Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Interview with Cheryl Rezendes - Author of Fabric Surface Design + Giveaway

Today I have a fun interview and a giveaway with my friend Cheryl Rezendes. Cheryl is a fine artist working in Mixed Media Collage along with being an amazing dyer, fabric and surface designer, teacher (check out her classes here), quilter, seamstress and mom to two teenage boys. 


I met Cheryl through artist friends over a decade ago and our career paths have been a bit parallel. For a few years, she had a gorgeous studio where she taught classes and made art in a large office building in downtown Greenfield. I signed Julia up for classes with Cheryl - hoping to spark a fiber interest in my little girl! You can see two posts I wrote about Julia's experience taking classes with Cheryl at her studio here. Cheryl writes a blog and teaches classes now for different quilting groups and more.


For the past couple years, Cheryl has been working on her magnum opus -  a fabulous book that has just been published called Fabric Surface Design. I asked Cheryl if she would take some time out of her schedule to answer some questions here on the blog. At the end of the interview, you can sign up to win a copy of Cheryl's Fabric Surface Design book which is published by Storey Publishing.

KN: Wow Cheryl - what a huge amount of knowledge you have shared with the world in your new book Fabric Surface Design! I can't believe how much technical information is included. How did you learn surface design?
CR: Quite a few of the techniques covered in the book are pretty traditional painting and printing techniques that I learned in art school many years ago and had been employing in my paper collage work already. I just needed to transfer those techniques from paper and canvas to cloth. But many of the more innovative techniques I learned from other surface design artists by taking classes and workshops and reading books. You take a little bit of this and a little bit of that and somewhere along the way your brain starts to assimilate it all until it comes out in your own artwork.


KN: Tell us a little about your background. I know you as a fine artist specializing in Mixed Media Collage. What was your training?
CR: I went to the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston and trained primarily as a painter. When I got out of school I made my living as a stitcher and later as a custom clothier specializing in restoring antique wedding gowns along with collage design work using antique laces while pursuing my art on the off hours. At one point my husband and I decided that we could forgo the income from my sewing so I could concentrate on my art and raising our 2 boys. Over the years I developed a really nice body of work in mixed media collage (that can be seen on my website). But I found that I really missed fiber! It was such a surprise for me. I really had no idea how important fiber work was to me as an artist.

Chapter Opener for Monotype - Cheryl's Favorite Technique
KN: What is your favorite technique in the book and why?
CR: I adore monotype printing with gelatin! It is very painterly and serendipitous. I love the fine detail that the gelatin substrate shows and how easy it is to make cloth that is multi layered with imagery.


KN: Wow - that sounds really fun. I must give it a try sometime. What is your very most favorite thing you learned while writing this book?
CR: Well, I learned a few things about myself that were pretty surprising - like the fact that it is really difficult for me to sit still in front of a computer for hours at a time and that I write best in the wee hours of the night. As far as techniques go, I didn't have much marbling experience before I wrote the book. It was great fun and I can't wait to do more of it to incorporate into my own work.

Silkscreen basics
KN: I loved the marbling technique idea using shaving cream! That seems like something really fun that you could do with children outdoors. Now that the book is in the world, what are you working on? 
CR: I am settling back into making my own personal artwork, teaching and making one-of-a-kind hand dyed and painted cloth to sell in 3 yard pieces and as fat quarters for all those quilters out there. I'll be selling those on my Etsy site. A nice selection should be available within the next several weeks and months. So stay tuned for that!



KN: I loved the chart (shown above) that you compiled comparing all the different kinds of fabric paints. Most crafters shop at places like Michael's and AC Moore. I did not see any of the common textile paints listed in the charts. Why was that? And if someone is just beginning and wants to pick up paints at say Michael's, can you recommend any of the common types such as those distributed by Plaid.
CR:  Unfortunately places like Michaels and A.C. Moore no longer carry quality textile paints. They used to carry Jacquard products. For now you'll need to buy the paints I talk about in the book online or at finer art supply stores. I am a big proponent of starting out with quality supplies and quality paints in particular. All of the quality textile paints blend and mix well so you can easily start out with just the primary colors and black and white to save on the expense. Lesser quality paints tend to have a lot of fillers and substantially less pigment so it may be hard to get really vibrant colors that hold up from fading. Many of the online suppliers have great prices that rival the cost of cheaper paints at the craft stores. You just have to plan ahead.


KN: I know - planning for these kinds of projects is important. My favorite place to order supplies is Dharma Trading Co. They have all kinds of fabulous fabrics, t-shirts, blanks, dyes, paints, and more and their service and website is great. Cheryl, is there anything else you want to share with us? 
CR: There is no question that you have less control when painting on fabric rather then paper and canvas. But that very fact is what makes it so exciting! And that you don't need to know how to draw to create great surface design results. It never ceases to amaze me how many people get stymied by that fact. Just follow the paint. It will show you how it wants to be seen!



KN: I love that - Follow the paint. It is kind of like "Follow Your Dream!" What is the wackiest fabric technique in the book that really turns out great?
CR: Using ordinary baking flour as a resist. The results are spectacular! And it is always a wonderful surprise!

KN: If you were a mom or a camp counselor and you wanted to pick one or two of the techniques in your book to do with children, what would you suggest?
CR: Definitely sun painting! It is a magical experience for everyone - adults and children alike. Leaf and flower printing is another wonderful activity to do with kids during the spring and summer months. Plus there is the added bonus of having to take them for a walk to collect the leaves and flowers.

Thanks so much Cheryl for taking time out of your day to share your new book Fabric Surface Design with us. Now for the Giveaway kindly donated by the fine folks at Storey Publishing!

To enter, answer the following question in the comments section of this blog post.....
Summer is coming and I always like to try out a new art, craft, or gardening technique to stretch my repertoire. Do you have anything new you are going to challenge yourself with this summer or something you would like to try but may not???? Contest ends Sunday May 19th at 11:59 p.m. Good luck everyone!

Contest is over. Winner is Michelle who wrote:
I am going to try to grow a big patch of sunflowers and keep the deer from eating them! I also hope to branch out into different kinds of bagmaking - zippered totes, wool felt and more.


66 comments:

Sheila said...

I'm learning to dye yarn. I dyed some yarn at Blue Moon Fiber Arts dye day last August and got the bug. I live in a relatively small apartment so it's easiest if I can do the dying outside and I hope to do a bunch this summer.

Savannagal said...

I am hoping to try quilt making. I'm not a very good sewer yet though, so I might be biting off more than I can chew. But I haven't been able to find a nice comforter for my bed, so I decided I should learn to make one myself. Problem is, I have a king size bed. Maybe I should start with potholders??

Gerri said...

Thanks for another chance at a prize!

I've taught alot for work. I'm going to organize some learning sessions for my knit/design group using some of the plus a few older books on determining fit and picking designs and fabrics that flatter.

Beth said...

I really want to try and mixed media piece of art - paint, fabric, and perhaps some of the antique lace and other items I have from my mom.

Thanks for a great giveaway! Looks like a very interesting and helpful book.

Bonney said...

Thanks for the chance to win this book. I've been itching to try a garment made in the Alabama stitching technique. I have a shirt I bleached by accident so that's going to be the test piece. I'm ready to get out of my rut!

Sigrun said...

I would love to win that book!
As a sewer and knitter I would like to get into woodwork and try working with a new material.

Chppie said...

I hadn't really worked out a summer crafting plan yet but now I'm thinking that some surface painting on existing fabric & clothes might be a fun way to freshen things up.

Thanks for the idea!

Anonymous said...

Something i will do this summer!?....figure out how to be smarter than the rabbit that is eating my strawberries....every year! I spin , weave , dye, keep sheep....but never a strawberry.....abby

Auntie Shan said...

hmm.."SUMMER", huh? -- I wonder WHICH Week THAT will be "DURING"??! -- Actually, I'm just hoping to get PAST June and Everyone ELSE's "Schedules"...

I did have designs on perhaps-maybe-IF-I-have-the-Time to teach myself how to do "cables". Got plenty of books on that... I've just got to *LOOK* at them! -- But you know, THIS BOOK would be *COOL*... :-D

I'm such a pushover for "playing" with COLOURS!

Suzanne Wilsey said...

I'm planning to have my sewing machine serviced so I can spend the summer making gifts for Christmas. This book looks to be an AMAZING resource!

Anonymous said...

I have been an art quilter for years. I am now trying my hand at painting with acrylics. I'd like to combine both and see what happens.
chrisjohnsonquilts@gmail.com

Jane said...

My husband built six raised garden beds. We have gardened before but never with raised beds. I have never had an herb garden and will try that. I have a small flock of sheep so I keep busy with carding, spinning and weaving. My favorite fiber art is knitting. This book looks very interesting and enticing.

Lynn said...

I'm planning on trying some ikat dyeing on warp bouts. I was lucky enough last summer to learn how to paint warps from Sara Lamb, and now I want to do that in a more deliberate way. For that matter, it might a lot of fun to weave up handpainted warps - and then use some of Cheryl's techniques on top of that fabric!

Robin C said...

I want to make socks...have never tried and think it would be fun. Love the book.

Colleen said...

I am considering learning to dye yarn, and possibly doing some quilted throws for my living room. Surface design of fabric would be a great skill to learn!

Donnaj said...

One summer I did some indigo dyeing and last summer I was going to experiment with other natural dyes but some other stuff got in the way so I will hope to do that this summer (which is Dec and Jan for me).

Anonymous said...

This sounds interesting and a grat combo for nuno felting. Ravid berrygal

balsam said...

I would love to try "sun painting" with my grandchildren.

Barbara

Linda Rumsey said...

I'm determined that this summer I will learn to crochet more than just a basic chain! There are so many lovely patterns on Ravelry that call for crochet as well as knitting that I feel I'm missing out.
lindame dot rumsey at gmail dot com

Wanda said...

Great book!

It's a small thing, but I'm going to get some herbs going in pots that can come indoors so I can have them fresh all year. I've thought a lot about decorating fabric, since sewing is my first love. Fabric and I have a relationship that has lasted my whole life. If I feel down, I can go to a fabric store and touch the various fabrics and that lifts my spirits. Seriously!

Caffeine Girl said...

Seeing as I broke my right leg a few weeks ago and thus have to give up my plan of using my sewing machine more this summer, I am planning to focus on transferring my own paintings to cloth and embellishing with hand embroidery.

Cate said...

I love that the photos you chose show the use of household items I would never have thought about using (the sushi roll, the bubble wrap!). If I win, I'll be giving this to a friend who would love it and appreciate the inspiration as she cares for her ill husband. But, I'll definitely mine it for ideas before I pass it along :)

Cate said...

And, I should add (to answer your question) that I'm going to paint a cupboard that I assembled from a kit and do some decorative painting - a stretch for me!

Trudi said...

This looks like a fabulous book! If I don't win, I'll be putting an order in for a copy! I am a relatively new weaver, and will be spending several days in July at NEWS (New England Weaving Seminar), trying to become more adept at it.

Denise K said...

I'd like to try pottery but I may not be able to find a class that works with my crazy schedule. But I have just started sewing and I'd really like to work on that this summer. This looks like a great book. Very interesting. Rav I'd- KittyKatz

gayle said...

One of my Mother's Day gifts this year was a couple of woad seedlings, so this summer's (year's) challenge is to establish a woad bed and play with turning everything blue. (Including my hands, I suspect...)

Lisa said...

I've been wanting to learn to weave...

Lisa H, Vermont

Unknown said...

Watercolor painting. I love the look of watercolor. Here's to winning!

Dana S. Whitney said...

I ordered "stuff" to do silk painting before relocating to New Hampshire. Hubby even made stretcher bars... but I've been afraid because I don't know how to steam/set the paintings. It sounds like this book would push me over the hump. (I'm already pretty much over the hill...)

Diane said...

Have been a knitter for years but just have not been able to master socks, would really like to figure them out!

Joyce said...

I received some beautiful tulips for Mother's Day. I started taking pictures and working with phot editing software on my ipad It was fun and now I'm exploring printing the pictures on silk chiffon to make a scarf with my Mom for Christmas - or possibly printing yardage on Kona Cotton to make a wall hanging that I could embellish with beading, tapastry, quilting etc. I really want to be able to find a way to print my flower photos on fabric.

Anonymous said...

I might try sewing again (been toying with that idea for over a year now), but I REALLY want to learn to bake a pie from scratch. That's garden-related, right? I've just discovered a cookbook called "United States of Pie" that really motivated me. As soon as summer peaches are here, I'll give it a go!

I'm on Rav as stashdragon.

Irene MacWilliam said...

I plan to try growing cucumbers and to experiment with sun printing. I have done a little but I would like to make more interesting fabric, to try layering one colour on another
Irene

MicheleinMaine said...

I am going to try to grow a big patch of sunflowers and keep the deer from eating them!

I also hope to branch out into different kinds of bagmaking - zippered totes, wool felt and more.

Quilter Beth said...

I will be working on a baby quilt (of my own design) for a new granddaughter to be born the end of July. I am beyond excited.

Adrianne in Portland said...

Summer is a good time to try yarn dyeing. I've had the supplies for a year (or two) and I'm ready to take the plunge.

Jamie said...

I will be trying my hand at dyeing fabrics using natural plant materials. I have been wanting to do this for years but I didn't have an outdoor space - now I do! And then I will make little quilties with it! Jamie V in MT
http://rem-nants.blogspot.com
jamievowell@yahoo.com

Debbie said...

I just got a rigid heddle loom and I'm teaching myself how to weave. Thanks

Ruby Rice said...

I have many summer fiber/mixed media art projects. Always enlightened/inspired by plant life I begin by a walk through the meadow and forest trail down to the river and back home, My color palette is most often chosen each day by the things I breathe into the depth of my being on the walk.
One plan I have is to create a large felted, young child within sculpture/doll. This piece will celebrate the magnificane that I came into this life with and serve as a reminder of this truth when my faith wanes.

The inspiration of immersing and swimming in rivers will assist me in creating a long wall hanging. I will felt and sew into this creation, using my own fabric designs, reeds & sticks, beads and poetry my Mother wrote about rivers. This piece will honor our love of rivers and our creative connection. She died recently at 92 and lived with my husband and I for the last seven years. by Ruby Rice

Abbie said...

Hello Kristin,

Thank you so much for this contest. I have been wanting to try printing on fabric ever since you posted your easy instructions for using rubber blocks from the hardware store. My mother-in-law would love the hand-printed fabric to use in her quilting. I have also always wanted to get into batik, but that may not happen this summer.

Helen Hart said...

Another great interview Kristin. I have done some silk painting under tutalage (sp?) and need more help with that. Also am going to dye up all that white yarn I have and that book would really be a big help. Thanks, HelzHart@aol.com

janice pd said...

Would love to have this book! With a move in store I need to keep it small so will be dyeing lots of wool yarn with the bag full of Easter Egg Dye I bought for 10 cents after the holiday.

Kristin said...

I just tried sun printing for the first time and have a Gelli plate on order, so I can't wait to try that. This book looks fabulous!

Willa said...

Well, I have commited to read 25 books by August.......that will keep me pretty busy. Do plan to sew some baby clothes and sow (or plant) some new hydrangeas.

Books looks awesome!

Andy said...

I just bought sticky-backed foam and am about to create my own stamps. I'm psyched! Best of luck with all your projects, Kristin!

KittyAnnArt said...

This book looks like an amazing tome of inspiration - something I need! =0) I've been sewing/quilting for 40+ yrs and am always wanting to learn something new. This summer I plan to try shibori and block printing on fabric. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book, if I don't I'll definitely be purchasing a copy.

Linda Mac said...

I am hoping to try some new surface design techniques this summer, so this book is right on time. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

Kathi said...

I really want to try screen printing. Also mono printing. I love trying new things.

tesuque said...

Dyeing with indigo is on my list.

Unknown said...

I would like to dye some pfd fabric with natural dyes made from native plants. AND, would like to do some monoprinting using my Gelliarts plate.

FIBREARTS ALLIANCE, CANADA said...

The passionate use of colour and hand dyeing cloth has been a focus, and now I want to focus in on marbling and using the carregenin and fluid acrylics to create some very spectacular results that are all original. This reference book would be so valuable to my students at St. Lawrence College as well. Thanks for the opportunity to join in.
Bethany

Diane said...

Learning to use thickened dyes has been on my list for a while. I am hoping to get a chance this summer.

Nancy Gilpin said...

This book is full of wonderful ideas and advice--I could have a good time with it as I make fabric books for my grandson's 2nd birthday in August.
Thanks for the opportunity.
Nancy

Jan said...

This book looks fascinating and I enjoyed your interview. I'd love a chance at winning the book.

Unknown said...

For too long I've been wanting to try dyeing - fiber or yarn. Summer would be ideal for doing that outside her in Michigan. Your book review reminded me of the many surface design techniques I want to explore.
Miriam

Regina B Dunn said...

I've done some gelatin monoprinting but want to make a whole lot of fabric using this technique to use to create a body of work of art quilts. I can't wait to get started.

Dora said...

I am planing to try marbling on fabric. I love experimental approaches, where the outcome is not totally controllable.

Anonymous said...

That looks like a great book! I just got a really nice fancy camera and I want to learn how to use it, not just relying on the automatic setting. I am also itching to do some natural dyeing. I did some many years ago but there are new plants to try out and I would like to use my hand spun yarn this time. gnlmutti at gmail

Sojourner Design said...

I'd like to do more painting on silk; I've only done it once, with great results.

I've seen Cheryl's book, and she really spilled the beans... in a good way... about surface design!

Diane

Janis Doucette said...

I'd love to be the winner of this book! I've been doing some soy batik and snow dyeing and stamping my own carvings on fabric and I'm about to do some dye paste printing.

tjf said...

Summer does make me want to do a lot of crafting and learning. I just started making books and I want to explore that more. I want to lots of crafting with my kids - dyeing paper with food color (a class on Creativebug!) and marbling paper. I also would like to weave, make paper, learn to sew better and now, after reading this interview, I want to try some surface design on fabric!

Tricia

lmnop said...

Encaustic!

dancindeb said...

I want to work on surface design and resists are at the top of my list!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the contest- I have a stash if chipped & cracked pottery pieces I hope to use and recycle it onto several clay pots...time is my enemy! I also have several fingerless mitts in my mix of hoping to do!
Johalley on RAV

Anonymous said...

A friend and I are starting with roving, spinning, plying, knitting and then fulling; we are making rugs. It has been a great experience, and we will probably still be at it this summer. The rugs are getting longer and longer. Fun. Karen

Jane B. said...

My summer list includes making paper beads, making polymer clay beads, and lots of crocheting (with the a/c ON) while watching baseball.