March 04, 2009

Banff - Day 4

My typical day starts at 6:30am rolling out of bed to head down to the gym for stretching, then into the pool for laps (this week is all about building up stamina, so the number of actual laps swum is low!) Onto breakfast at 8am in the Vista dining room, located on the top floor of the recreation centre (some would call penthouse as all the walls are floor-to-ceiling windows and the view down the valley is spectacular.) By 9am I am working in either the dye studio or our Leighton Colony studio. Lunch at noon, our one splurge meal back in Vista, with the gourmet buffet offering choice after choice after choice. Work in either studio until 6pm, then we gather in our G-L studio to eat a meal together in our tiny kitchen, either soup, salads, or sandwiches. In the evenings we have meetings to discuss group issues, watch informational videos, or enjoy concert dates to partake in some of the amazing talented people doing residencies here at the Centre. Back to my room between 9 and 10pm, then computer time on email and blogging. Bed usually after 11pm.

This is the plan... but so far we haven't managed to get that much work in - organizational issues that need resolving keep creeping up on us. For example, the show we hung yesterday had no titles, labels or advertising - one of my jobs today was to print up a listing of the work, design a poster, get work to the print shop, get the posters hung throughout the Centre, and label the work in the gallery.

However, we started the day with another 2 hour orientation with Wendy T. again, this time on screen printing. How to apply emulsion onto the screens, how to make an image, how to load the vacuum sealer to burn the image onto the screen, and how to pressure wash the excess emulsion off to complete the process. All of us had previously done most of these steps but the orientation was a needed review for the finer points. But we got busy after this, and finally we got to play!

After we burnt our images onto the screens, we took them downstairs to the dye studio where the fabric came out and we started printing. For our purpose we used Procion MX dyes thickened with sodium alginate. When finished, the pieces were wrapped in plastic wrap to cure, and tomorrow will be rinsed and hung to dry so that we can start all over again.

Ingrid at the pressure washing station.

The work room outside the dye room - huge movable tabletops so that four of us can be working in the room at the same time - we love these facilities!!

My fabrics dyed using thickened Procion dyes over an unetched silk screen covered with interfacing which had patterns cut into it. Layer after layer of colour.

Ingrid demonstrating a process called "deconstructive screens" to her attentive audience.

The Centre is build right into Tunnel Mountain above the town of Banff, and our dye studio in Glyde Hall has one wall of actual rock. A clothes line has been hung above this area and this is where we dry our fabrics.

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