'If you make happiness your goal, then you're not going to get to it… The goal should be an interesting life."

Dorothy Rowe

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Circuits and Bumps.

You may remember that at the conclusion of my last post I said I was going to play with Grilon, and similar threads, which shrink when exposed to heat.

Let's not talk about that, shall we? I spent the whole day trying to get one which worked. Three went in the bin, the fourth went in my sketchbook as an example of what not to to do. I'm sure it was me, not the threads, but I shall not be trying again.

Thursday was much better.

Wensleydale, Babybel and I (the VHC was in nursery) went to the North Pole. Must be true, here's a sign to prove it.

(Actually it is Mottisfont's 'Pooh trail', but don't tell Wensleydale.) 

So on Friday I turned my attention to a new challenge - trying out every method of adding colour to fabric I could think of. (Bar dyeing, I've done a lot of that.)

These are the results, apart from the transfer crayons which were too anaemic to be used and are hidden under the Bondaweb.

The Bondawebbed one - plus a bit of the Shisha one.

I challenged myself using this fabric - it's a shiny synthetic curtain fabric I bought when I thought my C&G 'goldwork' was going to be copper. 

It, and the accompanying resolved sample, turned out to be gold - and I still love them.

But I digress.

I started with the Gelli plate, freezer paper stencils and Colourcraft Aztec. 

Lesson 1

See that mottled effect? Aztec reacts to the Gelli like watercolour, it beads. Quite a nice effect but not what I was after. It also runs under the stencil, contributing to lesson 3.

Yes, those are holes.

Lesson 2

For machine cutwork, use two layers of tearaway stabilizer, one isn't enough. And choose a thread which   doesn't break every five minutes.

Lesson 3

Freezer paper stencils detach themselves from the fabric and cling to the Gelli plate with a vice-like grip, perhaps because I hadn't ironed them enough - this fabric does not like a hot iron. (See lesson 11.)

You don't need freezer paper stencils anyway, you can just use ordinary paper on the plate. Doh.

Lesson 4

Acrylic paint worked much better, but I overdid the textile medium. It does help to keep the paint from drying too quickly in a hot studio conservatory, but if it's too runny it runs under the stencils.

Lesson 5

Don't do monoprinting in 35 degrees C.

Lesson 6

The splodgy dots were done traditionally, with a stencil and brush at room temperature, but they still ran. I used Opalite which is lovely but I still haven't worked out the best way to use it. 

Lesson 7

Sometimes foil can be too bright. I added Hotspots and foil to the three circles next to the splodgy ones to try and make them more interesting, but now they are OTT. Not sure what I'm going to do with these. Emulsion paint?

Lessons 8, 9, 10 and 11

Markals (right hand end of the top row) and spray paints (underneath it), on this fabric, come out very pale but sunprinting with silk paints works well (left in the middle row). 

And Markal rubbed onto a nappy liner, ironed onto fabric, covered with another nappy liner rubbed with Chromacoal, stitched down and zapped is - er - interesting, but all that heat shrank the fabric

Lesson 12

Don't buy cheap Shisha rings.

All those lessons! No wonder I'm tired. Just hope I remember them.

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