28 June 2008

More Messy Art Fun

I've spent the last three days in a workshop at OCAC, playing with thickened dyes. We've done some stamping and silk-screening. We've made marks on fabric using found objects like plastic nursery trays, circuit boards, bubble wrap and the highly coveted orange construction fencing. My favorite technique, though, is one I'd heard about but hadn't had an opportunity to try before this week -- painting fabric with potato dextrin, a paste that crackles as it dries. I'll document the process after school is out tomorrow and I have a finished product or eight to show. Gerrie, with whom I'm carpooling, has some good info on her blog, too. We used corn dextrin as well. It's a useful resist, but not nearly as interesting, behaviorally, as its sister in starch, potato.

This is one of those workshops that click in part because of the students. It's a great collection of people. Jeannette Meyer, the instructor, pictured above in surgical garb, is a goddess. We're all middle-aged women with the exception of Tamera, a gorgeous young woman who makes rugs. When she asked about dyes for flesh tones, something clicked in my mind. Sure enough, she was the artist whose "bare skin" rug I'd read about in the Oregonian. It -- I mean she -- was stolen from a gallery show and, three months later, recovered. What a saga!

Gerrie got a photo of me on the first day of class, and here's a shot of her with her signature lime green accent.

My turn to drive tomorrow. I think I'll have to line the car with plastic tarp in anticipation of all the wet dye-laden goodies we'll be packing home.

While I was out messin' around with art stuff, Jer was creating a masterpiece at home. This is polenta layered with heirloom tomatoes, mozzarella, grilled eggplant and pesto. It's supposed to be heated on the grill, but we're affeared that all those layers might topple into the flames, so we'll do it in the oven instead. Fresh snow peas from the farmers' market on the side. It's literally 100 degrees outside, but our little ranch house is relatively cool, and I'm looking forward to dinner.

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