Thursday, October 7, 2010

Home Again and Studio Doings

After countless cities, airplanes and hotel rooms jammed into one five-week period, we're finally home again. I'd tell you all about it, but a vacation is usually only interesting to the people taking it. But if you're really dying to know, here are some of the photos I took on my various travels, knock yourselves out!

Monday saw me back in the studio and I have to admit, after being out of it for so long, it felt a little foreign to me, like it was someone else's space. To get back into the groove, I charged more screens with thickened black dye.

These guys were done simply enough... I thickened my dye by adding Jet Black dye powder to clear print paste, putting it into a syringe with a very narrow tip, and drawing it onto the screens. Then they sat in the driveway all afternoon to bake in the sun.

Can I admit that I always, always, always seem to make far more thickened black dye than I can use in one session? As a result, I find myself scrambling to prepare more fabric to use it on, rather than put the excess down the drain.

Because I had so danged much left over, I tried a technique written about by Leslie Tucker Jenison in the Oct/Nov 2010 issue of Quilting Arts.

In the article, Leslie uses tiny scraps of paper, MX dyes and silk screens to create interesting textures on fabric. I only slightly modified this technique by using scraps of cotton fabric, which I cut with a pinking blade in my rotary cutter.

I used long, narrow scraps of Pimatex to print on and then, as Leslie demonstrated, scattered the scraps across the unprinted fabric, wet out the screen with my thickened dye and continued to print down the length of the cloth.

The two on the right were printed using Leslie's method and the piece on the left is a monoprint taken from the paper that had been placed under the fabric before printing.  Pretty neat results, and instead of washing all that great dye and texture out of the screen, I left the bits of fabric stuck to it, left it with the others to dry in the sun, peeled away the scraps, and will use it later in the week to do some deconstructed screen printing.

And lastly, there are only two days left to sign up for my Dharma-sponsored give-away. On Saturday, October 9, two names will be chosen by a random number generator to receive one of these fantastic dye kits. All you have to do to be eligible for the drawing is to comment on this post.

Until Saturday, happy creating!
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