Friday, December 14, 2012

No Words . . .

My heart is aching over the tragedy in Connecticut.  No words can describe what I'm feeling or make the pain go away for those affected. So I've turned off the radio and tv and am sitting in silence, holding thoughts of peace and love.

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid,

Monday, December 10, 2012

Time Off

I've taken this month "off".  Partly because my workload has decreased considerably and partly because I was so busy this fall, I needed some down time. But I haven't been sitting around eating bon-bons (just a few holiday rum balls). I've been knitting (and knitting and knitting . . .) holiday gifts.

I took up knitting about two years ago, but haven't really done much. Living in a warm climate, I only knit between November and March. My first few projects included a baby afghan and a scarf.  I discovered that I get bored on long projects, so I thought my days of knitting were over.  Then I discovered neck warmers. A lot faster to make than a scarf, and a wonderful fashion accessory. They are also a great way to try out new stitches.  I like to think of them as my samplers.

Last year I made numerous neck warmers for my friends and myself.  So when it came time to make Christmas gifts, it seemed like the obvious choice. Below are a few of the things I've made over the past month. 

I also like to make hats - pretty quick and easy and great for the kids.

And even though I vowed never to make another scarf, I discovered the knitting board, which means I can knit up a scarf in no time.  I even decided to tackle an afghan again.

I'm running out of time - only two weeks left.  And still so much more to knit!  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Three Dimensional Texture - Acrylic Medium

In previous blogs, I wrote about different ways to create dimension on cloth. Today, I'll focus on the use of acrylic medium.  There are a lot of products out there, from plain gel medium to gels with texture, such as sand, fiber and even lava. Acrylic medium is essentially the carrier used in acrylic paint, but the thicker varieties allow one to create patterns that are raised from the surface of the cloth.

I began experimenting with the variety of mediums a few years ago.  I was intrigued by the three dimensional aspect.  While I like to create faux texture on cloth with dyeing and printing, the concept of creating a raised surface appealed to me.

Here are some detail photos of cloth that incorporate gel medium.

These gels and pastes can be applied in numerous ways. My favorites are to use found objects as re-purposed stencils and to use tools to scratch into the wet medium. For more detailed information, check out my article, Raising the Surface, in the latest issue of InStitches e-magazine.

View the first entry in this series - hand stitching.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Crazy Makers

In Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, she talks about crazy makers.  These are people who, for a variety of reasons, make you crazy.  They sap your energy, add to your self-doubts and generally make you miserable. I've known my share of crazy makers over the years, but I've recently begun to wonder if we are our own worst crazy makers.

A fellow artist was relating a story about a really exciting speaking opportunity that will give her work exposure to many fine art galleries nationwide. She was relating her story about the ups and downs of how it all came to be.  Along with that was the adult artist's version of the daisy petal game "He loves me, he loves me not." In relating her communications with the event organizer, she waffled back and forth between "They like my work, they hate my work."  During the "they hate my work" periods, she interpreted slow replies and other glitches as lack of interest in her work. Don't we all do that at times - project meaning or intention on another's actions based on our self doubts?

The same day that I heard her story, I had a discussion with another artist and my "he loves me not" voice kicked in. I found myself reading all kinds of negative things into the conversation.  When I got home I tried to figure out what was going on.  I realized that, based on my history with that person, she probably did not have mean intentions.  I just read something into her words that wasn't there. My insecurities came out and colored the way I heard her comments.

Have you ever experienced this?  How are you your own crazy maker?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

It's Not Too Late . . .

You can still sign up for my online workshop, Visual Texture: Resists from the Pantry, which starts today.

It's a great way to try something new in the comfort of your home on your own schedule. Each week you can download the lesson and work at your own pace. The lessons are detailed and provide complete step-by-step instructions. You'll also have access to a "classroom", in which you can ask me questions, talk to other participants and upload photos of your work.

oatmeal resist

You will have an opportunity to work with oatmeal, rice baby cereal, grits, flour and sugar resists. Each week you will create one to one and a half yards of resist-patterned fabric. (or more if you want to!) Each lesson also includes a video demonstration and a bonus project that incorporates your beautiful fabrics. The first lesson provides information on adding color with fabric paints and washing out the resist. The pdf guide includes detailed step-by-step instructions for mixing each resist, numerous techniques for applying the resist, and lots of sample photos of cloth created using resist techniques.

Working with resists is kind of like magic – you don’t know the end result until the resist is washed out. See the magic for yourself!  Sign up at

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Print Paste Update

My print paste experiment has been in place for three months. My theory was that the Print Mix from ProChem had additional ingredients that gave the paste a longer shelf life than print paste made from scratch with sodium alginate and urea.

I had been checking the paste weekly until a month ago.  There wasn't much to report at that time. Both the print paste made from scratch and the one made from ProChem's print paste mix were about the same consistency.  However both were thinner than when I started. When I checked the paste yesterday, there was a noticeable difference. The print paste made from sodium alginate was much thinner than the ProChem mix.  It was still usable, but definitely on the decline.

The results weren't as dramatic as I expected. I did the experiment because it seemed like my print paste (made from scratch, not Print Mix) went bad very quickly - within 3 weeks. Yet, this batch lasted for three months. So now I'm not sure if it's a time perception issue, or if my real-life approach of leaving the print paste out of the fridge for a few days after using affects the shelf-life. If I really want to know, I guess that means another experiment!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Finding Meaning in Cloth

Some of my work is created with intent and with a specific meaning in mind. These pieces are generally about something for which I have strong feelings. Other pieces are created more serendipitously and find their meaning when complete. I hate to admit it, but I do favor the pieces created with intent.  Maybe because not only have I put myself into the cloth through the physical creation, I have added emotional energy as well. And I find it affirming and fulfilling when the cloth is used in a manner that enhances it's meaning.

A good example of this is an experience I had this weekend.  I had an opportunity to present one of my pieces to an inspiring woman, Reverend Jane Spahr. Reverend Spahr is most well known for her work as an advocate for the LGBT community within the Presbyterian Church. She spoke at a local church, which wanted to present her with a liturgical stole.  That's where I entered the picture.  The minister purchased a stole from me and I had the honor of presenting it to Reverend Spahr at the service Sunday morning.

The stole (pictured above) was created using a variation of the design from a piece of artcloth  I created a number of years ago. The title of that cloth was We Are One and my intent was to represent community and connection. As I listened to Reverend Spahr tell her story, I was struck by how appropriate that message is to her journey. 

That's what my artistic journey is all about - connecting with other's emotions, hopes and dreams through my cloth.  I can create all the pieces I want and enjoy the process, but the true meaning of the cloth comes out when it sparks the interest, imagination and emotion of another.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Ahhh . . . Vacations

I've taken a long vacation from my blog.  I didn't realize how long until I saw the date of my last post.  I took a two week vacation in early September.  And you know what happens when you go on vacation - you have to work extra hard the weeks before and after.  So . . . no blogging. But vacations have to end sometime, so I'm back.

My vacation was wonderful.  We took a driving trip to visit friends and family.  I really needed that time away.  And I'm pleased to say that the vacation peace-of-mind is still with me.  I feel more relaxed and less stressed, even though I faced a mountain of commitments on my return.

I normally keep my blog dedicated to surface design matters and leave out the family stuff.  Please allow my small detour to show photos of our tie dye day.  Part of our vacation was spent with our grandchildren and I thought they might enjoy playing with dyes.  (Gotta start them out young, right?) Their mom came up with a great idea to make a reading tent, so we dyed several sheets.

They had a great time, although a t-shirt might have been better because of their short attention span.  I can't wait to see the finished reading tents!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Flour Paste Resist or Sourdough Starter?

I absent-mindedly left a cup of flour paste resist in my studio yesterday and woke up to 2 cups of a frothy, foaming liquid. This is the second time this week I've done this.  I must have a subconscious craving for sourdough. I wonder if it will still work as a resist?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Change of Heart

I'm trying something new this fall - teaching online classes.  I thought about doing so two years ago, but the perfectionist in me asked "How could this be of value without face to face interaction?"  A few things have contributed to my change of heart.  I have come to recognize the power of connecting and communicating online. As I have become more involved online, I have developed friendships with people that are more meaningful than I would have thought possible. Sure, nothing can compare with being together in person, but when you can't do that, online connections are great.

I have taken some online classes and I like the self study aspect. It's great to be able to fit something into my schedule and not have to worry about being in a certain place at a certain time.  And the cost is also a big draw.  I can take an online workshop with a well known instructor for a lot less than going to a workshop in person (plus no travel costs!)

So, I'm taking the plunge.  This fall I'm offering two classes: a version of my resist class that focuses on resists from the pantry and a class on African inspired cloth, which focuses on the use of adinkra symbols.  You can read more about the classes on my website. If you are thinking about giving an online class a try, I'd love to have a few friendly faces in the inaugural group!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Three Dimensional Texture - Needle Felting

I'm always a bit behind the latest trends.  Needle felting is no exception.  I remember when the needle felting machines became popular a few years ago.  My friend has one and she let me play around on it.  It was fun, but I always felt so out of control - it moved so fast! I never tried anything substantial with it and none of my small play pieces amounted to anything.

Let me start with a quick description for those who haven't tried needle felting. It's a way to add texture to a fabric or bond two fibers together using special barbed needles. It is typically used as an alternative method of felting wool without water, although I use it a bit differently. Essentially you place roving, yarn or fabric on top of another piece of fabric, press through both layers with the tool and the barbs in the needles cause the fibers to intermingle.  I haven't tried it on wool, although my understanding is that the nature of the wool fibers creates a strong bond between the two fibers.  On cottons and silks the fibers can be pulled apart.

Last year I decided to try again, this time with a hand felting tool. The one I have uses five needles.You also need a felting mat or something to place behind the bottom layer to cushion the needles. I have used thick upholstery foam and foam kitchen mats (double layer).
I only have two two samples of my work, so I've also included the work of Leila Reynolds, a local artist who does a lot of work that incorporates felting.

Flow, detail
I used the felting tool to add texture to the blue strip of silk.  Repeated punching of the silk with the tool created holes and small runs, which resulted in a nice pucker-y effect.
Flow, 40" x 36"

The Edge, detail

On this piece, I was trying to re-create the fibrous look of a palm tree where the palm frond fell off. Several colors of cotton roving were felted to the silk background fabric.

The Edge, 40" x 16"

Needle felting on rusted silk, by Leila Reynolds

Needle felting on silk shawl, by Leila Reynolds

Needle felted hat, by Leila Reynolds

Needle felted hat by Leila Reynolds

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Something New

Earlier this summer I did a lot of screenprinting with dye and have many pieces in the works.  I finally finished one! It incorporates multiple layers of screenprinting with dye, screenprinting with paint, soy wax resist, hand stitching and metal leaf.

Now Points, 36" x 18", Cotton

I had a great time stitching the french knots. Lots and lots of single, double and triple french knots. I'm guessing there have to be at least 250 of them.This is one of those cases where I could easily have been carried away in the stitching.  I didn't want to stop! 

Now Points, detail
This piece was inspired by a quote I came across last year.

Time is not a line, but a series of now-points.
- Taisen Deshimaru

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Three Dimensional Texture - Beading

Beads add a touch of elegance to cloth.  They shimmer as they catch the light and their subtle shadows add depth. I tend toward minimalism, so I use beads sparingly.  If I don't rein myself in, I can easily end up with so much beading that it detracts from the piece. Too much of a good thing can be ... well, too much!

The three pieces below are from a series I created a few years ago.  I chose to use hand stitching and beading on all the pieces.

I Am . . . Peace, detail
A cluster of blue and blue/violet beads adds dimension to the center focal point.

I Am . . . Peace, detail
Individual seed beads highlight the edges of the "flower" shape.

I Am . . . Peace, 42" x 42", Silk noil

I Am . . . Joy, detail
The seed beads form a spiral path that leads the eye through the cloth.  This cloth also has hand couched threads and yarns.

I Am . . . Joy, 42" x 42", Silk noil

I Am . . . Spirit, detail

Rather than a cluster of beads at the center, small gold beads  delicately surround the central focal point.

I Am . . . Spirit, detail

Individual seed beads highlight the edges of some of the swirls that are printed throughout the cloth.

I Am . . . Spirit, 42" x 42", Silk noil
One of the things I love about using beads this way is their subtlety.  From afar, you can't see them.  They are a "reward" for taking a closer look.

How do you use beading in your work?

Read the next entry in this series on needle felting.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Is Anything Really "New" or Truly "Ours?

Another conversation with a friend has sparked my interest and inspired this blog post.   My friend commented about the hand stitching on a piece of mine she saw on exhibit. I chose the stitch pattern intentionally to represent the meaning behind the cloth. My friend didn't have that background information and her initial reaction was " I use those type of marks in my work all the time.  I wonder if Lisa copied me?"

Hearing that, I struggled to recall any pieces of hers that had those type of marks.Was I subconsciously inspired by her stitching or did my mind come up with it on my own?  Hard to say. So many factors influence us - we don't always know where that inspiration comes from.

On a number of occasions, I have incorporated some element or technique into my work, and felt that it was "mine" - unique to me.  Then I see a similar element or technique in the work of another.  The person didn't know me, and was unlikely influenced by me.  I didn't know them, so my work wasn't influenced by theirs.  We just happened to come up with something similar.

This also brings the question - when can we claim something to be "ours" ?  Many people use similar imagery in their work, yet the work may be very different. I have used a lot of labyrinth imagery.  So does that mean others who use it are copying me?  Perhaps, if they see my work and consciously decide to use it.  But most likely, the imagery speaks to them.  They aren't copying me, they are tapping into a universal symbol.

I suppose a lot of this is about ego - the need to feel that something is "mine".  Instead of recognizing that we are all connected and we are all tapping into the same source of inspiration, we have to claim ownership.

Have you experienced this? I'd love to hear your stories.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Bigger Picture

Our art movie last week was David Hockney, A Bigger Picture. It was very good.  Hockney is from the UK and moved to Los Angeles when he was young.  After 50 years in the states, he decided to go back to his hometown and paint landscapes plein air.  The documentary follows him over a 3 year period.

I was fascinated by his evolving vision and his journey. Hockney spent a year painting almost a single canvas each day. He often went back to the same spot throughout the year to capture the differences in lighting, color and foliage. Then his vision shifted. He arranged six canvases on easels (three across and two high) and painted the landscape as if they were one large canvas.Once again, he often painted the same spot multiple times.  Then his vision expanded once again and he painted a landscape on 60 canvases (10 across and six high) to fill up a wall. It was amazing how he did it, because he did not have a place large enough to see the composition as a whole.  His solution was to photograph each painting, then create a collage to get the big picture.

The message I took from the DVD ties back to what I need at this moment. (Isn't that always the way - each of us takes away a different message.)  I have a vague vision for a series, but this helps reinforce the idea that I don't have to have a clear vision now.  All I have to do is get started and let it evolve along the way. But if I don't work on it, I'll never achieve the breakthrough. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sugar Syrup Tutorial and Fabric Giveaway

Just a reminder - today I'm a guest on the And Then We Set It On Fire blog.  I'll be sharing information on using sugar syrup as a resist and I'll be giving away a sample set of resist-dyed fabrics.

Visit the Fire blog to download the tutorial and enter the drawing.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three Dimensional Texture on Cloth - Hand Stitching

Many artists working on a flat surface continually strive to create the illusion of depth and texture. There are many printing and dyeing techniques that accomplish that goal.  However sometimes the work calls for an element that is raised above the surface of the cloth. Do you want to create real texture, not just the illusion? Over the next few weeks I'll highlight some of the techniques I use to add dimension.

Hand stitching in a contrasting or complimentary color adds a nice accent. If you don't consider yourself good with a needle - no problem. I did not come from a stitching background. When I first started using stitch seven years ago, it felt very awkward. But I have come to love it. I find it calming to sit with a needle and thread. You don't need to know any fancy stitches - a simple stitch repeated many times can result in a rich surface. 

Use a thicker thread (4-6 strands of embroidery floss or size #3 or 5 of pearl cotton)  for more impact. Embroidery floss is made up of six strands that can be separated to create the desired thickness. While that sounds great because you have the flexibility to create the thickness you want, beginners may find it harder to stitch with the floss.  Sometimes the plies separate while stitching, leaving a loose thread in some stitches. Pearl cotton has multiple plies, but they are non-divisible. It comes in several thicknesses - the smaller the number the thicker the thread.

This Moment, detail view

This Moment, detail view

This Moment, 80" x 24", silk noil
 See how a simple straight stitch in red thread draws the eye into the small circle?

Marking Time, detail view

Marking Time, 80" x 24", Silk noil
The stitching on Marking Time is more subtle.  A tone-on-tone effect was used to keep the emphasis on the red painted marks.

The decision about what stitch to use was easy.  These two pieces explore our emphasis on "marking time" - looking to the past or future rather than focusing on the current moment. The universal symbol for counting seemed to make sense as a stitched element.  As did a double chain stitch to complete the larger circles on This Moment.

 Next Tuesday I'll highlight a few pieces with hand beading.

If you are intrigued and would like to explore several ways to add dimension, join me later this month in San Antonio for Three Dimensional Texture on Cloth, a 2 day class at the Southwest School of Art.

Monday, July 30, 2012

On Mentors

A comment from a friend started me thinking about the mentoring relationship.  She was talking about her mentor and how they had a falling out.  She said, "I guess that's normal.  Once you realize your mentor isn't perfect, you can't continue the relationship and you can't become friends - it just won't work."

Mentors are a special breed.  They share their knowledge, they do all they can to support your efforts, and they often become friends and colleagues. I was taken aback by her comment, because my experience has been just the opposite.  I have been fortunate to have had a number of mentors over the years. I deeply value those relationships - both for the wisdom and guidance during the mentoring period and for the life-long friendships that evolved.

The transition from mentor to friend isn't always easy.  I agree with my friend - the realization that a mentor is just a human being with quirks and frailties will change the relationship. But if both parties are open to the change and are willing to talk openly about any conflict or uneasiness that comes up, it can evolve into a rewarding friendship. I think the key word is evolve.  The relationship changes over time as you move beyond the teacher/student dynamic and recognize the other as an equal. 

In September, I'll be visiting a former boss and mentor from when I was in my early 20's.  She taught me a lot about the business world and encouraged me to stretch beyond my self-imposed limitations. Her faith in me helped me gain self confidence.  She has long since retired and I have remained good friends with her and her husband.

Who was your mentor and what did they bring to your life?

Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Month-Long Resist "Fest"!

If you haven't read the blog, And Then We Set It On Fire, you are missing out.  It is hosted by a group of fiber artists and each month they focus on a particular technique. For the month of August, they will explore the use of resists. They are also giving away a copy of my book, Visual Texture on Fabric (courtesy of C&T Publishing). To enter the drawing, leave a comment by July 31on the blog post linked below:

On August 1, I'll be kicking off the month of resists on their blog with a sugar resist tutorial. Plus I'll be giving away a sample set of resist-dyed fabrics.  See you there!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ice Dyeing Observations

I can't claim to be an expert on ice dyeing, since my first try was two weeks ago.  I have dyed about 15 yards of fabric using the technique, however, so I have learned a few things.

The Ice

It takes a lot of ice.  My freezer can't create cubes fast enough, so I had to buy it.  And the lack of room in my freezer limited how much I could do at one time. I actually found myself wishing I lived somewhere that had snow so I could dye as much as I wanted!

I only used whole ice cubes, so I can't comment on how the pattern is affected by using crushed ice. I like the results I got, so I never bothered to crush it. I did use several types and sizes of cubes and didn't really see much difference.  The tightness of the scrunching seemed to have more impact on the pattern.

I found it difficult to mound much ice on top of the fabric because I was using a flat surface, rather than a container with sides.Check out the Quilt or Dye blog for a great way to overcome that. I ended up with a lot of spaces between the ice cubes where the cloth was exposed.  More info under  The Dyes, as to why it matters.

The Dyes

I used mixed colors, since I read that they turn out more interesting that way.  It makes sense - the beauty is not only the patterning, but the way the colors break out and mix and mingle together. I tried the technique with both powder and liquid dye.  The powdered dye method did seemed to yield more complex and intriguing colors.

When I used liquid dyes, I mixed a very strong concentration - about 1 t dye to 2 oz. water. That resulted in medium value fabrics. When I used the powder dyes, I sprinkled on about 1 teaspoon total per yard. 

When using the powdered dyes, I ended up with spots of color where the dye powder landed directly on the fabric. You may find that desirable or not.  If not, use more ice and pile enough ice on top so that none of the fabric is directly exposed.

Flecks from powdered dye directly on fabric

The Fabric

I tried a variety of fabrics: cotton sateen, cotton printcloth, Kona, silk habotai, silk noil, cotton/silk charmeuse,dobby noil, and even a 50/50 poly cotton (I thought it was all cotton). The patterning came out with a softer edge on the silks than the cotton.  Both are beautiful, just different. As expected, the thinner fabrics have less patterning.

Silk habotai

Silk/cotton charmeuse

Silk dobby noil



I read that the color/pattern breakouts are due to the slow dyeing. Since I was doing it outside in 95 degree weather, it probably wasn't that slow.  It took from 1-2 hours for the ice to melt, and I let it batch for 3-4 hours after that.  I have not done any comparisons to see if longer batching time or longer time before the ice melts yields different color and pattern.  That will be my experiment for this fall/winter.


I found very little excess dye run-off. I soaked the fabric in cold water for about 10 minutes.  Very little dye came out in the rinse after that soak.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Artist . . .in Training?

A friend and I were talking about attending workshops and the feelings of insecurity that sometimes brings. She had just completed a workshop and was feeling that she didn't "measure up" to her classmates. I could relate to that.  I have experienced those feelings in a workshop setting - that my work was not as good (whatever that means!) as the others'.

When I first started working in textiles, I had recently quit my corporate job and didn't have money to attend workshops.  So I checked out every book my library had on dyeing and surface design.  I scoured the Dharma Trading website and catalog for information.  And I played.  When my financial situation improved and I was able to attend a few workshops, I often felt like a beginner.  I felt that my work was so amateurish compared to others in the class.  I doubted whether I really was an artist.

It was a long road to the place where I feel more secure in who I am and where I am.  (That doesn't mean I don't experience those feelings anymore - just not as much.) Why do we insist on comparing ourselves with others?  Each of us is on our own journey.  We start in different places and take different paths. We are continually learning and growing.  Each of us is an artist in training, going at our own pace.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Rendezvous With an Old Love

A fluttering of excitement in the stomach. Shortness of breath. A touch of giddyness. That is how I feel as I work with silk screens in the studio.  I was on a self-imposed hiatus from screenprinting for a couple of years.  I wanted to eliminate the intermediary (silk screens and other tools) and apply color to cloth directly with my hands.

Looking back, I can't believe I gave up screen printing for such a long time.  For several years that's all I did.  No immersion, just screen printing with dye. I loved it. And I find that I still do.  I can't explain why, but I become completely immersed in the process.  Time flies. I don't want to stop.

Without intending it, my approach is a bit different now.  I'm trying new things. I guess I had gotten into a rut and now I'm looking at it with a fresh eye.  And now I'm combining screen printing with hand painting techniques.  The best of both worlds!

Until I got sidetracked by ice dyeing last week, I've been working diligently in the studio with my silk screens for the past month. Only one finished piece to show for it, but lots in progress. Here is a sneak peek. More photos will come as they are complete.

What is your surface design "love"?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

More Ice Dyeing

I spent a few more days ice dyeing last week.  I'm really enthralled by the process.  It's my "new boyfriend", as Jane Dunnewold would say. Below are more photos of my results.  I have also documented the process for those of you who may not be familiar with it.  You can also google "ice dyeing" and you will find numerous tutorials and lots of ideas for alternate ways of setting this up.

Red violet and yellow green liquid dyes on cotton

Red, yellow and green powdered dyes on cotton sateen
Yellow and green powdered dyes on cotton
Blue and orange liquid dyes on silk/cotton
Tobacco, bronze and palomino gold powdered dyes on cotton
Red and green liquid dyes on cotton

This set up worked well.  I placed a tarp on the grass and anchored the corners into the ground. The fabric was raised above the surface with a plastic ceiling grid. The fabric was soda soaked and the dyes were applied while the fabric was damp.

The day the photos were taken, I used powdered dye sprinkled directly onto the ice cubes. Salt and pepper shakers work well for this. I used full size ice cubes made with ice cube trays.  The powdered dyes mix and mingle with the melting ice. Later in the week I experimented with different kinds of ice and with liquid dyes.

Once all the dye had been applied, I folded the tarp in half to keep the cloth damp.  This also proved helpful when the rain storm came through later that morning.

This is what the cloth looked like after the ice cubes melted.  Not very exciting.  But look at the finished cloth below.

Deep purple and jade green on silk dobby noil

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