More Text on Textiles



Here are some details from a one of the pieces I am working on right now. I am hoping to finish this and a couple of others in time to submit them to the SAQA exhibit called "Text Messages"  -- submissions now online! Stay tuned for the finished work, which I will reveal AFTER I hear if and when any of these are accepted to the exhibit.

If you are taking my More Text on Textiles course on Joggles, you'll find out all the details on how these pieces are created, step by step -- especially this one featuring some of my soy batik work. You can see the obvious influence of Sister Corita (Corita Kent) one of my art heroes. Her work in the 1960s was such a revelation to me -- art that combined activism, pop culture, text as shape and form, messages to the world in a wide and wild variety of media. I was fortunate to work alongside some of Corita's students at Learning About Learning Educational Foundation and I learned to make serigraphs from them, as well as hand-cut letters, batik techniques, eraser stamp alphabets and more. They shared the work they were doing with Corita at Immaculate Heart College in California with us in San Antonio. I still use the ideas, approaches and techniques that her work and generous students inspired.

From the UCLA collection.

Again, to take the class, check this link.

More Text on the Surface -- Online!



My Joggles course MORE TEXT ON TEXTILES starts tomorrow. There is still time to get in on the fun, the supplies for the first class are things you will have at hand! And you can order the rest from Barbara at Joggles -- makes it easy! In addition to very specific instructions and pdfs of the lessons that you can download and keep on hand, there is an online forum during the course for questions and conversation. I will also bring up the various topics here on the blog, with some additional inspiration from other artists during the 4-weekly lesson series. Although this is a continuation of TEXT ON TEXTILES, this class does not require that as a prerequisite and you can take the two in any order. 

The tuition is only $45 and I think offers a really nice round up of creative approaches to getting text onto your art cloth or art quilt, with some interesting twists and turns. You can be upfront and obvious or subtle and secretive, posting your message in secret code or billboard boldness. Use a quote or just a fragment of your own journals or sketchbooks!

There is even a SAQA exhibit that you can enter with your text-centric work (if you make a quilt quickly) called TEXT MESSAGES, judged by Lesley Riley.



Here's the course outline from the Joggles catalog:

This class is scheduled to begin on February 19, 2013.

Add to your technique toolbox with interesting and “open-ended” ways to add words, letters and text designs to your art. 

This process-oriented course is organized around a set of exercises, rather than presenting one project -- you’ll be able to use these ideas and approaches in work for wall pieces, art-to-wear, art journals and other mixed media work.

Full of photos and examples, each weekly pdf workbook takes you through one or two new techniques, including making word stamps from craft foam, an easy way to cut original fabric letters to fuse or appliqué, sun-printed and mono-printed words and letters, and using soy wax with textile paint to add words to fabric. 

Susie will also offer a “bonus” fifth lesson that illustrates her process in making a small art quilt using the techniques taught in this course. This course is a continuation of Text on Textiles, but the lessons are not sequential and not dependent upon participation in the first course. 

Lesson 1 -- Learn to cut free-form fabric letters in a variety of styles, inspired by the work of Corita Kent. Start with paper (these can be used in mixed media and journal work) and move onto fused fabric, felt and other materials, too. 

Lesson 2 -- Make your own word and letter stamps from craft foam and recycled materials. Learn how to easily reverse your words and letters as you design, then make stamps with craft foam, string, cardboard scraps and other recycled materials. 

Lesson 3 -- Sun-printing with textile paints is a fun and easy way to make original fabrics for your art quilts, bed quilts, art-to-wear and other projects. And, given a hot sunny day, you’ll see how easy and versatile a technique it is. 

Lesson 4 -- Soy wax is a non-toxic, easy to wash out process that requires no solvents or special equipment other than a wax-dedicated electric fry pan (preferred) or a microwave oven. You’ll learn ways to make lovely fabrics that have a minimal change of hand when done, so they are great for all kinds of quilt and wearable applications. 

BONUS Lesson 5 -- See how Susie adds up some of these techniques to make a small art class. Use her approach and see what you can do! 

Curious to know how online classes work? Go here to read all of the details: 

The supply list will be sent to all students one week before the class starts. Once you buy this class you will receive an email order confirmation, but you will not hear from us again until the supply list is sent. 

A high speed connection to the internet is recommended for all students.

In order to participate in online classes at joggles you are expected to have basic computer and internet skills. You need to be able to browse the internet, know how to download and save a document to your computer's hard drive, and understand how to open and save email attachments. It is your responsibility to learn these skills before the class begins.

Please be certain you are comfortable with all of these skills. Class fees will not be refunded once the class has begun.


Uncle, That's me calling it.

And double that, uncle. I just wrote a long eloquent entry and the stupid website logged me out without the supposed automatic save!!

So, here we go again.

Remember "uncle," that's me calling it on the online course deadline. It will be done when it will be done. I am so close, but then my computer power management chip went fluooey, causing me to have a major crash and to have to have my entire system restored, rebooted, etc. All is well, I did have a fairly recent backup of my files, but I don't have all the software that I have downloaded -- that has to be redone. And more importantly to the pressure cooker, my MAIL program seems to be intent on downloading all 7.3 gigabytes of mail that my gmail account has in archive since September of 2007. Go figure. I am trying not to take it personally, but I am taking it to heart.

Sometimes when a project, an endeavor takes on swimming-upstream direction it's a good idea to look at what's going on and try to adjust to reality. Perhaps this, my online course,  is just not meant to be done by end of February! I have a tower of deadlines, a DVD script to finish that will, indeed, be a digital course all on its own, with someone else to market it! My dreams seem to be coming true but in a manner different that what I imagined. Gee, how often does that happen? If I stop spinning my wheels and try to do what seems to be the next best step, I suspect that all will go a bit better, right?

I still plan to launch my own version of an online workshop -- but the schedule is changing as of now. I'm giving us all another month to get it together and meanwhile, I'll tell you what I have in mind.

I've still got everyone's name on a little database of addresses (fortunately that stayed intact!) of those who have expressed interest -- oh, let's see, two months, three months back --  and I'll let you know when its time to go.

Meanwhile, here's the outline of what I'm thinking about and a few steps to get you who are interested started on the process, in your own "sweet" time, I hope.


Week One -- Getting Started with Text on Textiles -- Ideas, inspirations, examples and collections to get going. Finding the right words for your personal stories, research and word-weaving. Fast forms to get your hands in motion and to start the ideas flowing. Supplies to gather, materials to look out for, prep to get you going, playtime in the studio and on the journal page. Writing exercises to continue throughout the course.

Week Two -- Cut and Paste, Word Collages. Use a variety of collage and composition techniques with magazine and found text to make original collages. Step-by-step exercises in making collages with contrast, meaning and form. Hand-cut letters to make it personal. (Optional: Playing with scale, using your copy machine or all-in-one printer to make magic with collage).

Week Three -- From Text to Textile. Paper Cloth collage techniques combine fabric and collage with tissue paper and glue. Then put your collages to work on fabric with phototransfer techniques using an inkjet printer and thermofax (optional). Several different techniques for transfering images using common digital equipment -- your's or the copy shop's.

Week Four -- Stamping out a Message -- Learn to make original alphabet and word stamps with easy to find craft store materials, erasers and other cut-and-glue techniques. Techniques for making clean stamped images and more.

Week Five -- Write with the Sun -- Sunprinting using words and letterform images. Layering words and text. Tricks for humid or cool climates from the experts. Mixing your own paints for sunprinting.

Week Six -- Putting it all together. Ideas for using your words on the surface, your text on textiles. How I put an art quilt together. Continuations and completions. How to keep working from your own stories. Group gallery of work, samples and ideas in process.

Week Seven -- OPTIONAL -- Using soy wax batik to add words to the surface -- scrafitto, stamping, brushwork and tjanting tools. And even how to use wax writing to make an original screen print. This is an optional week since not all participants will want to make the investment in materials and tools that are required for batik and screenprinting.

What you can do to get started now:

1) Start cutting out words and letters and save them in a cigar box. (or something similar). Just cut or tear from magazines and newspapers

2) Keep your eyes out in the craft store for foam letters, magnetic letters and word and phrase stamps that you like -- especially if they are on sale

3) Keep your eyes out for a working fry pan at the thrift store if you plan to investigate soy batik.

4) Make a collection of quotes that you like on a topic or two dear to your heart. Put them in digital form.


Visioning for Online Teaching

I'm on the SAQA Visioning Project (I think you can still join up if you are a SAQA member) and my goal for the year is to get-- finally -- my online courses into reality. I looked up some previous posts and I have been dithering about this since 2007, so its time to do it or stop thinking about it. At least see how and if I can make one work!

I'll post more on this and the Visioning Project, but in case you've showed up from my Tweet or Facebook or other announcement, here's how to put your name in the hat to be a beta tester (or test pilot as I prefer to call you!). Just send me an email either directly or though the form on the sidebar of this blog.

The test course will be launched in January, so you don't have to worry about holiday commitments. I will also send you a survey between now and then and ask you to share your technical experience, your web use and your gut feeling about how my courses can be adapted for online students and participation. There are so many options, that I think that's why I've stalled out on this one!