Sunday, November 20, 2011

surface design - dyeing

Thanks for the comments, guys, and the leaf will get finished.
As some of you know, I work on many projects at once and they all get finished, but I usually only do a little on each thing every week or so, so be patient.

Sunday is for surface design and last night I did a little dyeing, spurred on by the latest design matters videos.  Laura did some gorgeous dyeing and Linda used the fabric to make a small iris applique.
Serendipitously, the day before I watched the videos, I was tidying up and found a large pastel painting of an iris that I had been thinking about making into an art quilt.

As you can see, this painting is unfinished.  It also has a little kitty paw print at the top right if you look carefully, lol.  It was done a few years ago and was one of the last things I worked on at Painting.
It is nothing like Linda Kemshall's picture, being about 30 inches square and a different style, but hey I thought I would have a go.
The first piece of fabric I dyed was some cotton, about 2 metres. 
I used exactly the same method as I used here.  The only difference was that I scrunched it up extremely tight into a micowave safe pot.  I usually use glass, because I find plastic melts and wrecks the process and it allows me to check that the bottom fabric is dyed well (underneath).  I then poured the dyes on and made sure they went into the fabric folds by gently massaging.
Because I poured the dye onto the fabric, I could mix the dyes.  I just used a simple, yellow-red-blue sequence like Laura Kemshall did.
Obviously mine is quite different to Laura's for chemical reasons as I don't use the same dyes, but I did get some lovely mixing effects.  The shades are not quite right but the value changes are, so I will begin with these and tweak the shades as I go with some fabric paint and watercolour pencils.
As usual, I made too much red dye, so I also dyed up a batch of  cheesecloth/scrim
-with a little blue to make it interesting.
I also grabbed a pile of cotton scraps and did some greens to use in the landscape  I showed the beginnings of a few days ago.  I have nearly finished the background and you will see that soon.
The green batch had a lot of variation in colour and texture.  This just a few of the scraps.  They were all different pieces of cotton, left over from lots of other things and each piece took the dye differently.  I was very pleased with this lot.  And my evening's dyeing was a great success.
Even hubby took an interest, using some of my left over dye to experiment with dyeing bits of wood.

So, now I am back on line, as you see I have a ton of work!  But perhaps we'll just call it play, not work.

Creativity involves purposeful play.