Another set of indigo and linen napkins has been completed…two of my
favourite things. The first photo is a napkin which was accordion folded lengthwise, then folded in a series of equilateral triangles and clamped with only one clamp. (“tooth mark”). The finished piece is the second photo in the full shoot photo of all five napkins.
The funky one with squares and “Water lines” is a combo of one half of a large tongue depressor and a few small wooden squares. I like it.
I now have a few lovely quartet sets for gifts and one set for us.
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.
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.
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.