Almost everyone from the class sent home their leftover paint with me instead of taking it home with them…so because I hate anything to go to waste, I printed one morning. It’s a good exercise because I get new ideas while I’m printing (oh boy, do I love that grid stuff that I think is for making rugs non-skid). There is still some paint left…stay tuned…I’m going to make screens for breakdown printing next…
Last week, I ran out of thread on a piece of art I was stitching on. Rather than take a whole day and drive an hour away to buy thread, I opted for an internet order instead. Of course! the company only had one spool of a color I needed, I found out later, and of course, I need more than one, so yes, I will be making that 1 hour trek in a couple of weeks, but I made a lunch and outing date with a friend, so driving an hour for thread won’t be all that I am doing that day. Oh, the down side of rural living…even if I do love it!
In the meantime, there is plenty for me to do while I wait for the thread….so I got started on making some prints on cloth. These will be deconstructed prints. First I had to create the screens. I smeared a few colors of dye paint onto the back of blank silk screens, then pushed objects that will create designs and texture into the paint. Then let dry for however long it takes. Purchased screens or homemade screens using framing wood pieces that lock together…it’s all good. I have learned something about making the homemade screens though. Do not use polyester sheers…they STRETCH! And you won’t like it. Use nylon material to avoid this. I am going to have to re-do some of my screens.
While I had the dye and the bubble wrap out, I decided to play. I do that a lot…try something new…see what happens. I laid my dry soda soaked cotton over the bubble wrap (to see how to soda soak cotton, see my tutorial on the sidebar), then laid a blank screen over it and pulled prints.
This deposits quite a bit of paint on the cloth, hence the following “monoprint”.
Since these two pieces use the same colors, they can be used together in something, but there is variation in the cloth.
I still need to finish one piece of cloth before I put my stuff away…maybe today!
But right now, I am making Mounds balls. ;=)
Ever have a tool that you love to use and you really would like more of them, but you can NEVER find them in the stores and you’re too lazy to cruise a bunch of yard sales just hoping you will find some? And you’ve been looking for a very long time? I was telling my husband all about this dilemma just the other day as we stopped into a Rural King store and we were going by the kitchen gadget aisle. I stopped to look at the gadgets and imagine my surprise to find exactly what I’ve been looking for. Holy cow!
These are mini-whips. I have a few of them, but have always wanted to have more on hand in my dyeing tool box. What do I use them for, you ask? I’m so glad you asked. I use them to mix dye powder with print paste to make the dye paints that I use on cotton and silk. With mini-whips it makes it easier to mix any chunky dye particles with either water or the print paste.
I was so excited to find these…I could have done a jig.
I love it when interesting discoveries come along. That’s part of the fun of this artsy lifestyle. I decided to dye paint a large (1 yd.) piece of fabric for a background a couple of weeks ago. Normally I would paint with a 2 inch sponge brush, but because of the somewhat daunting size of the cloth, I decided to roll the paint on with a sponge roller. I used a sturdy metal handled paint roller about 4 inches wide and probably 1.5 inches in diameter.
I was very surprised and pleased with the results. Using the roller gave the paint on the cloth an unevenness of coverage that I found wonderfully stimulating. With the large open background the variety of pattern and nuances of colors happened (I think) better with using the roller. I sprayed water on to help the colors move and blend. Try it and see what you come up with!
This piece was done by stamping soy wax onto white cotton with a potato masher and the lid of a film canister. Then I brushed turquoise and black dye paint on it making sure to get in all the little cracks and crevices. I think I am going to brush other colors over the white areas.
For this design, I tore strips of freezer paper and ironed them to the back side of a screen. Again, I used turquoise and black paint.
This is a screened design made with soy wax. I used yellow and fuchsia dye, and also picked up some turquoise paint from the table. These three fabrics all go together now. I will have to be careful what other colors I add to the first one!
This one is made with the same torn paper screen, except that after printing the design in one direction, I turned the screen and printed it in the other direction too. Looks like I used yellow and black dyes, maybe some turquoise. The next one was done the same way, except with more turquoise and some fuchsia paint.
I want to talk about paint. I love paint. I first learned about painting cloth from Mickey Lawler’s SkyDyes book. I bought the paint and colors she said to buy. That was Setacolor acrylic paints for textiles. I love them. I have since tried all the Jacquard paints and Golden Fluid Acrylics as well as screenprinting inks. I love to paint on pimatex cotton, a broadcloth with a high thread count. I think the paint looks better on this cloth. I love the ease of using paints. If I want to quickly change the appearance of cloth, I get out my stamps and paints and in a matter of minutes, I have the look I want. Paint dries fairly quickly. But a person can sink a lot of money into paints. The paint is also a surface treatment which does change the hand of the cloth some.
Now let’s talk about dyes. If you are a dyer of cloth, you already have what you need to make your own paint. You can make the paint very inexpensively. You are no longer working with pigments, as with paint, but now you are working with dye powder. There is a process with dye powder. If you are going to paint with dye powder, you first have to mix a chemical water that has a few different things in it. This is to help keep the dye paint wet enough for the batching time that is needed. Then you need to have a thickening agent to make your dye powder solution thick like paint. Since it is dye powder instead of pigment, there is a different consistency to it. If you are going to do layers of design, you will need to let each layer dry a bit, but not completely (remember,to batch, the dye needs to stay a bit damp), before continuing to add the next layer. (You could let each layer batch and dry between layers; this will take forever!) Dyes also love 70+ degree weather to batch in. Dyes do not change the hand of the fabric (this part I love). Oh yeah, one more thing: dye needs soda ash in order to make the chemical reaction. You must either soak the cloth in a soda ash solution, then air dry the cloth (start the day before you want to paint), or add it to your dye paint as you get ready to use it. This can be one long process!
So which is your favorite and why? I am basically thinking out loud here. I welcome anyone’s input if I have overlooked anything and I would like your take on painting with either medium.
soy wax screen design with ink