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.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Frottage on textile

One of the most basic mark-making technique ist the frottage. Any child can do it and most people enjoy doing it. Frottage itself has been known and used in all times but it was the German surrealist artist Max Ernst who introduced this technique in the modern arts.  Here is a short, interesting video about it.
For a while I was wondering how to use frottage in textile surface design. The question was how to fix my rubbings on the surface permanently 
I found my answer in Kerr Grabowski’s DVD: Adventures in Surface Design. Part of this DVD you can watch here.

This is an excellent tutorial. Kerr’s suggestion to screen a  transparent base extender paste to cover up my rubbings and fix them so was the perfect solutions I have been looking for. It was just so easy!

Here are just two examples of the fabrics I made with this technique.
The original screen printed fabric had a "flaw" which always reminded me of water drops. So to enhance this effect I rubbed some water soluble wax crayons on the surface and fixed it with an acrylic permanent base extender.
This "landscape" above was made with a few piece of foamed rubber.

So, how to do it?
All you need is a few "interesting surface" you can rub, like stamps, a piece of lace or any other structural piece.
Use any water soluble colored pencils, wax crayons, charcoal or pastels. Draw or rub the surface: make your marks until you like the outcome.
When ready, fix the color pigment to the textile by screening a textile printing transparent base extender. (e.g: from Golden oder from Lascaux). When dry, heat set it.

I found the best mark-making tools are the self-made ones, like these cuttings from from a simple foam rubber.

Rubbing along the edges gives the impression of a landscape. I can intensify the impression by drawing along these edges.
When ready with the image, I take an empty screen and screen the transparent base extender for textiles over it. When this is dry, I can heat set it and my textile is washable.

A good base extender will not only connect and fix the color pigments to the fabric but enhance your colors as well.

This is a simple and easy technique but it has its merits which make this worth to try out and experiment with it. Have fun!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Pop" Art Experiment

Since most of us in the US are recovering from a turkey hangover, I thought I would just play for today and let you guys be my guinea pigs.

This summer Wil and I experimented with REAL egg shells (we had a lot of scrambled egg breakfasts for several days!) with paint inside. Then we threw the paint eggs at a canvas. Found out that I am one of those who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn....but....I do have a very artful driveway!

Anyway, that got me thinking and one thing led to another and I thought about balloons as a vehicle for color. Wanted to try it out before it snowed but most of you know how that goes sometimes. Life just doesn't cooperate!

So, I'm not coming to you today as an "expert" in this technique but more to discover together just what might happen if.......You are going to get to see the first experiments and then at the end I will tell you what I'm thinking is the next step. AND...I hope you guys will chime in with YOUR ideas as well!

*******This is a messy (but fun!) technique for dyeing so you WILL want to wear clothing you don't mind getting dye splattered.

"Pop" Art Experiment

fabric prepared to be dyed
dyes of your chosen colors (mixed and ready to go)
small funnel
straight pin
trays (optional)
metal grids (optional)

First I started out with pre-dyed fabrics that were rather plain though. I soaked them in soda ash to prep them for the experiment.

NOTE: You will want to do the next step over the sink!

After I mixed the dye, I got out my balloons and a small funnel.

 I poured the dye in through the funnel. Being over the sink is necessary because one balloon already had pin hole in it and leaked the minute I poured in the dye. I also blew them up and tied them over the sink...just in case. Here is the balloon with the dye inside.

I wanted to do the first experiment with a white fabric to better see how the dye fell when the balloon was popped. I put all my fabrics on trays 1) it is quicker to lay them out and 2) it is very cold here today and I wanted to get outside and back in very quickly!!

Here is the result. I popped the balloon about 2 feet above the fabric. I think next time I'll go for more altitude.

Now to pop the dye over the hand-dyed fabrics. I placed them on metal mesh and racks this time to keep them from sitting in the dye after it splashed. Then onto the trays and outside we go with fabrics and balloons all ready. My husband (who is a dear to go out in 4F degrees to take photos for me) manned the camera.

I placed them closer together to take advantage of any over-splashing. That might not be the look you want but you can certainly put them farther apart or only do one at a time. Then hold the dye balloon over the fabric (I used mixing blue, cayman island green and grape)

For these I held the balloon about 3 or so feet above the fabrics.

Now we run very quickly indoors before the fabric freezes!!!.........

And here are the wet results.

Next into the batching closet for the required time. The hardest part.....the waiting.......

After hours passed. I rinsed, dried and ironed the fabrics.

These two are not interesting at all. Only in one little corner was there something happening.  Too much dye in one place.

These are better. The one on the right is my favorite. But the closeup of the one on the left shows some interesting patterns.

My next plan will be to use smaller balloons with less dye in it to get smaller areas of dye with each one. 

So....what do you think of "Pop" Art? I'd LOVE to hear any ideas or tweaks you come up with. It's so much fun to learn and discover together!!

End of monoprinting

Here are the final monoprinted pieces after wash, dry and ironing. The first one I REALLY like and may  do more around this.

This is the piece of apron fabric from Fingerprint with the directions for sewing the apron. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A new twist

I saw this on a YouTube video. It's in another language but you don't need to understand the language to understand the actions.

This is what I did with what I saw on the video. More info at the end of this post.

I put these two face to face (dye side in) and sprayed both sides with soda ash water

I threw them in a plastic bag and the next morning popped it in my Dye Only microwave for 30 seconds. The next day I did the ones below.

Covered each with plastic after spraying with soda ash water.

Now batching with Rice Bags and covered with a towel.

The video showed applying dye with a credit card. The fabric was untreated so I sprayed the back of the fabric with soda ash water then put the first two pieces face to face in a plastic bag and microwaved for a few minutes. The other pieces were wrapped in plastic and batched for a few hours with warm rice bags on them. The edges of the images were not blurred probably because the soda ash was sprayed on the back of the fabric.

The point of the video was to show "applying" color via thickened dye to the designs done in the monoprint. In the video they applied thickened dye to previously printed fabric.