Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Working with Resists - Tip #4

#4 Don't Give Up

Occasionally I meet someone who says,  "I saw your article on (fill in the blank) resist, but when I tried it, it didn't work out."  There are a lot of reasons why someone may have different results than mine. So many variables come into play, and it's difficult to troubleshoot in a brief chance encounter. All I can say is that working with resists requires tenacity. (And if you do have questions about your results, I am happy to troubleshoot with you via email.  Just contact me and let me know what's happening.)

When I first started experimenting eight years ago, I gave up too soon.  I had some initial success with flour paste and potato dextrin, but as I tried to expand beyond the basics, I was not satisfied with the results.  I became frustrated and gave up (not completely, just for awhile!)  Eight years and many studio hours later, I have learned a lot.   I have learned the properties of each resist and I have a better understanding of how they respond in different circumstances. I learned that resist recipes are only guidelines.  Even a "commodity" like flour can be different among different brands. You can adjust the quantities for different results and sometimes even the weather affects the consistency of the final product! With some experimentation, you will come to know what consistency yields the results you like.

The corollary to tenacity is to leave your expectations behind.  I already talked about this, so I'll only say that a piece may not be what you expected, but it may be a great candidate for over-dyeing, discharge, stitching, piecing, or even knitting. So if you have tried some resists, but were not satisfied with the results, please don't give up!  They offer a wonderful way to add depth and texture to cloth.

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