Friday, March 12, 2010

It Was A Long Week!



Confession time: I had such good intentions to write a small tutorial on jar dyeing and post it earlier in the week, but by Wednesday I had bailed on it. There's something they say about good intentions but I'm going to claim a senior moment and tell you that I don't remember what it is.

I started the parfait-dyeing tutorial four or five times before realizing that I was spinning my wheels and burning a LOT of time. I just didn't want to leave out any details, no matter how tiny, but the art of fabric dyeing is- by its very nature- a detailed and extensive process.


Don't get me wrong... it's easy and anyone can do it, but there's a lot to know if you want to pull successful yardage out of your final rinse cycle and I couldn't bear leaving out anything that might give you a tiny boost up on creating something beautiful that you can be proud of. There's no way an article like that can be written well in a couple of days.

Maybe in the future I'll finally put my head down for a dedicated week and hammer it out, but no promises. I have a huge respect for the artists and companies that offer us such a wide variety of well-written, well-documented tutorials- I see now that tutorial authorship is an art in itself.

Anyway, onward into the week. As I mentioned last week, I wanted to try creating a flour paste resist on one of my less spectacular lengths of hand-dyed fabrics so I dug up the recipe, pinned a large piece of pale green fabric to my table, and mixed my resist.



I started with two cups of water in a 4-cup container and began slowly whisking in two cups of flour. I was looking for pancake batter consistency and when I reached it,  I poured the mixture on top of the pinned fabric and moved the paste around with my hands until I'd gotten a thin layer across the entire piece.


I doodled into the paste with a wooden chopstick. The idea is that when the whole mess dries, I'll be able to crumple it gently to create cracks in the flour, cover over it with with a dark colored dye or fabric paint, and then when the flour is removed (if I can ever get it out), it will leave behind a crackled finish- with, supposedly, doodles drawn into it.

Honestly, I'm skeptical... I'm not really sure what this stuff is supposed to look like when it's laying wet on your fabric, but I worry that my paste is too thin or that maybe I worked it into the fibers too much to ever get it out again. Plus, the danged thing won't dry and it's taking up monster horizontal space in the wet studio while it simmers away. I hate it a little more every time I go out there and poke at it to see if it's dry yet. It had better be an amazing result for me to do this again!

More fabric was tortured this week, as well. I thickened some black dye and painted it on this little piece that had previously been treated with magenta Dye-Na-Flow.


Then painted the dye onto the bottom of a pie plate and stamped it onto this fabric.



The little pink thing above was too boring, so it got another soaking and scrunching in Dye-Na-Flow.


And then because the color was becoming more muted than I like, I brightened it with a bath of magenta fiber-reactive dye.


Other fabrics got preliminary layers of color and are waiting for future layers. Maybe next week I'll finally break out the Setacolor paints and keep your fingers crossed for me that my danged flour paste resist dries!

Finally, just for fun, I took all my little silk experiments from a couple of months ago, attached loops of machine-wrapped cording to the corners and hung them in the living room as a valance. 


Have a great weekend, and happy creating!
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