Saturday, August 16, 2008

Lessons Learned about Batik

I finished dyepainting the background of the tulip batik, and washed it out last night. I LOVE being able to wash out the wax the same time I am washing out my dyes! So here's the final result, washed, dried, and ironed--

Mmmm- I like all the colors, with the exception of the orange. I know my color mixing with dyes, but I will need to do a better job of thinking through my color sequencing next time. I really wanted a rosier, pinkier background, not the stark orange.

I looked carefully at the white lines, wanting to see if my waxing needs work or if the soy is just different than traditional batik wax. I could tell that my lines had tiny breaks, enough to cause the issue with escaping green dye that is so obvious. So I will work on my technique with the tjantings. I also remember that I may not have had the wax as hot as I did the other times I waxed, so that may make a difference with the tjantings too. And, I will wax both side of the piece if I want to make sure I contain the dye. It sure seemed to work with the last waxing I did, since the red dye stayed where I wanted it to.

Can you tell from this that dye painting is not my favorite way to apply the stuff? Smooth transitions are hard to do, and I just don't get the color coverage I want. Since I don't have a setup conducive to painting large pieces, I'm less inclined to improve my results with practice. Printing fabric to cut and use with other fabric, this is much less of an issue. And I suspect I will want to do more of that, not wholecloth pieces.

My frame setup is another challenge to resolve. I don't like using a box if I have to move the piece to wax the entire piece. The wooden frame I made did work, but it was a little too small for the tulip piece. And pounding my tacks into the wood was not fun or easy. Also, I managed to dye the thing with several colors from this piece- now I'll be worried about backstaining on the next piece if I tack the fabric directly into the wood.

I have another image I think I will enlarge and try- a big sunflower, from the same book. Maybe a size just smaller than my frame. And I think I will go for a much deeper color background.

I also got my rust dye piece washed, dried, and ironed. This is one process I don't think is for those with control issues. If you think dye is hard to control, it's nothing compared to rusting. I wanted the image on the garden ornament to show clearly- I got part, not the whole thing. So next time, I think I'll do a wrap with wire around a pole. Something where I'm not trying for a specific image!!

This morning, I cleaned up the studio while Bentlee worked on a couple of postcards to give her mom and dad. We've found that my Featherweight is perfect for her, and I can set it up on a lower section of the table my Bernina is in. She stitched, then added some details with stamps and fabric paint.

After the edges were done, we added the final touches with hot fix crystals. According to Bentlee, every postcard needs so glitz!

Tonight, we're off to the county fair; tomorrow, a Bees' game in Salt Lake.


kathy sands said...

I love your little rust piece, even if it isn't perfect! How about going back in with some fuschia dye paint to change your background if you're not happy with it? Probably a light wash would change the color.

Miles Johnson said...

I am LOVING the rust transfer piece. It begs to be investigated, deciphered. I would happily take it off your hands!
Glad you feeling better!