Monday, April 27, 2009

Small Studies - Thistle

I found this great left over silk, part of which was lining for a garment. It was dyed with mx dyes and then batiked - the first and last time for me. The wax was difficult to remove, it took forever and I finally brought it to a dry cleaner. Thanks to Rayna Gillman, I recently discovered soy wax (see her wonderful book - Create Your own Hand-printed Cloth). It is far easier to use and remove, but for the time being, the piece below was done with a mixture of bees wax and parafin. I was semi-pleased with the results. For the lining, I stamped over obvious flaws but the left-over silk was left as is. When I recently found this fabric, I decided to shibori it using clamps and plexi-glass squares to cover the flaws and add more interest. I used a navy acid dye for silk and for some reason, it turned this brownish cranberry.
The other half of this piece was to be Thistles. I found a wonderful bunch on a morning walk. I scanned them and made them into a silk screen. The only problem when using a thermofax screen, it's a larger mesh and the image can be blurry when using a discharge paste. A textile paint works well; it's thicker and doesn't migrate but discharge paste is loose and will migrate after being screened. This is the original image - I'm not happy with it, the wonderful detail of the thistle is gone.
My friend Barbara suggested I thicken the paste with sodium alginate - no set recipe, just sprinkled a little, stirred and so on and so on.  It worked and I'm so glad to find a solution to screening with discharge paste and Thermofax screens as I love the process and the way it looks. The image on the right was done using a paste thickend with alginate;  the left is the original blurry one - a big difference!
And the finished piece - "Small Studies - Thistle".

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful piece, Judy. Do you teach a class about Thermofax, screen printing or any of these techniques?