Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Guest View: Mixed-Media One Page Book

“Mixed-media One-page Book” with Jane Davila (Quilting Arts Workshop) 51 minutes.

Reviewed by Carol Melichar, mixed-media artist and librarian. April 2009

This DVD in the Quilting Arts Workshop series shows techniques for making a small book using one piece of fabric and a variety of mixed media techniques. A list of materials is available on the back of the DVD case, which is good as there is little mention of needed materials at the beginning of the show.

Jane Davila mixed media artist and quilter demonstrates this relatively quick project. Using a traditional one sheet mini book making technique as her pattern, Davila begins by making a paper mock-up of the mixed media book to exhibit the layout of the cover and pages. She suggests sketching out the basic ideas for each page but reiterates that this project is well suited to a loose, playful experience.

The dimensions of this book creates a front cover, back cover and six pages that are 2.5 inches x 3.5 inches –the size of an artist trading card.

One point Davila stresses over and over is that perfection is not the object of this project nor is it desired. When she stamps a homemade stamp on fabric, she stamps a little off kilter.

When she uses the distress ink pads to alter the brightness of a stamped piece, she is not concerned that the color does not go on evenly. Davila emphasizes that the result of this project should be an object that appears hand crafted.

Davila utilizes a variety of surface design techniques on her eight pages: she carves her own stamps out of fun foam and foam marshmallows. She also uses a hand carved stamp block and stamps directly on the fabric. She uses water-soluble wax pastels to draw pictures on fabric scraps and paper. She has elements that are pre-printed on fabric with an inkjet printer.

She also demonstrates little tricks of crafting: protecting your work surface with palette paper, getting ink on an over-sized stamp by applying the ink pad to the stamp upside down to the way you’d think, She is good about reminding about simple tips: stamping with the lightest color first and having a damp paper towel handy to clean the stamps between inks.

As Davila puts the book together, she notes that one could plan ahead and back the elements with 'wunder under,' one can also work more casually and use a glue stick to hold the elements in place until time to sew. Some pieces need to have the de-fusible web.

When she has all the elements in place in the little book, she brings it to her sewing machine to sew the pieces down. Using a walking foot, to accept the variety of textured materials, she sews around the pieces to imitate sketching. Emphasizing again that perfection is not the goal, Davila uses a marker to color over white threads that show. She uses a variety of machine stitches: regular straight line stitching, free hand stitching and buttonhole stitches.

She suggests using a combination of variety and repetition to give the finished book unity.

In a short amount of time, Davila demonstrates a charming, very achievable project, revealing tips about the composition and the various supplies and a refreshing lack of concern for flawlessness.

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