Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ye Of Little Faith...

Now I'm scrambling to devise more horizontal space so I can do this again.


And again (click photo for a better view). Holy cow. Aside from having this thing taking up so much room in the studio, the flour paste resist I started last week turned out to be a lot of fun and incredibly easy. A little stinky, though... my flour might be out of date, I used an old bag that had been in the pantry for a while.

So, as I mentioned last week- I started with a large but boring piece of hand-dyed fabric. I pinned it to my work surface, which I'd covered with a flannel sheet. Then I whisked together 4 cups of water and 2 cups of plain white flour, adding the flour to the water slowly.

I poured the flour paste onto the fabric and, wearing rubber gloves, moved the paste around gently with my hands until it had covered the fabric. I took a wooden skewer and drew into it. Only a small amount of that seemed to show in the final piece but it's worth exploring further.


Then I set it aside to dry.


It took about 4 days for it to fully dry. Crackling the dried paste was easy... I just unpinned the fabric and gently scrunched it in my hands, a small amount at a time, until the whole thing seemed cracked. I was worried the paste would start flaking off, but it never really did until I wanted it to.

I painted it with Golden fluid acrylic paint in Dioxazine Purple and left it to dry and cure for another four days. I couldn't help but take a peek as that paint was setting, so I popped some of the dried paste off.

Even that little peek made me realize just how well it was going to work. 


Guh. 

My final worry was that the flour paste would never come out. Once again, however, I've been reminded to trust the process. I soaked the fabric this morning in a bucket of cool (tap) water and after about 20 minutes of soaking, I manipulated the fabric gently in my hands. **The paste melted right off.  I spent about 15 minutes making sure it was all removed, then washed the fabric on a soak cycle in my washing machine with a little Synthrapol and ironed it dry. 

I LOVE this technique. I don't know how yet, but I want to find a way to stack large pieces like this to dry so I can do more than one at a time. I'm thinking large masonite planks separated by bricks, or somesuch. Such a stacking system would also help me a ton when I do other large, wet media techniques on paper and fabric. Hmmm... modifications to the wet studio may be necessary.

Happy creating!


** Something worth noting: when I dumped the dirty water out of the bucket during my clean-up, there were a huge amount of undissolved clumps of flour paste in the bottom of the bucket. If I had just upended the bucket into my sink, all that garbage would have wound up in my drain! Please try to remember this when you pour out the water and leave the debris in the bucket. Scoop it out with paper toweling and discard.

29 comments:

Quilt or Dye said...

It did turn out fabulous! Makes me want to give it a try.

Pat Dolan said...

Great tutorial - complete with the photos. Makes me think about trying it!

Terri Stegmiller said...

This is a fun process as I've done it a couple of times. Your results are smashing. I really would like to do this some more, but also lack space for it. I'm thinking that maybe this summer I should set up and do some so it can dry outside.

Dianne Robinson said...

Inspiring! Your pictures and description are very clear and I think I will try it - in the summer when I can speed up the drying process a bit!

Margaret Cooter said...

As well as drawing into the paste, you can stamp into it - I've only used simple shapes myself, but it would be worth experimenting.

Marilyn League said...

Thanks for the tip on disposing of such stuff. That's the first thing that came to mind when you got the pouring out part--yikes clogged drains!

Art by Rhoda Forbes said...

Fabulous results Judi, I have a few pieces that could use a lift...thanks for the great explanation I'll be trying this :)

Grace said...

Whoopee!....it turned out fantastic! Love the dioxazine purple on the green.

Did you dilute the acrylic paint at all? Having used acrylics, did it change the hand of the fab? I've only ever used dyes and Pebeo Seta Colours. Tell us more, tell us more.

elle said...

At first I thought you'made a map of the world! 8^) cool! This doesn't sound terribly high tech. I shall remember it come summer as it would never dry down in the basement. The drying racks sound like a very good idea.

Gisela Towner said...

Oh, that turned out great! And your explanation of the process is brilliant!

diana said...

Wow, thank you! I'm inspired!

Lisa from DippyDyes said...

Hi Judi - great stuff. It works with dye, too, on soda-soaked & dried fabric. Try a notched trowel for texture with either medium - way cool!

Brenda Williams said...

Recycled window screens make great drying racks. I use them when I wash fleece.

Jan said...

So is the first photo the finished piece after it is washed and dried? I think I will have to give this a try also. Looks like too much fun! Thanks for sharing your process. Can you get ahold of some bakery racks? Or discarded racks from stores that were seasonal displays, for instance, bulb package displays from costco? I have one of those although really, this one would not be big enough for you, wouldn't hold even one yard of fabric per rack, but it is something to consider.

Unknown said...

I love the texture. I'm thinking you could use sturdy plastic cups and foam core to stack layers on your table. Much easier to store and lighter to lug around.

connie akers said...

Thanks for sharing a beautiful fabric. If you do this outside and let the sun dry it you'll also get cracks as it dries. A great spring/summer project.

Susan Schrott, Artist said...

Wonderful! You documented the process perfectly! I can't wait to give it a try. Will it work with dyes too?

Wen Redmond said...

Very cool- if you wait a bit you can scratch into it and crete lovely distress marks. I appreciate seeing the steps.

Unknown said...

this is so beautiful. the fact that it's some of my fav colors doesn't hurt. sooner or later you're going to get me to try dyeing

idea for drying - racks of screen stapled to wood frames (like you make paper in?) separated with bricks, jars, whatever is at hand. this should speed up the drying time & since it's thick nothing will drip thru

of course, it could possibly affect the pattern on the fabric???

Sondra said...

Love your results, I learned about this process with Jane Dunnewold. It is a lot of fun and you get great results. Wonderful piece. Thank you for sharing your work and your thoughts.
Best to you,
Sondra

Katrina said...

Great fabric! I just love the batik look. Thank you for sharing.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Oh no! Another technique I want to try! Thanks for the detail! I'll be moving house in 2 weeks and then I'll start playing! My new dyeing, printing, painting "studio" is under the trees in the garden. I can be a messy as I like!

Hugz

Gina said...

Great results! This might be a good place for me to start. I always have flour in my cupboard, although possibly the whole wheat won't work so well. How about using foam boards covered with plastic and stacking with bricks as you suggested. (light for storage and stacking)

Martha Marshall said...

Judi! Absolutely beautiful. I love processes whereby you are anticipating something wonderful but don't know exactly what until the end. The suspense is great fun.

Sue Bleiweiss said...

Very cool Judi! I've never tried this but you've got me thinking I should add this to my list of things to attempt this summer.

Judy Alexander said...

Can't wait to try this. The results are really cool. Thanks for the great tutorial.

Red (aka Puddleduck!) said...

Hi Judi! Gorgeous piece; love the colours and patterning... You can use bleach or discharge paste and discharge dye with this method too.... I used black fabric with bleach; but am going to try coloured dye onto an already coloured cloth now!! Thanks!

Sharon Eley said...

Great tutorial. Thanks for sharing. An idea that I would like to share about stack drying artwork: I have attended workshops where they have you cover large cardboard sheets 24x30 with heavy plastic taped to it. Then stack using small paper cups on each corner. The little plastic pyramids in paint stores work too. Hope this helps.