The Source for Contemporary Art Quilts, Exhibitions & Appraisals


Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Toward Barred Island

Flag...Grenadines by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Flag...Grenadines.

Watermark B Bravo by Gayle Fraas and Duncan SLade
Watermark: B Bravo
SOLD

Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade

Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade

Most of the work that Maine artists Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade do is painted and printed with fiber-reactive dyes on cotton broadcloth. Each piece consists of a single top layer of fabric that is layered with batting and backing fabric, a structure that can be referred to as a whole cloth quilt.

Fraas and Slade are pioneers in the artistic use of fiber reactive dyes, with which they have worked for more than thirty years. Fiber-reactive dyes, which bond with fabric, are widely used for commercial fabrics. Gayle and Duncan dissolve the dyes in water mixed with a seaweed-derived thickener, this concoction allows them to paint with the dyes, controlling the viscosity and allowing for effects from painterly washes to clean sharp edges without bleeding. An alkaline chemical reaction binds the dye to the fabric; this involves pre-treatment of the fabric, painting and rinsing and repainting two to four times. Each time the fabric is washed the dye is "set," allowing the artists to overlay color for desired effects.

Most of Gayle and Duncan’s work is completely painted on one piece of fabric. They also sometimes screen-print some pattern elements, but the textile industry has recently developed inkjet printers that allow them to transfer those elements directly to the fabric with the same fiber-reactive dyes that they paint with. Much of this pattern work is then overpainted to complete an effect. Patterns are digitally printed from original works painted and drawn on paper with gouache, pastel, and charcoal.

After they are done painting and printing, Gayle and Duncan add batting and backing layers and then machine and hand stitch all three together. They consider a machine-stitched line a “hard” line, while handwork generally serves as a “scrim” to view the painted work through. Both types of stitching also serve structurally to hold the layers together. While some large pieces are left unframed, most of their finished work is sewn to a stretched linen panel and then framed and faced with Plexiglas to create an attractive and protective archival environment.

Fraas and Slade's work has been exhibited in museums around the world and is represented in the collections of the Museum of Arts & Design (New York), the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA), the International Quilt Study Center & Museum, and the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum; in the corporate collections of the Hilton Corp., Fidelity Investments (Boston and Salt Lake City), John Nuveen Inc. (Chicago, IL), Mass Mutual, and Waban, Inc.; and in numerous private collections, including the John M. Walsh III Collection of Contemporary Art Quilts. The Wall Street Journal recently profiled Jack Walsh and Jack's Falling Water, the quilt he commissioned Fraas and Slade to made for him.

Ram Island, Sheepscot Rivwer by Gayle Fraas and SDuncan SladeRam Island, Sheepscot River


Srpruce Ledge by Gayle Fraas and Duncan SladeSpruce Ledge

Et in Arcadia Ego by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Et In Arcadia Ego...the Kiss

Flag...Deer Isle Thorofare by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Flag...Deer Isle Thorofare
Flag...Merchant's Row  by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Flag...Merchant's Row
Rocks by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Rocks Pattern Water
Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Toward Barred Island

Flag...Penobscot Bay by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Flag...Penobscot Bay
Flag...Grenadines by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Flag...Grenadines
Ram Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Ram Island
Surf...S.W. by Gayle Fraas and Dumcan Slade
Surf...S.W.


Barred Island Time by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Barred Island Time

Sanford Farm...August 21 by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Sanford Farm...August 21


Zulu by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Zulu
Altar Rock by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Altar Rock

Available Quilts from The Watermarks Series

Watermark Bob Shaw Bravo by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
B-Bravo SOLD
Watermark: D Delta by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
D-Delta
Watermark: E Echo by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
E-Echo
Watermarks: G Golf by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
G-Golf
Watermark: H Hotel by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
H-Hotel
Watermark: L Lima by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
L-Lima
Water,ark: P Papa by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
P -Papa
Watermark: I India by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
I-India
SOLD
Watermark: N Noveember by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
N-November
Watermark: U Uniform by Gayle Fraas and Duncan SladeU-Uniform
Information on the Watermarks Project

ICS signal flags

Information on the Watermarks Project
Watermark: V Victor by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
V-Victor
Watermark: W Whiskey by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
W-Whiskey
Waermark: Y Yankee by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade
Y-Yankee

Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)

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Toward Barred Island by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade (detail)


Bottom left and right: Toward Barred Island (detail) by Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade