Saturday, July 26, 2008

Dyeing Day

With the hot weather we've been having, I'd have kicked myself if I didn't get any dyeing done. And, my soy wax arrived from Peak Candle Supply. I may not have my Dharma order with my tjantings and brushes, but I wasn't about to let that stop me!

First, Shannon and I went to DI to see if I could score a double boiler or electric skillet, and some interesting kitchen utensils that could be used to stamp with wax. No luck with the double boiler or skillet, and the pickings were pretty slim in the utensil department. I did find a few to try, and also a shorter pitcher and a beaker to add to my dye supplies. Then we went to Big Lots, where I did find a 'personal electric skillet,' cheap. Why anyone would need a tiny, individual electric skillet is beyond me, but it works for the wax.

So, here's what I ended up with:

I dumped in a bunch of the soy wax flakes to melt while I made up some dye concentrates. I pulled out some silk scarves I got a couple of years ago, and also decided to do another sequenced overdyes in sateen- this one, yellow to blue.

Once the sateen was batching on our south-facing driveway, I went to work with the wax. I had to play with the thermostat quite a bit, and also figured out that the water had to be about boiling to get the wax hot enough. First I did a silk scarf, using a round mixer we found. Then I appropriated a cookie cutter from our kitchen, and tried it on a rayon sash from Dharma. Aren't I lovely in my dyeing attire?

I was kind of freaking inside while I was waxing. The soy wax looks different from the parafin/sticky wax I used at Ann's workshop after it cools on the fabric. I've got no directions, just a few things I've learned off the Complex Cloth and Quiltart lists. While I was working away, music going from the iPod, I decided that sometimes my impatience gets the better of me, and I jump in without really knowing what I'm doing. I wasn't trying for any masterpieces today, I just wanted to see if the process would work! More stuff for the crap quota!!

I dye painted this on a piece of sateen, just playing.

And here's the silk scarf I did with the wax, after I've applied the dye. Yeah, I slopped some raspberry where I didn't intend to.

I usually let my hand dyes batch twenty four hours, but I was too impatient today. I washed out the sateen sequenced overdyes first, and was very happy with the results. Love those greens, and nice patterning!

Then the four silk scarves and the rayon sashes.

The one on the left was waxed, the one on the right was just bound with rubber bands. The color on the waxed one is kind of blah, but my wax worked!

The scarves--

The dark green one was done with vinegar, and 'steamed' in my studio microwave I got a while ago. It sure is nice not having to run upstairs to warm up salt solutions!

But I was especially happy with how the waxed scarf came out-- love it!

So now I can be patient, until my tjantings arrive and I can lay my hand on a copy of Rayna's book locally. I have also taken over the turkey deep fryer that has been used once in seven years- it's now a fabric steamer! What do I have to discharge??


Karoda said...

you were having a groovy time with this! i'm holding my breath waiting to get my hands on Rayna's book also.

i'm curious to why you didn't put the wax directly into the skillet. why is a double boiler needed?

Miles Johnson said...

I love the green/blue group of fabrics! Stunning colors. I don't know squat about dyeing fabric but love to see other artists work. Thank you for sharing your passion!
BTW- found you through Studio 78 notes.
Take Care!!!!

Rayna said...

These look great! I think you're doing just fine. That's a cute little skillet but you might want a bigger one later on, depending on what you are using to stamp with. My best skillet came from a yard sale - my sister-in-law found it for $3. They don't make 'em like that any more.

P.S. - Amazon claims they'll have my book on Aug. 19th.