Thursday, February 23, 2012

More batik

I've made progress on my batik line... one thing I discovered is that if I have a design with easy to see markings, I can slip it under the shirt when I have stretched the shirt over a foam board and secured, and I see the design well enough through the shirt so I can trace it onto the shirt, rather than having to cut a stencil and trace thru the stencil onto the shirt. A time-saver for sure!
So here are a couple of rompers I finished yesterday:
I didn't have great light when I took these shots... the dyes are actually brighter in person.
I also want to see if I can have a couple of thermofax screens made up of some of the batik designs I have been making, so I can make a printed variation, although I really do love the crackled effect I get with the soy wax.
I just put another shirt into a dye bath that has a batik lotus blossom... I really like the design, and hope to make more of them if this comes out well.
Meanwhile, I'm off in the morning to Scottsdale for an overnight stay with a friend... so amy more batik will have to wait until Sunday... have a great weekend!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Batik... this year's project!

I have had batik in my project board for awhile now... I've been doing autumn leaves shirts for 4 years, and I love them, but I have wanted to broaden my horizons a little, and I decided this is the year. Yesterday, I cut a stencil of a dragonfly, and tried it out on both a t-shirt and a piece of muslin, both pre-soaked in soda ash solution and dried. In both cases, I traced the design on using regular pencil, then I waxed the design on. On the muslin, I added dye to the body and eyes with unthickened dye and an artist's paintbrush, then I brushed the dye on around the dragonflies, over the wings to pick up the divisions, and out toward the edges. I used 4-5 colors of dye, a couple of which I actually mixed and stored back in August! Amazing how well they hold their strength if they are stored in a cool spot! When I finished applying the dyes, I covered the muslin with plastic wrap and batched overnight.
Here's the muslin:
After I let the wax harden on the T-shirt, I scrunched the shirt into a small bin, then I poured over the dyes and let it sit for about an hour before I rinsed and washed. Here's the shirt:

I'm pleased with my start, and got busy this morning creating some more stencils. I'm also searching the internet for pre-cut stencils to see if I can find some I like. It is pretty time-consuming to cut the stencils, and although it goes faster if I cut them from card stock, I'm concerned that the card stock won't last very long before it starts to break down. At any rate, thi is definitely going to be my big project for the year, and probably beyond!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gel Glue resist experiments

I am working with my friend Wendy Wetzel to create a new Dye Divas class, and one of the things we want to demo is Gel Glue resist and painting with thickened dyes. I did one sampler, but forgot to cover it and batch, and the dyes did not bond with the cloth... bummer! So the next attempt, I made sure to cover with plastic for 24 hours after I finished applying the thickened dyes, and got much better results! Here is the sampler:
This is a fun method to create designs, and using thickened dyes instead of fabric paints leaves the fabric softer. So this can be used for clothing items as well as art pieces... something I really like! I just got a neat pattern for an unconstructed jacket, and I hope to do some with fabric I create using Gel Glue resist... I'll post pix if I get the jacket done!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Fiber Arts Guild

I am a member of a guild on artfire called the Fiber Arts Guild, a collection of shops where the artists/crafters specialize in all things fiber... weaving, knitting, crocheting, quilting, tie-dye (not just me!), sewing... you name it! Anyway, I wanted you to know that we now have a blog to showcase the members. I have posted a link to it on the right side of the blog, and I hope you will check it out. It's just starting up, but we hope to have lots of interesting posts from a variety of our membership in the near future. So visit, bookmark it and become a regular browser! See you there... I volunteered to be one of the writers, so I'll be stretching the envelope a little!