Come Back As A Flower

Come Back As A Flower
Mixed Media Self-Portrait (Sculpted clay mask, fabric & digital illustration)

Day 57: Got Fiber Reactive Dye Samples

Arashi Shibori Using 2 Mixed Colors
I love dyeing cloth!  The process puts me in the moment with unexpected surprise.  Of any art form that I ever done; it’s the most wondrous!  Opening a glaze kiln is the next closest experience but because you have so many steps to complete to get to that point, it’s more drawn out.  Besides, I’ve had so many negative experiences with people associated with doing clay that it’s spoiled my joy.  So, clay is on hold until I can get my kilns out of storage and hooked up in my own studio. 
Overdye: MX Over Indigo

I’m enjoying making color on fabric.  One of my professors and mentor’s at UNC, Mr. Marvin Saltzman, always said that I was a colorist – a painter’s painter.  I finally understand what he meant.  I’m drawn to art processes that are timeless and connect me to humanity.  Clay and textiles both do that for me!  They represent my convergence; where all that I am and the hopes and dreams of everyone who’s blood flows in my veins come together.  I love this life!  I’m happy, content and at peace with the circumstances that have brought me to this moment in time.  At times it’s been a difficult journey but such is life!

Press & Fold
Silk Scarf

Day 55: Using Fiber Reactive Dyes in a Home Studio

As a child I learned how to dye yardage of cotton fabric using indigo.  However, I learned to use other dyestuffs including fiber reactive dyes in the Textiles Dept. at ECU.  Large amounts of Pro-Chemical MX dye solutions were mixed each week and individual users activated them in smaller batches as needed.  In an academic studio environment this system is cost effective.  However, for me in my home studio it wasn’t, so I needed another method.

Supplies Ready 2 Use
My goal is to dye plant-based fabrics for quilts in one-yard batches.  So, I reversed the process by making a one-gallon stock solution activated with soda ash plus salt.  I add the powdered dye to either 2 or 3 cups of solution.  I’m experimenting with reworking my recipes from Christine Zoller’s Surface Design class, and I’m excited to see my results.  I started this journey today with two-gallons of stock solution, which I will batch for 24 hours.  I’m experimenting with new color combinations in search of Iroquois purple.  My samples today include bleached and unbleached muslin, unbleached linen and silk.  I included some samples of dyeing MX over acid dyed silk and indigo dyed cotton.  Results coming tomorrow!
My Set-Up

Batches From Today

2015 Day #48 ~ Ash Wednesday

The days of winter are rushing past me like a mighty wind.  The land is being cleansed with sleet and now cold weather in the single digits.  Ash Wednesday begins a season of reflection and redirection.  I'm busy trying to make as much new art as possible.  Finally finishing my "Stitch Book."  It turned into a combination of 1) the decorative stitches possible with my sewing machine; 2) "Stupendous Stitching" techniques of Carol Ann Waugh; and 3) examples of hand embroidery.  My goal is to incorporate these techniques in the whole cloth "Indigo Blues" wall hangings I'm creating.  I'm trying to complete work for upcoming shows in March.  Stepping up my game!
Stitch Book Cover

Cover Close Up Lower Half

Cover Close Up Top Half