A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

An Award Winning Deconstructed Screen Printed Quilt

On Thanksgiving weekend my husband and I went to the Art=Quilt=Art show at the Schweinfurth Museum in Auburn Maine.  First let me tell you I think this is going to be a yearly pilgrimage.  The quilt show was inspiring but then we got to see Auburn's Christmas Parade and saw a hilarious play at the Auburn Public Theatre.  It was as near as perfect weekend as I can image.

Anyway, lets talk about the award winning quilt.  When we entered the show we were told no cameras.  I was disappointed but agreed to the restriction until I came across an award winning quilt.  I then went back to the front desk and begged. They said I could take a picture but not post it till I had the permission of the artist. They even gave me the contact information.  I contacted the artist,  Ayn Hanna, as soon as I got home and she not only gave me permission but agreed to an interview for the Fire Blog.

Here is what she said about herself in reply to my original email.  I had told her that I was a printmaker in addition to being a fiber artist.

 I am a printmaker as well (earned my MFA at Colorado State University) and didn’t start working in textiles until several years after grad school.  I’m now working to bring my printmaker aesthetic to the textile medium and I view the breakdown screen-printing process as a most perfect blend of drawing, painting and printing.  I love it much as I love other printmaking processes -  because the marks achievable in this process are not achievable any other way, and I enjoy working within mediums that are not 100% controllable by the artist.

First her quilt and then the interview.


And some detail pictures

Ayn's Intro
I am a printmaker and textile artist.  My professional artist training include a BFA in Graphic Design and an MFA in Printmaking/Sculpture from Colorado State University, as well as experience as an Etching Master Printer.  I have taught drawing and printmaking at the college level and currently offer workshops in eco dyeing and multiple screen-printing techniques on fabric.

I am honored to have my work selected for the Q=A=Q Show and even more so to have received an award.  I appreciate being invited by Judith to have the opportunity to share more about my work and process with the Set it on Fire blog community.

1.     There are many different ways to deconstruct silk screen (DSS). Can you tell us a bit about what method you use?  As a printmaker, I love many printmaking processes, especially those in which I can achieve marks that really can’t be achieved through any other medium.  I view the breakdown screen-printing process as the best combination of drawing, printing, and painting techniques.  To create marks/images on a screen, I use a combination of direct drawing as well as low relief collaged shapes, sometimes creating simple color elements on single screens (which I then combine when printing them out on fabric) and other times creating more complex/complete multi-color images on a single screen.  I generally will create multiple screens with the dried dye and then compose the foundation of a piece through combining the printing out of multiple screens on a single piece of fabric, alternating with drawing directly on the fabric as well.

2.  What other types of surface design techniques do you use with your DSS fabrics when you make a quilt?  I often will draw directly on the fabric with thickened dyes to enhance the printed image, sometimes will discharge areas of a piece, sometimes combine with layers of my hand-dyed fabrics in a reverse applique process.  I use stitching to add another quality of line.

3. Where/who/how/when did you learn to DSS?  I’ve learned most of the major printmaking techniques in college, while earning my MFA.  As a professional printmaker, I use many resources, continue to do web research, study available educational materials, and experiment with new techniques in my studio, finding and using whatever best resonates with the direction I’m headed in with my new work.

4. Overall what do you think about DSS?  e.g. "favorite because...." or "useful because..." or "generally hate it because...."  I enjoy it because I find it the best way to combine drawing, painting, and printmaking on fabric, and because there is a certain lack of control with the process which allows for “happy accidents” and which requires some study and practice to achieve stellar results.

5.  What type of mark do you hope to get from your DSS?  I know that Beth and I hope for very different results when we DSS.  I hope to achieve marks that just can’t be achieved through other mediums, a hand-drawn line which is then printed….there is a character to this all its own.  I’ve had people respond to my work, curious how it was made/what it is made of and wondering if it is encaustic painting – this tells me that it has a new and different look and I think that’s a good thing.

6. When you DSS are there special tools/shapes/images/patterns/whatever you like to use?  I use anything and everything that might give me an interesting mark.  I draw using syringes with thickened dye.

7.  If you have a favorite art quilt that you have made that incorporates DSS feel free to send a picture of it and tell us why you like it.  

“Big City”, (fabric, dye, stitching, batting, mounted on stretcher frames).  This was inspired by the buildings and fire escapes on the Lower East Side of New York City that I used to walk past on my way to work when I lived in the East Village several years ago.

The piece is 40 inches by 60 inches overall – inclusive of six 20 inch square pieces, so it’s modular and has a flexible configuration.  This is a new direction for my work in that this is the first of my dye drawing textile artworks to be stretched around canvas-covered frames, in a sense “objectifying” them as art objects for the wall.  I see these as a perfect blend of textile, painting, and art object all in one.  This piece has been exhibited this year at the American Craft Council Baltimore show, the Fabric of Legacies show, and the SOFA Chicago show.

8.  You could talk about the making of the quilt in the AQA show so those that can't see if up close and personal can get a better feel for the process and methods you used in it.  I have 2 pieces from my LineScape series in the Q=A=Q show, “LineScape #14” and “LineScape #36 (Bridges)”.  “LineScape #36”, (the piece that won an award) is a whole cloth dye drawing which I made by creating multiple dye drawings directly on screens, printing out multiple screens on the cloth, and then also drew directly on the piece with thickened dyes.  I used stitching and couching to add line variety and bring the composition together.

Thank  you, Ayn!  I know that I am going to try some of your process in the near future.



  1. Any Hanna what a delightful interview. Do you have a blog or website?

  2. That's pretty! Also she's from my alma mater yay!

  3. Love the interview (and I know shes a great artist !)

  4. wow, that is just lovely. Great post!

  5. I thought that Beth's drop cloth from a few days back could have fit in beautifully with the "Big City" background. It's all in how you look at it.

  6. I love Ayn's work. Thank you for bringing us this interview with her.

  7. Thanks Judith for reaching out and giving me this interview opportunity and introducing me to this blog (love the title and the spirit of going all out and trying new things!) and thank you all for your kind feedback on my work.

    Wishing everyone a creative and happy new year!


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