Sunday, October 21, 2007

art therapy

Friday's "class" with Judy Langille at the museum was just what I needed last week. I put class in quotation marks because most of us are experienced surface designers who really signed up so we could have a block of time to work (or play, as the case may be). Judy facilitates and is there for feedback, which is the way I like to teach, too.

We worked with thickened dyes and Thermofax screens, among other things. The museum has a Thermofax but was running out of screen, so I made a few of them at home.
Here is a bit of a piece I had started the previous week that had no real definition; you can see the background with the grid and lines. I added the blue layer this past week and now we'll see what happens.

This next piece is part of one I had done with soy wax a long time ago that had an overall pattern. I screened the trees on last Friday, hoping they would be very black. But the dye paste was not dark enough, so the effect is very muted. At first I was disappointed but now I really like the mysterious effect. Work done? or work in process? I'll let it percolate.Speaking of Thermofaxes (I think I mentioned the word earlier) - I now own two of them. Am I nuts? Probably. I bought my first Thermofax 4 or 5 years ago for a song and always thought I should have a second one as a backup; i.e. - in case I need to take one with me to teach when I am within driving distance. But the prices have skyrocketed because the tattoo parlours are buying them all. Nevertheless, last week, on impulse, I bought a second one for not much more than I paid for my first one. Of course, the first one worked. This one made a screen and then stopped. Uh oh. So, Saturday morning I drove it to Brooklyn to be overhauled. It is now in great shape and I'll pick it up next weekend. Now I have a backup!
I learned a lot about those machines which I'll talk about later, in case anyone is interested in the history of Thermofaxes.


Anonymous said...

Driving to Brooklyn to get a thermofax repaired! And I drove way out in the country to WPB's Acreage to buy JaneS's Merrow edging machine, then dropped it off for repair/tuning. Shows how focused we are on our art. I like that your black dye paste wasn't stark. Mysterious is good. Bev

Rayna said...

Ah, yes, we go where the art tools are, don't we?

Anonymous said...

I am so excited because Wendy Huhn gave me the name of someone here in Portland who repairs thermofax machines.

She says that they are no longer manufacturing the bulbs for the older machines and we are all going to have obsolete machines - argh!

artmixter said...

both of these pieces are lovely. I'm truly jealous of your pair (matched?) of Thermofaxes. I enquired about one over here, and was stunned by what it would I think I'll just have to live without one.

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