Today is turning into a scurrying day of prep for the orgiastic dye day, which will likely be tomorrow. I have decided to work with silkscreens, stencils, and stamps, used with thickened dye and discharge agents, as my primary focus for dye day. Which will have to be tomorrow, because I need time to create all those stencils, stamps, etc., and to let the silkscreen frames cure. (The instructions in Jane Dunnewold’s Art Cloth say to seal the screen frames with two coats of polyurethane, followed by duct tape, and to let the duct tape cure for 24 hours before applying the emulsion. This actually suggests that silkscreening will happen sometime mid-week.)
I’m actually not sure exactly how much dyeing will get done tomorrow, because of other commitments, but I’m hoping to get some stenciling and stamping done, at least. I also plan to dye some yardage for later overdyeing, and experiment a bit with soy wax and batik. Jane Dunnewold has a DVD out about making crayons with soy wax and dye, and using those to color cloth. I don’t have the DVD, but I imagine the process involves casting soy wax mixed with dye into crayon-like molds, then drawing on a soda-ash impregnated fabric, then steaming the result to set the dyes. Before I invest in $60 for the DVD and the special wax formulation, I’m going to experiment and see if my guess is correct. If it is, and I like the results, I’ll probably order the DVD and Jane’s special wax mixture eventually, because I suspect it will produce better results than my off-the-cuff experiments.
So far I have stretched the fabric for three silkscreens, made a batch of print paste, and done a lot of shopping for materials. Still on the slate for today:
- Seal silkscreen frames with polyurethane
- Design and cut simple stencils using fusible interfacing and nylon net, a la Jane Dunnewold’s Art Cloth
- Paint stencils with latex house paint and let dry, then finish stencils by setting paint with an iron.
- Carve stamps (linoleum stamps + linoleum cutters = fun!)
- Melt wax and mix dye with wax for soy crayons
- Set up some simple batik patterns for dyeing tomorrow
- Low water immersion dye some fabric, to be over-stenciled/overdyed tomorrow
On the slate for Sunday:
- Finish setting up silkscreen frames, for use later in the week
- Mix up and play with thickened dyes – stencils, stamps, handpainting
- Mix up and play with discharge paste – stencils, stamps, and handpainting
- Play with soy crayons
- Do “painted batik” by using wax, but painting on colors rather than doing successive dyebaths. Sort of a mix between batik and silk painting.
Lots of fun, and also lots of excitement! I’ve been wanting to try all this stuff for a long time.