Life is an Experiment

Somewhere along the line I have come to view my life as one big experiment. In my studio if something sits still to long it could end up in a dye bucket. Recently I received a bolt of Tone on Tone Cotton Fabric and I have questions.

What happens if you throw it into a dye bucket? What happens it you use paintstiks on the printed part of the fabric? Will it stick?

I tossed it in with some Pansy Purple Scarves that I was dying and a whole new look appeared. Added some Iridescent Gold Paintstik, that had been cured, heat set, washed and dried.

It’s That Time Again

Yes, it is snow dying time again.  We ended up with a couple of inches and that means it is time to snow dye.  I love watching the snow melt and the colors happen.  The above pile of snow received a rainbow of dye colors.

Greens, Blues, and Yellows, I think.  Once they start to melt it can be a challenge to figure out what colors I used.
Ever wondered how Over Dying happens?  I elevate my drip trays about 1 to 1 1/2 inches, using scrap lumber.  I should note that everything gets dye on it, so the scrap lumber now stays in my studio.  Melted snow changes and varies in color, surprises happen.
Fire – Red, Orange, and Yellows are ready for their rinse.
Earthtones ready for their rinse. Grass, twigs or gravel do not affect the color.
Snow Dyed Orange Rainbow
Over Dyed Kingdom Idd
Snow Dyed Purple Fan
You can see more Snow Dyed and Over Dyed pieces on my website.

Not all Reds are the same.

If you have ever asked for help finding the perfect Red, you will know the first thing I will ask you is “Blue or Orange based Red?”  I thought it was time that I explained just what that means.  Above you will see three Reds, Cherry Red, Scarlet and Emotion Red.  All three of the Reds are hand dyed using the same amount of dye, the same fabric and dyed on the same day.  Can you see the change in tone?  Cherry Red has the most Orange tone to it, thus is an Orange based Red.  Scarlet is a deeper Red but still, has that warm Orange undertone and is an Orange based Red.  Emotion Red has a cool undertone, deeper and richer, Blue based Red.

Experiment Continue!

StartIt all starts with PFD fabric, glass marbled, rubber bands and a good movie.

UndoAfter time in the dye buckets, a couple of rinses, the marbled and rubber bands must come out. My hands turn interesting colors, but wears off in a few days.

Navy_TopNavy Blue Rayon Top.

Green_Blue_Three_YardsOne Half of the three yard piece of Blue/Green.

Blue_Green_DetailDetail of Blue/Green

Violet_Turquoise_Three_YardsOne Half of the three yard piece of Violet/Turquoise.

Violet_Turquoise_DetailDetail Violet/Turquoise

Silk_ExperimentSilk Scarf. Silk is a bit of a challenge to work with.

Finding the Perfect Marbling Colors

Finding the perfect colors for each hand marbled pieces of fabric can be a challenge.  Generally I find myself using a combination of six colors.  The tricky part is that the paints I use are opaque (Solid), translucent (see through but not clear) and transparent (clear).  Each color is printed on a colored background.  I am using Burnt Orange for this example.1_Burnt_Orange_Fabric All of my paints are in clear jars.  A fair amount of fiddling around and trying different combinations of paint follows.  My favorite combination is dropped onto the clear marbling base.  Sometimes that can change the look of the colors.
2_Colors_on_Base

The hand dyed fabric is the gently lowered onto the base.  They are lifted and rinsed.
3_Wet_Marbled_Fabric

I discovered it is hard to photograph wet fabric.  The water reflects the light, just like a lake or pond.4_Wet_Marbled_Fabric_CU

Opaque colors tend to stay the same, translucent colors may darken or appear to mix with the fabric color, transparent color allows the hand dyed color to shine through.  More fiddling with the combination maybe required at this point.
5_Marbled_Fabric_Curing

The colors often change once they dry.  The hard part is waiting fifteen days for the paints to cure.  No trying to rush them or the colors do not adhere properly and all of the work is wasted.
6_Marbled_Burnt_OrangeThe cured fabric is washed, dryed and ironed.  It takes about three week from start to finish.