In mid-May I went to The Crow Barn in Ohio to take the 2nd part of Carol Soderlund's class "Color Mixing for Dyers". What an amazing experience. I learned even more than I hoped and figured out the causes and cures for some of the technical problems that I've been having with both liquid and thickened dye.
While I was there I thought (and talked) a lot about what comes next. Aside from general artistic development, is there an area in which I could benefit from some focussed study? I kept coming back to design. I thought about whether I wanted to study on my own, in a university setting, with a surface design teacher, or with a quilt design teacher. Although each of these options has it's own appeal, and I might end of doing all of them at some time, the thing that seems to make the most sense right now is quilt design. After I returned home I finally made the decision to return to Ohio in September for two back-to-back classes with Nancy Crow. It borders on insanity given the amount of prep work that I have to do and the intensity with which Nancy runs her classes. I seen them during other trips to the Barn, but this will be my first excursion into the big upstair quilting studio as a student. What I think back on my physical condition at this time last year I am nothing less than shocked that I feel so good and am able to even consider doing this. I could barely have managed the packing for such a trip last year, let alone the prep and the class itself. Amazing.
Now, when I say "prep work" what I'm referring to is the rather substantial collection of fabric that I need to amass between now and September--about 100 yard of solid colors, with some patterned stuff thrown in. I'm almost 30 yards into the dyeing using what I learned in Carol's classes. I've almost completed one color palette and will soon move onto a second (pics soon I promise). I've also got to do value gradations of neutrals, a hue series of off-whites, as well as stripes, batiks, and such. I'm not quite through my first bolt of Pimatex and realizing that, while I've got two more on hand, I might need to order a 3rd. (Don't ask about my Visa bill). I'm also making my way through 80 lbs of salt. While I was at the Southern States (farm supply) I impulsively picked up 50 lbs of urea. It was so cheep that I couldn't resist, but honestly--this is a lifetime supply since I'm using it 10 grams at a time.
Stay tuned for more stories from the dye studio--AKA laundry/furnace room in the basement.