SAQA AK Meeting September 29, 2015

This is a shorter version of the email recently sent to AK SAQA members. For complete details on the meeting, refer to that email.

We had a great September meeting. Amy Meissner, Diane Melms, Cat Larrea, Gail Ramsey, Barb Hanson, Nancy Sopp, Carrie Payne, Julie Drake, and Maria Shell were in attendance. The meeting was held at the Kaladi Brothers on Brayton from one to three in the afternoon.

Julie Drake said she had a great time at the Chicago International Contemporary Art Expo held at the Navy Pier in Chicago. She highly recommended it. 

Our next meeting is scheduled for Friday November 6th at Amy Meissner’s home from 10AM - 11:30AM. Please refer to the latest email from SAQA where you will find directions and Amy’s contact info.

Our next group exhibition, Art Cloth North, is scheduled for February 2016 at the in Anchorage. Show guidelines are currently listed on the SAQA Calls for Entry page.  AK SAQA members may submit up to four pieces for consideration in this juried show. The application deadline is October 31, 2015.

If you are submitting work for Art Cloth North, be sure to have hi-quality images. 1800 pixels or MORE is recommended. If accepted into the show, artists will need to send a short bio for the show book.

For the first Art Cloth North, which was held in November 2014, AK SAQA member Diane Melms created a show book featuring works by each of the artists as well as an artist statement. Diane Melms has agreed to create a show book for the 2016 show. Cat Larrea has agreed to create template based on the 2016 show book which can then be used for future shows.

We want to try and find a venue for the 2017 Art Cloth North show. If you have an idea of a good place for us to present a group show, please let us know.

Show and Tell included these fabulous hand dyed fabrics. 

You can learn more about the hand dying adventure by visiting this recent AK SAQA blog post.

Please join us for the next meeting at Amy’s house!

And if you have interesting news to share, please email Maria Shell so we can put it on the blog!

Simple Silk Dyeing with AK SAQA Member Wendy Smith-Wood

AK SAQA member and guest blogger Barb Hanson shares a recent fabric dyeing adventure in this blog post.

WHAT:  Simple Silk Dyeing Workshop by Wendy Smith-Wood
WHO:  2 experienced (read that as PROs) fabric dyers and 2 inexperienced, meaning nothing, nada, well maybe a class at Color Creek years ago
WHEN:  Friday through Sunday, September 26 – 28

We (Cat Larrea, Diane Melms, Faye Stein, and Barb Hanson) drove our way to Palmer and stopped for a tasty lunch at Turkey Red and then enjoyed the full colors of autumn the next hour and a half as we headed north towards the Sheep Mountain area.  The weather was turning as we arrived, but we settled into the comfortable cabins and changed into painting togs and Wendy gave us a preview of the next two days.

Both Diane and Cat are very experienced fabric dyers using cottons in their work. 

The silk (and Wendy had many varieties of cloth to choose from including broadcloth, crepe, twill, chiffon and Crepe de Chine) was beautiful. 

The big difference that the two pros saw right off the bat was the time involved in the process was much less; so one could do much more experimenting in a short amount of time.  Also, it really was amazing to dip, dribble, squirt, and plunge the fabric into the dye and then prep for ‘cooking’ and place a sample into the microwave to set the dye.  Two minutes later, ‘voila’ the sample was done.  It was cooled a bit, removed from its plastic wrap covering, rinsed and put out on the line to dry.  

Of course, the first morning the weather didn’t cooperate very well and the dryer inside the studio was needed to complete the drying process, but once dried and ironed the pieces looked stunning.

So, key concepts for silk dyeing:

  • An acid dye is used on protein fibers (silk, wool, alpaca, mohair)
  • An acid bath is required to complete the dye-bond – usually citric acid or white vinegar – the dyes are chemically bound to the fiber at a molecular level and not painted on surface
  • We used a Direct Application method for our small batches

  1. Pre-soak fabric in acid solution. 
  2. Mix the dye colors from dye-stocks. 
  3. Apply the dyes to the fabric.
  4. Set the dyes. 
  5. Rinse out excess dyes under running warm water.

End result are some lovely pieces for the next project.

For more information, contact Wendy Smith-Wood, and