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.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Variety of Techniques - Week 4

As many of you know, Wil Opio Oguta and I get together once every year to experiment in the studio. On one of the trips we attended a local art exposition in the Minneapolis Arts District. At that time we saw a beautiful artistic effect done on paper/canvas. Further inquiry revealed that the technique used was gunpowder. Of course, our first reaction the minute we left the showroom was “What if we used gunpowder on fabric?”  After much research and experimentation, and tons of fun, we decided to write a book to share this textile surface technique. That book is now completed and ready to present to the world!

We could think of no better place to reveal this technique that on the FIRE blog! Knowing this is not a “commercial” blog, we asked permission to present the technique, give away our e-book as a prize and after that to just let you know our website to find out how to acquire your copy. At the moment the website is not operational, but you can contact us, if you are interested in the book. It will be mentioned only in the posts this week when we reveal the technique and at the end when we give away the e-book as a prize. We want to thank the FIRE group for granting us this limited opportunity and in return give our assurance that after February, any discussion and contact regarding our book will be handled on our website.

Now to show you the culmination of our adventure in what else….setting something on fire!

Safety might be the first thought that come to your mind. Actually, we as adventurous textile artists work with chemicals and techniques all the time that require at least a common sense adherence to rules to keep us safe and unharmed. This technique is no different and no more dangerous than any of these other concepts that we have learned to embrace and enjoy.  Follow the safety rules and you should have no problem.  We haven’t burned anything down yet!  Although the word is gunpowder, there is no BANG or anything….just one second of WHOOSH and it is all over. Believe me, the results are worth it!

Supplies are simple except for the gunpowder. However, we found it available at most large sporting goods stores and many gun shops. Admittedly….we did get a few strange looks when we started asking for it.  They weren’t quite sure what to make of us. They asked us what we wanted it for and when we told them we are artists the response was always “Oh!”  Like that explains everything!  LOL!!

The rest of the supplies are probably something you have around your house already.
Yes it is an outdoor procedure, but I happen to know from experience (even up here in the frozen tundra) that it can be done outside even in the winter!  You just do it really quickly!

After setting it on fire, the next part is to turn your amazing surface designed fabrics into wonderful works of art! You have already seen one of mine perhaps.  It is entitled Beautiful Boundary and was inspired by the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef under the water was created by gunpowder on previously sunprinted dupioni silk.

We have the book ready if you are interested. Please contact either Wil or myself and we will give you the particulars.  We are in process of setting up the website but it is not quite ready for publication as yet.

In the meantime, everyone posting a guess on the Friday Mystery techniques will be entered in a drawing at the end of February for a free download of the e-book!
We hope you are intrigued and excited about giving this technique a try.

Since no one guessed the technique, and I loved all the ideas, I just put all the names in a hat and picked one!  And the winner is........


Please send me your mailing information and I will mail out the overlapping leaves to you!
Send the information to    Kelly@KellyLHendrickson.com

Thanks you guys for playing! And I hope this technique intrigued you!


  1. ha! When I saw gunpowder, I thought, 'how appropriate for the fire blog!' ;^)

    1. I know, right? That is why we came to FIRE first. Thanks to all of you for letting us share this technique!

  2. Gunpowder!!!
    My first thought - where can I get some ??
    What fun!

    1. I don't know where you live but in the US if you can get it at large sporting goods stores like Cabela's or even some smaller ones. Also check out gun shops. Sometimes they carry gunpowder as well.


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