A Closer Look:
Ginny Eckley

Barbara Blankenship © 2008

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Ginny Eckley is a renowned fiber artist, author and instructor. I recently had the pleasure of taking a two-day class and learning her silk screening process. Ginny’s studio is located off Interstate 59 south of Houston, Texas in a suburb known as Kingwood. Set among a forest of trees it’s the perfect location for inspiration and creativity.

We began by developing an understanding of Notan. This is a Japanese word meaning “dark – light.” “The principal of Notan as it relates to design is defined as the interaction between positive (light) and negative (dark) space.” Using black construction paper squares and rectangles, we experimented with balancing dark and light. In this picture you can see one of her designs cut from a square.

“Western culture tends to emphasize the positive aspect of design, with less emphasis on the negative (background) space. The Eastern culture from which Notan arose, seeks a more balanced view of the world and of design as it relates to the world. The classic yin/yang symbol is a reflection of this desire for balance.”

Ginny has an excellent CD on silk screening available online at her website: www.photoezscreen.com. It covers all aspects of creating your transparencies, developing your screen and then painting on silk. It’s an excellent resource. She also has all the necessary supplies relating to silk screening.

I was familiar with the silk screening process but never had the opportunity of experimenting. It’s a fascinating concept and has so many uses. Ginny is the U.S. distributor for the PhotoEZ. The product is a unique material made from fine silkscreen mesh and coated with a light-sensitive, water-soluble polymer. It uses black and white images on transparencies, sunlight and tap water to develop. This is a fantastic method of screening that doesn’t involve all the “mess” associated with original silk screening method.

We had the opportunity to play with her screens before actually creating our own; this gave us an idea of what we might like to do. Many of us came with ideas we wanted to try, and Ginny helped us understand the process of transferring those onto our screens. Pictured here is the silk scarf I made in class using my finished rose design.

If you ever have the opportunity to take Ginny’s class you will absolutely love it. She is an excellent teacher and a very gifted artist. I am thrilled with what I learned and look forward to using it in many upcoming projects. Whether it’s crazy quilting, fiber art, fabric journals, etc…silk screening is a wonderful medium. I would invite you to browse her website at www.fabricpainting.com and see some wonderful examples of her work.

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