Whispering Marsh and Rainy Night

August 22nd, 2011

Architect Glenn Keyes and his wife Cyndy commissioned a diptych batik of kimono silk for the home.  Glenn designed the lovely space. The batik was requested to be rendered in blues, greys, tans, greens, some yellow, red, purple, and copper with no pinks or oranges to accommodate the space. I took lots of photographs of their natural surroundings and was able to perceive the way this landscape would look as if from the air.  The photographs led me in both color way and design. I had full freedom to create beautiful art as the clients trusted me. We were both totally happy with the installation.  I waxed out a moon behind a dense rainfall, inspired by the batik “Rainy Night” that the Keyes saw hanging in my studio.

Rainy Night   

Rainy Night                                          Whispering Marsh

Not Just For Dorm Rooms: Batik Hangings Show Eco Catastrophes

August 18th, 2011

Yukon Delta, 44" x 44", batik on silk

John Pavlus wrote a beautiful article titled Not Just For Dorm Rooms: Batik Hangings Show Eco Catastrophes about my batiks in Global Climate Change: A Primer for Fast Co. Design, New York. It features a video that shows all the batiks in the exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh.

Book Signing on Thursday, June 23 for Global Climate Change: A Primer, Duke University Press

June 7th, 2011

Come celebrate the publication of Global Climate Change: A Primer, co-authored by Orrin & Keith Pilkey with batik art by Mary Edna Fraser, coinciding with the opening of Our Expanding Oceans at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh.  You can buy the book directly from Amazon.com.

Exhibit Premiere, Reception & Book Signing
Opening: Thursday, June 23, 6-9:30 pm

Exhibit dates: June 25-November 6, 2011

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
11 West Jones St., Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 733-7450, extension 303

Our Expanding Oceans features more than 50 hand-dyed silk batiks by Mary Edna Fraser with explanatory science by Orrin H. Pilkey.

Purchase your tickets to the opening ($10 Friends, $15 General Public) directly from the museum: naturalsciences.org/programs-events/?select=1731

Reflections on Water opens Thursday, June 9th at the Nash Gallery in Minneapolis, MN

June 7th, 2011

Reflections on Water: Recent Works by Mary Edna Fraser, Linda Glass, and Barbara Lee Smith
A featured exhibition in Confluence, the 2011 International Surface Design Conference in Minneapolis
Sponsored by the Surface Design Association (SDA) and the Textile Center

Opening reception: June 9, 5-7 pm
Exhibition dates: June 9-30, 2011
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-6 pm
Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota
405 21st Ave. So., Minneapolis, MN 55455

Reflect on the power of water and the state of the earth’s ecosystem in a way that heightens awareness and inspires contemplation, hope and action.

Our Expanding Oceans opening at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh

June 6th, 2011

Exhibit Premiere & Reception
Thursday, June 23rd, 6-9:30 PM

Join us for an exhibit tour, lecture, book signing, live music, light bites, beer and wine.

For more information, visit naturalsciences.org or call 919.733.7450, extension 303.

You can buy tickets ($10 Friends, $15 General Public) directly from the museum at: http://naturalsciences.org/programs-events/?select=1731

The exhibit features more than 50 hand-dyed silk batiks. Developed by artist Mary Edna Fraser and scientist Orrin Pilkey.

Exhibit runs June 25-November 6, 2011.

Installation of Kimono Silks

June 3rd, 2011

Here a few shots of the elegant new Kimono Silks up at 214 King Street (The Real Estate Studio) through June 21st. Thank you to all who came out to the opening. We had a great crowd of folks actively observing and talking about the art. You can attend the show Monday-Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 12-5.

Waxing and dyeing the full moon with Dana’s Howling

February 1st, 2011

Dana Downs’ The Howling Moon is a favorite at the Fraser studio–always an album that beacons a repeat.  Mary Edna completes the final waxing and dyeing of her moonscape reflected on water while listening to Dana’s unreleased southern folk opera.  We can’t help but sing along as Dana’s sweet somber tone fills us with the kind of joy only found on a stormy day.

Waxing floral details

January 24th, 2011

After Mary Edna’s floral batik has dried, she is ready to apply the third layer of wax.  The dried silk shows color as it will appear in the finished piece.  By waxing them in, those hues will be saved.  Darker tones that will be added during the final dyebath will dramatically change the art when complete, giving it depth and detail not yet visible.

Waxing a single, small batik can take all day to finish or even longer, depending on the intricacies of the design.

Not only are the pinks waxed over, but fine details of the chrysanthemums and leaves will be saved too.

A single drop of wax causes a dramatic change in the appearance of the work, although it does not change the color that will appear once the wax is removed.  Because the wax makes color appear darker, Mary Edna holds the memory of the dried colors in her mind as she works.

After waxing in all the pink flowers, Mary Edna flips the batik and works from the backside to make sure all the wax has fully penetrated the fabric.

A little wax is added to a flower from the backside of the art so that no dye can access the fuchsia design.

Mary Edna creates a moonlit edge out of the negative space formed by a flower stem.  Gray tones will be added to mute the yellow-green background in the next step of the process.

Batiks in progress

January 20th, 2011

Mary Edna is in a period of prolific art production.  Currently she is working on three batiks in her studio for the upcoming Kimono Silks exhibition at 214 King Street in Charleston from May 12 to June 21, 2011, coinciding with Spoleto.

Collected on Mary Edna’s last trip to Australia, this vintage damask silk has a flower motif woven into the fabric. Chrysanthemums, leaves, and stems float over the design.

This is Mary Edna’s first work capturing the realism of flowers on kimono silk.  The full moon enters the work as if reflected in a pool of water.  Chinese sumi brushes ordered from Dharma Trading Company are made from bamboo and natural fibers designed to hold up against the hot wax.  These brushes, along with the fine lines created by the tjanting tool, allow for a variety of markings.

Mary Edna’s studio doubles as a gallery space when it’s not filled up with giant batiks on silk.

Fuchsia flowers on a pale green background will dry much less vibrant for a subtlety of color and antique quality that Mary Edna anticipates.  She pins her work to wooden saw horses so that the silk can be turned easily, keeping the wax from cracking, and making dye and wax application exact.

Using a few shades of green, Mary Edna creates gradients of color to gives leaves depth and turn. Blending the pinks with greys, the background will eventually appear much more like moonlight with only a little green saved for stems and leaves.

Thick wax creates a yellowing effect in the bold flower designs. When removed, the white details will really sing. Until the work is complete, Mary Edna can only imagine the elegance of the finished art.

Installation of Our Expanding Oceans at University of Georgia’s Circle Gallery, Athens, GA

January 11th, 2011

Wall of batiks on silk at the Circle Gallery

Rene Shoemaker looking at her installation of Mary Edna's art

John Sperry cleaning glass display case in gallery