VideoTutorial: how to make a bag

by Orkaloca gennaio 26 tutorial

I like to make videos :p So here's a video tutorial about how to make a bag. It's composed by 4 videos, I'll put all online on the next few days.

Till then yo can see the first video here (sorry only italian now)


Home-made quilting frame

by Orkaloca gennaio 23 creazioni

In October, when I went in London to attend the "quilting judge course", I met Sara Casol, a wonderful hand-quilter. She Is so skilled in hand-quilting that I only can dream to reach her level. Luckily she's also a teacher and when I've heard that she was invited near my city to teach hand-quilting I booked for the class in seconds :)

But a problem arose: I don't have a portable quilting frame. I have my big frame that I use for queen and king size quilts but I can't go to a class with it.
And I didn't want to buy a simple quilting hoop cause I think they aren't comfortable without a pedestal.

I would love a quilting frame with pedestal, one of those that tilts, twists and folds for portability. But they are too pricey for me.

And that was the moment my carpenter neuron woke up so I thought:
Drill: got it
Saw: got it
Dremel: got it
Screws, bolts and so on: got them
Screwdriver, pliers, wrench: got them all!

And I had got also the wood, from a previous project.

So it was simple to decide: I can make My own quilting frame!

The first evening I've drawn the project, then I've spent the two next days making, unmaking, modifying till I've had... THIS:

My home-made quilting frame with pedestal!
The frame itself is a square 50x50cm (19x19inch) and it's on a wood joint that allow it to tilt and twist of 360°.
This is mounted on a 60cm (23inch) tall pedestal that has a cross-shaped foot.
I've made also an heigh extension but there isn't in the photo and I don't think I'll ever need it.

And the most wonderful thing is that twisting here and folding there the frame can be reduced to this:

Folded in this way the frame is portable and much less bulky. It is only 8cm (about 3inch) deep.

Now I only have to paint it, I usually like natural wood but in this case it's too much impersonal.
Today I've bought the paint, soon my new toy will be painted ... dark red!


One week workshop in Abruzzo - Italy - October 2012

by Orkaloca dicembre 12 corsi e demo

Last week I've had a GREAT news. La scorsa settimana si è conclusa con una notizia bellissima :)
I have been selected to be a tutor/teacher, next summer, in the Abruzzo School of Creative Art.

The school organizes residential workshops about patchwork, fabric art, sketching and so on. The courses are open to all the quilters who understand english, so mainly from USA and England but also from other countries. Attending the course the student will learn something new and will be able to visit a rural part of Italy, not too much touristic. This will be a great journey.

Here's the workshop page :)
The workshop is about paintstiks and using them with masks. I will explain how to take photos to make a quilt, how to make a design from the photo, how to make a mask from the design and how to use paintstiks to paint a whole cloth.
Usually paintstiks are used to paint simple shapes with stencils or to add interest to a fabric using rubbing plates. With my workshop I want to show how paintstiks can allow to paint a whole intricate scene evolving from simple embellishment tool to protagonist of the quilt.

I'm happy and I feel honored that my class proposal has been selected from much more proposals and that I'll be teaching at the same venue than other very famous and well-known teachers :)

Now I'll work to the new workbook for this class.
I leave you this photo about the first class sample. The photo shows one of the two lions in front of the Duomo (cathedral) of Ancona, a city where I've lived 5 years and where I've left a piece of heart.


Magazine: Professional Artist

by Orkaloca dicembre 7 books

Today a member of the SAQA list posted a message about an article in the current issue of  "Professional Artist, formerly art calendar".
I didn't know the magazine, but there was an article about art critiquing, interesting for my quilt judge course, so I've bought the PDF (I love PDF magazines, they are cheap and available in seconds on pc).

So I've seen that this magazine is about visual arts, painting more than everything, but I think that the current issue could be interesting for quilters too.
beside the critiquing article there are articles like " How to Be a Better Workshop Instructor", "Communication Skills for Art Teachers", "The Benefits of Teaching One-Day Workshops" and an useful column "The Photo Guy: A Case of Extreme Sidelighting for Texture" that give hints about how to put the lights to enhance the surface texture in photograph.

I liked this magazine a lot, so I suggest you to purchase the current issue, it's well worth the $3.95 price.
You can visit the site and purchase the PDF HERE

(no affiliation, just liked the magazine issue)


Marbling video

by Orkaloca dicembre 5 stoffe marmorizzate

Two days ago, in the full of a marbling-raptus, I've made tons of paper sheets, and I've made a video to show you how I've made one of them. :)

Here's the video, if you don't see it down here, click HERE to see it in youtube.



by Orkaloca dicembre 4 stoffe marmorizzate

Marbling is an ancient technique that alow to decorate every surface that's porous enough to take the paint.
Usually it's made on paper but it's possible to marble also fabric and three-dimensional items, for example wooden dishes or boxes and so on.

The basic concept is easy, is a tray there is a syrup-like liquid. On its surface are dripped diluted paints (oils, acrylics, watercolours).
The paints float and spread on the syrup surface. They can be moved and rearranged with combs and raks to form several different patterns, traditional like the one above, or improvised like the one below.

The theory is easy, the reality is all another story.
There are so many variables that can modify the results... for example:
- the chemical that's used to make the syrup can react differently with paper, fabric or wood.
- Every paint, oil, acrylic or watercolour, require a proper diluition
- The same paint can react differently depending on the colour (yellow does't behave like blue)
- The same colour from two brands can react differently (red from brand A doesn't behave like red from brand B)
- The same colour of the same brand behave differently depending on the lot.
- Air and liquids temperature affect the results.
- Results are affected also by the mordant used, which one and how much, the right amount is needed, too much or too little can make a big difference.
- And to add a silly variables, if the tray is a backing tray it can has a coating that prevent colours floating.

Now you can understand that marbling is not an easy task, a successful session is often preceded by hours of frustrating tests.
But when the right recipe is founded, all become awfully funny :)))
And since I've found my right recipe (at least for this session) I've marbled and marbled and marbled, both fabric and paper :)
The photo below shows just a small part of my marbled papers and fabrics, I've made more than a hundred pieces and today I'm going to try to marble bigger piece of fabric.


slipper pincushion

by Orkaloca dicembre 1 creazioni

Yes, I've to admit it, I suffer from a severe form of slipper addiction. One follow the other, like cherries...

After the first, made for a friend, I've mado another... and another... and another...

I've had fun with, flowers, ribbons and beads

And I've used all those fabric scraps...too big to toss in the bin, too little for every project, too nice to forget in a drawer.

Finally I've made 15 more slippers, and I've also proposed them as wednesday project at Lodi :p
Now I've got only one doubt... where I'll put them?

This year, dear friends, slipper pincushions for all of you ! :p


Batik part 2

by Orkaloca novembre 26 tutorial

And here's the second part of my Batik tutorial. This video was already online 3 days ago but I was waiting for subtitles to post it here. But since I don't have much time now to write subtitles, well, be patient :) they will come.
If you want to receive news about my video and courses subscribe my YouTube channel (CLICK QUI) or like my faceBook (CLICK QUI) page :)


Batik Videotutorial

by Orkaloca novembre 21 tutorial

Finally I've made the big step, I took a deep breath and realized my first...


Yes, really, a video! As first topic I've chosen the flour paste resist batik.
And since after having recorded and edited the video (to delete all the huuummm haaammm eeemmmm) I still wasn't happy, I've decided to add also english subtitles! (ok may be italenglish :p)

But stop with the chitchatting, here's the video ^_^ Hope you like it, I'd love to hear what do you think about it ^_^


Work of Art

by Orkaloca novembre 16 art

Ebbene si, lo ammetto, mi son fatta prendere da un reality-show :p Ma davvero è interessantissimo per qualsiasi creativo.

Questo Reality si intitola "work of art" e il plot è abbastanza semplice... un manipolo di artisti o aspiranti tali (12 mi pare) affrontano ad ogni puntata una sfida artistica, ad esempio fare un ritratto, o creare un'opera scioccante, cose così.
Hanno in genere poco più di un giorno per completare l'opera. Le opere vengono poi esposte in una galleria e la giuria, composta da esperti di settore, più un giudice ospite, in genere un noto artista, giudica i lavori.
Alla fine di ogni puntata un artista vince e uno viene rimandato a casa.
Il superpremio finale? 100.000$ e una mostra personale in un supermuseo.

Quel che mi piace di questo reality è che si può osservare il processo creativo degli artisti, le loro insicurezze, i blocchi, cosa fanno per superarli se e quando li superano. E' bello vedere come ogni artista interpreta la sfida o reagisce quando scopre di dover usare un mezzo che non è proprio il suo d'elezione... lo scultore alle prese con la pittura, il pittore ad olio alle prese con le matite colorate da bambini e così via.

Mi piace quando, a metà del tempo, uno dei giudici fa un sopralluogo dei lavori in corso e da consigli.

Mi piace quando c'è la discussione finale delle opere dove i giudici le commentano dicendo cosa funziona e cosa no, perchè un pezzo brutto è brutto e perchè uno bello è bello.

Poi ogni tanto saltano fuori frasi che meritano di esser trascritte nel mio sketchbook. Ad esempio un concorrente ha detto:

"Affronto ogni opera come fosse l'ultima, come se dovessi morire e questa dovesse rappresentarmi per sempre"

Mi ritrovo molto in questa frase, anche io affronto i miei lavori in questo modo. Non fraintendetemi, non è che io stia sempre a pensare alla morte, anzi, però trovo importante che ogni opera rappresenti me, le mie abilità e il mio pensiero ORA, nel momento in cui l'opera nasce.
Non cio che ero ieri o che immagino sarò domani ma proprio cio che sono, che mi piace, che faccio, che penso, che provo ORA.

Solo così un'opera puo parlare di me, trasmettere qualcosa a chi la osserva e causare, si spera, un'emozione, un moto. Positivo o negativo che sia.

In ogni opera devo esserci io, se poi mi ci vedono anche gli altri è meglio ^_^