Tuesday, February 21, 2006

anatomy of a 'what if?'

Yesterday I ironed the wax out of all the fabric I had printed and then decided I have so much of it, that I had better DO something with it. Well, actually, I have been deciding this every day but haven't done it. I also have plenty of fabric that I have printed over the last 5 years or more. So, last night was 'what if?' night. I usually photograph my auditions so I can go back later and decide which way worked best, and so I can remember what I had done. Here's a glimpse of how I work when I'm auditioning fabrics for a new piece. My starting point was the fabric you see on your left, which has been sitting around here for a few years. In fact, my starting point is almost ALWAYS the fabric and the concept evolves as I work. Sometimes it never evolves - LOL. Below is the first round, which I had on my wall a few days ago. It had possibilities but I just couldn't make it work exactly right - so I took it down. I don't pin my fabrics together till I am sure it feels right, so I need these photographs just in case I ever want to recreate something.

Then, last night, after I had steamed, washed, and ironed again, I had a piece that I thought would be better with that fabric. So here is another combination. I put up a black piece of canvas behind the pieces - I may end up changing my boring gray wall to black. I think it helps me see better what I am doing.ignore it. Anyway, here are a couple more versions of the same thing you see above. Just slight modifications -- more 'what if?' Now all of these are down from the wall and scattered around, and I have moved onto something completely different. This one is today's project. Two pieces I just printed and three that have been sitting around here for YEARS waiting for friends to show up. I cannot remember how I functioned without my digital camera.

Everybody works so differently: I think it would be fascinating to see your processes - why don't you shoot some pix and share on your blog the way you think while you are making a piece?

12 comments:

jenclair said...

I was composing a "thank you" in my mind for sharing your process...when I got to the bottom and you suggested we try to synthesize and photograph our own processes.

So-
1) Thanks! I loved seeing the various versions you played with. It was fun and infomative.
2) I, too, usually start with the fabric and PRAY that something evolves. Sometimes, a vague idea about shape is also present. However, vague ideas usually evolve so completely that the end result hardly seems as if a logical process was followed. Well, duh, don't guess it ever is a logical process for me.
3) Taking the pictures of each possibility would be so helpful since I can rarely remember and separate ideas later.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for about 2 months and love your fabrics! Having never done batik before, is there a book or website you could recommend for a batik-virgin?
Denise

Rayna said...

If you're anonymous, I can't e-mail you. I teach this process so if I know where you are located, I can let you know when/if I'll be teaching nearby.
Please e-mail me.

Joanne S said...

Love the process photos. Love the fabric. Are you ever in Maine?

Mandi aka Fabric Princess said...

Ah ha! I think I get it. I love your work because it's so organic. It grows and moves in fluid ways. That's the way you design. No wonder I can't capture that same feeling. I don't dye or do anything until I've already got a plan, and by then it's not as exciting, so it slips away. Thanks for the info and the inspiration.
p.s. Can I come live in your studio for a week to learn it all? LOL :)

Micki said...

I love seeing your work and especially like when you provide and explanation of your thought processes and how you work towards the end piece. thank you Rayna

Omega said...

It is interesting to see how people work. I hope that others take up your suggestion. My process is not so interesting to look at, but I shall post something today.
Do you ever get the urge to reach out and do stuff with other bloggers' what-if pictures? I was so pleased that you put black up with your first lot, because that was exactly what I wanted to do! I'm a great fan of black.

mary m. said...

I love your fabric, and you are setting them off very nicely with the darker strips. I think if I posted the fabric combinations I've been auditioning this week, you'd run screaming into the night.

Judy said...

Thanks for walking us through your process, Rayna! Very nice pieces. Anything against black looks great to me...just look at my blog!
Judy

cfent said...

love the version with the black....
keep it up!
wonderful stuff rayna...as usual!

marion said...

This stuff is delicious, Rayna. Next time I'm in the studio, I'll take my camera up. I quite often write about process, just get so tangled up in making, that I forget to photograph...

Frances said...

love your work Rayna and thanks for an insight to how you work,
I used to always start with the fabric and it was mostly commercial fabric,
then I started to move to creating the fabric (I still use commercial fabs too) but most recently I am starting to think 'how do I want the finished work' I never have a set piece in mind it still 'evolves' but with me having more direction,
ofcourse I still have and am still producing all those pieces of fabric to 'talk' to me as I love conversations!