Collaboration between a Fabric Painter and a Scientist

23 06 2011

I have to start by thanking @FashionHistoria for mentioning this site on Twitter.

Then I have to thank the artist and the scientist whose collaboration resulted in thebatik on silk fabric paintings covered at the website. They are

Mary Edna Fraser (the artist)

and Orrin Pilkey (the scientist)

Then I have to tell anyone who happens to be in North Carolina or near the North Carolina Natural Science Museum and is interested inbatik or in fabric painting in general (I wish I was among you.) to go see the exhibit of the paintings. It’s called “Our Expanding Oceans. The Blending of Art and Science”.

Now, I’ll confess that I am a former research biochemist turned textile artist with one of my own concentrations being fabric painting, so I’m anything but unbiased, BUT I just love the paintings that have been made available on the web. I’m going to borrow just one of the images for this blog, so you can see why I’m so enthusiastic about all this.

Here’s one:

It depicts the gulf oil spill, and it boggles my mind with its beauty. I can pretty much analyze what procedures were necessary to paint it. I can even analyze (and very much approve) the color choices made. The scientist in me can see how such a piece of art could be used to present more clearly the scientist’s ideas. (After all, I once said during a scientific presentation that the microtubules of platelets were where the windows are in a spaceship, and also hatched the idea that doing a protein or DNA sequence as a string of beads might make it easier to see functional patterns.)  [I never got arround to putting that idea into effect, but maybe I should. ]

And my mind still boggles at its beauty.

And now that your aesthetic tastebuds have been activated, here’s where those of you not in North Carolina can see the rest.

Should you happen to be inspired by these to take up fabric painting yourself, I’m hoping to have enough students sign up to be teaching it at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) in the fall, and I’m also available for private lessons.



PVCC Registration for Fabric Painting and Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom

21 06 2011

Now that PVCC (Piedmont Virginia Community College) registration for the fall has begun, I would like to let the world know that I am offering two courses there.

One is weaving on a rigid heddle loom. This is the simplest loom, relatively cheap, easy to set up, easy to use, portable, an excellent starting point for weaving. It is also very versatile. It is possible to use a rigid heddle loom to do a wide variety of fabrics including some lace weaves. In my course, I will teach the students to warp the loom and to weave a variety of fabrics. I will also teach how to plan fabrics, some of which will change drastically when washed after weaving. Students might be interested to know that Piedmont also owns two four-harness floor looms, so it will be possible to move beyond the rigid heddle to more complicated weaves. The cost of the class will include a loom to be used in the class and sold back to me when the class is over if you decide not to keep it.

I am also offering a course in painting on fabric. We will be using fabric paints and resists to create a variety of fabric designs, some of which will very much resemble batiks. To see some samples of my work, you should look at previous pages on this blog, on ArtFire at PockTTorian Textile, or on the Fabric Painting page of this blog. All materials will be provided aside from a stretcher frame.

I invite anyone intersted in learning either of these to contact me. If you are unavailable to take either course at Piedmont, private lessons can be arranged.