Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Decision making

Sorry, I am very absent at the moment. Still trailing to and fro from the south coast to the interior, clearing Cecil's home. It means spending a lot of my non work time driving too fast on motorways, and has been occupying time since the end of July when we moved her here.

But aha! on Friday, the pleasure of a Studio 11 day to just do creative. My plan this year includes broadening my technical skills, and Friday was the first chance to start. I brought along a breakdown printed piece that I did in my first year there, a lovely process - here shown by Claire Benn of Committed to Cloth. I used two processes, half of the piece of fabric in each. Friday's plan was to dye some fabrics in a family of colours to use with this to create a quilt, or at least that's the plan for now, these things can change. The point of the exercise was to use a systematic process to take two colours and, using measured quantities of dye and fabric, move through tints as well as moving from one colour to another. It follows the same principles as the colour exercises that we did in City and Guilds, learning how colour works. 

So back to Connie and Harry's sheets, one of which provided me with the requisite four meters of fabric. Divide into four pieces. The colours used are scarlet and either plain turquoises or turquoise touched with golden yellow. Using four parts, one part and a quarter part of each colour, dye the fabric starting with the first colour. I went for the scarlet, so have three shades of this. You can see these at the bottom of each picture.

Then I did test patches, using the delightful method of mixing dyes in with print paste, squishy, scraped on with a credit card to create the blocks! That's what the patches are in the top bits of fabric, the same idea as we used with Michel Garcia though there we were trialing mordants. In the one above, you've got the red to turquoise transition on the left, red to green on the right. I've left out the unmixed red in each as they are at the bottom. 

This one looks very similar, but I've swapped the colours round at the top, to try that green against the left hand fabric.

What I will do next time, is to tear each of my red squares in four and do the same exercise with the second colour, getting mixes of both colour and tint.

The decision is about the colours to use. I love the way the muddy red and greens look, and they do compliment the right hand fabric, but perhaps not the left? This will determine what colour my second dip is. I will end up with 16 fat quarters, one of each colour.

Another view in artificial light.

I love the faint whiff of chemistry lesson about this process, and I love the interesting colours achieved. My fabrics, which are supposed to be a completely even tone, are slightly mottled, which I rather enjoy - it has more character than flat colour.

I'm also preparing a shibori, but more of that later, if I have time!


  1. This looks great fun, experimenting is always good!

    1. Hi Anna, yes it is fun, really looking forward to my next session :-)