Saturday, July 23, 2011

Keeping Busy on Nantucket

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I took a class at the 1800 House on Nantucket from Don Carpentier, who is not only an internationally renowned preservationist, a master potter and an all around can do sort of fellow.  The six or seven students in the class all made a very personal weather vane.

My fish was borrowed from a gyotaku print by Chris Dewees, a member of the Nature Printing Society. The rock fish image I used was on the NPS calendar for 2011.

Don helped me figure out how to make a very dimensional eye for this 'vane, and Don did all the soldering on the piece.  He also made the arrow pointer on the crossbar.  The rest is my work.

I love the color of this old copper.  I decided to let my weather vane age and patina naturally rather than give it a head start with an aging product.  I think my local weather ought to be able to add more than enough patina in a fairly short time period.

This fish looks deceptively small.  The cross bar is actually about 24 inches in length.  That makes for a very nice sized 'vane, I think.

My friend Bee and I spend a very happy (and somewhat messy) evening in her studio doing discharge prints on black fabric.  It's not use bleach!  We had the best luck with Soft Scrub.  Paint it on an object (leaf, shell, etc.) and then print it.  You let the bleach product completely dry, then rise it off.  We then washed the fabric and the next day we ironed it.

I'm not sure just exactly what I'm going to do with my fabric, but the technique was fun and easy to do and I think I will be experimenting with it further.  I can see you could make some very interesting fabrics to use in quilting and other crafts.

On Friday I took a rug hooking class from Polly Minick at the 1800 House.  Polly has a wonderful book, available on Amazon, called   I met Polly last year when I took a two day class in hooking a bag from her.  The little evening bag design for this year is much smaller than the big tote from last year, and hence, much easier to get completed.  I will only hook the front of this little bag and will use the same dark blue as in the canton (the stars area on the flag) as the backing.  It's really cute!  I think I was truly her remedial student as i was, by far, the slowest at hooking, but I was finally getting the hang of it towards the end of the four-hour class.  (Slow learner!)  I can see that once you are really comfortable with the process it could be extremely relaxing and a fun way to do something while sitting and "watching" a movie.

I am having the best time trying new things.  I really can't believe I made a weather vane!


Grove Street Journal said...

I love the weather vane, and it's perfectly you!

Barbara Hagerty said...

All your projects are wonderful! The weathervane fish is one of the best things I've seen all year! So beautiful, and so much fun!
I also love that you were able to get the bleach effects with soft scrub. I cannot use bleach. Even very diluted, it burns my skin, but I could probably manage printing with soft scrub if I used gloves. I've always wanted to do a bleach print, so thank you so much for showing your beautiful shell prints.