I'm really excited about some new ways to use soy wax. Jane Dunnewold and I have been experimenting with several techniques that involve mixing fiber reactive dyes with soy wax. For the past year and a half, Jane has worked on a recipe to create dye crayons. I initially got involved last summer by helping her test the crayons.
Jane has perfected the recipe and is marketing a soy wax blend so artists can make their own dye crayons. The soy wax crayons are perfect for drawing, writing and creating rubbings from a variety of textured items. The dye in the wax forms a permanent bond with the fabric and the excess dye easily washes out in the washing machine.
We also experimented with adding fiber reactive dyes to hot wax. I am particularly intrigued with the dye/hot wax mix. The color in the wax penetrates the fabric and the wax acts as a resist for overpainting with dye. It results in vibrant color and creates a look that is not possible with any other technique.
We have also formulated a recipe for a soy wax paste that is perfect for stenciling. It gives a softer look and allows greater control than applying thickened dye through a stencil. Refining these techniques took a lot of experimentation. Just mixing the powdered dyes with the wax gave unsatisfactory results. Now, after perfecting the techniques, we have collaborated on a DVD and workshop to introduce the process. Our first workshop was last weekend in San Antonio. Below are some photos.