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.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pearlescent and Iridescent Paints.

Mags Ramsay here. A bit of a hiatus in posting with last minute packing and dealing with work issues before going on holiday to Weymouth. But I'm here now , relaxed after a leisurely Sunday lunch, with the sun setting over Isle of Portland  behind me , in a better frame of mind to consider creative matters.

In 2009 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles, there was an exhibition challenge on the theme of 'Pearls, Pearls, Pearls' and  at the Festival of Quilts a category 'Pearlescence'. It seemed an appropriate time to try some of the specialist media available to add to acrylic paints.
I played around with painting pearls onto gessoed piece of Durham quilts as in my previous post  but for a variety of reasons decided not to go down that route.

 I did however get inspired by the 'Honesty' seed heads from my garden  and the evocative 'Temple' paintings of Ian McKeever resulting in 2 major quilts and a large series of samples and journal quilts.

Paintings were built up gradually with thin translucent layers - when using specialist media and paints, it's very important to keep washing your brushes, not to contaminate other paints. I found out the hard way when flecks of liquitex iridescent medium kept appearing  where I didn't want it. I ended up  keeping a separate brush or 2 just for using with these paints.

In my quilt 'Lunaria', the pewter pots were painted with the Golden fluid acrylics micaceous oxide . More details about the construction of this quilt are here.
As I had more ideas than  would fit in one quilt ( and a  layer of 16 organza sheets with honesty images that I didn't use) I made a second honesty quilt 
I started off with doing a trial painting  on a canvas board with the paints and colours I was going to use
As you can see above, once I'd sewn my organza layers to a gessoed piece of old quilt, I did a lot of samples before I plucked up the courage to paint on the quilt itself. The one below went through multiple repaints but to my mind the layers glimpsed add hidden depth. The process involved first painting the background around the main shapes, filling in the organza seed heads then finally painting over with very large ovals.

'Rich as Honesty' (detail below) 


  1. Those honesty seeds are too perfect! that is exactly what they look like!

  2. Love this quilt! It feels like Honesty seeds. Light, transparent and joyful. Thanks for writing about your process. I want some of that micaeous paint.

  3. oh my! The layers, the depth, the magic!

  4. I had a problem receiving posts so I'm late to comment here but these honesty seed pieces are fantastic! And again, I love seeing and reading about the process. So much talent and inspiration here on "...ATWSIOF..." Thank you!


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