Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Karisma Dev - Student Artist Extrodinaire

This is one of my star art students, Karisma Dev, a current sophomore. Karisma has taken one of my art classes every single year since entering Whitney High (grades 7-10) and you can see some of her spectacular pieces below.  This semester Karisma is enrolled in a Special Studies Art Course with me, it's like independent study.  She comes in during the last period of the day to work on her own art projects, several of which are featured here.  Very rarely do I allow students to do this due to a variety of reasons: not self-motivated enough, not mature enough, not knowing the direction they want to go in, etc.  But Karisma is the exception, a dynamic young artist!
This first textile piece is cotton fabric wrapped around plastic beads to get a circular resist effect. This idea is actually a Shibori dyeing method, that was slightly altered in order to use the cotton fabric and plastic beads (original process involves using silk and black-eyed beans). 
 Once the bead wrapped areas had been painted over top with blue food color dyes, each area had to be wrapped in saran wrap to retain the blue dye color when dyeing the background with other colors. 
 Once Karisma reached the point of dyeing the background (after all the saran wrapping), she wasn't sure how well the food color dyes would remain in the cotton fabric. So, she decided to test out some cotton dyes on a scrap piece of cotton fabric, and the turnout was pretty good below. 
 Finally, after testing dyes and wrapping beads over and over again, she was able to try dyeing the actual piece, and the outcome was incredible!  Below is the fabric with the saran wrap still on, right after the dyeing process.
Close-up of the same piece after the dyeing process.
Once the fabric was dry, she removed the saran wrap and beads. Due to sitting for so long wrapped around the beads, the shape created from the beads after removing them remained, creating a great textural bas-relief effect.
Close-ups of the ends of the cotton after dyeing and removing the beads.

She also did some indigo dyeing with cotton fabric. The piece below is the cotton fabric wrapped around sticks and bound with string before being inserted into the indigo dye bath. 

 This was the final outcome. She almost got a "spine" effect down the center of the fabric from folding it into two parts, as well as one darker section which was on the outside where she wrapped the string. Some yellow dye was also surprisingly present in the final product, as there was some dye on the sticks from a previous dyeing project.

Close-up of the center portion and some of the yellow dye details.

She has also done several natural dye projects with other materials such as eucalyptus and plum dyes on other fibers. The piece on the right is a piece of silk fabric which was wrapped around the peels and seed of a mango (you can see the seed created the darker sections in the piece) and it was immersed in the eucalyptus and plum dyes, and sat for a few days before she unveiled it. 

Below is a layout of the fabrics she has dyed using the several methods (cotton, indigo, and natural dyes) (Sorry, it's a bit blurry). Inspired by textile artist Nat Palaskas, she plans on creating a quilt top out of the natural and indigo dyed pieces (the top and right fabrics shown) and creating another wood mounted piece using the cotton dyed fabric (fabric at the bottom).
Karisma traveled with her portfolio of work to the East Coast with her mom over Spring Break to visit a few colleges she is interested in for their art departments, Cornell and Cooper Union.  At both colleges the recruiters told her they had never seen such a huge body of work in such a variety of media as Karisma showed them.  I was so very proud of her when she shared that with me.

So I'm a very lucky woman because I know that Karisma will be back the next two years to continue her art education with me.  We will get her into her dream school her senior year!

Love you woman!!  


  1. magnificent work. she is lucky to have you as her guide.

  2. This work is just amazing - such patience and commitment to her art!