protect her devotees from misery and sorrow. Lakshmi is associated with the lotus as she is the personification of nature, the center of all. The circular composition of this piece emulates the infinite connectedness of all things in nature. The heart-shaped Bodhi tree leaves symbolize the abundance of prosperity. Graceful branches of feathers and hanging pearls represent the ornate adornments of the deity.

This print began as a pencil sketch that was refined and transformed into a pen and ink drawing. This was the first piece that I finished drawing on Bristol board and then cut apart to rearrange the elements. This organic process developed as I began to explore the movement and flow of each composition. Certain forms come forward while others are pushed into the distance, inviting the viewer to look closer and discover something new each time.

Deity of Grace Hand-Painted Silk Scarves Now Available On My Etsy Shop!
My Etsy Shop