Friday, July 31, 2009

Potato Masher

I have had a quick go at working with the rather strange potato masher purchased from a basket of old second hand kitchen tools the other week. My first impression was 'this will be good' but actually I found it rather disappointing. Then I squiggled it in the printing pigment and started to make some mono-prints.... aahhh, much better!

The potato masher inked with some black pigment.

Using the masher in formal patterns. Somewhat boring.....

Over-lapping prints.

Now this is better! The masher squiggled in the pigment and mono-printed.

Another mono-print.

Double mono-print, black, then red.

And another piece in my 12 series. Detail only. Have completed two this week so am feeling good....

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am a fan of serendipity. The other day I was printing from a sheet of glass on to a masked off area of cloth. As I examined the result I noticed that the thickened Procion MX had also printed on to the surrounding masking tape. The resulting squishy-sort-of-pattern was rather nice so I placed another piece of fabric on top of the tape and took a print. I liked the result so decided to try it again.

I covered a sheet of glass (edges taped for safety, green) with masking tape. I prefer to use the blue tape which, although much more expensive, does a better job and may be used several times before it looses its stick. 'Ordinary' cream tape is no longer as efficient as it used to be - or am I getting older!

I painted some thickened dye on to another sheet of glass, then pressed this on to the blue taped plate above. Removing it from the plate gave this squishy look.

This second sheet of glass was then printed on to fabric. The horizontal lines evident in the print are there because of my not placing these pieces of tape correctly.

A second piece of fabric was placed on top of the blue taped sheet of glass to pick up the surplus dye. Two pieces from one!

This is my first attempt at this but I feel there are possibilities here. My taped piece of glass was easy to clean and I should be able to use it again. I now plan to try this again using strong plastic sheets which are obviously more flexible than glass.

And another piece finished in my series of 12. Detail only.

85 days to my exhibition

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Printing Tools

Our local Saturday morning market has several second-hand stalls which I enjoy trawling. Last weekend there was a basket of old kitchen tools from which I purchased several items. These cost me a grand total of NZ$2. Over the next few weeks I will experiment with these and let you know what results I get. You might like to let me know if you have any other ideas I can try.

My new printing tools

I have used the tea strainer to sift dry dye powder (like dusting icing sugar on to a cake) on to the fabric, then squirted on a stock solution (this could also have been done with plain water on to a Soda Ash soaked fabric). I found the solution very uncontrollable and the dyes spread rather more than I preferred.

This time I first applied the stock solution to the fabric with more care, then sifted on the dry dye powder. This I felt has turned out better, and I prefer these colours over the first attempt.

The fourth in my series of 12 pieces, each 22cm x 31cm (9" x 12"). Detail only. Eight more to do....

87 days to my exhibition

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Discharge Variations

The other day I decided to do a quick experiment with discharge paste. I used a gutta nib and dispenser to quickly draw on some previous Procion MX dyed fabric. Then I placed it outside in some welcomed winter sunlight and left it to dry. Obviously in summer this would work a lot quicker! The sunlight certainly lightened the discharged lines on the fabric.

Discharge paste dried in the sun and then the right hand side has been steam ironed followed by washing to remove the discharge paste. Left hand side has had no ironing.

Discharge paste dried in sun.

Portions only of above steam ironed. I like the subtle variations in colours which result.

While at the Surface Design Association conference we were discussing irons in a workshop and it was mentioned that a travel iron was handy to get into smaller areas unsuccessful with a normal size iron. I purchased a travel iron years ago but it was never very good for the purpose of travel - it was heavy and used up too much of my weight allowance, so it has remained behind ever since. I have now retrieved it and found it good for ironing the smaller areas in the second sample above.

My (steam) travel iron next to the normal size iron.

90 days to my exhibition