Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I've been working on a cloth that I've named Journey. It is still in process, but I thought I'd share what I've done so far. It's a beautiful piece of silk, 5 yards long, 28" wide, that was given to me by a friend. I have kept it for two years, because I felt that I needed to do something "special" with it. I found it this summer while cleaning out my studio and decided to finally work on it. I'm using it as a study of resist techniques and color blending.

My first step was to apply flour paste to the entire cloth. I learned a good lesson there - wear knee pads when working on something so big! It was too long to do on the table, so I had to work on the floor. I also had to deal with kitty paw prints from the studio cats. Oh well, just more texture, right? After the flour paste dried, I brushed on thickened dye in 3 colors, blue, green and purple.

The next step was to block off the edges (I was trying to create a path along the entire length of the cloth). I screenprinted on Presist with a texture screen and then used a freezer paper stencil and thickened dye to print the flagstone path. The Presist left very subtle value variations on the path.

My color choice for the path was driven by some experiments I've been doing with color gradations - blending colors with their complements to get a range of colors in between. I have done a lot with immersion dyeing the past few months, but not with thickened dyes. So, my plan for this cloth was to start with blue at one end, then blend blue with orange to get a range of colors. Then I'd blend red with green and finally, yellow with purple.

For the edges of the path, I screened on Elmer's Gel Glue as a resist with a fiber texture thermofax and hand painted with the brown that comes from mixing the complements.

I'd like a darker value on the edges, so my plan is to paint over it again with the same color. But first, I added some soy wax speckles, so that some of the current color will show through. Unfortunately, the cloth met with an accident yesterday, and I have a 3" tear on the edge of the yellow section of the path. Arghhhh! I could just cut off three feet, but I really liked the length of it. So, now I'm trying to figure out ways to salvage it, while still honoring the design. I'll post more as I get it worked out.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...