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Posts tagged ‘Crow Workshop’

First and Second Day with Elin at the Crow Barn

Still no photos; it’s too late and I’m too tired to fiddle with my netbook.

Yesterday was busy, we dove right in with some thiox discharging after we all tried on our respirators. We all looked like something from a science fiction movie–Darth Vaderettes. Then we did some resist stitching and did some dyeing of cottons in MX dye.

I had some wooden picket fence pieces from a hobby store that were highly coveted and made for some really interesting effects.

Then today we did acid dyeing of silks; I tried to do a thiox discharge on my own to be sure I knew how to do it; tomorrow I”ll try to reproduce the acid dye. The smell was rather intense as people began to work with thiox and carrying the end product indoors plus washing the silks out with vinegar and so I left early. I”m going to get an early breakfast in the morning and get there before most of the rest do so I can get some dyeing done before the others get there. Now I remember why I always did most of my surface design and weaving stuff on Sunday mornings after church.




I spent today and yesterday mixing mud.


Gouache is a new medium for me and I haven’t gotten it quite down. Too thin and the color of the paper shows through—a good thing with water color but this is supposed to be opaque. Too thick and it knobs up in ridges and takes forever to dry. We are painting on newsprint which tends to run from the brush and then curl up as it dries.


We are supposed to be mixing chromatic grays (minimally colored mud) and muted colors (colorful mud). Everyone else seems to be zipping along while I am still arranging my workspace. I sit next to the door everyone goes in and out—and so my little pieces of newsprint tend to flutter and rearrange themselves into different piles. I am afraid I will run out of paint and so restocked with some regular acrylics from Walmart this morning. The checkout lady laughed when she saw my purchases—I was the third person at that very early hour to purchase paints and stamps and brushes.


Then there is the real mud. I got stuck last night in the middle of pouring rain. I thought I had parked on a solid area; I even tried to push the truck out—rather silly of me now that I think of it. For the rest of the week, I’ll park on the gravel, especially since we had even more rain today—and some hail.


Today’s assignment was to compose six compositions using all that mud. I got four done; two to do tomorrow morning before we start the day’s work.


Pictures tomorrow!



Chromatic Grays and Saturated Colors Day One

Lotus Tree Blossom

Lotus Tree Blossom

The day was dreary with intermittent rain—a good day for keeping paint wet and workable.




Our first task was to mix two grays—a warm one and a dark one.


Our next task was to mix a variety of chromatic grays.


Our second task was to mix a variety of saturated colors.


Gouache is a new medium for me. The newsprint ran from my brush and I ended up with a lot of streaky looking stuff. I had the same problem with watercolors. I was secretly relieved to find other students having the same difficulty.


At lunch I went for a walk along the creek. It was overflowing the road  there was a tree across it that the kitty-cat used—but I was a bit hesitant. The farm is lovely with tulip trees, jonquils and violets blooming in profusion. Unfortunately it is also raining—not just a gentle drip but a downpour and my feet are soaked.


We all struggled with the concept of chromatic grays and muted colors. It became a bit clearer as we worked through most of the classes’ work (not mine though). We looked at a few slides of mostly Amish quilts in chromatic grays. I think we were all tired after the first day and voted to go home early. ( a little after 8)


My truck was stuck—in the mud—and John had to pull me out with his tractor. Neither of us quite grasped what the other intended and it took us a few tries but at last I was out—and back to Shaw’s for a glass of wine in the bar and another read of the first two chapters.


Photos of the farm are here on smugmug:

Arriving at Crow Timber Frame Barn Workshop




I am cozily ensconced in a very nice B&B in downtown Lancaster Ohio and contemplating an early bedtime. Tomorrow is the first day of class and the instructor (not Nancy but of the same mindset) has planned a full week. My truck was full of the supplies he requested but this time I did not have the bed full also—I think I brought a fabric shop with me last time. Paints and paper take up less room but I also brought projects to work on—optimistically thinking I will have spare time. I have never worked with gouache before so this should prove to be interesting.




After setting up—not much to do with setting out paint and paper, we had a nice evening meal and then introduced ourselves. Each of us had to tell a bizarre story or fact about ourselves—I am always at a loss in this sort of thing. Some stories were quite odd, some gruesome, others entertaining.


driving from Texas to Ohio in the rain

driving from Texas to Ohio in the rain

The drive from Texas took two full days; with nearly all of it through rain. I saw a few vehicles spun out on the side of the road, a few slow spots as wreckers removed debris but on the whole even the semis were driving slowly.




Since this week I am supposed to be learning about color, I thought about what color I might think Spring is—after all, it was a really long drive—- delicate yellow-green against rich dark brown. Winter would be shades of gray and black; Fall brilliant yellows and clear blue; I don’t think I thought about summer because I was looking at all the shrubbery in bloom. Dogwoods and redbud and plum and then there was an upside down wisteria tree—plus all the trees flowering—in shades of orange and green.


So then I started thinking about each state and what color it might be.


Arkansas was all sloshy —- shades of gray with little variation—too bad, it’s really a pretty state in fine weather.


Tennessee was emerald green with black board fences and plowed fields with trees blooming in the fence rows.


Kentucky was road cuts of white and orange slabs of rock with purple wisps of trees.



Ohio had bits of brilliant colored tulips and jonquils against dull brown and peeps of green


Texas, of course, was green—with bluebonnets and Paintbrush and daisies and firewheel all blooming.


Interesting idea for a series.