New Class Samples in Progress

Studio time lately means developing samples pages for the class I’m co-teaching with Rosaland Hannibal. The Arizona Maverick Quilters are a fun group who are open to a big world of experiences. Rosaland and I developed a class using both paper and fabric techniques to create a journal.

We decided an interesting way to show the techniques is for each of us to develop a sample book for the class. Rosaland is an art quilter and I’m an art journaler, so our approaches are different. Which makes for a lot of fun.

Here are some snapshots of pages I’m working on. They are all in progress, but the combination of materials and techniques lead down some interesting rabbit holes of exploration.

Cheesecloth makes interesting textures on paper. It can look thin and frail, or like a sturdy net.

Cheesecloth can be dyed in a variety of ways. As I don’t have to worry about wearability, I can use fabric paint, rinse to get the shade I want, and let the cheesecloth dry.

Paper towels take on color beautifully. I noticed that the ones I use to clean up while I’m working often look wonderful–the random colors mix effortlessly, largely because I’m not controlling the outcome. In order to make them sturdy enough for journal pages, I iron them onto fusible webbing. Once they are stable, I write on them with colored pencil.

Dryer sheets are a versatile non-woven material. They are coated with a fragrance and a fabric softener, so after I pull them from the dryer, I save them. When I have a dozen or so, I run them through the washing machine with the towels. That gets the residue out of them. The page background above was made by spritzing the dryer sheet with pearlescent paint and using fusible webbing to attach the sheet smoothly. The sheets take gel pens, poster pens or Pitt pens easily. This one will actually be used in a more complex page design.

I have a fascination with sheer fabrics, particularly if they have some sparkle. I found a gray fabric stamped with holographic sequins. Of course, it’s neither heavy enough nor stable enough to make a journal page. My surprise of the evening is that I discovered how to attach the fabric to a sheet of transparency film so I can either attach pieces to a journal page, or write directly on the transparency film. I’m excited about this new technique and will be doing a lot more work to refine it.

Rosaland and I will adapt the class for non-quilters, and be ready to teach it at the end of May. Art journalers, start your creative engines!

Quinn McDonald is a writer and art journaler, whose book, Raw Art Journaling, Making Meaning, Making Art will be available on July 20, 2011. © Quinn McDonald.