Thursday, June 28, 2018

String Painting

One of our blogging friends - Robbie Payne wrote a wonderful blog on the art of string painting. We knew it was something our Fiber Junkies group had to try. Robbie wrote the most thorough directions for doing this technique; check out her blog to get a real feel for how it is done. Thank you Robbie!!
So we started with all kinds, widths and fiber contents of string...this was the time to experiment.
 We also used small muffin tins and containers to hold paint. I save the little measuring cups from laundry detergent - they worked well also. It's best to use something small.
  Denny had some string that split which was an added element.

You will also need some paint with a pourable consistency. I still turn to Createx airbrush colors as they are fiber friendly and so easy to use. We also tried and had good success with inks. You will also need an old heavy book...old because it could get paint on it.
You cut off a piece of string @ 18 to 24" in length, dip it in the paint and lay on fabric in a swirl-like pattern. If your fabric is wide enough like the one above, just fold over the side to cover the string. If not, lay another piece of fabric on top of the string. Lay the book on top and slowly......pull the string out which creates wonderful patterning.

You can use more than one color on different parts of the string. We also found very skinny ribbon to work (right side).

We found string that was all cotton worked very well as it was able to hold the paint (top).
Denny tried a string that was synthetic. It did not hold the paint well and was not as successful. 

Left side is the paint-loaded string laid on fabric. It was a small piece of fabric so I couldn't fold it over itself. I used a white piece of fabric to lay on top of the string (below). You can get an idea of the type of patterning you get with each string configuration.

Gen was working on paper that she uses in her many beautiful journals and collages. 
 Here Gen has created a tri-color pretty and interesting.

Mary had great success working in felt which she'll use in making her felted bowls.
  It's a fairly easy technique to catch on to but we had many glitches along the way such as using too fat a string or loading too much paint on it. Any mishap can usually be worked over which we all find challenging and fun.
Kate was doing some great stuff...the print on the right was a happy accident when she lifted the fold over piece and the string moved. She tried to re- line the string but was off by a tad creating this wonderful double line print
  and the printing on some of her hand dyes was lovely.

I had some successes also. The top right I thought had too much paint on it, but everyone saw a mushroom - so there you go. It's always nice to have another pair or 2 of eyes to see things from a different perspective.
  Denny was doing something quite different - working with disperse dyes on paper. She also did a lot of layering - going back and adding another painting on top. Denny is a master at layering.

She had created bunches of papers which can be used more than once. The color is released from the paper when it is ironed onto a synthetic fabric - it's amazing to watch.
 And here are some of the results. By using the disperse dyes, Denny can go back and iron another paper on top and keep the layering going. It looks like a watercolor and is just beautiful.
Here's another Denny...

And a wonderful and productive day with good friends, some yummy treats and beautiful results.


  1. I love seeing new techniques for making art. These look like so much fun. Thanks for sharing:)

  2. I love what you all did with this technique!!! WOW!!! And using Disperse Dyes! Who knew!!!! Never thought about that!!!! I might have to try that this next winter.