Thursday, June 21, 2012

Creating Abstract Backgrounds with Dyes

Hello, it has been a month since my last blogpost but I am finally back! Blazing temperatures here in Austin have had me indoors more often than I would like and so I have been mixing dyes and dyeing fabrics. 
First, I decided to retire the blender in my kitchen and dedicate it exclusively for mixing dyes. This has made my life so much easier! And I finally got that beautiful red blender to spark up my kitchen. Too cool! After I made up my soda ash, salt solution and dyes, I began dyeing some background fabrics for some of my artwork. For these pieces, I decided to try something 
a little bit different. Each piece was soaked in soda ash solution for 20 minutes. Then I laid each piece on a large foam core board that was covered with saran wrap. Next, I ventured out into those hot triple digit temperatures and began a low immersion dyeing technique where dyes were dribbled on with a plastic bottle. The boards were turned on their sides and dyes were allowed to run into one another. I repeated this process by turning the boards on their opposite side so that the corresponding color would have a chance to seep into the other side as well. As you can imagine, it did not take long for the fabric to dry but I still allowed a full 4 hours for the dye to cure before I began rinsing out the excess dye and and washing them with a capful of Synthrapol and a couple of color catcher sheets. I love the rich colors and the abstract backgrounds. I see a beautiful flower garden in the first piece, perhaps some trees and their reflections in the second and a sunset in the third piece. But those are just ideas and how they will be used yet remains to be seen. For now, I am having a great time beating the heat!