I am preparing to leave town tomorrow (May 11th) and I was just reviewing all the posts I scheduled and could not believe I had never done a post on this fabulous piece of linen. It is phenomenal. So here it is. Done with soy wax, thickened dyes on BOTH sides of heavy neutral linen applied with a credit card (scrape, scrape)
While I had the soy wax nicely melted in my pot, I decided to do a small sample of a 2 sided batik. I had previously done two sided batiks and really liked the effect.
I started with intense blue and after doing my alternating bars in wax, a real favorite of mine, I applied the thickened blue due with a credit card.
Washed and ironed
Then I flipped the fabric over and applied a rust colored dye. Now I must mention I had made this colored dye paste in an attempt to mix a chartreuse color. The paste itself was a dark rust and looked very unappetizing but I thought it might look well on the other side of this blue.
It turned out just to look like an accident had happened on the cloth. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. On the edges you can see a bit of the color.
I suspect that had the print paste been a tad thicker, I wouldn't have had so much bleed through. Also if the color on the second side have been of similar value, it might have either mixed well with or overpowered the blue. Lesson learned. I still like two sided batik.
This will be almost impossible to describe in words. I love the colors and I love MOST of the fabric and I am on the right road - I just need some more perfecting. The only way I can describe this is that I grabbed a bunch of fabric in my hand, jammed it in a pot of dye and used the fabric to wipe out the pot. The last time (which was the first time)
I was also cleaning up the posts and using up the last drops of dye instead of washing it down the drain.
Here is the second successful piece of cloth
I love all these nuances of color. I will be doing more experiments with this technique now that I can even call it a technique.
I made an amazing piece of fabric by accident (what else!!) and have been chasing that for months. The drizzle print was one of the experiments trying to reproduce the results but although pretty was not what I was looking for.
This started out like the drizzle prints (without the drizzle). I took a piece of fabric (about 45" X 24") and started to use some of the texture creating objects I use when making a deconstructed silk screen as "stamps". They were pathetic and contrived. Then I just started putting down globs and "blotting" them here and there. Then I did my sawing move with the credit card and general smearing. When I was done, I did a general all over with yellow and the credit card.
Stamping with vegetable netting (two kinds) and balled up burlap. Not too impressive.
Ah. I really like the sawing motion with the credit card plus I see a few general smears.
This was simply a scribbled circle with a fiber tipped pen which I scanned and Lyric burned into a thermofax screen.
Here I added these fine line circles in the open areas of the soy wax silk screen from a few days ago
FIRST: Why do I want a thermofax screen?? ONLY a thermofax screen with give you a printable image WITH FINE DETAIL. You can make a stamp of a bold image but only a thermofax will give you fine details like this:
Screen Lyric made
Now this is how I prepare an image to send to Lyric
This is a new series I am working on so now I have ruined the surprise (smile).
I have opened a jpg file of the image I want
I go to Filter on Photoshop, then adjustments, then threshold
In the box on the lower right there is a slide bar which you can slide left and right until the image is the way you want it to appear on the thermofax screen.
HINT: Try to avoid big black blobs and go for as much FINE detail as you can. I did have to fidget with my image a bit using the contrast setting but I ended up with a wonderful image.
Lyric, you can be expecting this in an email from me later in the month along with many others of milkweeds.
I always buy mine as images only. Here are the reasons. The frames are bulky and they add to the prices. I'd rather have more screens for my buck!!
Now - How to frame your thermofax images
The image of a bee (never used) on the paper on which Lyric made her carbon based toner copy which is the only way to burn a screen.
Buy it; it's worth it.
Make sure the back and front edges of the tape touch (stick to themselves)
The rough (textured) side of the screen always faces up. Make THAT side of the screen so that when you see writing, you know the rough side is facing up. I also label each screen and draw an arrow with the image in the "up" position. This helps eliminate the chances of not noticing and printing you image upside down.
And now that I finished this tutorial I happened to notice on Lyrics website many tutorial about framing and using thermofax screen (duh!)
I am heading west to Baltimore, Ohio for the Dorothy Caldwell workshop. I have been so fortunate in being offered a place to stay at Judith's daughters house during the workshop. I will stay one night in Buffalo, NY in a private home which I found through a web service called airbnb.com. That should be the only paid night I will have. I mentioned going to Toronto to a friend whose mother lives in downtown Toronto and although her mother is visiting her here in Maine, is letting me stay in her apartment in Toronto. What a gift.
I am going to Toronto to #1 visit with Kit Lang who I have gotten to know in blogland and can't wait to meet face to face and #2 to do some urban sketching in the city. I was just planning on staying 2 or 3 days but depending on how much fun I am having, may stay a few more days!!
My posts will continue until I return since I have done a lot of work and have scheduled posts. I will be back at the computer and amongst my art friends the end of May. Until then, enjoy the posts. I'll have SO MUCH to blog about when I return.
And there aren't many firsts left for me!!! Since I got my little job selling scarves, I have been thinking of new colors (marine/sea inspired) or shibori ideas for the maritime museum. I have NEVER used thickened dye with thermofax screens before so I decided to try some amonites on a white silk scarf. I did this before the circles from the last post. I was afraid the thickened dye would run or wick on the silk - wrong.
I put about 1-2 tablespoons of print paste with soda ash added in a cup with a pinch of MX dye powder on the tip of a plastic knife and mixed. I applied the thickened dye with a credit card on the thermofax.
Clean crisp images
Batched a few hours, washed by hand and dried in the dryer.