My kitchen has been turned into an art studio this week: my daughter has claimed the breakfast table for her paintings, and I have taken over the counter, sink, and work table for fabric dyeing.
I cleaned everything up this afternoon, just in time to take a few photos before it got dark, so I can link up to Texture Tuesday over at Kim Klassen's cafe. The theme this week is "Do...." Well, I've been doing lots this week... but not photography! Click here to check out the gorgeous images submitted by thoughtful artists who take their craft seriously -- my photos were taken almost as an afterthought; still, I think you can see I am in a colorful mood!
|Kim Klassen's "Scripted Autumn" (overlay @100%), my "medium copper" (lighter color @70%),|
|"Scripted Autumn" (soft light @100%), my "medium copper," (inverted, soft light @100%)|
|"Scripted Autumn" (overlay @100%), my "light copper" (inverted, soft light @50%)|
|(I generally leave the fabrics in the dye anywhere from 4 to 24 hours. I am not overly fussy about the batching time.)|
This time I also dyed yarns, threads, cheesecloth, throwsters waste, and silk carrier rods. They all took the dye beautifully!
I like to use the spent dye to stain tissue paper or paper towels for use in collage. The dye that has already been used to dye fibers still has enough umph to color the papers and since I hate to let anything go to waste, I embarked on a major paper staining sub-project. You can see in this photo how you quickly run through stacks and stacks of tissue paper; for some reason I ended up with miles of green paper.....
One thing leads to another, and since I had all the equipment out, I wanted to try batiking using dyes instead of paint. (I had previously taken a workshop on soy wax batik with Melanie Testa using fabric paint.) The soy wax stood up pretty well to all the rinsing you have to do to get rid of excess dye. The beauty of soy is that it is safe for household plumbing -- a good thing since much of it washed out in warm water. The photo doesn't do justice to these pieces.... they turned out very well:
As if all this wasn't enough, I've been reading Jane Davies' new book, and thought I'd try out the tyvek technique she mentions in it. You basically just iron some tyvek between sheets of newspaper (you can use an express mail envelope from the post office). After a few passes with the iron, it will begin to shrivel and distort. Being careful not to melt it too much, you can get some interesting weathered effects. Here, I've taken shriveled tyvek pieces and painted them with metallic paints.
British artists such as Maggie Grey and Jean Littlejohn and Jan Beaney use these in their free-form embroideries, but I think they would also work well in collage. Here, I've used a piece as a decoration for a box I made: