Home Collage Susan Carlson Cloth Collage Summer time Particular 5 of 16: Making a Cloth Palette

Susan Carlson Cloth Collage Summer time Particular 5 of 16: Making a Cloth Palette


Making a Palette for Cloth Collage: Cloth Collage By the Numbers #5

Tom and I are utilizing a part of our summer season days to give you a kind of DIY Summer time Collage Camp—or a Winter Collage Camp for these of you within the Southern Hemisphere. We’re calling it “Cloth Collage By the Numbers,” addressing all of the steps of making a cloth collage quilt. We hope you’ll take part from wherever you might be on the planet—no journey concerned!

Pulling from six and a half years of material collage weblog posts as reference materials, we’re delving into that content material to provide you a summertime lineup that you would be able to observe together with. Initially of this sequence, there have been eight weeks left of summer season (not by the calendar however by the very subjective lens of the Maine local weather!) so every week we’ll ship two posts for a complete of sixteen within the sequence—until we re-discover extra related posts alongside the way in which! The photograph above exhibits a collection of materials organized as a cloth palette and able to audition on a spiral design, in at present’s publish following under.

Posts from our Summer time Particular embrace; #1—selecting your photograph (posted on July 7), #2—selecting a topic (posted on July 9), #3—making a sample (posted on July 14), #4—how to decide on material (posted July 16) to ultimately hanging your material collage on the wall (deliberate supply on August 27), we’ll cowl every step with a minimum of one earlier publish.

For example, just some weeks in the past on July 2, 2022, I revealed a second publish pertaining to creating a cloth palette. This time the material choice was solely African materials—addressing the problem of methods to lower a “random” and “natural” edge from daring and huge patterned materials that always have a gridded sample. Take a look at this publish in case you’re curious on methods to accomplish that.

By the way in which, if studying extra methods to work with the African material you’ll have in your stash pursuits you, you may nonetheless buy a ticket to the Quilt Africa Summit—through recordings from the whole three days of displays and courses—accessible now till December eighth, together with my slide lecture about utilizing African materials in material collage. Use this hyperlink to go to the Quilt Africa Summit 2022 web page, the place you’ll find ticket information to view my lecture in addition to all the opposite displays and courses. It was a really enjoyable and enlightening few days, I acquired to fulfill and work together with new material fans, and watch, hearken to, and study from others—stimulating concepts for my very own work. Extra in regards to the Summit right here.

Again to our Summertime Cloth Collage By the Numbers sequence, you’ll have learn a few of these posts earlier than, in order that they’d be a refresher for you. The knowledge might also be paying homage to data present in our on-line studying useful resource the Cloth Collage Grasp Class. In that case, know that you simply’re not imagining issues. A lot of this data is gathered, reorganized and expanded upon within the Grasp Class. For extra details about the Cloth Collage Grasp Class, click on the button under.


Making a Palette for Cloth Collage

(First revealed on October 31, 2020)

A painter’s major device, beside her brushes, is her palette. For every portray, an artist chooses from her numerous tubes of paint simply those she needs for this explicit picture. She squeezes out a dab of this and a dab of that till she has the whole vary of colours and values she needs to make use of.

I need you to take a look at your material as your palette. Now don’t misunderstand: You might have stacks and stacks of material, however that isn’t your palette. Consider these as your tubes of paint. You must slender these decisions down. And most significantly, simply as you may’t use the paint when it’s nonetheless within the tube, you may’t use your material when it’s in an enormous chunk of a yard or extra.

What to do?

When creating the turtle quilt from my Cloth Collage: Sea Turtle eWorkshop, my palette was at all times shut by and was organized by worth, mild to darkish (see photograph at starting of publish). As a result of my palette was close by and arranged, it was simple to zero in on simply the fitting alternative of material.

Nicely, what I’ve been telling my material collage college students increasingly more, is to make a cloth palette earlier than they start their collage. I’ve them choose a variety of materials. The colours don’t matter as a lot because the values do. Your topic might be any shade you need, however as a way to give your topic kind it’s worthwhile to have a whole vary of values. From the lightest spotlight to the darkest shadow, you want a cloth that fills these niches.

As soon as they’ve chosen their materials, I’ve them lower out hand-sized chunks of the material, following the prints within the material as a information, NOT reducing immediately throughout and thru the print design. As soon as the items are lower out, they’re organized based on worth, from mild to darkish.

This, then, is the material collage palette.

It’s essential when creating your palette to keep away from reducing your materials into related sized shapes. Create a palette with a wide range of shapes by letting the design or print within the material dictate the place you narrow. On this instance from my Thursday Evening in My Studio Reside! displays, “Is It Drafty in Right here? Working in Drafts”, check out the number of shapes included within the palette for my colourful spiral. Natural or irregular lower items of materials mix collectively higher than these which might be lower in a repeated form. Observe how the materials in my palette mix collectively when positioned subsequent to one another.

I’ve at all times stored a palette of materials close by as I labored on a collage, although not at all times in an organized kind of approach. The thought of encouraging my college students to pre-cut their palette and manage to values, grew out of a state of affairs through which I used to be educating a category however there was a 24-hour delay in having a number of college students’ patterns enlarged. To occupy their time in a productive approach, I had them take a look at their materials and create their palettes. Although they needed to wait till the second day to begin inserting their lower material shapes, they really made as a lot or extra progress on their collages by the tip of that day than many different college students within the class.

The usefulness of educating this fashion of working was instantly apparent to me.


It’s not simple to persuade college students that each one this reducing into of their completely high quality un-cut materials is a worthwhile effort, once they don’t even know if these materials will, ultimately, even work of their collages. I perceive that it’s a leap-of-faith funding of time to create a palette earlier than beginning to collage. And lots of of my college students are just so excited to get began that they skip forward of this step. I simply know that from what I’ve seen from their experiences with material collage, I’m going to emphasise it increasingly more within the class curriculum.

I’ve at all times thought-about material collage to be portray with material. I’ve developed the approach to be as instant as attainable, like portray: I keep away from the making of templates; I take advantage of glue from a bottle fairly than fusible adhesive; and I prep my materials by making a palette. These strategies all assist me think about collaging the picture with my pre-cut shapes, fairly than interrupting the method by looking via stacks of material time and again.

Pre-cutting a palette of materials to your material collage lets you audition, place, and simply trim each bit. Attempt one material, reject it, select one other, trim it down, pin in place. Transfer on to the following open space.

Arranging your palette by worth helps you zero in on the material you’re searching for. Are you engaged on a spotlight such because the tip of the nostril or cheek? You recognize the place your lightest valued materials are already. Engaged on a shadow on the facet of your canine’s head? Listed below are the darkest values of materials.

For my Thursday Evening in My Studio Reside! presentation on creating faces, I demonstrated the portrait train above. Discover how I’ve organized my palette across the design from mild to darkish. Not solely that, however the mild materials and darkish materials are positioned close to the facet the place they’ll be used, the lights on the left, the darks on the fitting. The lower shapes don’t get used of their entirety, I find yourself utilizing sections of every—components of them right here and there. As I accomplish that, the hand-sized items get shriveled, as do the open areas I have to fill.

If you initially create your material collage palette, that doesn’t imply you may’t and received’t add to it. A palette of 12 – 15 cuts of material is an effective quantity to begin with, it will get you going with as little fuss as attainable. However you could discover as you progress, that you simply want one other material shade, print, or worth to fill a selected area of interest. That’s high quality. It’s anticipated, even. You’re studying what you want as you progress forward.

I hope making a palette helps you start and hold going in your material collage journey. I consider it is likely one of the easiest methods to provide your self a head begin in your subsequent challenge.

I lately started work on a Celestial Portraits Module for the Cloth Collage Grasp Class Handbook. Above are materials that I selected for a Solar Face. That is the palette I’ll work with—admittedly I acquired slightly carried away with my preliminary choice (however I’m actually trying ahead to working with them). I’ve positioned my palette onto the middle part of a tri-fold presentation/show foam board. Under are images displaying how the edges of the board are hinged in order that it may be closed up and can shield my materials once they’re not in use. I assumed this was a very intelligent concept. I discussed it to Tom noting that my palette would now be protected from my curious studio cat, Djinni: “In case she decides to nap on them, knock them round or, you realize, puke on them.” No sooner had I closed the shutters on my palette than Djinni hopped onto the desk and hacked up her breakfast onto the folded up board, proving my speculation that sure certainly, a foldable palette floor may save my material shapes from the cat. 



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