Saturday, November 24, 2012

My MSDS Demonstration@Zijdelings
Art Practice

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This blogspot exhibits many of my students outputs from a variety of workshops. There are one, two and five day workshops as well as workshops that have a different focus. Nevertheless, it always surprises me how much I learn from my students and how enthusiastic they are to learn and so for your convenience, I have listed the workshop posts below.

The University of Newcastle Multi-Media Course
The University of Newcastle (Newcastle and Ourimbah Campuses, NSW, Australia) 2008 to 2010.

One and Two Day Disperse Dye Workshops
Various Textile Groups (Australia) 2008 - 2011.

Five Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
“Wrapt in Rocky” Textile Fibre Forum Conference (Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia) 29th June to 5th July 2008.

Five Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
Orange Textile Fiber Forum (Orange, NSW, Australia) 19th to 25th April 2009.

5 Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
Geelong Fiber Forum (Geelong, Victoria, Australia) 27th September to 3rd October 2009.

Two Day Workshop - Deconstructed and Polychromatic Screen Printing
Beautiful Silks (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 20th to 21st March 2010.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
“Wrapt in Rocky” Biennial Textile Forum/Conference Program (Rockhampton, Queensland, Australia) 25th June to 1st July 2010.

Two Day Workshop – Improvisational Screen Printing
ATASDA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 28th to 29th August 2010.

Two Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Day One)
”Stitching and Beyond” Textile Group (Woodbridge, Tasmania, Australia) 2nd to 3rd October 2010.

Two Day Workshop – In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Day Two)
”Stitching and Beyond” Textile Group (Woodbridge, Tasmania, Australia) 2nd to 3rd October 2010.

Advance Silk Screen Printing
Redcliffe City Art Gallery Redcliffe, Queensland, Australia) 10th April 2011.

One Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth
The Victorian Feltmakers Inc. (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 14th May 2011.

One Day Workshop - In Pursuit of Complex Cloth (Felted and Silk Fibers)
Victorian Feltmakers Inc (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia) 15th May 2011.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
SDA (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA) 13th to 17th June 2011.

Five Day Disperse Dye Master Class – Barbara Scott
Art Quill Studio (Arcadia Vale, NSW, Australia) 15th to 19th August 2011.

Five Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Fiber Arts Australia (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 26th September to 1st October 2011.

One Day Workshop – Improvisational Screen Printing
Newcastle Printmakers Workshop Inc. (Newcastle, NSW, Australia) 5th November 2011.

One Day Workshops – Low Relief Screen Printing
Various classes within Australia.

Two Day Workshop – Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
ATASDA (Sydney, NSW, Australia) 23rd to 24th June 2012.

Five Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Fibre Arts@Ballarat (Ballarat, Victoria, Australia) 6th to 12th April 2013.

Two Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
EFTAG (Tuross Head, NSW, Australia) 13th to 14th April 2013.

Two Day Workshop - Disperse Dye and Transfer Printing
Zijdelings Studio (Tilburg, The Netherlands) 9th to 10th October 2014.

PCA - Celebrating 50 Years in 2016
Art Quill Studio 2016 Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Image Dreamings: Basic Silk Screen Printing Workshop - Part I
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Image Dreamings: Basic Silk Screen Printing Workshop - Part II
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of: Improvisational Screen Printing Workshop
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

In Pursuit of: Low Relief Screen Printing (LRSP) Workshop
2016 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

Art Quill Studio 2017 Workshop Program
2017 Art Quill Studio Workshop Program (Newcastle, Australia).

I have written a number of articles on my MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique using polyester fabrics and mixtures of fabrics containing polyester in national and international Journals. Some of these have appeared on this blogspot - the most popular being the article that appeared in Quilting Arts (published in the August/September 2011 issue, No. 52.)

There are numerous images of my MSDS ArtCloth works listed on this blog site – for example see:
When Rainforests Ruled
Wangi's Djirang
Merge And Flow
Flames Unfurling
Selected Disperse Dye ArtCloths
Sequestration of CO2

I have also given one-day, two-day and five-day workshops on the technique spanning several continents from the USA to Asia to Australia etc. And of course, I have constructed University Courses and Master Classes on this technique.

It might be hard to believe but this was my first demonstration of the technique and it occurred at Zijdelings in Tilburg (The Netherlands). Before I began the demonstration, I asked the participants to outline their focus in fiber art and to kick off the conversation I stated my own position. From that starting point the demonstration began on the proviso that every participant could interrupt me at any point in time to ask any questions.

Some of the participants at the demonstration.

My MSDS Demonstration@Studio Zijdelings.
It is important at the outset that you have an excellent understanding of the fabric you are working with – the content and weave of polyester is critical since disperse dyes are taken up by that component in a mixed fabric. Never rely on the label. A lot of these fabrics are imported from developing or under developed countries in which labelling legislation might be imprecise or not legally monitored. It is therefore imperative to generate your own cloth palette before you begin your fabric adventure.

It is also important that if you are dealing with dye powders that you follow Occupational, Heath & Safety Procedures. If you purchase any dye you should always ask for and get a Material Safety Data Sheet - another MSDS! Wear a face mask and work in a well ventilated area when mixing dye powders. It is always advisable to wear plastic gloves and of course your most daggiest clothes. My husband, who is a Professor of Chemistry, often says to me: “No life, no art” – just to stress the importance of OH & S in the art making process.

Karina van Vught (owner of Zijdelings) made it so easy for me by providing a full color palette of disperse dyes ready for use. As I have been talking for a few minutes, your mind should now be programmed for a commercial break. Here it is. When in the Netherlands buy your pre-mixed palette of disperse dyes and of course your fabrics from Zijdelings.

I am using a delustered satin and I have cut up a small piece for all of you. What I get my students to do is to arrange their brushes so that they use one brush per dye color. It does not matter if the dye dries on the brush. Wetting it with the same colored dye will re-constitute the dye without altering its hue. However, don’t mix-up the brushes and their corresponding dye colors, otherwise you might not get the hue you desire.

Lay out your working space so that the brushes and dyes cannot get mixed up. You need one brush per dye color. Do not use the same brush for two different dye colors - otherwise you will lose control of your fabric color palette.

I then get my students to write on the delustered satin, using a black marker, the hue of each disperse dye that is labelled on the bottle. The reason for this is simple. The hue of the dye painted on the paper will not appear the same as when it infuses and adheres to the fibers of the delustered satin. Hence by creating a “fabric” palette you will always be aware of the exact hue that will transfer on the cloth. Next I paint the transfer paper with each hue in sequence and with a hot iron (it needs to be around 165oC) I iron the back of the paper above the hue description of the dye on the cloth and in doing so create my fabric palette vis-a-vie the slide below.

Before we begin with the fun bits we need to discuss how disperse dyes migrate from the paper (in vapor form) and then infuse and attach themselves to the fiber in the fabric. What is commonly termed "transfer printing" in reality should be termed sublimation printing (and ipso defacto the last term “Sublimation” in the MSDS acronym).

Sublimation describes a process that goes from a solid state to a gas state without passing though a liquid state. Dry ice has this property. That is, in the case of disperse dyes the powder (solid) is suspended in a liquid, painted onto paper, and then dried. It is now a solid dye resting on the surface of the paper. When the back of the paper is heated, it goes directly into vapor form without going through a liquid stage – just like dry ice.

In sublimation printing once the dye has been painted on a paper and is dry, the painted side of the paper is placed on top of the fabric surface that is to be dyed. Then heat is applied via an iron or a heat press (under pressure) to the back of the dry dyed paper. The dye vaporizes from the paper and infuses into the surface of the target fabric. The vapor dye reacts with the target fabric surface and adheres to it via dispersion forces (van der Waals forces) and hydrogen bonding. The heat of the iron or press serves a dual purpose: (a) it vaporizes the dye; (b) it assists the dye to infuse into the fabric surface and adhere to it.

We need to examine points (a) and (b) more closely in order to appreciate the importance of the amount of heat applied (under pressure) in the disperse dye process. With respect to (a), the more heat that is applied, the more dye is vaporized, and so the more dye is available for uptake and to adhere to the fabric. With respect to (b), the more heat that is applied (under pressure) the more vigorously the surface fiber molecules vibrate, the more passages become available for the vaporized dye to venture into the voids of the amorphous region of the fiber, the greater the promotion of dye uptake and adhesion to the fabric. That is why the amount of heat applied (under pressure) by the iron or heat press is so important since it determines the amount of dye that sublimates, the amount of dye the fabric uptakes and adheres to it. Part (a) and (b) work together hand-in-hand to achieve that end. Not enough applied heat (under pressure) results in a very pale dyed fabric. However, there is a trade-off. The more heat you apply (under pressure) the greater the possibility of damaging the fabric and the transfer paper. You need to walk this tight rope for each fabric and paper you choose. Generally, commercial dye heat presses are set to 165oC and so this temperature is appropriate for dyeing most polyester blends.

The adhesion that the dye forms with the fabric surface is why the fabric automatically becomes color fast, wash fast, light fast and moreover, why it cannot change the hand of the cloth. Furthermore, it is a surface technique and so the reverse side of the fabric is unaltered (unless you use transparent fabrics). Also, image creating objects such as stencils, resist items etc. can be inserted between the paper and fabric surface ready for transfer as well as painted images that were resident on the surface of the original paper can be transferred directly onto the fabric surface.

Now that we understand how the disperse dyes work, we can create our fabric palette.

I have now created my fabric color palette with each dye hue. I know exactly what hue I will get on the fabric with each dye that I use and so I won’t be confused by the dye color on the transfer paper or how the fabric blend or weave will affect the value of the hue since my dyed fabric palette illustrates all that information.

Armed with my color palette I can start the MSDS technique. The MSDS technique employs disperse dyes and involves hand printing multiple resists and multiple overprinted layers employing numerous color plates and plant materials. The completed works are rich in color, light, shade, contrast, movement and depth. The multiple layers also imbue a painterly aesthetic and textural, three-dimensional quality to the finished ArtCloth works.

Transfer printing is used to apply disperse dye color to polyester and synthetic fabrics. In transfer printing, disperse dyes are first painted, stamped, stencilled or drawn onto plain white paper and then dried.

Marie-Therese painting her color plates with disperse dyes. Note: The disperse dyes are suspended in liquid form which makes it easier to paint them on plain paper.

The colors used in the image below are yellow, magenta and black. Other colors can be used but one color must be light, one color mid-value and one dark color. This ensures that the works will be imbued with levels of contrast as you overprint each color plate.

Process 1: Paint the paper plates: one light, one mid-value and one dark color.

The yellow dye plate is placed face down onto the washed and ironed synthetic fabric and dry heat is applied with an iron or heat press. This is when the dye becomes a vapor and so moves from the paper into the fabric and then re-solidifies. The print is transferred on only one side of the fabric leaving the other side the original color. Transfer printing does not affect the hand of the cloth.

Process 2: Transferring the disperse dye from the paper plate to the fabric.

When the entire piece is dyed, low relief flora items are positioned on the surface of the dyed fabric. Ensure that your flora items are of a similar relief and not too thick. Prune them if necessary maintaining the integrity of the shape of the low relief item.

The magenta dye plate is placed onto the dyed fabric and flora items, color-side down. Apply dry heat using an iron or heat press.

Process 3: Using low relief flora – position and iron.

The magenta plate is removed, the flora is repositioned slightly and the black dye plate is placed over the dyed fabric and flora items, color-side down. Apply dry heat using an iron or heat press. The black dye plate is then removed.

Process 4: Final transfer over-print.

When the fabric is cool, remove the flora items to reveal the finished print. It should be noted that the colors are printed in a specific sequence working from light to dark to create the rich color, light, shade, contrast, movement and depth that is the signature hallmark of the technique.

Marie-Therese is re-positioning the flora in order to give the image a more three-dimensional look.

There are subtle differences when working with a heat press or with an iron. Remember, the heat press ensures a uniform heating pad and so the variation of color intensity across the heating pad will be minimal, giving you a more even, more uniform color transfer.

Completed artwork using the heat press. Note: The uniformity and lack of variation in the artwork.

Such uniformity obtained by a heat press can be problematical. Often our eye enjoys variation since it yields nuances and emphasis that can capture our imagination in bewilderment - changing completely our satisfaction with a piece of artwork. The iron best suits this approach since heat, pressure and length of stay (i.e. iron rooted to a particular spot) can be varied.

Completed artwork using an iron. Note: The significant variation in the intensity of color, light, shade and contrast.

I will now pass around my “Warrawee – Travellers Meeting Place”. This MSDS ArtCloth piece was exhibited in the Merge and Flow Exhibition at the Nash Gallery at the University of Minnesota (USA) in 2011.

The concept behind the artwork is based on a junction. In the context of rail transport, a junction is a place at which two or more rail routes converge or diverge. In the Australian bush there are sites named - “Warrawee” - indicating a favourite resting place for aboriginals to meet when on a “walk about” since they will be re-energized and re-ignited by company and moreover, by the tranquillity of its surrounds.

Note: This artwork was selected by Mary Schoeser to be included in her tome - Textiles: The Art Of Mankind, Thames & Hudson, New York (2012) Page 147.

Warrawee – Travellers Meeting Place.

The colors and the design are aimed to give you a soothing peaceful dream state from which you wake up feeling refreshed. When I look at this piece I sometimes close my eyes, open them again and close them again more slowly - repeating this process at each cycle.

It took me years to go from the simple process that I have shown you, to this finished artwork. With commitment, time and experimentation you will also be able to achieve sophisticated results using the MSDS technique. Moreover, when you do your final artwork, I can assure you it will look nothing like mine. It will have your own artistic signature all over it.

Thanks for coming and I hope you will leave with more art to think about.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Talk@Zijdelings
Art Practice

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

I gave a talk about my art and art practice at Zijdelings (Tilburg, The Netherlands) on the 19th September 2012. I want to thank Karina van Vught for giving me the opportunity to meet so many enthusiastic Dutch cloth artists in my short stay at Zijdelings.

Some of the participants at my talk at Zijdelings.

The talk below is a brief glimpse of what transpired and so a lot of the details of the ArtCloth works have been omitted in order to make this lengthy blog more readable. Nevertheless, it does give you a flavour of the event.

It was a real pleasure to exchange ideas and points of view about art with the participants who attended the talk. Next week I shall give you a glimpse of the demonstration of my MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) technique at Zijdelings.

A Brief Synopsis of My Talk – My ArtCloth Continuum of Themes
Today I am going to talk about my background, my art and art practice that I have encapsulated under the heading - “My ArtCloth Continuum.”

My ArtCloth Continuum.

A little more information about my background: I have authored and illustrated artist printmakers’ books – Not in My Name and Beyond the Fear of Freedom. My written articles have appeared in journals such as “Textile Fibre Forum”, “Fibreline’”, “Craft Arts International” and “Literature and Aesthetics”. In 2007 I was invited to be the inaugural guest editor of Jane Dunnewold’s international e-zine ”HeArtCloth Quarterly”.

My ArtCloth and works on paper have been widely exhibited nationally and internationally and are held in major public and private collections in Australia, Canada, England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Sweden, Thailand and the USA.

Some of my written works.

There is a "Continuum" of the themes that I research, which are the basis of my current ArtCloth works. The themes explore contemporary socio-political urban landscapes as well as prehistoric and natural environmental landscapes. In some artworks, I juxtapose the three.

My Post-Graffiti urban landscapes and my early civilization and pre-historic artworks employ dyeing, discharge, stenciling, screen-printing, digital imaging and other processes on natural fibers.

My ArtCloth Practice Continuum.

Next I will detail some of the “complex cloth” processes that I employ to create these artworks and I will demonstrate later - the MSDS processes that I use in my environmental landscape ArtCloth works.

White undyed fabrics such as cotton, linen, hemp and rayon have been bound in various modes ready to be placed in a Procion MX immersion dye bath.

Bound fabrics.

After the fabrics have been unbound, washed and stabilized, they are then bound again and immersed in a second Procion MX dye bath.

Fabrics over-dyed in a second dye bath.

The overdyeing process is normally repeated a third time so as to give fabrics a rich, complex, deeply hued and patterned background on which to begin the next stage of the layered printing process. In the slide below you can see the results on cloth when using various colors and binding techniques.

Dyed and over-dyed fabrics.

The next stage involves the printing of multiple layered imagery using a combination of techniques that can include: silk screening, stamping, stenciling, hand painting, resist, digital transfers, foiling and/or other surface design treatments to create the richly layered and complex surface of my ArtCloth works.

Printed surface layers.

I will now give you a very brief overview of the conceptual underpinning my ArtCloth works.

I have explored ArtCloth as an artistic expression for over two decades. A powerful focus for me has been the concept of creating ArtCloth of great integrity, depth and complexity, whilst at the same time respecting its delicate yet powerful qualities.

It is within this framework that I created a solo exhibition – CODES – in Australia in 2001. It was exhibited in a number of galleries (e.g. WattSpace Gallery, Facets Gallery etc.) but currently it is not on display. Codes – Lost Voices explores the fragmentary and fragility of our knowledge of lost civilisations.

Codes – Lost Voices. An ArtCloth installation@Watt Space Gallery.

At the outset I built the installation around a set of three triptychs highlighting “ambiguous”, “unfathomable” and “iconic” pictograms of past communities and civilizations. It took three years for the installation to be completed.

These artworks were to be physically large in size so to over-power the viewer. They were layered with a large number of images to intrigue the viewer and were bright as well as lively so as to make you feel that they are talking to you in the “present” and not in some distant, faded past. Here you can see part of the Installation at Watt Space Gallery in Newcastle. For further details about the conceptual aspect of the installation and details of the individual artworks - see my post: Codes – Lost Voices.

Following on my "Continuum" of the themes that I research, I will now talk about my Post Graffiti artwork.

My world-view is often through the eyes of the forgotten, the discarded, the marginalized or the misrepresented in both the urban and environmental landscape and so conceptually it often sits on socio-political boundaries. I operate my artistic skill set on these thoughts to project conceptual landscapes on the cloth medium.

In 2001 I started to work on art issues that have surfaced in the street art movement - more commonly known as Graffiti Art. The installation, titled - Another Brick - was exhibited at Watt Space Gallery in Newcastle in 2004 and subsequently at the Ewart Gallery in Sydney in 2005.

The birth of my Post Graffiti Artwork - Another Brick.

The installation consisted of thirteen lengths measuring approximately 3 to 4 meters in length by 1 to 2 meters in width. They were displayed on building safety construction fences in order to emphasize an urban or street feel to the work. For more detailed information about this body of work – see my post: Another Brick.

ArtCloth works displayed on safety construction fences (Watts Space Gallery).
Left: Street Hearts. Right: Urban Mark-Making.

My latest ArtCloth works I have labelled under the title “Neu Kunst”, since these are Post Graffiti deconstructed works and so constitute a new art direction for me.

Neu Kunst: deconstructed Post Graffiti artwork.

Currently only two out of the three ArtCloths pieces have been completed, namely “Neu Kunst Mona” and “Neu Kunst Marilyn” - with the third on the way.

The Art Cloth piece - “Neu Kunst Mona” - investigates the influence of the fine art world on the street art of Graffiti and the Post Graffiti movement. The piece centers on various Artists’ attitudes towards da Vinci’s - Mona Lisa.

In creating the piece, I have used multiple complex layers of printed, stenciled, painted, resist, mark making and distress techniques to create the heavily textured and dense surface.

Neu Kunst Mona – the complete image.

The next piece in this series centers on Marilyn Monroe. She was more than just a movie star or glamour queen. A global sensation in her lifetime, Marilyn's popularity has extended beyond star status to that of an icon. Today, the name "Marilyn Monroe" is synonymous with beauty, sensuality and effervescence.

Once again I have used multiple complex layers of printed, stenciled, painted, resist, mark making and distress techniques to create the heavily textured and dense surface.

Neu Kunst Marilyn – the complete image.

For more detailed views of both of these ArtCloth works – see my post - Unleashed: The Rise Of Australian Street Art.

Following on my "Continuum" of the themes that I research, I will now talk about my environmental art.

MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) ArtCloth works.
The backdrop to this slide is my Flames Unfurling ArtCloth work.

Over the past decade and more, I have been experimenting with hand printing techniques using disperse dyes on synthetic/polyester fabrics. These experiments have led to one of my new signature techniques that I have developed and termed - MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) which will be the focus of my demonstration (see next weeks blog).

This is one of the techniques that I taught at the Surface Design Association's Confluence conference last year titled – Melding Experiences: New Landscapes Using Disperse Dyes and Transfer workshop. I have also taught this signature technique at other national conferences, textile forums, textile groups and within university courses.

Basically the MSDS technique employs disperse dyes and involves hand printing multiple resists and multiple overprinted layers employing numerous color plates and plant materials. The completed works are rich in colour, light, shade, contrast, movement and depth. The multiple layers also imbue a painterly aesthetic and textural, three-dimensional quality to the finished ArtCloth works.

I will only talk of the concept behind one such work – since there are numerous other MSDS ArtCloth works listed on this blogsite – for example see:
When Rainforests Ruled
Wangi's Djirang
Merge And Flow
Flames Unfurling
Selected Disperse Dye ArtCloths
Sequestration of CO2

The MDSD’s ArtCloth work - "Nura Nura" - reminds us that like many non-coastal locations in Australia, Nura Nura Crossing in northeast Western Australia is isolated. It boasts of no facilities nor recreational activities. To date there is no evidence of feral animals, insects or weeds invading the landscape. This work is a tribute to the harsh landscape, where despite extremes of temperature and rainfall, plant life continues to thrive in all its glory.

Nura Nura.
Nura and Nura was exhibited at Purple Noon Art Gallery from August to September 2012, with 23 other ArtCloth works.

When Rainforests Ruled - framed Artworks and ArtCloth wall hangings on the back wall of Purple Noon Art and Sculpture Gallery.

Each component of "My ArtCloth Continuum" is linked to the other: prehistoric art can be thought of as mark making on walls; urban and street art in some cases overlap and replicates some of the features of pre-historic art in the sense it is documenting an experience, but of course offers unique twists and turns; the environmental landscape gives us the air we breathe and in most cases, delivers to us the protein and trace elements we need to survive. Moreover, plants will quickly subsume any crack or fissure in the urban landscape of man-made structures if unattended. Plant life would be rampant and rainforests would rule - if only we would allow it.

In summary I hope I have given you a glimpse, an insight, into "My ArtCloth Continuum".

My ArtCloth Continuum.

It is with pleasure that I acknowledge and thank Karina van Vught for inviting me to share my thoughts and work with you today at her Zijdelings Studio in beautiful Tilburg.

I hope you have enjoyed the talk and that your own artwork continues to blossom. Thank you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Zijdelings (Tilburg, The Netherlands)
Resource Review

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

I have been in contact with Karina van Vught for sometime about the possibility of giving a demonstration on my MultiSperse Dye Sublimation (MSDS) and/or Low Relief Screen Printing (LRSP) techniques at Zijdelings: Center for Textile and Surface Design in Tilburg, The Netherlands.

Town Square at Tilburg (The Netherlands).

My husband had business in Tilburg and so this was an opportunity to travel with him, and do a little work in the city and then catch up with some of my artist friends in the Netherlands - namely, Els van Baarle and Cherilyn Martin.

Els van Baarle (left) and Cherilyn Martin (right) in Els’ studio at Dreischor.

With a lot of encouragement from Karina, we settled on a talk about my art and art practice, as well as giving a demonstration of my MSDS technique to an enthusiastic gathering of ten cloth artists, some of whom had travelled from afar in order to participate. Karina was a delight to work with and so setting up my talk and demonstration was a breeze.

Karina (right) and myself (left) at Zijdelings.

If you are thinking of travelling to Tilburg, you must visit the Textile Museum and Zijdelings. Both are located within a five minute walk from the each other and so are within easy reach.

Zijdelings not only puts on workshops, demonstrations and talks etc. but also sells a range of products and art wearables. If you coincide your visit with an event at Zijdelings it will not only add spice to your holiday in Tilburg but moreover deliver an enjoyable artistic experience.

Impressive entrance to Zijdelings.
93A Kapelstraat, Tilburg
, The Netherlands.

There is no better way to understand the Dutch culture than by participating in artistic events that the Dutch attend. You quickly learn about the similarities and differences between your culture and theirs.

Aleid te Grootenhuis (left), Maria Verboom (middle) and Janine Visser (right).
Some of the participants at Zijdelings, who were there for my talk and demonstration - holding tear sheets of one of my articles on MSDS.

Moreover, as most Dutch speak excellent English, for English-speaking travellers the language barrier is non-existent. Note: you don’t need to bring tools or cloths to the workshop, since most items can be sourced from Zijdelings itself. Email Karina for more details about her future program - Karina’s email.

The word “Zijdelings” in Dutch possesses a nuance meaning. It is literally translated as “sideways” or “sidelong” or “indirect” and so in the context of an art studio it is an oblique reference rather than a direct reference to art per se; that is, you can think of it in terms of a nuance or sideways shift as is the case when you are making art rather than selling art etc.

Karina van Vught founded Zijdelings in 1986. It began by focusing on handpainting on silk, and in doing so the studio hosted courses and workshops in that area. It sold silks and silk paints in order to supplement the workshop activity. Not surprisingly Karina herself has a very impressive curriculum vitae as a textile artist focusing mainly on silk painting and shibori.

In January of 2002 Zijdelings moved to its present location and so Karina had a working relationship with the Textile Museum in Tilburg (see future blog) in order to organize workshops, lectures, and exhibitions for the Museum as well as gaining access to the digital equipment of the Museum's TextileLab for her students. In January of 2012 the Museum changed its direction and so Zijdelings no longer uses the Museum’s facilities.

Over the years Zijdelings has progressed and widened its brief to include cloth techniques associated with a range of textiles (both natural and synthetic fabrics as well as mixed media) concomitant with surface design structures. The studio has excellent facilities and so can cater for a large range of different types of classes and workshops covering all aspects of textile and surface design.

A large number of trestles that are height adjustable and so are ideal for classes/workshops and demonstrations etc.

Due to her general interest in textile and surface design, it is not surprising that Karina is the European representative of the Surface Design Association(SDA) and so was responsible for creating and maintaining the Surface Design Association's Europe blogspot.

A large array of textiles and textile related materials are available for purchase from Zijdelings.

Each season Zijdelings offers a large variety of workshops that are taught by internationally renowned teachers. For example, recent workshops were given by Cherilyn Martin (The Netherlands/UK), Cas Holmes (UK) and Elin Noble (USA) – just to mention a few!

The techniques employed in the workshops are extensive and varied, covering such areas as fabric painting, screenprinting, batik, dyeing (using natural and synthetic dyes), transfer printing, shibori, felting, fulling, punching, mixed media, (art) quilting and embroidery etc. The workshops are held at Zijdelings because of the excellent infrastructure that is available in the studio to the tutors and students alike.

Textiles, wearables, books, and dvds – Zijdelings has it all!

Zijdelings has a specialist (web)shop where you can order fabrics, scarves, fibers, dyes, paints, books and dvd's etc.

Disclaimer: Marie-Therese Wisniowski, Art Quill Studio, and Art Quill & Co have no financial interest in Zijdelings.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Munsell Color Classification System [1-3]
Art Resource

Marie-Therese Wisniowski

This is the nineth blog in the "Art Resource" series, specifically aimed to construct an appropriate knowledge base in order to develop an artistic voice in ArtCloth. Other posts in this series are:
Glossary of Terms
Units Used In Dyeing And Printing Of Fabrics
Occupational, Health & Safety
A Brief History Of Color
The Nature Of Color
Psychology of Color
Color Schemes
The Naming Of Colors
Methuen Color Index And Classification System
The CIE System
Pantone - A Modern Color Classification System
Optical Properties of Fiber Materials
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part I
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part II
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part III
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part IV
General Properties of Fiber Polymers and Fibers - Part V
Protein Fibers - Wool
Protein Fibers - Speciality Hair Fibers
Protein Fibers - Silk
Protein Fibers - Wool versus Silk
Timelines of Fabrics, Dyes and Other Stuff
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Cotton
Cellulosic Fibers (Natural) - Linen
Other Natural Cellulosic Fibers
General Overview of Man-Made Fibers
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Viscose
Man-Made Cellulosic Fibers - Esters
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Nylon
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Polyester
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Acrylic and Modacrylic
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Olefins
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Elastomers
Man-Made Synthetic Fibers - Mineral Fibers
Man Made Fibers - Other Textile Fibers
Fiber Blends
From Fiber To Yarn: Overview - Part I
From Fiber to Yarn: Overview - Part II
Melt-Spun Fibers
Characteristics of Filament Yarn
Yarn Classification
Direct Spun Yarns
Textured Filament Yarns
Fabric Construction - Felt
Fabric Construction - Nonwoven Fabrics
A Fashion Data Base
Fiber Construction - Leather
Fabric Construction - Films
Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins
Fabric Construction – Foams and Poromeric Material
Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns
Weaving and the Loom
Similarities and Differences in Woven Fabrics
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part I)
The Three Basic Weaves - Plain Weave (Part II)
The Three Basic Weaves - Twill Weave
The Three Basic Weaves - Satin Weave
Figured Weaves - Leno Weave
Figured Weaves – Piqué Weave

The Glossary of Terms, Timelines, A Fashion Data Base, Glossary of Colors, Dyes, Inks, Pigments and Resins and Glossary of Fabrics, Fibers, Finishes, Garments and Yarns have been updated in order to better inform our art practice.

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Color is a critical component in creating art. It is not by accident that human beings can perceive color in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. If our eyes were sensitive to infrared or ultraviolet radiation (which they are not) we could not perceive objects - such as food sources - from long distances, since in these regions of the electromagnetic spectrum the Earth's atmosphere is fairly opaque.

Many names are given to different colors, which makes it difficult for designers and dyers to reproduce the “exact” color of choice. For example, a particular hue of blue can be labelled as navy blue, delft blue, aquamarine, sky blue and azure. Hence it is difficult to: (i) readily identify a hue from a particular name; (ii) provide a formula or recipe, which would enable a particular hue to be reproduced consistently.

The object of any color specification system is not just to give a commonplace description of a color, but to specify that particular color accurately for reproduction. Today we shall explore the Munsell color specifying system, which was developed in 1915 by American Albert Munsell. It is a subjective color ordering system, which attempts to provide a precise nomenclature for colors. Using water-colors, he painted many hues on small square tiles of white paper and arranged these in the order that eventually became known as the Munsell system.

Albert Henry Munsell.

The Munsell Color Solid
Munsell used a three-dimensional color solid in order to arrange his color scheme. The solid, which is shaped like a spinning top or like the planet Earth, is pure black at the bottom and pure white at the top, with pure red, blue and green in equal intervals around the latitudes. Horizontally travelling around the circumference of the solid from left to right, blue tends to purple and then to red; red tends to yellow, which becomes green; and green tends to blue-green, which becomes blue. Thus each color in the Munsell scheme has three parameters – hue, chroma and value – which are represented by the three dimensions of solid.

The Munsell color solid.
Note: Space has dimensions of width, length, and height, whereas a Munsell color has dimensions of hue, chroma and value.
Courtesy of reference[2].

Cross section of the Munsell color solid.

A Munsell color chart consists of hundreds of small color rectangles, called color chips, which are arranged according to their hue, value and chroma. Each chip represents one specific color. Initially, Munsell subjectively judged the difference in color or the color interval between any two adjacent chips to be the same. Later it was found that more objective color measurements (via instrumentation) between any two adjacent chips resulted in little modification. Thus, it was deemed that any color could be quickly and easily identified using his three parameters of hue, chroma and value.

There are a total of 320 chips in this Munsell hue grid.

The advantage of the Munsell system over other subjective ordering systems is that it can accommodate and specify every color in existence and any new colors, which may be developed in the future. Its advantage over the objective CIE system is that the Munsell color charts allow visual examination of numerous colors.

Munsell Value Dimension
The Munsell value refers to the lightness or darkness of a color. It is represented by the vertical axis of the Munsell color solid (see above). The Munsell value scale ranges from black to white in eleven equal intervals with black having a zero value and white deemed to have a value of 10, with various greys in between having attributed values in between these two extremes. The intervals along the vertical scale are such that the visual difference between any two adjacent shades of grey are the same and so can be stepped one value higher or lower. The vertical value scale in the Munsell Color slide is often referred to as the trunk of the Munsell solid or tree.

Munsell value scale. Black is deemed to have a value of zero, whereas white has a value of 10.

Munsell Hue Dimension
The Munsell hue dimension can be thought of the latitudes of the Munsell color solid (or top). Munsell subjectively decided to base his charts on ten hues: five principal hues and five that are known as intermediate hues. Although these divisions are technically hues, they are also known in common usage as the Munsell colors.

Munsell relationship between chroma, value and hue.
Note: The hue dimension is the latitude of a Munsell color solid. As you go up the central axis the color lightens. As you circumnavigate the latitudes, the colors change into different hues. Going inward or outward, to and from the axis, the chroma must alter.

The figure below shows a disc whose ten equal divisions represent the ten Munsell colors, namely:
(i) Principal Munsell Colors – red (R), yellow (Y), green (G), blue (B) and purple (P).
(ii) Intermediate Munsell Colors – yellow-red (YR), green-yellow (GY), blue-green (BG), purple-blue (PB) and red-purple (RP).

Each of the ten areas of the disc in the figure is sub-divided into ten equal parts, with each part representing a color. The sub-divisions - one to ten - represent the principal and intermediate Munsell colors.

An explanation of the Munsell hue scale.
Courtesy of reference[2].

Munsell Chroma Dimension
The third dimension of the Munsell system is chroma, which refers to the purity, intensity, vividness, saturation or brightness of a particular color. The closer the color is to vertical or neutral axis (or the value scale), the duller the color (see figure above that shows the relationship between hue, chroma and value).

When represented on a disc, as in the figure below, chroma radiates outwards from the center in equal steps of two. Munsell chose a chroma difference of two, because this difference is more easily perceived by the human eye than a chroma difference of one, the latter of which is not easily differentiated.

Munsell chroma scale.
Courtesy of reference[2].

Specifying Color Using The Three Munsell Dimensions
In order to give a simple explanation of the Mansell hue and chroma scales, each were depicted above separately. However, to highlight why the Mansell color specifying system can take into account numerous colors, the figure below illustrates the numerous colors, which are possible in theory for any one of the value intervals ranging from 1 to 9. Note: On the value scale 0 is black and 10 is white.

Combined Munsell hue and chroma scales.
Courtesy of reference[2].

An examination of the Munsell color solid (shown above) highlights that the disc found along the value scale does not have equal diameters (similar to the latitudes of planet Earth). The diameter of the disc depends on its position on the vertical axis (i.e. value scale). The figure below, which is a cut away section of the Munsell solid, shows this more clearly.

Three-dimensional representation of the Munsell color solid.

The following steps specify a color using the Munsell color system. The example used is a slightly dark, bright, purple-blue color indicated by the asterisk in the figure below.

Munsell color chart for hue "Purple-Blue" (5PB) and "Yellow" (5Y) is given in the figure above.

The Munsell parameter description of the color represented by the asterisk (as seen in the black and white version) is as follows:
(i) The hue number is quoted first; for the example it is 5 (since all the squares on the left belong to this hue).
(ii) This is followed by a capital letter, which stands for the principal or intermediate Munsell color: for example PB = purple-blue.
(iii) The next step is to quote its value to indicate the lightness/darkness of the color; for this example it is 4.
(iv) The last step is to home in on the chroma number to indicte brightness/dullness of the color; for example in this case it is 8.

Thus, the slightly dark, bright, purple-blue color has been specified as 5PB/4/8. This means that quoting this specification automatically gives an unambiguous designation of this color and so it can be easily reproduced precisely.

Munsell Color Charts
The three-dimensional representation of the Munsell color solid shows that those hues near the value scale are represented by smaller and smaller wedge-shaped blocks. Munsell did not develop his color system using a solid, but arranged his color chips in the form of charts (see above).

The black and white version of Munsell’s color chart for purple-blue and yellow was produced as follows. Consider a sheet of paper, held standing on its edge, passing through any one of the diameters such as R to BG, G to RP, B to YR, Y to PB, or P to GY as shown in the figure below.

The first step in constructing a Munsell chart.
Courtesy of reference[2].

Consider that this sheet of paper extends the length of the value scale from 0 to 10. Now the Munsell color chart for purple-blue and yellow (see above) show the hues of two Munsell colors. The representation of two Munsell color on each chart was purposely selected since it has the advantages of being economical as well as indicating the hues that are opposite each other in the Munsell system.

In the Munsell color chart for purple-blue and yellow (see above), some of the rectangles have dotted lines. The dotted lines represent hues not yet developed but which may be developed in the future. The rectangles with solid lines are those already developed. The columns of rectangles represent the chroma scale and the rows of rectangles or color chips represent the value scale.

The Munsell system usually consists of about twenty charts, which together are known as the Munsell color atlas. Each of the charts has two Munsell colors, which lie on the same diameter. For example, purple-blue and yellow lie on the same diameter. The twenty charts are at 2.5, 5.0, 7.5 and 10.0 on the hue scale for each of the Munsell colors. There are therefore 960 different color chips in the atlas.

Charts in a Munsell student color set.

[1] A. H. Munsell, Book of Color 1942-1962, The Munsell Color Company, Baltimore USA (1963)

[2] E.P.G. Gohl and L.D. Vilensky, Textile Science, Longman Cheshire, Melbourne (1989).

[3] J. Long and J. T. Luke, The New Munsell Student Color Set, 2nd Edition, Fairchild Books (2001).