DESIGNS My main concern is design. Leaves, flowers, and geometric shapes are sources of inspiration. Many designs are derived from small sketch notes I make of patterns or parts of designs on historical ceramics, metal, and textile artifacts. The challenge is turning sketches into designs that work within the format of a wall piece with overlapping panels.
PRINTING PROCESS Another challenge is to find a process that allows a direct notation of design. I developed polychromatic screen printing. This method combines both painting and printing. It allows the same flexibility and spontaneity as painting on paper or fabric, with the added outcome of more than one print. All the colors of the image are directly painted on one print screen then printed with one pull of the squeegee. The result is a limited addition of four to six prints from the original painted screen. For the past thirty years polychromatic printing has offered a great range of approaches, with fewer steps than traditional screen printing. It continues to appeal to my imagination.
STIFFENED SILK WALL PIECES Originally I started by doing banners from the polychromatic printed panels. I was drawn to work that was layered resulting in more complex designs. I thought about the openness of lace that could be layered and thought how can I make lace with printed fabric? I was familiar with cut lace technique— islands of fabric with buttonhole-stitched bars that provided structure. But sewing bars by hand was more work than I was willing to put into a piece. I could cut the bars out of fabric panel but how could I keep the fabric from raveling? I thought about coating the fabric as a milliner does, to both add stiffness and stop raveling. So the printed fabric panels are stiffened and large sections cut out -- keeping in mind structurally so that it will it hang straight. The stiffener also adds strength, durability, and ease of cleaning (wipe with a damp cloth) to the otherwise delicate cut-out panels. I also like design elements that look suspended in space. To accomplish this panels hung are slightly away from the one behind on Velcro tabs on U-shaped acrylic mountings fabricated in graduated sizes.