One of the best surprises I had while working on my textiles books was the opportunity to hand paint fabrics.
For me, the best fabrics to paint are cottons and linens. I really like handwoven linens the best, however, they are expensive and hard to find. The ones I used are from a trip to a small town in Germany (near Kassel).
The above photo is my work station after a good day painting.
I finished working on the Asymmetrical textile book and posted the final images on Instagram. I didn't use the patchwork designs that I showed on the last post. Instead I went in a different direction.
I've always loved hand beading and these smaller books offered an opportunity to experiment with different beading styles and forms. So, I decided to go with a beaded book with pages made from hand paint linen fabric and embellishments.
This week I am using traditional book boards to make an Asymmetrical book.
I want the book to unfold in a non-traditional way. I am still working out the details and want to share the process with readers. (I am not sure how it will finally come out.)
While I was experimenting with design ideas, I created this patchwork art using mixed media. I liked it so much that I will incorporate it with one of the textile pages. Stay tuned for more details . . .
It has been very difficult for me to cut this brightly colored rectangular cotton cloth from Tanzania. Printed sometime in the 1990's this Kanga cloth is the youngest piece of textile I am using for a handmade textile book.
It is also the only textile from East Africa. There is so much history embedded into this textile.
Like most Kanga cloth, this one is composed of 3 parts.
1. The pindo (the border)
2. The miji (the central design)
3. Ujumbe or jina (the message or proverb written in Swahili)
The proverb on this cloth is Raha Ya Dunia Ni Watoto(The happiness of the world is children)
I tried several different ways to design (or re-design) the cloth so that it would become a book page.
I really wanted to play with the patterns along the borders and the within the miji. Knowing that I only had a limited amount of fabric, with no way of getting more, I decided to use one of my favorite quilting patterns, the log cabin.
Overall, I am happy with the final design. I will use the Ujumbe on a different page.