Friday, October 29, 2010

Left Over Black Dye

I had left-over black dye from last week's screening of the spirals. Can't let it waste away. Consequently, on Monday I decided just to play. This is only the second time I have worked with black dye or paint. I do not know why I never tried to before. I think that will change now. I recently bought an 250 ml bottle of black Seta color.

My first experiment was to use one of my fabric tools -  a brayer with rubber banks wrapped around it. I used it to print on a silk organza scarf. This was followed by printed with twelve erasers attached to a piece of plexi-glass with velcro on another one of these scarves. Usint the velcor was something Jane Dunnewold told us about when I took her Complex Cloth workshop about 10-11 years ago.
I was going to over dye them until my artist buddy, Chris, came over yesterday morning. She said leave them as is. When I showed another two artist friends in Tubac yesterday afternoon, they concurred with Chris. One even order a stamped version and requested that I use maroon instead of black. What do I know?

I next played with several small pieces of cotton that I had dyed previously. The next two I thought I had already steamed and washed out. However, after playing with the black dye, I steamed them and discovered new brighter colors popping out.

Like I said, I was just trying different tools and not worrying about creating a finished piece. I figured I could just cut them up for some of my fabric collages. I even tried using a sponge brush with one of my silk screens; which I did not like - too much dye through the screen. Again Chris surprised me, she said that these two should be framed or mounted and sold as is. I guess I need to filter my left brain. What do agree with Chris or should I just cut them up and use them in collages?
Below is another piece I experimented with. I do not like the middle section, but I think parts of it have possibilities for collages.

I do not know whether I like the front or the back of the last piece the best. Again, I do not think I had steamed and wash it before applying the black dye. That is why the front and back are different.
Which one do you like?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rayon Ponchos

Monday and Tuesday I dyed the following rayon ponchos for a store in Tubac, AZ. Wednesday and today I ironed them after soaking and washing them. I love the colors. So much of it is serendipitous, which makes it so much fun. This is my opportunity to just play with color!!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Farmer's Dress

Saturday, I delivered this farmer's dress to Ann Over, an artist friend of mine. She bought one earlier this month and asked me to dye her another with some color requests. She was thrilled with the colors and it looked beautiful against her complexion.

Ann is a wonderful artist and a master serigrapher. Visit her web-site to see some of her incredible work. I always learn something new from my visits with Ann. She frequently loans me books to read. While there this weekend, she showed me the Ulano film she uses to cut intricate stencils out of. Many of her pieces were created with as many as 18 different colors. The amount of layering is phenomenal.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Name This Piece of Art Cloth

Last year I applied several layers of deconstructed silk screening and a little sponging on a piece of Kona cotton. 

Yesterday, I used some of my new spiral screens to add another layer over the above cloth. What do you think? Any suggestions for a name?

Monday, October 18, 2010


I love spirals. For some reason they speak to me probably because they are timeless. I started with them to build up my inventory of stamps, stencils, and silk screens to add images to art cloth. About a year ago, I spent about an hour just drawing shapes with charcoal. I could not figure out what to do with the spirals because of their odd shapes. Recently, I told myself odd shapes are interesting - duh!!!

First I sprayed the charcoal drawings with hair spray to seal them.Then I traced the basic shapes of several of the spirals and glued the tracings to black paper. The spirals were cut out using a utility knife. These were then scanned into the computer, printed, and then silk screens were produced using a thermofax machine. 

While cutting out the black paper, it occurred to me that the original charcoal drawings would make exciting  silk screens. They were scanned into the computer and the stamp filter from Photoshop Elements was applied to them to make the marks that comprised the spirals more distinct. I reduced the size of these spirals, to add  variety in size in the complementary motifs.
I finished with two screens that contain several different spirals all reduced in sized to fill up a large screen.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More Playing With Color

Wednesday, I dyed again. The first dress was for a friend who wanted bright. So I just poured yellow and fuchsia dye over it.  

Then I proceeded to over dyed pieces that I had dyed last week. The next one is a crinkled peasant blouse that was originally dyed yellow and over dyed fuchsia. Again the back was prettier than the front. I finally figured out why! When manipulating the clothes I was putting the back on the outside - DUH!!! 

Also in the fuchsia bath went a rayon dress that had first been dyed in orange. I was so excited to take the pictures, I did not iron it first.

Then I dyed a cotton farmer's dress that was suppose to be for me. It was first dyed yellow and then over dyed violet. I was expecting a different result because I previously dyed a silk scarf this way and got a beautiful color combination. But that was several years ago and silk dyes differently than silk, etc. The results are wonderful; the only problem is that I am a winter and I look awful in the finished garment. I guess someone else will be wearing it.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Playing with Color

 I over dyed a blouse that an artist friend had bought from me. Originally it was a light turquoise. I told her that if she would want me to over dye it, I would. She took it home for awhile and then decided that she wanted more color. I over dyed it last Friday and took it over to her studio/gallery this weekend. She was all smiles!!!

For the past three mornings, I have been putting clothes into their first dye baths. These will be followed with over dyeing. One afternoon last spring, Cheryl, who is now a very good friend, and I spent several hours twisting, stuffing, tying and clamping the rest of the clothes blanks I had purchased from Dharma. Instead of my normal very symmetric manipulations, we laughed and manipulated the clothes in different directions. I think I will continue to do this. What do you think? 

First was lapis and avocado:

Cotton Dress
Cotton Leggings

Back of Cotton Leggings
 I think the back of these look better than the front. 

Rayon Sundress

Back of Rayon Sundress
Again the back is more interesting than the front. Is there a pattern here.

Rayon Crinkle Blouse

Next came Havanna Brown and Chino, two new dye colors that I used for the first time. They are now at the top of my list of colors. I love that some of the colors they are composed of separated and dyed the fabric different colors. Most dyers would be very unhappy with this, but I love results that are serendipitous.

Cotton Leggings - Havana Brown
Cotton Sundress - Chin

I think I will over dye these last two with turquoise.