Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Working with Resists - Tip #6

#6 Understanding the Variables

One of the trickiest aspects of achieving consistency when working with resists is to understand all the factors that affect the end result. Years ago I had an early lesson in understanding variables when working with gel glue.  I made three mistakes - I applied it with a rubber stamp, I used silk noil and I immersed it.  The end result was that the stamped image did not show up at all.  Individually, those actions might be fine, but together they resulted in failure. Rubber stamps are not the most effective way to apply gel glue, particularly on a heavy fabric: a sponge stamp is a much better choice. Because gel glue is water soluble, it doesn't hold up well in an immersion. It will work with a low water immersion and a heavy layer of glue, but not with a light application on a heavy fabric.

I've had numerous lessons in what affects the end result. And I'm still learning. I'm not sure I'll ever have them all worked out, but each time I work with resists, my knowledge increases. Below is a partial list of the seemingly infinite variables. What other variables have you found in your work with resists?

The weave or texture of the fabric affects the way an image or pattern looks.  It may also affect the ease with which the resist washes out.
The weight or thickness of the fabric affects whether the resist completely penetrates the fabric and how the dye reacts with the fabric.

The Resist
For resists that require mixing, the resist to water ratio affects not only the look but also the resist's ability to block dye or paint.
The length of time the resist sits before use may affect the crackle pattern for oatmeal and potato dextrin.
The length of cooking time (for sugar or oats) affects the resulting pattern.
Different brands of commercial water-based resists have different properties.  Some are more water soluble, some spread more on the fabric, some work well with immersion.

The Application Technique
The thickness of the application affects the resist properties - a thicker layer means the dye is less likely to breach the resist.
The thickness of the application affects the crackle pattern for paste resists.  Generally a thicker layer results in larger cracks, a thin layer results in a finer crackling pattern.

The Dye or Paint
The way the dye is applied (immersion, liquid hand painted, thickened hand painted) can create significant differences in the end result.
The consistency of the thickened dye can affect how much dye penetrates the resist.

Read previous tips for working with resists

Read tip #7 

Read about sugar syrup resist

Read about acrylic medium as a resist

Read about flour paste resist

Read about oatmeal resist

 Read about potato dextrin resist

Read about soy wax resist

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