Saturday, May 8, 2010

No, THIS One!

The flour paste resist fun rolls on!

As you know, I started with this piece of cotton sateen that had been LWI dyed, parfait-style, with eight other lengths of the same sateen. Not particularly thrilled with the result, I overdyed it once more in lemon yellow and then covered it with a flour paste resist. (If you've never heard of a FPR before, or aren't sure how to use one, scroll to the bottom of this post for a brief explanation.)

An odd thing happened with this FPR, though. I have previously used both Golden Fluid acrylics and thinned Neopaque to achieve my crackle finishes but this time I wanted to use thickened fiber reactive dye, so after completing the last wash out of the yellow overdye, I soaked the fabric in soda ash and allowed it to drip dry before applying the flour paste. But as the FPR soaked into the fabric, yellow dye began to leech out. Bleck.

Either I hadn't rinsed and then washed the fabric well enough after the second dye bath and as a result, I hadn't gotten out all of the excess dye particles, or for some odd reason, the flour paste reacted with the soda ash present in the fibers. I'm guessing the problem was the former rather than the latter, though. I'm usually very particular about making sure my dyes are totally rinsed out, but I dropped the ball this time.

Fortunately, it didn't seem to effect my final results.

After the FPR had dried (which took two days, not the one I had predicted), I crumpled it carefully. I mixed fresh black dye, Urea and more soda ash solution into SuperClear, a pre-mixed thickening agent sold by Dharma Trading which is used to thicken dyes for direct (painting) application. While I had found the SuperClear to be too thin for monoprinting, it was ideal for this application, which needed to be more soupy than thick. It got slathered on in a careful and slow process that I've begun to find very relaxing in a Zen-like way.

I covered it and let it batch for four hours.


I washed out the FPR in a large bucket of cold water and after that it was treated to the same series of rinses and machine washings as all my other hand-dyeds.

(entire piece, 90" x 45")

(closer)
(detail)
Pretty spectacular. If I had my druthers, it wouldn't have quite as much crackling as it does, I guess I got a little carried away with crumpling the fabric, but still a very striking piece that I hope will help jury me into Blurred Boundaries

There will likely be one more huge FPR in my immediate future because there's something else I want to try with it before I turn all my focus to stitching my newest Fringe piece.

This crackle piece...


... is still curing and has not been washed out, yet. That will happen on Tuesday and then I'll be able to see how that piece turned out, as well. I'll post photos when I have them.

Lots more monoprinting done this week with dyes, too... they're in the washing machine right now and if any of those are interesting, I'll post about them, too, next week.

Also, this little piece is under the needle this week... can't imagine why I thought it would help me knock down my stash of scraps- it didn't even make a dent!



All these fabrics, including the backing fabric and batting, were hand-dyed, painted and batik'd by me.

(detail)

It's about 24" x 18" or so, though I haven't measured it, yet. I'll post more about it when it's finished being stitched. In the meantime, happy creating!



***To briefly recap, a FPR is plain white baking flour, mixed slowly with cold water to form a paste of pancake batter consistency.  Fabric is pinned to a secure surface (I prefer something slightly absorbent, like an old sheet, but you could do it on plastic sheeting, as well.) The FPR is poured slowly onto the fabric and moved around, either with your hands or with a plastic trowel, until it covers the fabric. It is allowed to dry completely (you really want it bone dry for this), gently crumpled in the hands to create cracking and crazing in the hardened paste, and finally, painted over with your favorite pigment like thinned acrylic paint, textile paint, dye-na-flow or fabric dye (note: if you use dye, I recommend pre-soaking your fabric in soda ash and adding soda ash solution to your chemical water.)

The paste behaves as a resist, blocking most of the pigment from reaching the fabric, but allowing some of it to seep through the cracks, leaving a startling crackle finish.

20 comments:

Vicki W said...

It IS spectacular!

DeBorah said...

Gorgeous, although if you have the fabric pre-soaked with the soda ash, you probably don't need to add any into your thickened dye.

I love this whole process. I had only seen the FPR done on a screen until now. I'm intrigued. I can't wait till I have work space again to play!

kathy said...

Love the cracking in black on that first piece.

Lisa in Penna said...

Judi - thanks for the tutorial. Did this some years back with paint and found that the hardest part was waiting 2 weeks for the paint to cure. (I was being conservative.) Wish I had such a big work table!

DeCamp Fiber Arts Studio said...

It's definitely a beauty! The fpr looks like fun, and I'm wishing I had more space for a wet studio.

And belated Congrats on your anniversary!!

Terri Stegmiller said...

I see you are making more great fabric. I look forward to seeing your "under the needle" work completed. I think the scrap stash multiplies when we aren't looking.

Jan said...

That is totally right on! I love it and look forward to seeing what fabulous things you do with it.

Wen said...

very cool- I love the ease of working with flour paste. When I first did this, I thought WHO would ever smear flour all over their fabric- well NOW I know!

Robbie said...

I really love the 1st piece! It reminds me of old, parchment paper..very cool! I can just see putting small writings on it.

Deni Gottlieb said...

Beautiful Judi!

kathy york said...

Love the orange and red crackle piece. Fantastic texture!

Connie Rose said...

Awesome, Judi. That piece turned out fabulously. I have a potato dextrin resist piece curing right now, with black Setacolor on it. Using up my potato dextrin before I launch into flour paste. Your tutorials are always appreciated!

Sarah Ann Smith said...

WAY cool.... looks like an aerial view of streets to me..... Wonder if it will get warm enough this summer for me to do something like that (last summer we had maybe TWO days over 80 up here in Maine...it was the summer that wasn't!),
Cheers, Sarah

Mrs Moen said...

That is one gorgeous piece of fabric, Judi! Love the scrap project in progress too even if it did not make a dent in your scap box; my boxes keep on multiplying.-)

Sherryl said...

This is drop dead gorgeous! I haven't done any FPR in almost a year. Now may be a good time to get back to it. Should dry in a matter of hours here in AZ these days!
Good luck with your piece.

Gail P said...

marvelous! I'll keep trying, so far I haven't gotten very good results with this technique. Though, I did just paint black dye-na-flow paint on some white canvas that had a light layer of FPR on it and it looks promising. Thanks for the inspiration.

elle said...

Well now it really does make one think of a map, roadways and hence boundaries. I'm liking Tuesday's preview very much. And your scraps are wonderful. I luv how you layer. Hmm, can't say I know of any good tutorial for reducing unwatched scraps! lol

Terry Jarrard-Dimond said...

Looking good Judi! Nice exploration. As to the dye bleeding in soda ash. I have that happen all the time. I think the soda ash is just taking off excess dye as you said so it's a good thing. Keep 'em rolling Judi!

Kathy said...

Can't wait to try this, too. You are leading me in to just way too much fun!

Quilt or Dye said...

It really is spectacular! I am sending good thoughts to the jury on your behalf.