One of the blogs I read is “…And Then We Set It On Fire”, a blog dedicated to exploring different techniques in surface design. The interesting part about this blog is that it is NOT done by experts! Instead, it is written by fiber artists who are experimenting with new techniques. I enjoy reading about their explorations and thoughts on the possibilities of this medium.
At any rate, they had one month dedicated to surface design using fugitive media. The basic idea is that you take a medium that is water-soluble (or at least not water-repelling), do your design on the fabric, and then silkscreen on some acrylic medium to bind the pigments to the paper. It apparently works pretty well but does stiffen the fabric somewhat due to the presence of the acrylic medium. It may have limited use for me because I prefer flowing fabrics – but I want to play with it to see just how much stiffening happens.
Anyway, in a burst of enthusiasm a few years back, I went out and bought some water-soluble pencils. I just picked up a set of Inktense water-soluble ink pencils, and I plan to try out both of those plus plain graphite pencils on fabric. I have four sheets of silk fabric (taped to backing boards) with me as well as a notebook of drawing paper; that ought to keep me more than busy enough for five days, especially since I will spend most of the time visiting with relatives!
(The difference between Inktense and regular watercolor pencils is that the Inktense ones dissolve into ink – they only flow once, the first time you wet them. Regular watercolor pencils will flow every time they get wet. I plan to experiment with both types of pencil, to get an idea of how they behave.)
I think this would be interesting to try with pastels as well, and since I have a set of very nice pastels (see previous notes on “burst of enthusiasm”!), I may play around with them as well – AFTER I get back. Pastels are fun, but the dust gets absolutely everywhere! Not good when you are schlepping your work 3000+ miles before fixing it.
Off to play! I have another hour or so before I need to wake up Mike (so we can get ready for our trip), which is plenty of time to do a couple of experimental sketches.