Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Loving Instant Potatoes



Finished Fabric

My last post featured the beginning process of using Instant Potato Flakes as a resist. It was messy but the results are beautiful!




Dried Potato Resist

Here you can see how the paste has dried. It took 3 days including putting outdoors in the sun on the last day. Notice now the fabric has curled. I had it pinned down but the tension from the drying pulled the pins out.





Notice how irregular the marks have become. As the paste dries it pulls away from the fabric around the edges and makes beautiful markings.



Once the potato paste was dry I applied the thickened dye. I used a Pro Chem Black 609 and a very thick print paste. Due to the extreme texture of the surface, I had to use a short bristle brush and dab the dye paste on.




You can see how the dye is seeping through the marks made when the paste was dry.




This picture is still the back of the unprocessed fabric but it looks the way I thought the piece would look when finished.....not so.

After 48 hours I folded the fabric up and baked in the oven set at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes. The entire house smelled like mashed potatoes.




Finally I just could not wait any longer and decided to wash things out. It was cold and windy outside but that's where I had to go for this job. I laid the fabric on the grass and soaked it good with running water. I used a plastic spatular to scrap off the paste and finally resorted to the bondo scraper as this paste really clings.



We have had very chilly weather and I don't think I had kept the fabric warm enough as there was lots of dye run off and it back dyed the fabric but the color is beautiful. Look at the exotic marks. I see all sorts of little people, animals, plants etc.




There are lovely violet markings as well. I have been working in such a loose way that I never know if I can repeat something but I'm planning to work with this more and see what happens.



So here we are back with the finished fabric. I'm not sure what is next but I do plan to make this into a finished piece. I'm thinking it needs friends.


Thank you for visiting and your comments are very welcome!

23 comments:

  1. Great process, and love the results! However, not quite sure why you baked the piece in the oven. Might this have made the paste more difficult to remove? Where did you put the soda ash, in the print paste or did you pre-soak the fabric?
    I look forward to more results.

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  2. well, it's gorgeous, whether or not it came out the way you thought it was going to! by all means, make more

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  3. Thank you Leslie and Diana. I had fixer in the dye. I heated it as I had just read something on Pro Chem that made me think it would help set the dye. It likely did make it more difficult to remove but it is difficult in any event. I am going to try this again. Just returned form the grocery with a large box of instant potatoes.

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  4. You are kind ,that you distribute this interesting technique
    Very good I will test it .
    Interesting beautiful pattern took shape.
    Waiting onto the drying a lot ,the curiosity big!

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  5. Thank you Marika. Be sure and read the previous information as it will explain more about the process. Thank you for dropping by and for commenting.

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  6. I love working with resists and since I've not yet splurged on a soy wax order from Dharma, I'm going to take shot at this potato paste.
    I won't be using thickend dyes though - I've found that the alginated actually impedes the dye an I am always looking for the most intense colors. The liquidity may soften the paste around the edges so I look forward to crazed results.. Love the creatures you uncovered.

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  7. Without going back to your blog on flour paste, what are the advantages and disadvantages to the potato resist versus the flour paste? I am thinking that both allow greater mark making than soy way resist.

    Marti Plager

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  8. So wonderful. Thank you for sharing this. Take a look at the potato dextrin fabrics done by the Lunns. I have always loved these:

    http://www.lunnfabrics.com/qgdextrin.htm

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  9. I was surprised you baked it. when I potato dextrin I usually let it soak in a bucket of water for 5 minutes and it just flakes off in a couple of rinses... I sprain through a colander to keep the glop out of the drain. I used to use a jaquard product that prevented backstaining but they discontinued it=( seems to be happening to me a lot these days. I think yours took so long to dry because of the thickness of it. also I would increase the starch if thats what makes it all hang together. with the dextrin i just mix it with hot water and a hand mixer... maybe the cooking made it harder to rinse... did the scraper hurt the cloth?

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  10. Very interesting process. Thanks so much for sharing. I will have to try this, but I will wait until the weather is warmer so I can let it bake all day in the sun.

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  11. To everyone, thank you for your comments and questions. Let's see, where to begin. 1. Potato versus Flour Paste. Right now I would say the biggest difference is that the potato paste was easier to spread. I want to explore a thinner version of the flour paste and see how that goes. 2. The scraper did not harm the fabric. 3. Soaking would help the paste release easier but I was trying to avoid back dying so I just kept working.4. The marks making possibilities are wonderful with both. 5. Deb. Interesting comment about the print paste interfering with the intensity of the color...I will keep an eye on that. Thank you to everyone.

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  12. Once again, you have revealed a stellar piece of cloth. Keep it up. more more more. I love that piece and can only imagine how you might use it for a final piece. i.e. hand stitching? machine? It's thrilling for me to watch.

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  13. Thank you Christine! I really enjoy the mark making. I have the piece on my design wall and it's cozying up to a piece of fabric with dots. It could be love!

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  14. I love the piece! And I think that not getting exactly what you were imagining is half the fun/challenge... Making more sounds like an excellent plan... :-) Thanks for sharing the technique and your results.

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  15. Thanks Marcia! Great to hear from you.

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  16. Thank you Shayla. As soon it the weather warms up and dries out a little I will be doing more of this so stay tuned.

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  17. lovely result... who cares if it can be duplicated or not?

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  18. how can poato paste thick??? the coler is bleed after using potato gum... where is my process wrong.

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  19. If your dye bleeds through the potato paste it means the paste was not thick enough or perhaps it had cracked. I hope this helps.

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