Saturday, November 24, 2007

Batik meets screen printing and thickened dyes.

Love it! This is so fun and so fast and so fabulous! I drew the design first with wax and a djaunting tool onto the screen. Then I used dye paste from Prochem with dye and soda ash. Since this was the first time, I had no idea how much I needed, so I prepared to do a lot of runs with the screen. Then I pushed the dye through the screen and repeated. The yellow dye is so bright and cheerful!

I was expecting it to run, especially because my design was a bit on the fine side, but the print paste did it's job very well. The whole process only took an hour. I had a lot of waste (only because the soda ash was mixed in, otherwise, I could have saved the left overs). And the process is messy, but I had so much fun doing it, I didn't even notice. And the best part....there is no wax to get out of the cloth!! The design remained very true and the dyes also stayed bright through the entire process. I will make some fish with this fabric. The last note is cleaning the wax off the screen. I haven't done it yet, so I don't know. To see more complete description of the techniques used, see Jane Dunnewold's book Improvisational Screen Printing.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

What I'm Thankful For
Well, there are a lot of things that I am thankful for, but today, I am directing my attention towards my children's school. I am so very thankful for the transfer we received so that they could go there. I am thankful for all their teachers and the support staff that allow so much learning and love happen in the classrooms. This year I am making a quilt for the yearly fundraising auction. How appropriate that I should finish the quilt top today! I am grateful to get to share it with you!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Learning to Draw with Wax
I have a couple of projects in mind that I would love to draw with wax. Unfortunately, most of my experience with batik has been stamping this whole cloth is my practice, or maybe I should say, another opportunity to practice. I love the navy and turquoise together. I was happy with the design. I still want more practice and more control.

I found it to be kind of like drawing with your wrist instead of your fingers. This reminds me of machine quilting, which I find to be like drawing with your entire arm up to the shoulder. It feels strange and unusual at first, but eventually you start to get the hang of it.

Control is more difficult as the nature of the wax changes while you are drawing. When it is hot, it is very fluid and you have to move fast. As it cools, you have to slow down. I was also having problems with big drops of wax running down the outside of the djanting tool unexpectedly leaving drips. Rats! I keep thinking, surely, there must be an easier way, one that gives you a bit more control over the process. I did not find it, so for now, I must go with the flow!

This piece is 60" x 60" whole cloth. I expected it to be much more difficult to get the wax out than it actually was. And expect for a rather large wad of wax that got trapped in the center, it didn't take much time at all to get the wax out.