Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Spray dyeing inside my studio

Sun dyeing is now over for another year.  The frost has come and taken away the plants I need for my sun dyeing and the sun itself is no longer strong enough to transform the white silk into colourful creations. 

I have returned to my indoor studio where I have spent countless hours misting dyes onto plain white scarves and creating one of a kind patterns and colour themes.  This process is very different from sun dyeing and requires a much longer time to achieve vibrant, permanent scarves, 48 hours to be precise. 
Blank Scarf

I start by preparing the fabric with chemicals that open up the fibers and allow for deep penetration of the dyes.  Shades of colour are custom mixed by me right before application.  I mist many layers of colour onto the scarf and manipulate the colours together with gloved hands.  This latter step is probably the most important stage as it allows new colours to develop when the fabric is rubbed repeatedly. 
Spraying and manipulating the dyes

The fabric is then covered and kept wet for 48 hours and during this time I will often go back and mist on more colours to change the hues or intensity.  After 2 days, the excess dye is rinsed off and the end product is set using another chemical, which makes the artwork permanent and lasting. 
Under plastic for 48 hours

I will be showing a wide assortment of my work at the Nepean Sportsplex Christmas Show on November 5,6,7 and 8th.  Visit my booth early for best selection. Please see my show listings for address and show times.

Spray dyeing

Spray Dyeing

Spray Dyeing

Spray Dyeing

Spray Dyeing

Spray Dyeing

Spray Dyeing

Sun Dyed with Salt

Sun Dyed with plants

Sun Dyed with plants

Sun Dyed with plants

Sun Dyed Canadiana Scarf

Sun Dyed with plants

Sun Dyed with plants

Friday, June 26, 2015

Sun Dyeing in full swing now!

I have been getting some WONDERFUL weather conditions for Sun Dyeing over the last few weeks.  It was a slow start in my area due to the late frost that killed the few plants struggling to come up earlier in the spring but now things have turned around and my gardens are in full bloom.  I have MANY shows to get ready for this summer (check out my upcoming shows tab) and the Sun Dyeing is moving right along.  Here are a few designs I have been working on as well as my palette of colours that I chose one morning to inspire me!  My life is very colourful these days!

Palette of Colours

A beautiful fern

Alfalfa Seeds

That's Hemp!

Raspberries and Aster

Buckwheat Seeds with botanicals
A few of my ferns
Ground Phlox is great for sun dyeing
Rose leaves work too!
Some of my gardens are like a jungle!

Working on 2 at a time! Busy hands!!!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Sun Dyeing a Shower Curtain

In the summer of 2014 I took my sun dyeing skills to the next level and successfully completed several shower curtains over the span of two months. 

2014 was not remembered as a particularly good sun dyeing summer.  Perfect conditions were few and far between and looking back now, I don’t know how I managed to make 6 curtains as well as use the precious few sun dyeing weather days to produce enough scarves to meet the need of the shows I was booked into.

Many of you know that I have been sun dyeing ( or practising Heliographic Printing) for about 12 years however two years ago I would not have imagined attempting a piece as big as a shower curtain.  It requires a level of skill that I feel I have just started to obtain.   I must admit to having a bit of help pulling the project off as well.  The photographer behind the camera capturing the making of a shower curtain also went tromping through the forest earlier that day to gather ferns, sumac and other assorted leaves for me to use.  Outside of the camera shots, my eldest son stood ready with a spray bottle of water awaiting instruction as to what part of the curtain he should mist next. 

Making these shower curtains took co-operation, determination and a BIG hat so I wouldn’t pass out from sun stroke!

I hope you enjoy the pictures.