Sunday, April 29, 2018

April Horse Theme Challenge

Is it really the END of April already? This horse theme really spoke to me. I just LOVE horses- they are such beautiful creatures.  There were so many ideas swirling in my head for this challenge, and I had such grandiose plans for this month but got a bit sidetracked with my FIRST EVER one woman exhibit of my fiber art. It had to be hung on Thursday April 26 with the opening night April 27 at the 'Last Friday' event.
So here is what happened with my horse themed designs--
My original idea for this theme was sparked by my fellow AE members-Jen & Claire who have been creating fabulous mono prints/gelli prints. Plus, I saw an article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine about creating a printing plate from a wood panel and using a dremel tool with carving bit to etch the lines. I was determined this would be my BIG horsey project. Lots of different mono prints of a horse using different colors. I even bought some lino sheets & carving tools to create mono prints using different printing plates. There was going to be lots and lots of horse prints!
Well, that didn't happen. I am not even showing you my first print....
But here's the beginning process.
Upper L-wood panel as well as lino sheets &carving tools. Bottom L-Horse sketched on wood panel. R-beginning the carving with the dremel.

 First mistake, didn't refer back to the Cloth, Paper, Scissors article and FORGOT to coat the wood AFTER carving and BEFORE applying paint to the surface for printing. Paint was absorbed into the wood leaving very minimal amount on the wood to transfer to the paper-duh. And of course the article suggested using Speedball ink specifically the block printing ink. I thought I could just wing it with my thick acrylic paint.
After I pulled the first print I had to go back and re-do some of the carved lines, they weren't deep enough. (and by the way, it takes a LOT of practice to do the carving without gouging the wood)
Here's the carved wood panel after attempting printing with the wrong medium.
I did go out and buy the proper ink, but haven't had a chance to play with any more printing.
I WILL revisit it next week. I am so determined to get some good prints out of this!

Since that project took me out of my comfort zone I turned to some smaller/quicker/easier (for me) projects.
I had this cute little horse bracelet charm/connector from Inviciti so I cut a piece of black leather and stitched the pewter horse on with some turquoise nugget beads and seed beads using waxed linen. I glued on some end caps, added a clasp and voila! Sweet little leather horse bracelet.
Leather bracelet with pewter horse charm & turquoise

Next I decided to make a landscape tapestry for a vintage copper horse pin that my mother-in-law had given my daughter when she first started riding horses. I have no idea where she got the copper pin but it appears quite old and it has been sitting on a shelf in my studio for a long time. (yes, I stole it from my daughter!) Maybe, I'll give her this weaving since it really is her horse;-)

I am still a newbie when it comes to weaving and trying to weave the circular sun into the sky was a tad challenging and then I ended the top portion of the sky with yarn that was much smaller weight than I should've used to finish it off. But I do like the colors. And the copper horse fits right in.
(note to self-keep: keep practicing and GET a LARGER loom)

I was itching to do something in embroidery. I have a couple of horse rubber stamps, so I used brown ink and stamped the 'wild horses' on gray linen. Then used a pen to write my text. This Rolling Stones song was stuck in my head for days so I had to stitch it. I want to do another one with the other line of lyrics "wild horses, we'll ride them someday".

 Using rubber stamps is pretty cool for getting your design on the fabric. I will definitely be trying more of my stamps with stitching.
My other horse stamp was the inspiration for the carving on the wood panel above. I grabbed a sheet of journal paper that I did some rust dyeing and eco printing on last fall. The leaves printed very faintly on this one but the rust colors are really nice. I stamped the horse stamp on the page with copper ink and then used some pan pastels and gel pens along with some walnut ink and now I have a finished journal page. I am working on a whole stack of these eco printed/rust dyed pages and plan to create a journal with these one day.
Horse stamped on eco printed/rust dyed journal page
I am so excited to venture out to everyone's blog and see what they created this month. These theme challenges are so much fun! Thanks to everyone who participated.
Go take a look at all our participants & their creations.



AE Team Members:



  1. Your piece on the eco died paper is just gorgeous! I love it, the colours, the different subtle shades, the leaves and the horse, all of it! I could look at it forever! I am also curious how your prints will turn out in the end! I have to admit that I can't count the different kind of paints I have anymore. But for printing with rubber or lino I always use either ink pads directly (smaller piecesand archival ink so it is water resistant) or lino print paint because it won't stuck in the details.

    And not to forget: Congratulations again on your exhibition! :)

  2. I love all of the projects that you have going on (Congrats on the show!). I think your daughter will love the pin even more since it has a home and something she can hang on the wall to remind her of you and her grandmother. So special!

  3. What stunning work Cathy! I love the carving as is and would be happy to have that hanging on my wall just like that! Your bracelet is charming and I really love the weaving the effect is just perfect for the horse pin.

  4. WOW! You really got a lot of stuff created in so many different media, each one amazing in its own right. I look forward to seeing the print now that you have ink that should work. The wood panel looks really cool on its own too. That journal page...swoon. Your daughter will love that weaving...a pin from her grandmother to celebrate her love of riding on a weaving done by her mother...what's not to love. And I didn't even notice the smaller blue yarn. I had to go back to the photo to look at it. Honestly it looks like you did it on purpose, so go with that.

  5. Amazing work Cathy... I love everything. Looking forward to seeing more of your woodcut prints, the process looks fascinating!

    And congrats on the exhibition! :)

  6. I must say that ALL of your Horse projects are amazing! I absolutely love the leather bracelet and as I mentioned on Ig, the Stones are one of my all-time fave groups, so naturally I gravitate towards ANYTHING to do with them!!
    I like the smaller yarn in your weaving, it adds texture.

  7. I don't know where to start - it's all so fabulous. I'm also glad to know I'm not the only who had grand plans and ran out of time. I suspect that happens to a lot of us. Your journal page is my favorite, and I am intrigued by the process you described for coloring it.

  8. some fabulous work, and I love the completely different media you have chosen for each one!

  9. Wonder Woman! All this and a one woman show too! Wow. Wow. Wow. I love the weaving- the horse s so perfect. Thank you for taking the reins!


Wishing you peace, love & chocolate!

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