Sunday, June 28, 2009

Weekly Textile Construction #10


Finally I have broken into double digits! It's sort of been like being 20 rather than 21 and legal.

I hope you enjoyed the profile on Carol Taylor, I certainly enjoyed working with her writing the piece.

I am continuing to have a wonderful experience with the small weekly experiments. I almost always end up with something that is a total surprise and mostly good surprises. The piece I am sharing today is one of those surprises. You may have noticed that in addition to the notation under the image regarding series number that I also gave the piece a name - Tundra II. The work has produced such good results that I am having several of them matted and framed to be included in my solo exhibition at Columbia College in Columbia SC this fall.

I come from a traditional art background and I am very aware of the support that matting and framing gives to 2-D work. It gives the work, especially small work, a clear space where it can be seen. The mat and frame literally and figuratively support the piece. I have been struggling with how to finish the small works and I shared my facing technique with you recently. I did however use the zig zag finish on some of the studies and I just don't feel good about how that looks. With this in mind, the work that was faced will "float" inside the mat (you will be able to see the turned and finished edges) and the zig zag pieces will have a mat that covers the edges. I will share images of this as I get them done. My husband, Tom, is doing this for me as well as building beautiful poplar wood frames. They should look great.

Now to how this piece developed. Here is an image of the initial monoprinted fabric.

If you will refer back to my post for Textile Construction #9 you will find all my directions for how this was monoprinted. It produced a strong textured image. The image is dark with a white background. This was before it was washed.

This is not the same piece but it shows how the dye transferred to the white fabric during washing. As I explained in the original post, this was activated dye on pfd fabric which had not been soda soaked. However, I only waited about 2 hours before I washed the printed material and evidently there was enough power left in the dye to attach to the fabric so after washing I had a dark blue figure and a light blue ground.

I then decided to do a second monoprint over the first and I choose to use a different color of a lighter value. I choose Cayman Island Green from Pro Chem. I wanted to warm the piece up.

The bottom of this photo shows the kind of squiggle pattern that I made on the print plate. At this point the piece is too chaotic. It needed some additional structure so I did a discharge of linework over the entire piece with my old friend Soft Scrub with bleach from a squeeze bottle.

You can see the slightly stronger white lines and notice that the piece has been turned 90 degrees. I cropped the edges and then quilted. I quilted with two threads, one was white with touches of pastel pink, blue and yellow and the other was a sort of ultra glowing white. I did this to enhance the line work. It was interesting that the discharge worked better on the dark blue than on the light Cayman Island Green.

This kind of image is new for me. My work tends to be very graphic but I am intrigued. There is lots of historic reference for this type of composition including some painting by husband. I'm sure I have been influenced.
I did a number of other things when I produced the original fabric for TC #9 and TC #10. Here is just a bit about one of the pieces which was a failure but still had some lovely potential.

The process: Monoprinted, Discharged with a plate on which I had put bleach discharge and combed it with a plaster repair tool, it was then monoprinted with french curve templates in Camen Island Blue. After printing with the french curves I realized I had forgotten to activate the dye so I made a batch of print paste, added mixed alkali and rolled it onto the fabric with a paint roller. It worked but it is seriously ugly. Can't win them all.

Please see my FORMULA page for mixing information.


Close up of center image. You can see the lovely lines from the combed discharge printing.

I applied dye to the templates and then pressed onto the fabric.

Templates were flipped and rotated and reapplied around the center element. My color choice was not good.

I am not sure if this image was taken before or after I rolled the activated print paste onto the design. In any event, It's Not Working.
Thanks for dropping by. See you again soon.


  1. The first image looks like the first card in a Rorschach test : )) I love the build-up of layers you achieve in your process. I like to use SoftScrub, too, and wondered what type of applicator you use, and how you neutralize? Is that the alkaline solution you mention?

  2. Yes, that is exactly what it looks like. I see it as a ratty moth. What do you see? I have applied the Soft Scrub from a squeeze bottle as in this piece and I also spread it all over a piece of plexiglass and printed it on one experiment. I soak fabric in Anit-Chlor. I forgot to mention my Formular page which has some of this info listed. I'm going to go back and add that. Appreciate the comments. T

  3. Can I just say that I am encouraged to know that even someone whose work I admire so much can have "bad fabric days". LOL

    Not that I would wish them on you or me or anyone else! But some days I just can't seem to make a piece of fabric as beautiful in real life as I see it in my head.

    I love your blog and I hope you don't mind, but I linked to it a couple of days ago on my blog (

  4. Thank you for your wonderful comments! I certainly can have BFDs and I have the fabric to prove it! Checked out your blog and loved it. Proves sharing can be fun. I'm adding your blog to my list and hope you will stay in touch. Terry