A TECHNIQUE DRIVEN Blog dedicated to mastery of surface design techniques. First we dye, overdye, paint, stitch, resist, tie, fold, silk screen, stamp, thermofax, batik, bejewel, stretch, shrink, sprinkle, Smooch, fuse, slice, dice, AND then we set it on fire using a variety of heat tools.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Last couple of Days

Last couple of days to sign up for the Surface Design Round Robin.  Come on, I know you want to play but are afraid you will mess up.  This is experimentation!  Take RISKS!  LIVE BIG!  If you need further encouragement, check out this post where you can see a piece of fabric as it transforms through 5 layers of surface design.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Airbrush paints for marbling - another source

I've been cruising around the internet in lieu of sleeping (that's what happens when you're a night owl), and found that the Jacquard Airbrush paints can be had at Dick Blick in the 4 oz size for considerably less than they are offered at Dharma Trading Co.  They also have "exciter packs" of metallics, transparent, and opaques if folks want to try them.  Check it out!

Blick also carageenan is much more expensive than Dharma.  So shop around for the best prices.  

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Parfait dyeing-Laura

Since last Monday was my birthday, I took the day off and sewed and did some dyeing. I had posted these pictures on my blog, but forgot to post here.
This first piece was a yellow-ish color to start, which I parfait dyed using khaki in the bottom layer. I had previously carved a stamp and had stamped several designs on it, but the color contrast got a little washed out due to the dye colors I used and the design is hard to see now.

This second piece was a turquoise piece, which I stamped with a starfish that I carved, and then parfait dyed as the second layer--I think I used a pink dye powder.

Friday, April 22, 2011

May is the Month for Marbling!

Hi Everyone!

For the month of May, we'll be exploring the ancient technique of marbling.  

There are several different mediums that can be used as a base to float the marbling paints.  Historically, water was used to float inks and paints on to marble paper.  For the purposes of this blog, I'll be using the carageenan base.  Using shaving cream has been looked at in our Shibori month, and we'll expand a bit on that as well.  Methocel will also be touched upon.  If you have used a particular medium in the past, please don't feel bound to using carageenan (although water will not work with fabric!).  

Initially I'll present instructions and techniques for the traditional marbling patterns.  Then we'll move on to experimentation with free-form marbling.  

Below are several links for purchasing supplies.  Please explore the possibilities with an eye to what you might like to produce for finished fabric.  Dharma Trading Company has an excellent range of marbling supplies, as well as detailed instructions.  I recommend getting their "Mini Marbling Kit" (currently discounted 15%!)  which will allow you to experiment on a small scale, or the "Marbling Starter Kit".  That's what I'll be using in my early examples next month.  

Pro Chemical & Dye also has marbling supplies here.  They have a "Mini Marbling Kit" as well.

An integral component of marbling is the tray which holds the carageenan base.  This needs to be at least 2" deep in order to properly contain the carageenan, and allows you to move it without risking slopping things over, which can get a bit messy (ask me how I know).  The size of the tray limits the size of fabric which can be painted, as the whole piece of fabric is laid over the top of the floating paints.  Unless you're interested in doing larger pieces of fabric, an aluminum roasting tray such as can be found at grocery or department stores works very well when supported by a cookie sheet or piece of plywood.  Otherwise, any rectangular container that will hold liquids will work.  Many artists fabricate their own trays from wood and plywood, then caulk and paint to seal.  Such a container, unpainted, can also be used just by laying a heavy plastic inside, taped up and over the edges.  Be creative!

There are quite a few publications that have been written for marbling on both fabric and paper.  Many of them can be found for very reasonable prices used on Half.com.   Here's a partial list focusing on marbling of fabric:

Creative Marbling on Fabric by Judy Simmons (1999, Paperback): A Guide to Making One-Of-A-Kind Fabrics

Marbling on Fabric by Anne Chambers (1995, Paperback)

Marbling by Diane Vogel Maurer, Paul Maurer (1994, Paperback): A Complete Guide to Creating Beautiful Patterned Papers and Fabrics

The Silk Painting Workshop by Jane Venables (1999, Paperback): Painting, Marbling and Batik for Beginners

In the meantime, until we get started playing with the paints, below I've listed a few links to some marbling sites for you to take a look at for inspiration.  Enjoy!


YouTube videos:
Traditional Turkish marbling on paper (Ebru)
Project Van Unicef - examples of marbling created by children
Some of Elin Noble's fabrics from ProChem's "Alternative Marbling" workshop.
And if you really get into marbling, you can even marble your fingernails!

Other Sites:
Dean and Linda Moran's site

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Seemed like a great idea at the time!

I thought I would try a new twist on parfait dyeing. Right! Seemed like a great idea but it fizzled in the execution. I thought I would over-dye black and white fabrics parfait style. I used Yellow (bottom), Blue (middle) and Red ( top) which is obvious since the colors never intermixed much. I used Basic red, golden yellow and intense blue about a 1/2 teaspoon in 250 mils of water with just a pinch of deep black to knock back the boldness of the colors. I also dyed them using a different style. First I just put enough soda ash water in to wet each layer well then added mixed dye. I had almost no color wash out so my dye particles must have all been taken up by the fibers which equals not enough dye powder. Well, maybe not. The colors are medium light values and I am all about intense vibrant colors. At the end I poured what was left of the golden yellow and blue dyes together into one cup and threw in a piece of white. THAT I liked but it was my fav olive in a pale value.

These are embroidery threads I added

Friday, April 15, 2011

Parfait Dyeing--Quilter Beth

I finally had a chance to try parfait dyeing. I really enjoyed doing it; it was a simple process. I think the outcome would have been more varied if I had used more colors of dye. I just used what I had left over from another dye session—red, a small bit of fuchsia, two blues, and a yellow. The blues were VERY similar. I used two fat quarters of PFD fabric and some of the pieces I had worked on when we did the soy wax resist. ( I just wanted to see what they would look like with this parfait dyeing.)

These are some of the fabrics I started with...
This was a "wipe up" cloth with brush strokes from my dye-mixing brush from my last dye session.
The two fabrics above are from the soy wax resist session. In addition to these, I had two fat quarters of white PFD fabric, a piece of off-white gauze with circles on it, and another piece of soy wax resist fabric.

Here is what they looked like in the containers...
On the left--red/fuchsia and blue; top right--the two blues; bottom right--yellow, red, then blue

I used yellow, red, and a blue for these…
This was the orange, soy wax resist piece. 
This was a fat quarter of PFD fabric. 
This started as off-white gauze with circles.

I used red with the little fuchsia I had, then I added a blue to it for these…
This was the "wipe-up" cloth. 
This was another piece of the soy wax resist fabric.

I used the two blues for these…
This was the green, soy wax resist fabric. 
This began as a fat quarter of white PFD fabric.

I liked doing this, and I like the outcome. I think I'll be doing this again.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shibori parfait-Laura

I was working on some shibori fabric a couple of weeks ago as part of an on-line shibori workshop, and decided to parfait dye it. Here is a picture of a piece all stitched up (it was about 24" wide x 44" long). I put it in a large glass jar and poured Periwinkle dye over it.

And here it is all unstitched (one picture with flash, one without):

For the second layer, I put in another shibori piece that I stitched circles on. I put some fuchsia dye on the circles, then I poured on some Khaki colored dye onto the whole piece.

Here it is with the stitching all removed.

And here's a picture of the top layer, I just tied some glass globs in randomly on a small piece, and poured the rest of the fuchsia over it.

I think I used too much dye for all second and third layers. If I try this again, I'll use less--since I already had some mixed up, I added the soda ash/salt water mixture to it as Rosalita suggested in her directions. Just used a little too much of it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My parfait dye attempt--jdemilo

Like Laura, I tried a parfait dye a week ago but haven't had time to post it.  I didn't follow exactly the directions given by Rosalita.  I don't wait in between the different dyes and I start out with some dye in the bottom of the container before adding any fabric.  I have done parfait dyeing before so I experimented this time with 2 things--color and folding.

I think it is very easy to see that the material was folded or scrunched differently in each piece.  Even in a parfait piece, how it goes in the container makes a huge difference in the final results.  I certainly think that is something to be mindful of when dyeing fabric for a particular project.

Rather than to use multiple colors, I decided to try a Black Magic Gradation.  So, the first color was a weak teal solution, next a stronger teal solution, then a strong solution, a strong solution with a little black and last a strong teal with lots of black.  I like the idea but there is so much white left in the fabric that I don't get really see the gradation I wanted to see.  That is my fault I think.  I only let it sit for a couple of hours and I twisted some of those pieces pretty tight.

Anyway, here are the close ups of each piece flapping in the breeze.

Surface Design Round Robin

I have been surprised that I have gotten so little interest in the  Surface Design Round Robin.  One person from Europe wants to play and two from the United States.  I hope that more artists sign up before the April 30 deadline.

Anyway, my playgroup, FIVE, did their swap on Saturday. 
Here is my fabric that I swapped.  It started life as a drop cloth for some screen printing and then I used the end of some dye print paste to color it.  Nothing special.  I figured it could only go up from here.

This is Beth's piece that I took home.  Isn't it lovely?  Beth says she loves it.  Talk about the pressure to do something good to it!  Anyway, I have some ideas and we'll see if it makes it better or if I will need to resign from my playgroup.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April's Technique

Hello All,

Don't forget that April's technique is Parfait Dyeing and already on the blog. Hope some of you will try it. It is one of my favorite ways to dye fabric for my wall art. Enjoy the sun and do some dyeing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Surface Design Round Robin

My friends in FIVE and I are holding a surface design round robin.  I suggested it and they all thought it sounded like fun.  I thought perhaps you would like to play along too. 

Here is the idea.  Each of us in FIVE will do some type of surface technique (dye, paint, ink, stamp, zen doodle, batik, parfait, stencil, shibori, discharge, the list could go on)  to a piece of fabric no larger than 1 yard in length. Now, we all know that one surface technique is never enough.   So, we will trade the fabric with another member in FIVE who has a month to do another surface technique and pass it to the next person. That person will have a month to do a third technique and pass it along and so on till the fabric has had 5 treatments to it. At that point it will go back to the original owner.  Sound interesting?

Want to play?  Here are the rules.

1. Respond to this email by April 30 and include your email address.

2.  I will put together groups of 4 and send each group the email address of the others in the group.  I plan to have that out by May 5.

3.  By the last day of May you will have posted in the mail your 1 yard or less of fabric with one surface technique to the person whose name appears below yours in the email list (bottom person goes to the top person).  I trust you to contact the person and get the address. 
4.  By the last day of the next 4 months (June 30, July 31, August 31, and September30) you will have posted in the mail the fabric you received with an added surface technique.  The fabric in September should have 4 techniques completed and be returning to the original artist. 

5.  All costs of mailing will be paid by the person mailing the package. Everyone will  pay 4 times whether you are sending your very own fabric the first time or someone else's you have lovingly added a surface design to.

6.  All techniques are to be surface design techniques.  Do not cut and resew the fabric.  That is another kind of Round Robin.

7.  Please be mindful of where in the Round Robin cycle you are.  For example, generally when you are dyeing you start off with lighter colors to leave you room to over dye with increasingly darker colors.  Also, foiling is generally a last technique.

8.  Five will be posting pictures of their creations for you to see.  Feel free to post pictures of your creations on your website and send us the link.  We'll be happy to share the news.  This is not required if you are shy, timid, or otherwise adverse to showing off.

Okay, those are the rules!  Want to play?