24 March 2017

Marbling Class

One last post about my trip!  I didn't get to share much of my marbling class with you before as the papers I had created were rolled up tightly and not easy to photograph.  But after spending a few days weighted down, they've flattened nicely and I'd love to share more with you about them!  This batch was among some of the early papers that I marbled.  The third from the right is actually the first one, but then it was later over dyed!  I loved the way it turned out!  

Our instructor was Pat Thomas, and she was terrific!  She allowed me to take some process pictures along the way.  This is the tray filled with a solution of carrageenan, which allows the colors to float on top.  The color is added a drop at a time and more added randomly.  

Using a bamboo skewer, lines are drawn through the tray, drawing the color into patterns. 

Then the skewer is drawn across the tray in the opposite direction, creating yet a different pattern! It's like magic watching the change take place! 

Then, a comb created with pins is drawn through the pan creating the traditional marbling pattern!  

Next, a sheet of previously prepared paper is laid carefully on the surface of the tray and then lifted off revealing the "print"!  One of the things I learned is that what you see on the tray, may not be exactly what you will see on the paper as the color transparencies often impact the final result.  Also, what you see on the tray is the bottom side of the color, not the "top" side that will show on the paper. 

After Pat's demonstration, here is the tray I created. 

And the print that I got off of it!  I had expected the darks to be darker, but because they were on the back and layers over more transparent colors, it lightened the whole.   Still quite happy with how it turned out!  

Once we printed our papers, we clipped them up to dry.  It was cold enough, that they were freezing rather than drying, so we ended up having to bring them in the classroom overnight, otherwise, we'd have had to pack wet papers!  

When we emptied the carrageenan solution out of the trays, it formed a lovely pattern of color on the bottom of the trays from where the paint had dripped through.  Wish we could have printed this!  But the carrageenan keeps it from adhering to the paper, so a photo will have to do!  As most of you know, who read my blog regularly, I love green.  They joked several times about needing to take the green paint away from me.  But when all was said and done, I actually turned out quite a few papers with no green on them!  

The last morning, we choose one of our papers and created a booklet with it.  Here is the class working hard at getting them completed!  Ginny Moreland was the instructor for this portion of the class and Pat's class assistant for the marbling portion!  She's also a wonderful marbler!  

Then, before our last lunch at the school, we had show and tell and a small "graduation" ceremony!  We only had Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday morning together, but what a fun filled time of learning it was!  All the classes there turned out some lovely work ranging from making birdhouses, to spinning, to Morris Dancing, to making Italian Liquors and more.  So much fun and a wonderful mix of men and women attending the classes!  

Along with our certificate, we received these bumper stickers!  Do check the John C. Campbell Folk School out.  It was a lovely experience and I would gladly return at any time to learn something new or to hone a craft further!  

So here are the papers I created during the class.  This is about halfway through once I started getting the hang of it.  

By these papers, I was learning so much and having fun experimenting a little bit, both with color and with pattern.  

These were some of the last that I created.  I love the way the pink and black ones turned out!  

I definitely fell in love with marbling and by the end of the workshop was told that I had a knack for it!  If nothing else, I could spend hours playing with it just to see how the colors interact and to see what one could do with the patterns!

I was asked what I plan on doing with these lovely papers.  Well, at the moment I have no specific plans, but I have done a bit of book binding, and the traditional use is to use marbled paper for the insides of the cover, so I may use some of them for that purpose.  I may also use some of them to make note cards and possibly to make some small notebooks.  Other than that, time will tell!

The other question I received was about doing this process on fabric.  The answer is yes, you can, but it does involve a slightly different process and MUCH larger trays to accommodate the fabric!  One of these days, I may give it a go on a smaller scale, but for now, there are so many other projects that I need to finish up before I can even consider adding a new craft to my regular repertoire! 

While on my trip through the Great Smokies, I did take time to do a couple of small watercolor sketches.  This one of some of the cabins in Cade's Cove.  I loved how the dark woods contrasted against the lighter color of the woods behind them.  

The following day, I did this one of a meadow opening through the trees.  The skies lowering and a bit of snow on the ground, but not enough to obscure the lovely colors in the grass.  Both sketches are about 3"x 5". 

So that finishes up my 6 day trip to Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee!  I saw such a small portion of each state, but it whetted my appetite to see more!  

21 March 2017

Winter to Spring

On my last day in the Great Smoky Mountains, I woke up to cold and snow!  It prevented me from taking the high road over the top, so instead I spent another day in Cade's Cove.  So different on this day and I found that my eye sought out different things.  

The herd of Whitetail Deer were much more subdued and focused on eating rather than on playing on this chilly morning.  

Details of the trees stood out against the grey skies.  So lovely and graceful when silhouetted against a lighter sky. 

The snow brought out the greens and golds of the fields and meadows.  

Along the roadsides, the orange of the deeper soils was much more apparent.  

The light dry leaves of the dogwood stood out even more like blossoms in the dim light.  

Still beautiful, despite the snow and the cold.  Throughout the day, the snow gradually melted away, returning now and again in slight showers.  The added moisture brought the green of the new grass to life.  

The grey mist through the trees made it easy to see why these mountains are named the Great Smoky Mountains.   The forest floor's layer of red leaves was more apparent with the damp. 

On the rocky faces, fern leaves that hung dry and limp the day before were now perking up and the green intensifying with every drop of moisture.  

The rock formations along the road are every bit as spectacular as those here in the west.  The mountains of the Smokies might be older and worn down with time, but they are mountains just the same!  

I saw two groups of wild turkeys, this one made up of Toms and the other made up of Hens.  

Seeing this coyote making his way across the field was a treat!  But that look in his eyes tells me he wasn't as happy to see me as I was to see him!  

In one area, there was much yellow flagging and these signs alerting visitors to bear activity in the area.  The ranger said that there was a huge tree fall in the winter den area and so a mother bear had woken from hibernation early and was active with her cubs in this area, so they closed it off to protect her and the cubs as well as the visitors.  

I must have driven past this stump a couple of times the day before and not "seen" it.  But with the cold, suddenly its top of frizzy hair caught my attention and made me smile! 

The woodland roads still beautiful in the light snow.  

The soft delicate needles of the Eastern Hemlock.  I really fell in love with these trees.  Just beautiful!  And they have the loveliest tiny cones on them! 

There were a lot of these pines as well.  Southern White Pine, I believe, though I may be wrong.  One of the things I miss when I'm not able to drive my car from home, is having to leave behind all my nature guides!  

Isn't this a magnificent tree?  Here in Colorado, there are so few hardwood trees ~ on the plains it's mostly cottonwood and some willow.  In the mountains it is Ponderosa Pine, Douglass Fir and Engelmann Spruce ~ all so different from the eastern woodlands.  Getting to see these beautiful trees here in their native setting is such a gift!  So beautiful!  

Today I could see the buds forming on the Rhododendrons.  They should be spectacular in a month or two!  

My last photo as I left the park for the last time.  A lovely winter stream canopied in Rhododendron.  

The next morning I left Townsend before dark and made my way south back towards Atlanta and the airport.  I had hoped to go back via the road over the Great Smoky Mountains, but it was still closed due to the snow.  Instead I made my way across eastern Tennessee and into northern Georgia to Gibbs Gardens.  On my way north, I had seen signs on the highway advertising 2,000,000 daffodils!  

When I arrived, I was greeted by an enormous flock of Cedar Waxwings!  They are only seen rarely in Colorado and I've never seen them so closely as I was able to see these!  Gorgeous!  

The entry was lovely, with huge underplanting of mostly yellow and some purple pansies.  

It was a super chilly morning, only about 28 degrees when I arrived!  I was grateful for my winter jacket and gloves!  It didn't stop the forsythia from blooming though!  

Normally at this time of year, this hillside would be filled with those millions of daffodil blossoms, but due to early unseasonably warm temperatures, the daffodils were nearly finished blooming.  It was still a lovely walk down the hill on broad grassy paths through the woods.  All around were blooming shrubs.  

Pearly white spirea blooms.  They sparkled in the landscape! 

Though most of the daffodils were done, there were still plenty to see!  

I love these white ones with orange centers!  

And this one with a pinkish cup.  My sister and I have both planted "pink" varieties throughout the years and been terribly disappointed.  What fun to see that here they actually are rather pink and not just an ugly shade of dirty yellow as they usually turn out for us.  

At the bottom of the hill lies the full garden, complete with numerous ponds, many paths and loveliness everywhere one looked.  I had the gardens virtually to myself due to the cold.  But it warmed up enough to be a lovely walk.  

I was finally able to get a good photo of the magenta samaras on the trees!  I found myself wondering if the color of the samara is an indication of the fall color of the leaves.  

Everywhere were thick fat buds of leaves on the verge of bursting forth.  Nearly as beautiful as flowers in my humble opinion!  

Along the streams were more plantings of daffodils and pansies. 

A tori gate at the entrance to the Japanese style garden. 

The colors in the woods here were magnificent!  

The weeping willows in the Japanese garden were already cloaked with green!  So graceful above the ponds!

I loved the assortment of Japanese stone lanterns throughout the garden.  Each pond had a different style.  How glorious will this pond be once the iris' start to bloom?  

Just lovely!  It was a perfect quiet morning spent in a beautiful setting, before spending the end of the day in a noisy airport and packed plane ride home to Colorado!  

It truly was a lovely trip.  Far too short as usual!  One of these days, I'll sell my little home with it's too big yard and head off with an RV to spend time exploring the lovely places in the country!  How grand it will be to decide to stay in a place and watch the seasons change.  It's what I dream of anyway!  


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