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.
It all starts with PFD fabric, glass marbled, rubber bands and a good movie.
After 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 Blue Rayon Top.
One Half of the three yard piece of Blue/Green.
Detail of Blue/Green
One Half of the three yard piece of Violet/Turquoise.
Silk Scarf. Silk is a bit of a challenge to work with.
Playing with Dye and things – What more can I say. Having to be off of my ankle is leaving me with idle hands. So a few experiments are in the works. The fabric is actually a deep dark purple, bad lighting.
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. 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.
The hand dyed fabric is the gently lowered onto the base. They are lifted and rinsed.
I discovered it is hard to photograph wet fabric. The water reflects the light, just like a lake or pond.
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.
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.
The cured fabric is washed, dryed and ironed. It takes about three week from start to finish.
Fire Tree was inspired by wildfires, the colors and intensity of the wildfires are breathtaking and frightening at the same moment. Yes, I was up-close to several wildfires during my years of guiding in Alaska. It is a sight that stays with you.
Fire Tree started with a Hand Marbled Fat Quarter of Fire in Feathers Design. Branches Reversed 12″ x 12″ is the stencil with three paintstik colors, Matte Ivory Black, Chocolate or Asphaltum (I don’t remember which, Dark Brown is the key) and Iridescent Gold. Started by putting down a very light layer of Ivory Black as a primer, followed by a nice opaque layer of Dark Brown and finally a light wash of IR Gold to give depth and sparkle.
One of these days quilting will happen, but currently I am far to busy making more Hand Marbled Fabric for you.