Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day Adventures

We knew that the snow was on its way, and so yesterday afternoon I decided I needed to get busy out in my studio, for if we received the predicted 4 -6" of white stuff, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to navigate out there (my dye studio is in a building which is not connected to our house).   I had been watching Lisa Kerpoe's Irresistable Textures dvd and wanted to start trying out some of her techniques.  The one that intrigued me the most used sodium alginate as a resist.  I have been using this substance as a thickener when making print paste for years, but it never occurred to me to use it as a resist!  What fun!!!  The photo above is of a silk crepe de chine scarf upon which I spread the very thick sodium alginate and then dropped three different dye colors.  It really has the appearance of stained glass.

Lisa says that when she does this process, she puts another piece of fabric underneath, in order to soak up the excess dyes.  Another great idea!  So, I spread a leftover piece of white cotton underneath the scarf before I got started. Here's how it turned out:

I am in love with this process!  You can see more pictures of my results here.

So that was yesterday.  I batched the two pieces (above) overnight and then washed them out after lunch today.  (you are seeing them after batching, washing, drying, and ironing)  In the mean time, I began to prepare some other resists: grits and oatmeal.  They will be ready to wash out tomorrow, but here is how they look tonight:

The piece above is silk habotai with oatmeal applied and then thickened dye.  Some of it looks green, but it must be the light and the angle at which I shot the picture.  I have another piece of fabric drying with the oatmeal spread on it.  I will cover it with thickened dyes when the oatmeal has totally dried.

Below is another piece of silk habotai with grits resist.  The top portion is thinner (1 packet of instant grits: 3/4 C water) while in the bottom section I used just 1/4 C water to a packet of instant grits.

I can't wait to wash these out and see my results!

Oh, and did I mention that we had a snowstorm last night?  Just as I was heading off to bed, I looked out to see if the precipitation had begun yet.  This was how our pool patio looked:

Snow here in northeast Georgia is normally a rare event, although we've experienced two storms already this winter!  I think we ended up with about 6" this time, which is a lot for us....and I had to drag out my real snow boots in order to take Barker for his morning walk.

At first it appeared that he liked it, but then as he began walking around a bit more, the wetness and heaviness seemed to bog him down, and he didn't look quite so enamored!  He's been out in it several times today, but never strayed far from our sides.

C feeds the birds religiously, makes his own special blend of suet to keep our feathered friends happy, and we also participate in a weekly bird count.

On days like today, we have hundreds of birds visiting our feeders and they are a lot of fun to watch.  There is definitely a pecking order: older Cardinals defend 'their' feeders from younger ones; juncos are very territorial and pugnacious; titmice seem to be relaxed and easy going; blue jays and woodpeckers swoop in upon the feeders, emulating predatory hawks.  So even the bird world isn't all sweetness and light!  I have a few more snow pictures here.

Hope you've had a very pleasant and productive day in your corner of the world.



Lisa Kerpoe said...

Hi Judy,

The sodium alginate cloth looks great! I can't wait to see the oatmeal and grits. I am in envy of your snow. I love snow, but we rarely get it here in San Antonio!

Jeannie said...

This gives new meaning to the term "playing with your food". I love what you have created. The alginate fabric is gorgeous. I am looking forward to the grits and oatmeal wash outs. The dvd looks like a must have! ;)

Rayna said...

grits and oatmeal? Breakfast fabric. Yum.
I learned that alginate is a resist many years ago, doing deconstructed screen printing with Kerr.

At least you are not snow-dyeing. Just the thought of going outside for that turns me right off. We're expecting another 8-10 tomorrow. Bleh. Winter hasn't even started.
Enough already!

Beverly said...

First good use I've seen for instant grits! Can't wait to see how they turn out- and I'm thinking I need to try the alginate also.

Wish our 18-20 inches of snow would be gone as fast as your 6 will be!

Joyce said...

Now I see that I need to mix up some sodium alginate. I love that look. Do you think it would work the same on cotton?

Karen said...

The sodium alginate is cool, I need to try it, and I'm perfectly happy living where there is never any snow!

Anonymous said...

Your first photo of grits and oatmeal looks like a Jackson Pollack painting. I say frame it! I love your pics of the snow, too.

Connie Rose said...

The alginate piece looks a lot like snow dyeing. How cool -- snow dyeing WITHOUT snow! All cool stuff, Judy!

Eva said...

Love these silks with the reds! They remind me of Emil Nolde's flower paintings.