Sunday, July 19, 2009


Textile Construction #12

Wow! It has been a busy but fun week packed with studio work, show preparation, workshop preparation and all the other activities and demands of daily living. The weekly exploration was done in fragmented bits of time and while I am pleased with the end results, the process was so disjointed that I can not make heads or tails of the photographs I took in relation to the three pieces I worked on. With that in mind, the images and process will not be described in the way I usually do but rather in a more general way.

It has become my custom each week as I start my weekly exploration, to work with three pieces of fabric. Each piece is approximately 22" square. I work on all three at the same time developing each piece as I begin to see what is happening.

The final TC #12 was cut from the lower right corner of the above piece. I liked the entire piece but there was something more interesting to me cutting it so it was not so much of a repeat. I liked the gradation of light to dark across the panel and way you can see the many layers of dye which were painted onto the fabric. I used dye mixed in print paste (see Formulas) which was dripped, scraped and squirted onto the fabric and I did one discharged motif. That motif was squirted onto the the piece pictured below and then picked up on a sheet of plexiglass and printed onto the piece which become my final TC.

I like the second piece as well and will make it into a completed work later. I am very interested in the fact that the second piece of fabric has the look of a woodcut print. As I said before, it was all painted except the large "gold" motif and that is a discharge.

I will be going to Quilting By the Lake next Sunday to take a workshop with Dorothy Caldwell. (I'm going to post the stitching example I made for the workshop later this week) When I return and begin my weekly explorations, I am going to "revisit" some of the things I have done so far. I feel that I have had some wonderful successes and I don't want to move ahead too fast. I want to dig into some of the process just a bit deeper.

Last week I posted this picture and ask you if you had any idea what was going on.

My thanks to the two brave readers who made their best guess. There guesses were very insightful and much more complex than the reality. The reality was that after I had added a complex layer of brown to all three of the pieces I was working on, I realized I had not added the dye activator. This means that the dye would not fix to the fabric. This isn't the first time I have done this but I liked what I had painted and didn't want to wash it down the drain. One time before, when I did this, I mixed some dye activator with print paste and rolled it over the fabric. It fixed the dye but blurred the design. With this in mind, I decided that since the fabric was still fairly wet with dye that I would rub baking soda all over the face of the fabric and see if it would do the trick. Guess worked.

The brown dye you see was fixed by the baking soda. I wasn't sure it would work by itself as I usually mix baking soda with soda ash to make my mixed alkali. This entire Weekly Textile Construction Project is definitely teaching me that it pays to experiment.


  1. I love these and the way you emphasized their nature with your stitching. Very cool processes you're playing with, as well.

  2. Great solution, terry. It has the feeling of an open book with text or a strange ritualistic totem, Anyway, compositionally i am inTREEgued by the vertical red shape. Good work. Have a great time at QBL. I'm looking forward to what comes next.

  3. Cool Pieces...really interesting! and vibrant color.
    Thanks for sharing ~ Alicia

  4. Oh, I'm so glad you were able to save your experiment. It looks really cool. The new pieces you posted do indeed look like woodcuts, but with a richer depth of layering.

  5. I love your very informative blog. It is fun to see your process and experiments. Very cool!

  6. Thank you Christines29! It's great to hear from you and please come again.