Saturday, January 30, 2016

Magical Process on Silk Scarves

Great group with their colorful new scarves.
My friend Lynne Taylor taught another workshop at the Pink House Studio recently that involved applying color to silk. (She taught a workshop on silk painting in August - see my post from August 14th "My New Studio in Service!").
Lynne showing us how it's done.
This time, she taught us how to draw on the silk with Sharpie markers and then to move the color around with rubbing alcohol. It was much like using watercolor paint - lovely and somewhat unpredictable results that are permanent after heat setting. And because there is not an issue with the type of fiber used, the method works on cotton and blends as well.

Lynne brought an incredible array of Sharpies for us to try. Huge range of colors, a variety of tip choices including a brush. Even Sharpies specifically for fabric! There was also a range of results from the various pens too, when the rubbing alcohol was applied.

By the way, some ventilation is required once the alcohol is brought out. It gets pretty strong! 
Alcohol sprayed on the drawings on the silk.
Note the marks on the green square made by the spray.

Sharon's silk scarf with a spritz of alcohol.
Sharon's scarf with more alcohol applied.
 The first set of lovely scarves.
Carefully-rendered drawing with alcohol applied to the dots on the left.
Carefully-rendered drawing with alcohol applied very freely, including spitz.
The similarity to watercolor painting is very appealing to me. As you can see above, being careful with the drawing is not worth much in the end. Love it!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Really? Fabric Dye?!

I bought this sideboard a few months ago for my little kitchen. It is perfect in every way - right size, drawers and cabinets to hold just the right stuff, great price, AND some history, as an added bonus. The tale is that this piece of furniture came out of a cottage on Lower Saranac Lake that Mark Twain used to rent in summers. No cigars burns to definitely authenticate it, but I'm going with it anyway!

The finish was dark, though, and some areas needed to be shored up a bit. After lots of sanding to get some of that old finish off and some repairs, it was moved into my studio for its real face lift.

I knew from the beginning that I wanted to add color to the surface. After much searching around and talking with a woodworker artist friend, I found instructions on ProChem's website on how to use the powdered fiber reactive dyes I already have to dye wood. (Please read my comment to Laura to see how I added a sealer/finish. The dye is water soluble when applied.)

I primed then painted the insides of the drawers with some great colors. Then, with some trepidation, I mixed up my dye with equal parts water and rubbing alcohol and started. Wow! It was much easier than (and about as messy as) I had expected. But even more beautiful! What a satisfying project.
 Now I'm thinking about how to add some Mark Twain-related embellishments. I think he would be pleased.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Settling into Winter

 The Holiday Gift Gallery is winding down, and soon my artist friends will have their lovely things that did not sell back with them. And lots of things did sell. It was a good season. I am filled with gratitude for all wonderful things that have happened at my Pink House since I opened in July.

January is always my time to take stock of the past year, to settle into the shelter of home and the inner life, and to dream about what can happen next.

While I dive into all of that, here is a table runner I made with one of my ecoprints and some gold thread. More of these lovely and practical fabric works will appear soon in the Pink House Gallery, but this one is going to  friend.