Friday, October 29, 2010


Here are a couple of my canvases (theme of Ten) for the DW exhibition - the top one: 10 Leaves, I photographed before sealing the silk paper background and I may also change the finish on a couple of the copper leaves.
Below: is finished apart from the hanging wire. It has 10 cut out pieces which I've then added on top. I need a name for this - any suggestions?

This week was meant to be busy getting my work done for the exhibition, but I've had a bad cold and haven't felt up to doing much at all, but the 3 from this series are nearly there and I have another 3 pieces finished.
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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Product trial

There has been some discussion on the Complex Cloth Yahoo group about a new discharging product: deColourant Plus which was being promoted as a less smelly and safer alternative to the existing products. Dave very kindly offered to send samples to interested members so they could do their own testing. I didn't think he would be prepared to post a sample to Australia from the USA but 2 jars (a colourless & a dark purple) arrived last week and I've done a few tests (above)
I found it discharged very effectively, even on some fabrics that hadn't worked very well with other products. There is a smell - similar to Jacquard but not nearly as bad, however I would recommend wearing a mask - it does state on the jar to use it in a well ventilated area.

My samples are all done on cotton dyed with Procion MX except the red fabric wich is a purchased cotton/linen mix.
Top left: stencilled with purple. Top middle: block print with colourless (lightest spots - the tan spots were done previously - I think with bleach) Top right: colourless - block printed on rayon.
Bottom from right: fabric sample before discharging, next - painted with purple and colourless, red fabric - mono and sponge printed with colourless. Bottom from left: block printed, next - painted with sponge brush - watered down colourless.

I found the product quite thick and it still worked well watered down a little. This also gives some more variation in the final colour. All the methods I used worked well - I rather like the effect I got painting both colourless and purple very watered down with a sponge brush (bottom left) I ironed the samples when wet and dry and also left one sample to cure in the sun which worked well too. I did follow the suggestion to leave the ironed fabric 24 hours before washing.

I'm not sure why anyone would want the product in a dark colour - the idea is to add colour at the same time as removing the background colour, but dark colours would show up anyway without the discharge. My only thought would be that the fabric would look different from the back where the discharged areas would be lighter. I did like the purple watered dowm a lot but wouldn't buy it. I will certainly buy the colourless product. Neither changed the fabric's hand. I haven't tried it on silk yet.

Above: more deColourant on 1 metre of rayon. This was my fabric from a round robin last year - I'm liking it much more now but still not finished.
Below: a quilt top I made this week using some of my dyed/printed fabrics. I think I'll add a border but have to put it away for now and get on with my exhibtion work. This was a distraction that happened because I bought a reel of variegated cotton thread and was looking for fabrics that would go with it!
I discovered 2 new shops - Materialise: where I bought the thread and some bits and pieces of quilt fabrics (they have some gorgeous stuff - lots of Japanese fabrics too) Sophie, who owns it, was doing textiles at Curtin Uni the same time as me. The other shop was an outlet shop - Potters Textiles in West Leederville. They had some great fabrics - more for dressmaking but they also had bags of samples and remnants from $3 bag. I got a lovely lot for $19.

Below: a small piece using the left over scraps from the quilt, stitched with the new thread.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Exhibition Invitation

Our exhibtion opens soon - here is the invitation. I'll be busy over the next couple of weeks getting my pieces finished!

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Friday, October 08, 2010

Dispersal dyes & a tidy studio

Above: some samples with dispersal dyes on poly satin. Before I teach or demonstrate I always like to re-visit the technique, while at the same time, test my dyes are still OK. I really like these quick pieces and will develop them further - maybe a large piece coming up!

I had to take some pics of my studio now I've spent most of the week tidying and re-organizing it - it won't stay like this for long!
I guess I should have taken some before pics but I wouldn't have been game to post them here. It makes me really want to get working - all that space.

Apologies, I forgot to answer some questions from a previous post on Breakdown printing. A couple of books I would recommend on the subject: Breakdown Printing by ClaireBenn & Lesley Morgan, Committed to Cloth and Rayna Gillman's book: Create your own hand printed cloth.

This process uses thickened Procion dye which has dried on the silkscreen. There are various ways to apply the dye - one is to print over something textured like bubble wrap. The dye dries on the screen, retaining the texture or pattern. When clear thickener or a contrasting colour is printed through the textured screen, the dried dye gradually breaks down, giving wonderful organic patterning. You can keep printing until most of the dried dye is gone - any that remains can be easily washed out. Don't try this with textile paints - if they dry in the silkscreen they are permanent!

Thanks everyone who comments - I love to receive them and do try to reply or leave a comment on your blog but sometimes when I get busy I may forget.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Procion dye work

Some more sample pieces from my recent work with dyes. Top is hand painted & below: mono & roller printed.

Below: screen printed and lines applied with squeeze bottle.

A few silk hand dyes, all done in the same container - the dark ones are organza. A recipe for this method (Cram jar dyeing) is on Kraftkolour's website.

I ran a Procion dye workshop for Innovative Stitches last weekend. I used to be a member, so it was nice to catch up with people and some of them bought several pieces of my dyed fabrics which was very nice. Tomorrow, I'm doing a talk & demo on heat transfer dyeing for ATASDA and people can do some samples if they like - materials, paper & dyes provided for $5.
Next weekend I'm having an open studio for the local branch of the Australian Sewing Guild which of course, means a major tidy up - well over due!

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