Sunday, 12 October 2014

Obligatory Dye Trip Post

Maiwa is celebrating the tenth year of their annual fall textile symposium. And I've wanted to go all ten years, but either couldn't afford it or was otherwise busy or lived in the crapartment. This year I determined that I would go, especially since all my dye stuff came out of storage purgatory when we got out of the crapartment. Fortunately Michel Garcia was coming to teach a few classes, one of which I enrolled in (should have done the indigo one too but thought it might be too expensive and hard to get into both of them) after a stressful few moments when registration opened (it's infamously hard to get into some of the really popular classes--it's the same kind of mental anguish basically invented by ticketmaster when your fave band is coming to town. You know the kind that involves saying things like NO I WANT THE GOOD TICKETS. yeah it's loadin...NOOO. WHY ARE YOUR SERVERS DOWN WHY YOU NOT PLAN FOR THIS. You and I both know you've been there).

Anyway I also managed to force a few theo peeps to come to visit, which was cool and we decided to meet the weekend before the class.

Spirit of the Haida Gwai, Bill Reid's famous statue which I directed Liz to by telling her to find the giant boat.

Theo peeps! Well, Rachel and mem. Elizabeth married in to theo peepdom. This was in the vancouver public library, which is shaped like a spiral and has a bunch of shops and government things around it. It is also in sight of the former performing arts building which now houses a mennonite brethren megachurch, about which we surmised what level of heresy was taught there several times throughout the week. Yeah we ended up in the library a few times.

Sunday we went to Granville Island, mostly so we could go to the market and I could buy ART SUPPLIES. While it rained on Monday, the weather was pretty nice for the rest of the trip, which was nice.
the bridge that makes it a not-island and yachts of Richies.

mem being all pensive about the quality of the fish.

 Anyway once that was done, we went for supper to a place Carly told me is where people take their mistresses and people they want to impress and I found out that sea bass is DELICIOUS (thanks to Elizabeth). After that I finally got to take my classes.

Chemistry stuff, which went over a lot of people's heads. Though I felt like it was pretty basic and I hated chemistry so much (would have hated it less if we could have done cool things NOT FOOF MEM so don't even say it). 

Someone actually told me "you must have a background in chemistry or science because you know a lot of this". The internal laughter that followed. I guess being a nurse helps even if I'm basically the worst at it ever cause we had to learn SOME chemistry for both physiology and pharmacology.

all the samples together in mah book

Our samples
We got to do some interesting experiments, though most of the classes focused on cotton which I never use because the alum-tannin-alum premordanting methods are like all hard work and stuff for really sucky colour anyway. But most of these samples gave okay colours, though not quite like the wool. And now you know why Joseph's coat was many colours. Wool takes dye so much better than anything else. Well except indigo.

Michel Garcia all "lookit getting red with madder so essy" Or something like that. He told us why mine failed and precipitated about two seconds after this. :(  Definitely no real concerns about the "rules" for madder, he's pulling it out of a boiling pot there. He wasn't a big fan of doing things the "official way" and mentioned the antichrists' alum mines, which I totally remembered as soon as he mentioned it. Church history has a practical application people!

Anway we also learned mordant print making and got some really nice golds with titanium as a mordant. I  have all the other mineral mordants (shhh) so I'm trying to find some of that, especially given that it produces golds with a lower health threat than chrome. The only place I found it charged 300 dollars for it. major sad. Here are some of the other cool samples and things:

A piece painted with four mordants and put in cochineal and a second that was screen printed with different mordants and also dyed in cochineal. 

These were poundings done to see if a plant has any tannin in it and will be worth harvesting. And safflower PINK. The yellow was tres laid. Was so excited to see the pink.

Of course we also made samples to take home. A lot of people were worried about how they would look but I was more concerned with the process because they are just samples anyway. Plus I'm really a craftsperson so the process and technique are why I do these things in the first place. So I used a few screens that already had designs on them and went all random with them.

 Appparently there is iron or something in the water as they were supposed to wash out cleaner from the backgrounds. This one is my fave though: Weld. The gold is titanium, neon yellow alum and black is Iron.

We also made printed "charts" with the different mordants so you can see the range of colours one dye can produce, and mordant discharge. And safflower! Did I mention how cool it was? Okay.

We tried most of the dyes in the supply cupboard and some people brought plants that we dyed on too.  Overall I learned somethings that I'll definitely be able to use, especially if I can find some cheap titanium.

I also took Vancouver public transit to and from classes, which mama noted was the true highlight of the trip for me because I wouldn't stop talking about it for two days. It was so great though, with quiet electric vehicles, a train station that was still a skytrain station and not a casino, and each vehicle even had a pleasant computerized voice to tell you where you were going. I took this picture of an extra long hinged bus turning a corner for mama cause I knew it would make her rageful:

But man that was great public transit. Good job city of Vancouver.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014


It's my blog's 10th birthday. I made it because someone suggested blogger as an alternative to livejournal, which I still feel fulfilled the true purpose of blogging, which is to showcase narcissism. I used livejournal to do art by the inch, trade cds and keep up with nervousness people.  It's kind of  like how I use facebook almost exclusively to keep up with theologica people. Now art by the inch, nervousness and even mix cds are things of the past sadly. But the blogger blog has lived on. I picked the name because "Hey dooders" is a lame person trying to be cool term and I chose it to be ironic since blogs were the "cool thing" amongst the nerds of the internet. Thus far, it's really been pretty apt though I do think I posted some good theological posts.

Over the years I have kept the blog as I've done everything in my life. By doing whatever I want (or in this case writing about it). So sometimes I posted sad things or rants or pictures of things I'd made or PeTrA or art theory or theology or The Jerk. Or for awhile there, random things to bother mem (that was when I was basically at the apex of my prolificacy).

This looks great. And other than wonky eye, nothing like me. 

Speaking of my narcissism,  I recently posted a great picture of myself on facebook which, as usual, looked nothing like me. James suggested that it was such a nice picture I should make it my fb avatar to which I replied "I have never used a real picture of myself as an avatar in the history of the internets." That's because if I alter them or draw them I can trick people into thinking I'm better looking than I am which totally feeds my narcissistic vanity. And as above, this is what the internet is basically about, more so now than it ever was 10 years ago when you like had conversations about things (remember that? I totally do because I'm all old and crap).

Anyway, in honour of the narcissism I decided to post my last decade in avatars along with the actual pictures so you can see why I never use actual pictures (or as many as I have; one is missing the unretouched photo so obviously I saved over it). Artistic licence is basically the way you make boring crappy things more interesting and palatable. And you know I'm all kreyative.

The first one was actually a drawing that I did with crayola markers then added some filters to but this was the photo I used for the picture. Phil Johnson gave me a chance to do my best Navin Johnson impression because of this picture (yes I do remember all stupid insignificant things but don't ask me if I remembered to add the mag sulph to the mar cause I'll prolly just stare at you like a deer in the headlights). I've found that in any artistic rendering of myself, all I have to do is make sure to include the lines under my eyes and it definitely looks like me. The photo was a little old at the time, taken in 2003.  It's also pretty small because for some reason everything I saved to old discs is really small on this computer, despite the fact that I scanned them in at like 300 ppi. Pheh.

The famous quilt, which I took originally for a blue and red deco. I altered the photo then printed it, painted it and finally made a quilted version. And it represents the only time I ever had a quilt at Houston, cause I'm never going to get anything that matters there.  Took this one in 05, then made the deco and the quilt in the same year.

Took this picture specifically to replace the other. This is when mem discovered my wonky eye which made me cooler than him forever. My skin looks different colours is because at that time in my life, it really was. Taken in 07.

The mucha me is still my google profile and is the only picture I ever painted totally digitally. I hated doing it. I had to try to stylize the actual photo of course so that it resembled Mucha's style and ended up making the wonky eye a little wonky in shape too. 

This btw was the other drawing I made for mucha me but I lost it and stuff so I just did it again. I think I may have loosely based it on the blue and red picture, but of course also from life though I don't do that much because my face is pretty asymmetrical.

I didn't use this one for super long because the altered version didn't really have the line quality I prefer. I think the picture wasn't high enough contrast, but I seem to remember it took a fair bit of work to take the background out so I used it. I think this one was 08.  

This was another one that didn't look the way I wanted exactly, though I liked my expression a lot. This is how I look at my screen when you say ultra stupid things that I can beat you over the head with to win any argument. Not that anyone actually SAYS anything on the internets anymore. This was 09, not long before I started university which aged me about 900 years. I miss you athol house and athol house basement :(

This one was probably one of my favorites ever and I kept it for a number of years. This was during school when getting my hair cut cost too much money (but I still made WAY too much to get a student loan, especially since they expected me to be able to get in a time machine to pay the kind of rent people did in about 1998). This was taken not long after we moved into the crapartment in 2010, which is why I look less miserable than later.

I've decided this is definitely my good side. Well it was before I started getting all jowly.

I think I kept this one for a month or two and only changed from the above picture because it was showing up as an exclamation point in comments (not sure why since it hardly looked like me so definitely WASN'T obscene). I didn't like it because I hadn't put photoshop on the new computer yet so used crappy software. I saved over the original picture but the photo is just another one taken at the same time. I think it was 2012.

This, as you can see, is the current avatar. I took this one before the Junos last year. It's another one of my faves, I'll probably keep it for awhile. 

 One last one: me in dragon form prolly hanging out in crooked lake. I do look better in dragon form, it's true.