Morgan Silks: A Featured Artist Interview

Today I have the honor of introducing you to one of the newest members of the Silk Artists Team on Etsy. I have been enjoying getting to know this lovely lady at Morgan Silks.She is no stranger to the world of silk painting and has so much to teach those like me just entering this wonderful world of silk painting.

About you: I am a retired teacher, who has been experimenting with dyes and fabric since all the way back to the 1970’s. I was taking an undergraduate course in fabric design from Nancy Belfer, who was working on a book about tie dye and was very secretive. We because friends and I did get supply information from her– but nothing else, as she was working on her book. I just took it from there and experimented on my own. (I was pretending to be studying weaving). Here is some info about her:
books.google.com/books/about/Batik_and_Tie_Dye_Techniques.html?id=7599e8…
artvoice.com/issues/v8n22/artshort

Why silk painting? I was a painter, but felt ambivalent about producing works that would just sit on the wall. I wanted to create pieces that would be useful. Scarves were the practical thing, and I just took it from there.

Her current favorite.

What inspires your paintings? Nature. color juxtaposition, and negative / positive space.

What is your favorite silk painting you have done?
My favorite is usually the last piece I design. My favorites are all sold, but this one is my current squeeze: www.etsy.com/listing/110999725/silk-scarf-large-crepe-tiger-swallowtail
Probably because I agonized over it so long.

Your favorite type of silk, dyes, resist, etc.

I started buying from dharmatrading when their catalog was a piece of construction paper. I am loyal to them, and have discussed product with the CEO. The hemming has been an issue because of the imports. Powdered fiber reactive dyes are the best, and I have tried lots of others but it comes out on top.

Please tell us about your method:
I use whatever method I can come up with that will give me the effects I need. The powdered dyed is mixed with a solution of sodium alginate, which gives it a paint-like quality. The more the water, the thinner. I use the thickened dye just like I would watercolor paint. Sometimes I monoprint right from the plant, but most of the time I decide what I want to depict and then figure out a way to do it.
I have never taken a silk painting lesson and am glad I haven’t. People who do come out looking formulaic. Because I taught academics to adolescents with learning problems for decades, I am used to analyzing the problem and figuring a way to deal with it. I have used as many techniques as there are scarves, and am always on the lookout for more.

Please share a tip for other silk artists or those interested in silk art:
Experiment. Taking lessons from other silk painters can ruin your creativity.

You can read more about Morgan Silks here:

Etsy Featured Artist
US News and World Report
MSN.com

To find more of her and her beautiful art:

Website: www.morgansilkscarf.com
Etsy: www.etsy.com/shop/morgansilk
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/morgansilk

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