These eight linen napkins were dyed with that gorgeous blue indigo, over a period of 4 days. Love the set. The process was a super labour intensive Japanese shibori technique called itajame.
1. I scoured and boiled the linen for two hours in 1/4 cup washing soda dissolved in a massive stainless steel soup pot filled with water.
2. The fabric was then rinsed, dried and ironed, which took about another 2 hours.
3. I cut 8 pieces 24”x24”.
4. The stripes, photo 1,2,5,6, were ironed in an accordion fold and then bound by tongue depressors, using elastics to secure the wood. Photo 10…two were dyed and dipped without resists and therefore resulted in a rich indigo blue.
5. The circle resisted napkin, photo 3,4, was clamped with small, wooden disks sandwiched over an accordion folded napkin. 2 other napkins were folded into a triangle over an accordion fold and clamped between tongue depressors…photos 8,9,10.
6. Each napkin was individually dyed eight times in a warm, pre-reduced crystal indigo, lye and thiox bath.
7. After every one of the eight, 3 minute dips, I fluffed and ruffled and air dried each napkin for about 10 minutes until all the green colour oxidized to blue.
Each napkin takes at least half an hour of dipping and a total of at least an hour of 10 minute mini-oxidizing sessions. It ended up being close to 2 hours per napkin. Crazy amount of time, but well worth it!
I am still experimenting with waterless litho. It’s a process that was invented by Nik Semenoff, in Canada. I am only in Mexico for a short while, so that I can’t quite manage an edition, but I always learn a phenomenal amount of printmaking techniques. Enough to get the creative juices flowing, but the last time I tried the process, the chemicals in Canada were too different than those I used in Mexico.
I am hoping for some success once I get back to Canada.
The print workshop in Puerto Vallarta is usually very crowded so I rented
I finished a couple of proofs but no editions were finished, but it’s always a good learning experience.
Mokulito drawing on birch plywood. Litho ink drawing. Covered with arabica and rested 24 hours. Cold water rinse. Vanson inks, quick, heavily rolled, sponge rollers over a wet board. Printed on water spritzed paper.
Finished print with Chine Collé fruit, pre-pasted with nori rice glue.
My next effort was a drawing in carborundum of stones… overlay over acrylic painted chine collé rice paper, glued with nori paste. Vanson inks. Water spritzed paper.
The last effort was a chine collé bird above a carborundum foreground. Regular oil etching inks.
We’ve recently returned from India, and while we were there I had our tour guide’s friend bargain for some antique wooden ajrakh blocks. I had a small collection of blocks prior to our holiday, but these ones are beautiful and intricate.
I started printing the minute I came home. In the end, I ended up with a very large tablecloth and a light summer top. Love them both.
And…. there will be more to come.
I finally finished my yukata. I used hand-rolled silk scarves from Maiwa.com. The silk scarves that I eco-dyed with plants from my yard were mordanted in alum first and them steamed with the leaves wrapped inside.
I hand-sewed the scarves together into a simple style, but once it was pieced together, the colours just didn’t suit me.
So today, it was a beautiful, cool autumn day, and I started up the indigo vat.
One 10 minute mash-up in the vat and the yukata came out a perfect shade of blue.
I did lose the burgundy colour, but the resulting yukata suits my colouring so much better than the grey and beige. I will now wear it, after an enormous amount of time and effort. Happy. Happy.
My fav neighbourhood teen asked for some help with making her boyfriend a lap quilt. Here she is, happy as can be, with her very accomplished piece. She was super careful and calm.
Admittedly she enjoyed the designing the most, but she made French seams on the inside and aligned the plaid perfectly. And she dropped sewing 8! A travesty! ( and the boyfriend loved it).
After finishing my inspiring course from Maiwa( an earthy, eclectic company that sells supplies to fabric artists), I took up the challenge at home.
I boiled and scoured some fabric with synthrapol soap.
I carved a bird image into a piece of easy cut rubber.
After two hours of washing and drying the fabric, neither piece of the material took the Seta opaque ink very well.
After inking up the rubber image again, I finally tried a washed piece of silk, which worked perfectly. I deduced that the flatter and smoother the fabric, the better the result.
The ink must be heat set, either with a commercial clothes dryer or a hot, dry iron.
I had wanted to finish with bias piping but I ran out of time. I will make a better effort in all aspects next time. This was more of an experiment, but a pretty one.
I made a few aprons, all cut from linen. I traced around an old apron to make a pattern for the body. The pockets are made from the cutout of the armhole section. The straps can be from any light/ medium weight fabric.
This apron is for a small to medium size. Finished, it measures 27″ long and 27″wide.
The indigo ones were made by accordion folding my white linen apron width-wise, and then folding the accordion into equilateral triangles. This jack-in-the -box was then stitched and then dipped and dyed in my indigo vat 8 times.
Pressed and ironed and voila. Happy!