Tuesday, September 3, 2013

challenge 4 art #2...



As I wrote about here, I excitedly joined this group "Challenge 4 Art". Our second challenge was "BLUE". I decided to explore the subject on two levels. I made a quilt about my first "grown-up" bike from my childhood. At the time, all the girls' bikes in the store were pink and I desperately wanted a blue one. My parents ended up giving me the boy's metallic royal blue 10 speed model. I loved it although admittedly that crossbar made for some painful abrupt stops! Furthering the blue theme, I made my piece using a cyanotype imaging or blueprint process that makes a cyan-blue photo on paper or fabric. Because the method is so fast I could not take pictures.

It is a very easy process with only 4 steps:
  1. Place your design element on the treated fabric. (I printed the bike image on overhead projector acetate from the office supply store. I covered everything to weigh it down with glass from a picture frame to make the image as sharp as possible.)
  2. Expose the fabric to sunlight. (It took about 12 minutes on a sunny day at around 2 pm but this varies depending on where in the world you live and the weather conditions.)
  3. Rinse the fabric until the water runs clear.
  4. Dry the fabric and then use!


The contrast in my image could be better. My acetate was a bit transparent which means my bike ended up pale blue rather than white. I wanted to try again by marking over the transparency with a black pen but since the weather was not co-operating by becoming overcast I used the original print I'd made enhanced by some free motion embroidery and a zig zag border to suggest motion.




You can buy pretreated fabric or the chemicals to make your own blue prints at this site. Cyanotype printing is a fascinating process and the level of detail achieved is just amazing. Have a look at theses images at Flickr. As in the last challenge, it was so much fun to try something new and am looking forward to the next one. Check out how the other Challenge 4 Art participants LisaAmy and Claudia interpreted "BLUE"!

14 comments:

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    1. Thanks N! I definitely want to try it again.

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  2. Very cool! I had a blue girl's bike, a Schwinn. I loved it and remember it fondly.

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    1. Did you spend your entire summer on it? I did on mine!

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  3. Very neat effect - I must try it! I can totally see how different images would have a different effect and create a 'mood' or antique-like feel. Great challenge project!

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    1. Thanks Amy! Am definitely going to experiment some more...

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  4. Wow! It's really effective at showing the little girl's excitement about the blue bike. The cyanotype method looks fun. You are very clever!

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    1. Not clever- just always looking for new art products but thank you! I loved that bike...

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  5. What a cool effect! I initially thought you had 'drawn' the bicycle with white thread on blu fabric. Fun to try a new technique

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  6. Susannah--this is so cool! I love the technique that you used (where do you find these things?!?!) And I love how you enhanced the bike with the stitching lines (and the "wind" stitching lines). I'm with you--was/am not in love with how girls' bikes are always pink.

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    1. Thanks L! Loved that bike-even named it. I have my girly moments but am shocked at how pink half of every toy store is. Not every little one wants to be a princess...

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  7. wow, love your method! and the story behind you piece is wonderful, how great to choose a bike which is such a great way to expand the world for kids and is a real sign for "growing up", especially with that bar :-) great quilt!

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    1. Thank you Claudia! You are so right. Before becoming old enough to take public transport a bike opened up the world. As would later the subway and driving a car- After that planes!

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