Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back To Work!

After two weeks of nearly no artistic endeavors (the first week spent just grooving on Spring, the second week caring for my hubby after his hospitalization), I found it more difficult than I thought it would be to get back into the studio. However, come Sunday afternoon, I nonetheless had 14 yards of white cotton sateen cut into nine pieces, ready to be pre-washed and soda-soaked for Monday morning LWI jar dyeing. 

So why am I doing even more jar dyeing? Because in addition to entering this competition, I've also decided to enter the art cloth competition, Blurred Boundaries. It will be held at the end of the Fabrications Retreat and since I'll be attending this year, it would be a shame not to try.

So, coming off the clothes lines all day on Tuesday were some fabrics that were lovely all on their own and ripe for further surface design, and some disappointing fabrics that were begging for more color.

From the top of the jar to the bottom (and with the accompanying dye color listed below each photo):

(chartreuse, 54" x 44")

(emerald green, 54" x 44")
 (cobalt blue, 54" x 44")

(deep purple, 54" x 44")
(deep purple, detail)

(ice blue, 54" x 44")
(magenta, 36" x 44")
 (carmine red, 54" x 44")
(rust-orange, 90" x 44")

(lemon yellow + golden yellow, 54" x 44")

(yellow, detail)

Some of the fabrics were pleated before dyeing, some scrunched. As you can see, a few pieces have an inordinate amount of white fabric showing. As a dyer, it feels like an amateur mistake; as an artist, it's mostly unusable white space.

The culprit was the weight of the fabric. This is the first time I've worked with this sateen and while it's a lovely, heavy product, it obviously likes a LOT more dye solution than I gave it- although how I could have squeezed even one more ounce of liquid into my jar is beyond me!

Not a problem, though, because there's always The Almighty Overdye (do I hear organ music?)

Over-dyeing boring fabrics is the staple "Do-Over" of fabric dyers through the ages so in that tradition, two of the failed pieces are now sitting in fresh dye baths and will hopefully produce more interesting results in tomorrow's wash-out.

In other activities, the carmine red piece went from this...

... to this:

A flour-paste resist in the making. Hopefully it will begin to set up soon so I can move it- possibly even to the outdoors for a little while. I'm going to try something quite different with this resist and I'm very excited about its possibilities, but I'll save telling you about that for later in the week when hopefully I can also show you finished photos.

Surface design has, for me right now, eclipsed art quilting or adding stitch to my art pieces, although I am still slowly working my way through several UFOs that are currently under the needle. I think I need to face the fact that production of finished work might always slow down when it comes to the stitched layer because it's simply not my strong suit. Still, only time and practice can help that.

I hope everyone has a creative week!


Nina Lise@Mrs Moen said...

From a non-dyeing fabric lover's point of wiev, they are all gorgeous in their own way! You've got to love any fabric called deep purple though.
Will you take the paste covered fabric outside to make it dry faster, or will the colours react to sunlight in some way like sun printing?
I understand how difficult it's to get back in the studio after two weeks. I haven't unpacked my machine since I was out sewing last Wednesday, and half of me is itching to get started and the other part is very hesitant. I have several projects in the making, so it's not like I don't have anything to do. I believe creativity makes me creative - the more I create, the more creative I get. Unfortunatley it works the other way around too...

Eva said...

You see the white space as a dyers may see it; but if you aren't, the white is very interesting, a space on which the eye can rest and see so much more in the other colors -- which refers to "ice blue", at least.

elle said...

14 yards? amazing that there is so little white! 8^) I hear ya, we lag behind on the least favorites and tumble along on the stuff we like as success breeds success. I might have to take up making dough myself! My hubby will be impressed until he sees it spread on the tablecloth! LOL

Gina said...

Wow - all gorgeous! I wish I had another lifetime coming up so I could be hanging some beautiful fabrics out to dry. Fortunately there's your blog so I can enjoy the process even if I'm not doing it. Glad you're back in the fabric and good luck with your entries.

Jan said...

Hi Judi, glad you are back in the dye pot. Did I understand correctly that all of these came out of one jar? Wow. All are wonderful just as they are but I know you will do even more marvelous things to them and I will be watching for what comes next.

Vicki W said...

That settles it - I'm doing this Saturday! I am planning a weekly giveaway on my blog and this will be a fun way to make the prizes.

Cate Rose said...

Fabulous stuff, Judi, even with the white areas. Look forward to seeing your do-overs!

laura west kong said...

Wow! I can't decide which one I like best. Personally I think having the white in there looks great. It makes the colors around it really pop.

Quilt or Dye said...

Oh my! Some of those are gorgeous! Thanks for the inspiration.

Unknown said...

It looks like you had some big time fun!

I've had some really cool results with various flour paste resists (and yes, oatmeal too). I hope to get back to doing some.

Darcy Berg said...

These are so yummy I want to eat them up!

Darcy Berg

Anonymous said...

Great dyeing pieces.. just love them.. I was dying with snow.. and now since we have no snow I have to learn how to dye without snow. I'm anxious to try. Any tricks you can pass on to me?