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.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Good night and good luck

With the closing bell of our blog, I was thinking of some of the internationally recognized artists that have shared over the years. Here is a short list:

Jane Dunnewold –Comlpex cloth
Rayna Goodman – improvisational quilting
Lisa Kerpoe - resists
Nienke Smit – dyeing and shibori
Kathy Loomis – tiny line quilting
Beata Kerchner – color theory and stitch
Mags Ramsey – painted quilt
Ann Johnston – Low water immersion dyeing

Now these are the “famous people” but our day to day, month to month blog posts were done by quilt artists and surface designers from all over the world. Maybe not so famous or with name recognition but they were the stalwarts who kept this blog going for seven years. There have been many contributors who wrote on the topics you can access on the right of the blog under the heading “Labels”. These were the women who volunteered as resident and visiting artists and who kept this blog fresh, relevant, readable and internationally recognized. I want to thank each and every person who contributed to making the FIRE blog what is has become – an amazing resource for surface design. The blog will stay up indefinitely as a “go to” resource for surface design and art quilting. Thank you again to all of our contributors. It has been wonderful being associated with you and this blog. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

'Ta Luego from Diane Ferguson

Until I see you again . . . I'm sure we will bump into each other again somewhere on the net. The Fire blog has a wonderfully wide readership and I've enjoyed being a part of the fun. Beth found me because I love to comment! That was the cherry on top - starting conversations in the comments. Keep on commenting whenever you find blogs you like. There's no predicting where it will lead.

You can follow me on my blog at https://yarngoddess.wordpress.com/
I'm still writing about the textile tour I took to Guatemala last February.
Life intervened and there was the regional Contemporary Handweavers of Texas conference - I was the official photographer and managed to take a great workshop with Anastasia Azure
Yes, there are gigantic safety pins woven into this copper bracelet. I can't wait to finish it! If some of the beads weren't rolled paper, I might have tried dipping this into liver of sulphur or singeing it with a blowtorch ... next time!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Nienke Smit

A few years ago, Beth asked me to join the Fireblog and for two years I contributed with much pleasure to this valuable resource.
I started blogging in 2010 mainly on dyeing with procion mx dyes. The name Verfvirus, means Dye Viral. And that’s really what is is, I just can’t stop dyeing, experimenting with dyes. The colours, the special effects, it is a never ending story.
Unfortunately, this blog, with the epic name ‘And then we set it on fire’ will be ending this month. So many people shared this adventure with us and I am glad that the content remains online.
I will definitely keep blogging at www.verfvirus.nl as it keeps me healthy, sharing experiments and playing with colour.
A last big big thank you to Beth and Judith for uniting so many people around the world to share their wisdom, making it ‘wisdom of the crowd’ even before it became popular.
I feel honored to have been a part of the team and wish everyone lots of happiness, fun and artful hours inspired by what’s left: a great resource of the most exciting tutorials.
All the best to the Fire-followers!


Friday, June 16, 2017

Goodbye from Wil Opio Oguta

My days will not start anymore with checking what is posted on the FIRE blog. A habit of years has to change :-(. I am honored that I have been a member of this creative group. And yes, sometimes it was difficult to find another idea to write about, as a lot has been handled during the years. Although I have to admit I knew what I wanted to talk about next year (grin).
I wish you all the best - fellow FIRE members and readers - and no doubt we will meet again, either in cyber space or in real life.
During January and February of this year Kelly and I talked about our e-book: Playing with Fire. We are working on our next book, which hopefully will be completed by the end of the year. If you want to be kept informed about our plans, please send an email to: info@what-if-textiles.com.

Wil Opio Oguta

Clara Narty here!

Hi there,

Clara Narrtey here.  It was a wonderful time here on the Fire Blog with you all. I thank Beth Berman for inviting me.

What I enjoyed most was the interaction with you all.
Your questions and enthusiasm to learn and practice the techniques I taught you, inspired me to do more.

Nobody grows creatively without a community.  Yes, there are times when you need solitude to do focused work. But feedback, inspiration, encouragement and learning from one another is what really makes us blossom as creative people. Over the years, I have grown tremendously because of my interactions with other creative people.

I enjoyed our time together so much that I’ll like to invite you to join my community of art quilters, makers, and textile artists. So we can continue the conversations and inspire each other to become our creative best in what we love to do.

To join click here and instantly receive some free sign-up bonuses.

See you inside the community.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Goodbye from Kelly L. Hendrickson

While I was very sad that FIRE is ending, I understand. I will miss FIRE very much. It was such an honor to be a part of this group of talented, daring and creative people. Some of you I got to know a bit over the years and hope to have some contact in the future.
This was an amazing adventure. Thanks to those who started and maintained it. FIRE represents an incredible amount of dedication and perseverance. Thank you for including me in this journey.
I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors!! I'm sure I'll see your names around!!

Kelly L. Hendrickson

Monday, June 12, 2017

Thanks for Firing me up!

I don’t remember exactly when I found the “Fire” blog, but it was several years ago.  I was immediately inspired and excited by all the fabulous posts about various surface design techniques from the folks who shared their projects and experiments!  I had not been using many of the techniques for long, and really wanted to learn and try them for myself, so I eagerly devoured each post, and tried many over the years.  Then I was blessed to be asked to share some of my experiments here, which was a distinct honor! 
From time to time, I have gone back into the archives to re-visit various posts, and love that the wealth of wonderful information is right at my fingertips, as if I had a whole library in my home to cull through.
While I am sorry to see that the “Fire” blog is no longer going to be adding posts, I know that I will be able to continue referring back to it, and that is a comfort.
Thanks to Judith and Beth, the founders of this great, fun place, for keeping the blog going for so long!  You have done a great service to your fellow fiber artists!  I hope you will continue experimenting and pushing the envelope in your artwork, and I will try to do the same, armed with such a wonderful array of tools found right here on the “Fire” blog! 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Exciting News From Beth Schnellenberger

I just received word (today) that my piece--"Scorched Earth" (pictured below)--was juried into this year's Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie exhibit held at the Carnegie Center for Art & History in New Albany, IN, from July 21st through September 16th of this year.

I also have a piece called "Black Beauties" (pictured in my gallery on my blog) that was juried into an exhibit in Herndon, Virginia. That exhibit will be from July 7-July 23

Black Beauties 2012 (20" X 33 1/2") Machine piecing, machine quilting, machine and hand applique, hand beading $400
Story of the quilt--One of my favorite things to do when I'm home (besides working on my artwork) is looking at the view out my window into my backyard to watch the birds at my bird feeder. I particularly like to watch the birds in the wintertime when there is a nice sheet of snow on the ground. I like the stark contrast between the whiteness of the snow and the color of the birds. One particular winter day, ALL the birds on the ground were "those ugly" blackbirds EXCEPT for one beautiful red cardinal. I was really aggravated that the "ugly" blackbirds were dominating the bird feeders, eating up all my seed, and weren't even pretty to look at. After I had ranted and raved, I got to feeling bad about maligning the blackbirds. I realized that they need to eat too, and they can't help the fact that they aren't "pretty." That revelation led me to think about this on a larger scale. People who aren't considered "pretty" by society often have needs that aren't met--simply because of their appearance. We all can't be pretty.

I'm still waiting to hear on whether one more gets in to another exhibit to which I've applied.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Goodbye from Beth Schnellenberger

I remember the day Judith contacted me when the Fire blog was just starting. I kept emailing her, "But, I'm not an artist." She kept encouraging me; she NEVER gave up. And I can honestly say that (artistically speaking) being a Resident Artist on the blog was one of the best things that has ever happened to me.

The blog gave me confidence, it introduced me to LOTS of new tools to add to my artistic tool belt, and it afforded me the opportunity to meet Judith in person and all of you in the blogosphere. Because of the blog, I don't any longer have (too) much trouble saying, "Yes, I'm an artist."

Thank you, Beth and Judith, for all the hard work you put in to make this blog SO successful. Thank you SO MUCH for including me in this endeavor.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Silk and Wool Landscapes - Beth Berman

I got the idea for these from a woman who stitched layers of fabric together with decorative stitches. I thought about landscapes because I had already started a landscape series with batiked fabrics. These landscapes were matted and framed at 4.75 inches square.

Acid dyed silks and a few wools

My palette

Wool/Acrylic thread (Madeira Lana)


Summer time

In a 9" square shadow box frame


These lead me to the deconstructed screens and thermofax work I wrote about Friday. I love how one thing leads to another.

I would love it if you would continue to follow me in my journey on my blog:

Friday, June 2, 2017

Current Work - Beth Berman

First of all thank you all for years of interesting and productive comments and participation in our FIRE blog. 
I would like to talk a bit about layers. I have learned so much from my best friend Judith Brown about layering but I don't want to tell her story. She's been up to some interesting projects as well. One of the things I have been creating is a series of landscapes. I started out making silk and wool landscapes ( Monday's post) but then reverted to my old standbys, thickened dye and hot wax.

I did do some batiking and I had some dye left over so I set up some screens to deconstruct. I have gotten to the point where I can print the screen three times side by side with very little evidence of where one screen started and the other left off. 

They came out very anemic and obviously needed more layers. My main goal was to try to create a "horizon" for a larger landscape. These were all 30+ inches.

Second set of screens to deconstruct

I also thought of the stitching in my silk and wool landscapes and thought about making thermonfax screens of wheat and grass. I was hoping for a real horizon with sky, fields and grasses. These are the two screens I had made.

These are the finished pieces with one layer of deconstructed prints, the thermofax screens done in olive thickened dye and a top layer of the second set of deconstructed screens. I humbly have to admit , the results were more than I ever thought would be realized.







More needed on this screen

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Burning Down the House!

We are burning down the house in June.  

We thank all of you for following our blog, making comments, and sharing your knowledge with us.  We have loved our time blogging due to your participation and everyone has been enriched by your sharing.  But, the time has come and we are going to burn down the house. June will be the last month with new posts.

A Little History of the Blog
"And Then We Set It On Fire" started officially in January 2011 although we had a few posts before then to get fired up.  So much has changed and so much has stayed the same.  We have always been about surface design mostly with fabric but sometimes with paper but our presentation format has changed through the years.  We have changed Resident Artists and Administrators but some of us have been here through it all.  We have had famous Guest Artists and Guest Artists like you and me who are famous to our friends and blog readers.  I can't think of a surface design technique that we have not featured at least once  and  many have been presented  by various artists getting different perspective.   Personally I love that!  We started with just 6 people (I think) and have gone international with both our readers and our Guest and Resident Artists.  It has been an explosion!

We have asked all our past Guest and Resident Artists if they would like to have a final post to let you know what they are up to now and to say a final goodbye.  Please, tell us what you are up to now and feel free to tell us goodbye and let us know some of your favorite posts.  As always, we would love to hear from you.

We will  leave the blog up for future reference.  I don't know about you but I often go back to review a technique I haven't used for a bit.  You are welcome to do the same. Thank you again for making this blog such a success.

Judith and Beth