Posts Tagged ‘Factory’

Old Dye Works

Along with my partner Jay Ressler, I have started visiting towns in Berks County for artistic inspiration. This piece represents an old dye works in Shoemakersville. It turns out Jay’s grandmother worked at an knitting factory across the street years ago. I was interested in the textures of the brick work, and had great fun with them, using piecework, embroidery and found objects. I also tried a direct dye method using a silk screen for the trees at river bank in the background.

Blue Abstract

This started with a photo I took using my phone while walking. What caught my eye was the composition – all of those blue angles and shapes in the old Heppenstall factory building in Lawrenceville (Pittsburgh).
I got it printed on cloth with the intention of cutting it up and collaging it.
But the composition resisted being cut up. So I left it whole, and decided to “thread paint” it. To answer the usual questions: yes, it takes a long time. I can finish an area approximately 3 by 3 inches in 2 and a half hours (an evening’s work for me). Yes, it takes a lot of thread. Thousands of yards of it. Sometimes I have a “thread emergency” when I need a certain color, and have to take the 30 minutes drive to Joann Fabrics. But I do enjoy it. It really feels like painting. A lot of the same principles apply. I analyze an area first, then stitch in the accent colors, letting the threads connect between the areas. After that I stitch the main color or colors in an area. That covers up the connecting threads from the accent areas.
And of course, finally, I add my found objects, little treasures that caught my eye while I walk 10,000 steps a day.
The size is 14 x 20 inches.

This piece will be in a show called Women’s Work at Fe Gallery, 4102 Butler Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15201.

The opening is Friday, June 1 from 7-9 PM. The shows closes June 23.

As I walk to work at McConway & Torley every day, I cross these railroad tracks as my entry to the plant. This day the morning sun cast an interesting shadow on the side of the factory. I added found objects — the detritus of workers lives. If you look closely, one scrap is from a condom package.  Hey the colors worked!