Illustration, Tags and Buttons

I have been wanting to add an illustration to the packaging of the “Coffee Sweaters”. As I have another group of sweaters ready to package up I thought it was the perfect time to do the illustration and create the tags. I wanted something simple, basic and a little rustic.

 coffee sweater illustrationThe illustration originally started out at about 8 inches high. I then scanned the image and cropped it down to 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches. The size was to match a tag I currently use in packaging.

 tagsThe tags are printed on a heavy beige paper with mottling; I think it is a nice change from stark white.

coffee sweater and tagsThe tags are displayed alongside a “Coffee Sweater” that has been naturally dyed  in Lac. I hand dye and hand knit all the “Coffee Sweaters”. They are embellished with re-purposed buttons which creates a fun “not so matched” look.

 wooden buttonsOn the topic of buttons, I have been back at making wooden buttons. These ones are from a neighbour’s tree that blew down in a storm. Branches give a very rustic and natural look (obviously!) . The buttons on the left are the natural color, while the ones on the right had a dip in an exhausted logwood dye bath. I think the dye bath really enhanced the character of the buttons, and the color worked better on the “Coffee Sweaters” I attached them to.

I am hoping to photograph the latest batch of “Coffee Sweaters” in the next few days and then I will share the pictures here.

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Hunter Photographics & Studio H
photography, art and hand-made items by Debra Hunter

www.thehuntergroup.ca

Another Trial Bracelet

(please click on the above images to view a larger image)

This bracelet is another one of my naturally dyed experiments. The cotton thread has been hand-dyed in natural dyes of cutch, madder and marigold. The bracelet was then tied with one continuous piece of cotton thread. I like the look of the bracelet, but tying a wide bracelet with a continuous piece of cotton is a very time consuming affair. The width of the bracelet is nice, and the fit is comfortable. This is definitely a design to continue exploring.

Bracelet by Debra Hunter
www.thehuntergroup.ca

Testing New Things

I have been trying a few new things with the bracelets recently. With this bracelet I am trying new materials. Previously I was using cotton threads to construct the bracelets, but this time I decided to try something new and go with SILK.

 silk bracelet - lac & logwood

This bracelet is made of hand-dyed silk thread that I have naturally dyed in lac and logwood. I then hand tie hundreds of small knots to make the bracelets. A few glass beads are added for embellishment. Silk, being a protein fibre, opens up a whole new range of colors for the bracelets, plus it is just a little bit of luxury having the bracelet made of silk.

 silk bracelet - lac & logwood I am also testing a different fastening system. Previously I had been using recycled buttons but I thought I would also try clasps as an option. It is a little more refined which suits the silk.

The great thing about testing new things is I get to keep the bracelet for myself. If the bracelet will hold up to my wear I know it will be good for others. I’m not exactly the most “careful” person. So far the bracelet has already passed the “smushed Play-doh test”…..a little wash and it was good to go. Tonight I will see if it survives Power Yoga.

January 2014 – Updates, Changes and Things

Last year when I started this blog my concept was that this would be the venue to share finished work and projects, portfolio work and updates for anything I was doing professionally. The blog was an off shoot of http://www.htheblog.wordpress.com which is an eclectic mix of works in progress, fibre art experiments, photography and a lot of real life. I decided to start this blog so that the business customers wouldn’t have to wade through posts about things like snowshoeing and collecting tansy for dyes, while those reading “h the blog” for fun would not have to read the business updates. It made sense. What I didn’t gauge for was what an interesting and diverse year 2013 would be. Bigger and more time-consuming projects meant that I was busy but the concept of only showing “finished projects” no longer made sense for this blog. I could work months on a project before it was done or have many projects finish around the same time with no time to blog about them. So with the onset of 2014 I have decided I need to tweak the direction of this blog.

A Catch of 10 (2013) artwork by Debra Hunter naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art 16.5 inches by 7 inches

A Catch of 10
(2013)
artwork by Debra Hunter
naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art
16.5 inches by 7 inches

For 2014 I will continue to show the finished work, projects and portfolio work. I will also share business updates, show information and product information. In addition to this I am going to aim to do one or two “work in progress” posts a month to give a little insight into what is up and coming and also how items are created. On Wednesdays I will also be aiming to produce an image of the city of Red Deer for “Wordless Wednesday; this is a way for me to continually produce a folio documenting the city. This may expand to two other areas we frequent as the year goes on.

Now that you have read all my plans for 2014, lets move onto some updates and some “works in progress”. I plan to revisit many of these in-depth in future posts, but for now here is a little taste of what is going on.

blog coffee sweater 10The last month I have been very busy making coffee sweaters. A great little item made of yarns I dye by hand and hand knit. I have been updating my website ( http://www.thehuntergroup.ca ) plus they are also being sold at Sunworks in Red Deer, Alberta. It seems every time I get a stockpile made they are off to new homes.

blog coverI finished the illustrations for “Straw Hat, Rubber Boots and a Cat” by Kathy Weisse. I will have a blog post about the book coming up soon.

blog c m headshot

blog speech caep

A corporate shooting job, including head shots and event photography, kept me busy for quite a while and was completed just before Christmas.

blog stitching work in progressI have three fibre art pieces in progress. All are dealing with Alberta imagery. All are hand dyed with natural dyes. All are hand stitched and hand beaded. All are taking a very long time to complete. There will probably be many updates in the future regarding these pieces.

Driftwood Bracelet #1

Driftwood Bracelet #1

The naturally dyed and hand tied bracelets are also being worked on. I love these pieces and want to keep them all for myself!

In addition to all this I am currently developing another useable art item (development takes time and a lot of experimentation!) and test driving new materials for the coffee sweaters and bracelets, plus the studio floor is about to be “tweaked” (what a saga!).

I think adding work in progress to this blog will keep it a lot more interesting. I hope you will enjoy following all that I get up to in 2014!

(If you are interested, bracelets and coffee sweaters are available through our website http://www.thehuntergroup.ca , we take Paypal and ship throughout Canada.)

Debra Hunter
Studio H & Hunter Photographics
photography, art, fibre art useables and wearables, illustration
http://www.thehuntergroup.ca

Finally Updated the Website With Fun New Fibre Pieces

Driftwood Bracelet #1

Driftwood Bracelet #1

Well I finally got around to updating my Hunter Photographics and Studio H website at www.thehuntergroup.ca . This has been on my “to do” list for quite a while. To be honest I have been putting it off as I had to create new categories  and a new album for the shop. I knew it was going to take time as the program has a tendency to be “buggy”. Well the program kept its reputation and acted up, but some how I seemed to make it work.

blog coffee sweater 10

Additions to the site include an updated “Bracelet” section, the addition of a “Coffee Sweaters” section and a “Shop”. We will ship to anywhere in Canada, however if you are local and would like to see our fun new pieces, drop us an email (hunterphotographics@shaw.ca ) and we can set up a visit. Coffee Sweaters are also available at Sunworks  located on Ross Street in Red Deer.

The new shop Coffee Sweater page can be found HERE.

The new Bracelet page can be found HERE.

The new Shop page can be found HERE.

blog coffee sweater 5

I still need to update some recent photography images, but that will be a project for the new year.

“10” – Art Exhibit – Red Deer, Alberta

"10" - art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

“10” – art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

Today I decided to pop down to the Harris-Warke Gallery, located in the top floor of Sunworks,  to see the exhibition named “10” . I always like to go see how my work looks hung at a quiet time when there is no one else around. I find it easier to have a good look when a space is empty of people.

"10" - art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

“10” – art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

There was a broad range of work created by over twenty local artists. Printmaking, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and fibre art were all represented. It is really interesting to see the different types of art being produced in one’s city.

"10" - art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

“10” – art exhibit held at the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.

The theme for the exhibition is “10” in celebration of the gallery’s 10th anniversary. The exhibition is also a fundraiser in which the final auction takes place this Friday, November 15th. The details for the fundraiser can be found here. If you are in town in the next few days it is definitely worth popping in and taking a look at the work of some local Red Deer artists.

 

Art & Photography by Debra Hunter
http://www.thehuntergroup.ca
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

A Catch of 10 (2013) – Fibre Art – Red Deer, Alberta

A Catch of 10 (2013) artwork by Debra Hunter naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art 16.5 inches by 7 inches

“A Catch of 10”
(2013)
artwork by Debra Hunter
naturally dyed and hand stitched fibre art
16.5 inches by 7 inches

“A Catch of 10” is finally finished after many, many hours of dyeing and stitching and beading. My estimate is that this piece took over 75 hours of work from start to finish.  This piece was started with a purpose in mind from the very beginning, it is a piece that was created for a silent auction for a local fundraiser.

The fundraiser is  for the Harris-Warke Gallery in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. The theme of this year’s exhibition is “10”. The show will be on display from November 11th to 15th, with the closing reception being at the gallery on Friday November 15th from 6pm to 8 pm. If you really like this piece, feel free to contact the gallery and place a bid on it.

“A Catch of 10” is a “labour of love” type of piece. All the fabrics, threads and yarns that create the piece are dyed by hand in tiny batches with natural dyes.  The dyes I make by hand, however some of them I have an even greater role in creating; the yellow-gold color in the background is a dye made from marigolds that have been grown from seed, cared for in my flowerbeds and planters, and then harvested to create dyes at the end of their lives. This is environmentally friendly art.

The “fish” in the piece are actually prints made from a lino cut I created for this work. To create the “fish”, first the image was drawn on paper and transferred to a lino block, the block was then carved to leave only the areas to be printed. I then modified the natural dye with a thickener, brushed on the dye, held my breath, and printed the fish one by one. Let’s just say the printing made for a very stressful afternoon as one slip up and all would be lost.

Once the “fish” were printed the fun began. Hours and hours of hand stitching and hand beading. I love beading. I love how it has been used historically in so many cultures. Beading is very addictive.

The imagery continues to follow my present theme of things and places that are local. I think it is important to embrace our surroundings and culture, it’s honest. I had wanted to do a fish piece for a while but I wanted a local connection, and then it came to me that people go fishing all the time, why not do the catch of the day. I know there will be more pieces featuring fish in the future as it was just too much fun stitching and beading them. The next “fish” piece is being plotted as I write.

If you are looking to check out some local art from Alberta artists pop down to the gallery this coming week. It is located at 4924 Ross Street, Red Deer on the second floor. It is a great way to spend a snowy day.

Artwork by Debra Hunter
paintings, fibre art, photography, eco dyed bracelets
www.thehuntergroup.ca
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

Rose Leaf Eco-Print Shirt

rose leaf eco-printed shirtThis cotton shirt has been eco-printed with rose leaves from our garden. The rose leaves give wonderful details and crisp lines. The colors of the prints vary from olive-green to grey. Eco printed wearables are a great choice for the eco conscious person or someone who just loves nature.

eco printed shiry detail

Unfortunately this item is unavailable for purchase  as I love it too much to part with. However if you are interested in any items that I post please feel free to email studioh@shaw.ca for more information.

To view the story behind how I create the eco-printed shirt, please visit http://htheblog.wordpress.com/and view the post “Rolled and Bundled Shirt”.

If you are interested, I also post work at www.thehuntergroup.ca  and on Facebook .