Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cone Editions workshop

Have I introduced my mascot? The HotHolder below partly inspired the slogan,

"Because you're not the only thing in the kitchen that's hot."

The polka dot fabric is vintage - from a big dirndl style skirt I got at a thrift store in Brunswick, Maine when I was in college in the mid-80's. I wore it as Minnie Mouse for Halloween and then stashed it for years before I started cutting off pieces to include in various projects. It is great sturdy woven cotton with black outlining the white dots and a crescent of black edging each dot. Now it's essentially all gone. I might have a few tiny scraps left.

But that's not what this post is about. The reason the pictures of these four HotHolders look so nice and bright

and sharp is because I took a workshop "...For Novices and Beginners" at Cone Editions Press which is a world class digital art printing studio and it's right in my own town of Topsham, Vermont!
So in this workshop taught by their super duper technician Larry I learned how to set up Photoshop and my printer to make really nice prints. My hp officejet all-in-one was making terrible prints until Larry at spelled out all the setting for us. Now they look great! And I bought an Epson scanner per his recommendation. I can put the HotHolders right on the bed and make really high quality scans, instead of trying to photograph them with my sub-professional lighting. These four were scanned at Cone Editions.

After I cleaned them up in Photoshop I got to print them BIG on one of their printers. And, As Cathy cone says, "They look so cool."

When the 6" HH scanned at very high resolution are printed 3-4 times their original size the texture of the fabric really comes out. You can clearly see each strand. Some of the fabrics that have been paired together have different thread-per-inch counts and it looks really interesting to see the difference so obviously. Also the quilting stitches end up looking like embroidery, which is exactly the effect I have in mind when I construct them. Basically the result is just what I see with my eyes when I make a HotHolder. I am very interested in and am seeing the texture of the fabrics and the quilting stitches are a very important decorative element to me.
I try to choose thread colors that will enhance the fabric combination.

So now, what to do with these big prints? If the HH contains new designer fabric there is a copyright so I can't produce a print of it as an item for sale. I might be able to have them as part of my display at shows though. We'll see. I don't know what about some of the really old vintage fabrics I have. Meanwhile I am really appreciating my new printing skills as I prepare mailings to stores and applications for other vending opportunities.

Here's Larry in the room full of big Iris printers that he oversees at Cone Editions Press. There may be other kinds of printers here, too. I don't know. Sabra Field's Iris prints are made here. Many other big wig and exciting artists have their work printed here by Larry also.

And here is my friend Cathy Cone who runs the workshops, with Larry and the big prints of my HotHolders. These two are wonderful artists outside of their work at Cone Editions. You can see some of Cathy's work at

Larry, let me know when your work is online or email me a file and I'll post it here.

"They look so cool."

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