Playing with fabric this time. These weren’t terribly directed, I mean, I had a loose idea of what I wanted to do but I wasn’t trying to create anything for a specific use.
These are done on plain old cotton fabric with Procion MX dyes that have been dissolved into a sodium alganate gel. This project was awesome because there’s a flurry of activity at the end of it but, for the most part, there’s a ton of prep. You have to soak the cotton in soda ash solution and let it dry. You have to dissolve the alganate in water for a couple of days until it’s this gooey homogenous gel rather than chunks of gel in the bottom of a jar of water.
I’m good at prep and, by the time all the prep is done, I’m so close to finished that it’s almost easy to take the actual step into doing it. “Come on, 10 minutes and it’ll be done! You can do this for another 10 minutes.”
Truth is, I want to keep doing it but… what if it doesn’t work? What if it’s ugly? What if I’ve just wasted all of this stuff? Yikes. So, that’s the voice that I”m trying to quiet.
So, notes for next time: take my time. This is the first time I’d used dye like this so I rushed a little. Consequently, my registration isn’t so clean. I would work on that a little more. The time factor means that I can also take a little longer actually making my impression marks and get more detail on the petals.
I’d also like to try a different brayer. Something spongy maybe so my coverage of the acetate is a little more consistent.
AND, I want to try this dye with an actual silk screen. The consistency is really close to Speedball ink and I think I could get some pretty clean registration with it. I really need to work on my colours though, they dry so much lighter than they look wet, it’s something that I’m going to have to get used to.
I love screenprinting. This wasn’t screenprinting but it was close. The reason that I bring up screenprinting is because it is one of the few art forms that my perfectionism seems to leave me alone. It’s a great thing to be able to freely shrug my shoulders and have another whack at it without the Furies acting up.
I also have a tendency to get caught up in one place. Like my brain decides that the Martha Street Studio is the only place in the ENTIRE world that I can do screenprinting. In an effort to break that thought a liittle, I did the easiest, low-tech version that I could put together from what I had on hand. Just to see if I would balk. I totally didn’t (yay me!) so I’m going to try to graduate up to monoprinting on fabric. Eventually, I’d like to do my own batik in snake-y jade greens and clear dark aquamarines. Maybe even a few in the rich velvety reds. Yummy.
I’m proud of this one. This started out as a pile of paper sheets and some rubber stamps. A little bit of ribbon, a little bit of polymer clay and a feather (that was a last minute addition).
There were seven signatures in total and, when closed, it measures, I don’t know, 3 1/2″ x 5″ or so. There are two envelopes per page and I did up 14 inserts and used India ink, a straight nib fountain pen and my very best printing (I love my writing but I have to admit that it’s unreadable). I used regular and embossed card stock and pigment ink for the text on the inner layers. The covers were made with mat board that I covered with a wicked red textured paper that I bought over a year ago. They only had one sheet left for 50 cents and I had no idea why I wanted it so badly (I have as much difficulty resisting a rich red as I do a beautiful blue).
The ribbon closures weren’t the original plan but the clasp that I made was a little more rustic then I was looking for and didn’t hold the book open tightly enough when it’s fanned out.
The heart is made out of Premo polymer clay in gold. The photo doesn’t show some of the mica shift burnishing that I did to soften the edge but it is there.
What did I write on the little notes? Wouldn’t you like to know ;D
I attempted my first CMYK screenprint using this image. Not a rip-roaring success. I like to play with really transparent ink so it came across a little washed out in the greens but it was pretty cool to watch it come together layer by layer.