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Holographic Memories and More – Wen Redmond

By Wen Redmond

Unhinged by Wen Redmond

Unhinged by Wen Redmond

I make art because I must. Urges to create must be followed.

I have worked in fiber in one form or another for over 30 years. My work continues to change and grow as I explore processes, techniques, and presentations. As a result, I have created several signature techniques such as Holographic Images, Digital Fiber, Textured Photographs and Serendipity Collage.

I am passionate about my work. It is biographical and reflective, a working meditation. As I work, it becomes a collaborative process with spirit or my higher self, that mind-boggling principle of the universe. This process has been called ‘flow’. When you are in this state of mind, the intuitive is tapped and the work can become more than the sum of its parts.

I am a photographer and a textile artist. Merging the two arts has allowed me to push the medium of textiles to see what it can do, to stretch its perception as valid art medium.

Discovering new processes

My fabric starts out white and I dye, paint, print, digitalize and go mad with color to create the look I want. Often I use my photographs in this process. I use transparent silk organza and combine prints in mixed media compositions. When I print with a digital printer I use inkjet-prepared organza to ensure it will not fade or run. My Epson printer is set up with Ultra Chrome inks which are archival, waterproof, and fade resistant for at least 200 years.

The 3D effect of layering an organza print over the transfer print.

The 3D effect of layering an organza print over the transfer print in Unhinged.

One day after printing silk organza, I was peeling the organza photograph off the carrier sheet and noticed the ink left on the carrier sheet had a duplicate image, somewhat like a shadow. When I layered the organza print with the secondary image it created a 3D effect. After some experimentation I found that the key to attaining the 3D look is to retain a small amount of space between the two images. If the organza image is placed flat on the same image, it merges. If the second image is placed too far from the first, the back image is lost completely.

Wen Redmond adding artist bars to the back of an organza print.

Wen Redmond adding artist bars to the back of an organza print.

I discovered 3/4” artist bars, used for stretching canvas; leave the exact space required for this dimensional image effect. My technique requires printing two identical photos, one on transparent silk organza and one for a transfer. The transfer is applied inside the backing, so the combined image of the top transparent organza photo and the transfer photo create the final 3D effect or what I have termed Holographic Images.

Normally I sew the organza photo into fabric borders so the wooden artist bars aren’t visible when mounted. I love creating my own fabrics for the borders. These include dyed, painted, stamped, and thermal fax photo silkscreens.

Workshops explore various techniques

I share my fabric painting techniques in my workshop Holographic Memories and More. The workshop covers many paints and painting techniques, including sun printing. I encourage painting several different pieces for the borders to find fabric that best compliments the final holographic picture. Students have the freedom to embrace their inner spirit, their artistic voice. The validation the student obtains is sometimes a surprise to them and a gift to me. The privilege of teaching is stimulating and rewarding to me.

WenRedmond_teachingWen Redmond, a mixed media/fiber artist, living in Strafford, New Hampshire. Redmond’s technique was first published in Quilting Arts magazine, 2007. She has appeared on Quilting Arts TV and has a DVD, Holographic Memories, and Textured Photographs available through Interweave Publishing. Her website is www.wenredmond.com and blog is fiberartgoddess.blogspot.com

Upcoming Workshops

Quilt Surface Design Symposium 2014
May 26- June 8
Columbus, OH

Hudson River Valley Art Workshops
Dec 4-7
Greenville, NY

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Telling stories with photos and dyes

by Patty Kennedy-Zafred

In my work, it is the images that inspire the process, the color, the size, and the concept for the piece.  The images tell the story, create the mood, and draw the viewer in for a little longer.

After several years of making traditional, hand-quilted pieces, I began in the early 1990s to experiment with ways to get images into my work.  That took the form of transferring images to acetate, working with a Gocco printer, and other types of transfer techniques. While often quite successful (one of those pieces was in Quilt National ’95), the limitations of the materials and size of the images often resulted in smaller quilts than I desired.

Silkscreen prints on hand-dyed fabric

Silkscreen prints on hand-dyed fabric

Then, in 2011, I began experimenting with dye processes and techniques  to create the right background for my images.  My desire to make larger pieces led me to a silkscreen tutorial at Artists Image Resource in Pittsburgh. When I pulled that first print onto my hand-dyed fabric I knew I had found my niche. The skills I learned dramatically altered the concepts of my quilts.  That excitement I feel every time I screen images onto fabric has not diminished.  Now my images can truly be life size, or in some cases, larger than life.

Photographic images inspire

Although most of my earlier quilts used personal imagery, now I am working with historical photographs, including those of Lewis W. Hine, taken during the early 1900s as an investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Committee.  Descent Into Darkness: The Boys of the Mines, is one in a series of pieces based on Hine’s imagery.  I have also done pieces using the images of Edward S. Curtis, images from vintage post cards, and images by other photographers, with consent.

Once images are chosen, I dye the fabrics, hoping to further express the story and set the mood I am trying to tell.  In Descent, I dyed yards and yards of smokey, bluish fabrics, hoping to capture the sort of coloration I envisioned in the coal mine shafts.  The fabric was then cut to size based on the final image size.  I silkscreen a multitude of prints in varying hues and gradations.  Accents are added, and in the case of the Hine’s pieces, words are added. These little statements were the small hand typed notations that Hine would make and attach to his photographs on index cards or paper.  The simplicity of his notations, I believe, is a compelling addition to the quilt.

Descent Into Darkness. The Boys of the Mines by Patty Kennedy-Zafred

Being accepted in Quilt National ’13 was like lightning striking twice. Winning The Heartland Award, in addition, was a remarkable surprise.  The experience has encouraged me to follow this artistic path with my quilts, and given me support during the often isolating and lonely process of making art.

There are still a lot of stories I wish to tell with my quilts.  Sometimes the story finds me, at other times, I have the images, and my own story to tell.  In either case, the viewer draws their own conclusions, creates their own story, and a memory is made.  For me, that is success.

Patty Kennedy-Zafred

Patty Kennedy-Zafred

Patty Kennedy-Zafred has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism with a Minor in Photography.  Her love for the photographic image has been life long, which is clearly reflected in her work.  She is a member of the Fiberarts Guild of Pittsburgh, Studio Art Quilt Associates and Surface Design Association.  Her work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions and widely published. She lives in Pittsburgh with her always supportive husband, Paolo. You can learn more about her work on her website at www.pattykz.com.

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