Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Crowded at Quilt National 2015

I am fortunate to have a quilt chosen for the third time to be in Quilt National.  My piece Crowded is the result of work I am doing on the subject of repeats.  For some time now I have been attracted to the idea of a repeat being both exact and different.  The differences, including the random effects (errors or opportunities) for me make the repeats more interesting, revealing more about the image.  It is with this in mind that I now explore aspects of traditional printmaking. 
My work uses digital collage and print as fundamental elements in its image development, but Crowded is the first to be developed directly from the initial input of traditional printmaking. Crowd was the first image, and I hope an enigma: what kind of crowd? Positive or negative? Political or religious?  Herded or spontaneous?  I started with a collagraph plate made simply of cardboard, masking tape, acrylic medium, and carborundum.
This was an experiment in viscosity printing, where inks of different densities are used on the same plate to create intaglio and relief printing at the same time.  I was pleased with five of the variations I achieved; I very much liked the effect of them together, and decided to make a quilt out of them.
I scanned the five paper prints and digitally tidied up little elements, then printed out three copies of each of the five versions.  I used a desktop printer with prepared sheets of A3 size silk.  These are extremely fine, and so I ironed on thin Vilene in order to provide enough stiffness to stitch comfortably.  I joined all the rectangles together by machine before beginning to hand stitch the individual panels with fine silk thread.
I was delighted with the result and even more delighted when Crowded was chosen for Quilt National 2015. (You can read about other QN'15 quilts from European artists on the SAQA Europe/Middle East blog.)

11 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Olga! I really enjoyed reading about your process, especially the printmaking and digital stages that are so familiar to me. Printing on silk of course is foreign for me but amazing how that works. All looks fabulous, only wish I could see it larger and in person.

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    1. Marja-Leena thank you. I was particularly pleased not only with the way the collagraph plate came out, but also the viscosity printing. I was very lucky with this project right from the start. It all goes like a dream sometimes - thank goodness!

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  2. I am so impressed with this. So interesting to read how the concept developed & especially how you combined printmaking with digitizing & then printing to fabric, finally adding that delicate hand stitching. I think about doing the plate printing directly onto the fabric but this makes a good case for doing it to paper instead - I think it has produced a more sophisticated result. So worthy of inclusion in Quilt National. Did I mention I am so impressed? ;-)

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    1. Thanks Sheila. I always do my printing onto paper, and then I can choose which prints to scan and work with digitally before I finally print onto fabric. I do quite a lot digitally - often combining more than one of the paper prints in layers. And it also means that I still have the original paper prints for any future use.

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  3. It is fascinating to see the process in some detail behind this beautiful and subtle quilt. Viscosity printing is a new technique to me and one I will investigate further. Congratulations!

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  4. Thank you Margaret. Viscosity printing can be fun, and can result in wondrous unexpected results. It was good to experiment in a print studio with the use of huge rollers too.

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  5. I like your thoughts about repeat and congrats!

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  6. What an intriguing piece-it really begs for interpretation by the viewer. I'd love to see it in person and hope that it comes to a nearby museum during its travels. Congratulations! I enjoyed reading about your thoughts and processes.

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  7. That is a fine hybrid, Olga. It's as if you etched these things on a wall! You’ve really outdone yourself this time. And I really like how you utilized digital printing in order to achieve those colors and texture, or at least map them out. This means that anyone can try and create more amazing patterns like this themselves. Good day!

    Faye Fowler @ Master Copy Print

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