The Tales of a Timeline / Les Fables d’une Chronologie

Just  little reminder if you’re in the Hamilton area…

Vous invite à participer à : « Les Fables d’une Chronologie – L’atelier des Histoires de Hamilton »

Développé de la recherche amassée des archives et de questionnaires présentés aux habitants de Hamilton, l’atelier Les Fables d’une Chronologie engagera ces participants à créer collectivement une histoire vaste du passé, présent et future en pensant aux statuts économique, industriel, social, culturel et politique de cette ville.  Cette histoire fera partie de la publication pour Deux Contes d’une Ville, qui sera disponible à la fin de l’exposition.

L’atelier prendra place le Vendredi 9 mars 2012, à 3:30pm, dans la cuisine communautaire, au Marché Fermier d’Hamilton (35 boul. York, Hamilton). L’ouverture officielle de l’exposition aura lieu plus tard le même soir de 6:30 à 8:00pm à Hamilton Artists Inc. (155 rue James N. Hamilton).

Envoyez votre réservation à pour cet atelier.


The Tales of a Timeline: Hamilton’s Stories Workshop

Drawing from a range of archival research and post-it note surveys with residents of Hamilton, The Tales of a Timeline workshop will ask participants to collectively write a sprawling story of Hamilton’s past, present, and future through economic, industrial, social, cultural, and political lenses. This story will then be featured in the forthcoming publication as part of the Two Tales of a City project.

Join us for the workshop starting at 3:30pm at the Community Kitchen of the Hamilton Farmer’s Market (35 York Boulevard, Hamilton) on Friday, March 9th, 2012.   RSVP to for the workshop.

Join us for the official opening of Two Tales of a City, later on that evening, from 6:30-8pm at Hamilton Artists Inc. (155 James St. N., Hamilton).

Two Tales of a City: Acrylic Medium Transfers on Fabric

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been testing out methods for transferring photocopies onto fabric using acrylic medium for the banner and bunting that will be installed on the exterior of Hamilton Artist’s Inc.

Rosina picked up this 1000ml tub of acrylic medium for The Store at SoVA‘s Store. We had some leftover scrap material to play with that we picked up from our technician and collaborator Jodi Green‘s studio at The House.

Using some photocopies of historical articles we collected from the Hamilton Archives regarding francophone feats and struggles and both the textile and steel industries in Hamilton, we got to work doing a few different test transfers .

The medium is applied directly to the fabric then the photocopied paper is placed over the fabric and rubbed in to ensure a crisp image.

We tested on both light and dark coloured fabrics, as well as pure white, to see the difference from one tone to the next. Then, we set our tests to dry overnight in the BFA studio at the SoVA.

Here’s an example of the bacl side of one of our photocopied articles. The text was photocopied in reverse so that it would come out onto the fabric in the correct direction.

The back of on of our tests before setting to dry.

After the first tests had dried at least 24 hours, we got to rinsing them to see the results.

They came out nice and clear! Here’s an example on white fabric.

Another sample soaking for a few seconds in cold water. After trying a sample with hot water, we soon realized that the heat was removing some of the transfer. It seems that cold was the way to go.

Our stack of photocopies.

Next we decided to do a few more tests on a larger surface area to play around with style and placement of the photocopies on the fabric.

Hiba was around working in her studio and giving us helpful hints for rinsing out the fabric transfers.

The remnants of paper post-rinse.

Sketches describing two different methods for transfering; one with medium painted directly on the fabric, the other is painted onto the paper then pressed into the fabric.

Our tests from last time drying. They all turned out well. Some were more interesting than others.

Old photographs of sewing machines made in Hamilton & Region during the 1800’s.

More samples of tests.

After picking up the squares from Jodi, we placed them out on the floor in the general shape of the sign they will become.

I rinsed off the larger tests we had done from last time.

Here’s the first test, medium painted on paper.

The edges were curling and the transfer was not very durable.

Two of the tests hanging to dry. The one on the right will be similar to the end results.

Just for fun, we did a test with clear glossy medium (rather than solid matte) The results were interesting and cool but would only work well on solid coloured fabric. Future t-shirts perhaps?

We started by cutting up all the photocopies in preparation for transfering 16 36″x36″ squares.

We also arranged the events from the timeline Hiba and I compiled during our last trip in Hamilton to be photocopied and transfered onto the Hamilton History timeline bunting.

A giant pile of pre-cut photocopies. After Cristina arrived to help, the pile of 8.5×11″ paper was reducing quite fast and we plowed through it in no time.

Dried samples from previous tests.

Our photocopied strips ready to go. It proved useful to dedicate a whole table for laying them out.

I wipe down the table before laying out two squares for transfering. Always important to start with a clean work surface! Soon after, Rosina and Kevin joined us.

We laid out the strips before securing their placement with the gel matte medium. We went with a broken grid pattern that sometimes crisscrosses over and under itself.

We had fun! We decided to keep working until we ran out of medium for the day.

Hard at work.

We each hard a slightly different method for applying and adhering the transfers, all with the same basic idea; paint the medium onto the fabric then rub and scratch the paper into the fabric.

After cutting up all of the articles and finishing to transfer 8 / 16 squares (each one will hold a letter to spell a word on the giant sign on the side of Hamilton Artist’s Inc), we ran out of medium and called it a day. Rosina will be finishing these squares today and we will get started on transferring the bunting on Thursday.




Two Tales of a City: Hamilton Industry notes and articles

I ventured to the CAW centre today to take advantage of the free WIFI and do a bit of research on the history of industry in Hamilton. I found some interesting articles about a abandonned knitting mill that was bought by Toronto Developpers and is being transformed into condos.


The Hamilton Textile District located on Ottawa Street is the largest fabric and textile district in Canada and also Hamilton’s top tourist destination.


This 1920’s commercial district in East Hamilton grew out of the local textile and fabric industry
which manufactured everything from sewing machines to clothing. Today the Textile District is
a thriving shopping area that has found its niche in fabrics, sewing and home decor. It is also
the site of the very first Tim Horton’s location.

From Wikipedia article on the Economic History of Hamilton:

Canadian patent laws and the underemployed workers skilled in machinist trades lured an important new industrial enterprise from the U.S.A.- the manufacture of sewing machines by Richard Wanzer. From this development there evolved the ready-made clothing industry, which William Eli Sanford introduced locally.

City of Hamilton Document Re: Cannon Street Knitting Mills

A few links to articles:

Knitting Mills

More on Knitting Mills

Even more on Knitting Mills

and more

Potential interviewees:

writer of this article on sustainable steel industry in Hamilton

 McMaster University Steel Research

Also, this is my aunt who works at DOFASCO (steel company in Hamilton)