Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dyebaths and Resists and Thread Schmutz, Oh My!

Are you sick of flour paste resists, yet? No, me either.

This piece, which never really did a whole lot for me...

... got a bath this week to tone down its high contrast, a bit.

Now that I'm liking it better... got covered with flour paste today.

This is the largest FPR I've done so far, cotton sateen measuring 90" by 45" (selvage to selvage), and it's taking up my entire work table in the wet studio. However, the weather here right now is unseasonably dry and I expect it to be cured by tomorrow morning and ready for its next layer.

Monday's FPR was dry by yesterday morning, so it got its next layer, too- medium green textile paint.

Because this was treated with textile paint, it will need to cure for about a week before it's safe to wash out the flour. It looks promising, though a bit busy. It might need a final, unifying overdye of a solid color.

Also out the dye baths this week were some mostly unremarkable scraps as well as some lovely, nubbly cheesecloth.

On March 6th of this year, I started stuffing excess thread schmutz into one of my hanging squirrel feeders.

It looked so pretty and was such a great solution for offering nesting fiber to the birds while keeping it mostly contained. Over time, it has begun to resemble a "disintegration bundle", which I've found fascinating. (A disintegration bundle is a package of paper, fabric, metal and fibers that some artists hang from fences and trees in order to study the effect the elements have on the materials.)

I can tell that the birds are using these fibers because I find them tugged out and hanging loose, and they are also strewn around the yard, like bright little baubles in the grass. My hope is to one day spot some of this material in a birds' nest so I can photograph it.

And finally, one from the feeders.

Happy creating!
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