Friday, January 23, 2015

Back in the Studio

 My stay in the sunny south is over but not forgotten. I'll insert some images later of my travels. For now, I'm so glad to have access to the print making studio at Bluseed in my hometown. I was there last week doing more deconstructed screen printing. Above are a couple of my homemade screens, one an old framing mat and the other cut from thick foamcore, all taped up and with old sheer curtains to stand in for the silk in my better screens. These are freshly covered with thickened fabric dye squeegeed over various objects such as a piece of rubber rug pad, hardened hot glue shapes, pieces of cardboard, and bubble wrap. The hair drier is pointed at them on high to dry the dye before printing.

 The print on the left is my first pull with my clear print paste over a screen with dried indigo dye. The green transferred to my screen from a piece of cardboard that was previously used to pattern anothenr screen. The right-hand print is the second pull. See how the dye is dissolving more with exposure to the print paste.
The next pair of prints used the same screen as above but with some black cherry dye mixed with the print paste. All these were printed on a white cotton sheet. I printed on several pieces of fabric that were not presoaked with soda. I had read on the "... And Then We Set It On Fire" blog that the fiber reactive dyes can be set immediately after printing with a spray of soda ash and water solution on the back before leaving in a warm place to "batch". It worked like a charm.

And I love that my electric mattress pad will batch a whole batch of fabric at once. I just make sure my fabrics are securely wrapped in plastic trash bags. Then I put them to bed between (or under) the sheets, turn the control to High, and go about my business. If they haven't been there long enough at bedtime, I make sure I put the bags of fabric under the mattress pad, turn the heat down (or even off), and use my body heat to continue the process. The outside temperatures hovered right around zero all week, so it worked put perfectly! An electric blanket will be equally effective. A bonus of living in a cold climate.

If you are a fiber artist, you really need to check out "... And Then We Set It On Fire". I have learned so much from the wonderful posts on this blog, including the two tips I used for my printing: making the screens from the old mat and from foamcore and spraying my prints with the soda ash solution.  Another great link is from Kerr Grabowski's website - she posted a nice short video on how deconstructed screen printing is done. I can never explain it well enough. And please let me know if this post was helpful to you!

1 comment:

Beth said...

Thank God the soda ash spray worked since it was my "tip". I DO use it all the time but if I mess up my own stuff, it's OK. I love the combo of indigo and black cheery!! Great colors.