Dyeing Experiments, Photoshop and make your own stamps!

In the past week I experimented with the Tsukineko Walnut Ink Crystals and with Potassium Permanganate.  On the right are the Walnut Ink samples.  I made up the ink as instructed on the bottle, to a 2.5% solution which is 1tsp per 1/2 Cup of hot water.  Each of the fabrics was dunked, swished around a bit, wrung out, then hung to dry.  Then ironed, rinsed, dried and ironed again.   Quite a lot of ink came out in the rinse and the fabrics all paled a little.  The Potassium Permanganate was made into a solution with 1/4 tsp in 2 litres of Warm water – very economical!  I followed the same steps as with the walnut Ink.  There was no colour run in the rinse water except the polyester did not take.

The fabrics are from back to front, quilters muslin , butter muslin (left), polyester (right), wool (left), silk dupion (right),  silk noil twill ( bottom left), silk satin (left) and finally silk chiffon on the bottom right.  The fabrics are in the same order for the Potassium Permanganate except the middle fabric in the second to bottom row is a watered down silk noil twill and the bottom fabric is a piece of seeded muslin done to show discharge with pure lemon juice and a paint brush.  There are really no instructions any where for dyeing with Potassium Permanganate, even though a couple of people talk about it – Edwina Mackinnon for one.  Consequently I really had to fly by the seat of my pants and make it up as I went.  All in all I felt that the Potassium Permanganate was the more successful, extremely economical in every way and non-toxic to boot!  Edwina Mac talked about thickening the lemon juice but she didn’t say with what!  I suspect sodium alginate, and the only local place that I know I can get this was flooded last week.

Having tidied and photographed the studio I realized I needed more storage and to make the space more workable, and at the same time not making the whole apartment look like a studio!  So on the weekend we purchased a pantry cupboard and a lot of extra shelves, moved the bookcase and the cutting table.  Everything is much easier and more workable now. I can also have it looking quite respectable very quickly.

Also last week I made some more stamps and this lino cut which is a textural thing I designed myself and can use in lots of different ways.  Since cutting this I have discovered that if you warm the lino up first with a hairdryer or something it is much easier to cut!  Self learning does have its pitfalls. the greeny coloured square is a whole lot of little leaves.  It is cut from some sort of latex and is much easier to carve, hopefully I can use this to impress silk velvet as well as texture on other things, cloth, fabric etc.  The next stamp is my signature.  Its a bit thick but definitely looks like my signature.  The bottom one is a border idea I might use when I am making the fabric for the Quiltsitters challenge quilt.

My Procion mx dyes arrived this morning!  I have some fabric already manipulated ready for a Low water Immersion technique.  I plan on doing some layering and also playing with some resist, like flour and water paste!  On the weekend I got a respirator for mixing the powder!  I also got a silk screen to do some of that on the next layer!  I am a bit nervous and will have to check  some instructions on the internet.  I have a book from the library called “Art Cloth” by Jane Dunnewold,which I have read from cover to cover.  I think this is a pretty good ” Dyers bible” sort of book and I will try and get myself a copy.

I went to the library last week and took out 6 books about Textile Art, Art Quilting, Creativity etc., and ordered another 6 books which I think have arrived already.  The library sends me an SMS when they are in!  How technical is that!

Last Wednesday night I went to the first of 4 photoshop classes at the Benowa TAFE.  We used the TAFE computers which are still running XP! I mean really! this is two systems behind!  The tutor, Martin Rawlinson is very nice and quite patient.  We were using Photoshop CS4 which is the big fancy expensive programme.  I only have Photoshop elements 7, which came for free with my laptop.  While we were there I thought I was managing things quite well  BUT when I got to finally have a little practice on my own laptop – nothing is the same!  So this week I will take my laptop and have a wee chat with Marty and if he can’t teach me Elements 7, I think I will have to try and get my money back.  I had wanted to do something fancy and show you what I had learned, so sorry about that!

Instead of  an old quilt, I thought I would show you one of my texture photos.  This was taken at  Blue, the Taj Hotel we stayed at on the finger wharf in Sydney last November.  The Hotel is built in an old wharf building and this has been left as part of the architecture.  It is all very stunning!  Russell Crowe lives in an apartment at the end of the finger Wharf.


3 Comments on “Dyeing Experiments, Photoshop and make your own stamps!”

  1. PamelaJ says:

    Interesting experiments Jen, I have pulled out my dyes and fabric paints, and am hunting through my stuff for some fabrics to play with. I don’t know how you manage to do what you do in an apartment !

  2. Laraine Lord says:

    I thought the Potassium Permanganate experiment was very interesting with some great effects. I think I’ll try it out on some of my cotton velvet and see how it goes.

  3. Jan Thomson says:

    Procion dyes can be used in powder form – let your fabric soak for at least an hour in a bowl of water with soda crystals dissolved. Wring out and lay on a shallow plastic tray (cat litter tray works well) cover the material with ice cubes then sprinkle on the procion dye powder (being aware of your colour wheel) leave over night. As the ice melts it draws the dye into the material.

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