Monday, 26 June 2017

Melted Experiments

I've been experimenting with slashing organza and felt fabrics with the soldering iron, folding them and tacking them down again with the tool. Here's a sneak peek at the process, check back tomorrow for the finished piece.

Deconstructed Screen Printing

Lately I have been trying out deconstructed screen printing (also known as breakdown printing), teaching myself as I go along with advice from YouTube. Deconstructed screen printing is different from ordinary screen printing because you leave the dye to dry on the screen before gradually reactivating it again. Warning - this is seriously messy!

My kids did a little woodwork for me to make some screens. You just need a wooden frame with some kind of mesh stretched across it and an area taped up to act as a well for the ink.

You need a squeegee available from the DIY store, and a soft surface to print onto. I used my yoga mat covered with plastic.

I used Procion fabric dye powders which are mixed with water and Manutex dye thickener.

Dye Thickener

I collected various items to make some textures in the dye including, stencils, glue gun shapes, fabric scraps, bubble wrap and leaves.

1st lay out some textured items on some scrap paper under the screen.

Next scrape some thickened dye across the screen and over the items.

Lift up the screen and remove the items and then place the screen somewhere warm to dry. Beware it might drip so put some plastic underneath.

The ink will be textured with the various items.

Once the screens are totally dry you'll need to mix up some more dye thickener. If you want your prints to be washable on fabric then you'll need to add some soda ash.

The dry screen is laid over your fabric and plain or coloured thickener is scraped over the screen. Areas thick with dye will act a a resist, open areas without dye will let the colour through. The wet thickener gradually breaks down the dried dye releasing it onto the fabric a little more with each new print. You should be able to get several prints from each screen and they will alter slightly each time as the dye breaks down.

You can try this on fabric or paper. The results are fairly unpredictable which is part of the fun. Once the fabric is dry you can iron it to set the colour and then wash it to remove extra dye thickener.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Dyeing Bright

I've been playing with mixing dye colours this weekend. I've made lots of swatches with the recipe noted on them so I can achieve the same colours again. I used Procion dye in cyan, yellow, magenta, black, chocolate and lime. Different colours can be achieved with the addition of more water or the addition of another dye colour.

I tried mixing some dye colour into matt and gel acrylic mediums and then printing with them on the Gelli plate. Once the prints were dry I washed a second colour over the top.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

The Fabric of Space - Textile Art

If we could only see, what would energy, gravity and dark matter look like? What shapes do the mysterious webs holding our universe together form? How does matter and energy distort and bend the fabric of space and time?

I've finally finished with my melted circles (see previous post). They are mounted on poles in a 3D wave formation. I added more circles with rays of golden hot glue exploding from them. The piece is called "The Fabric of Space".

Primordial Soup - Textile Art

My 3D melted pink creation from the previous post now has a background and is ready to hang. I painted and printed on black Lutradur with ordinary and metallic acrylic paints, and then free machined the piece onto some bright blue acrylic felt. I used the soldering iron to cut and shape the edges and the heat gun to distress the background allowing the blue to show through.

The 3D pink cells were melted on with the soldering iron. I have named the piece Primordial Soup. 3.8 billion years ago life began. Cells divided and connected together in new ways to form our most ancient ancestors. How beautiful the evolution of nature.