Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Making Rocks

Our group decided to make a collaborative quilt this year with the theme of cairns.  At first, I was full of many exciting ideas about all the possibilities of making artful rocks.  Then I just lost interest.  About a week before we were to meet and start putting our rocks together, I got an idea.  I wanted to sprinkle some dye powder, or sift it, onto a wet piece of cloth (already treated with soda ash).  I thought it might look kind of like the minerals in granite, which I LOVE.  Caution:  don't try this at home without a good respirator.  I did this outside, on a calm day and the dye blew EVERYWHERE.  And the reason you know that it did is because you can see every place it hits.  So as much fun as I had, I probably won't make this a regularly occurring event.  However, I was intrigued by the process and how interesting the little swirls of wind had on my dye particles, captured by the cloth.




After the dye was processed, I batiked some rounded rock shapes and overdyed with a few different colors.  You can see the wax on a few of these shots because it looks wet, or shiny.  I crackled the wax so that the dye would penetrate the rock where the cracks where.  I just love how it turned out.  Stay tuned.  At some point we will post the finished quilt.  Until then you can see some of our progress here.  My rocks ended up in the stack on the far left.




Last, I do really really like this technique and how bright it looks up close, but still reads as a neutral from far back.  Fascinating!  And it just shows that sometimes ideas need time to percolate.  They don't always show up the minute you need them.  That's okay, just how it works some times!