Thursday, May 6, 2010

Passion or Obsession: My Journey into Hand-dyeing and Surface Design

This is one page from the surface design book I'm making for the exhibit. It's a painted piece of cotton which I hit with salt while it dried in the sun. If it's a hot day (and it should be hot and sunny to get the best results), you can actually see the salt doing its thing. I used a 50/50 mix of Setacolor paint and water. It's easy and fun-- good for a group, no chemicals, water clean-up. Dried fabric has to be heat set with an iron (use a presscloth) or you can just let it sit for a couple weeks if you really dislike ironing.

Other pages of the book cover rust printing, overdyeing, resists, discharging-- this is where the obsession comes in. When the techniques are layered, you are making what Jane Dunnewold coined "Complex Cloth" in her book of the same name. Jane has another book coming out in June- "Art Cloth". Ask me if I'm on the waiting list . . . .

I've challenged myself in this exhibit to use cloth/fiber in the majority of the signage/display items. Ive had my test kitchen (same room I used to cook in) working on the "will this work on cotton?" and "will this show up well enough for a sign" issues.

Exhibit debuts at Minnesota Quilt Show and conference at the St. Cloud Civic Center in St. Cloud, MN June 17-19, 2010. Stop by if you're in the area!

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