Monday, March 16, 2009

Steps to silk dye painting a scarf - final dye painting

The background is painted in. This process requires timing -- that is, painting rapidly to avoid hard edges and blending the different shades. Sometimes I will put the frame on shorter stilts and wet the towels underneath so that the silk stays wet longer when I do this process.

After the background dye is painted in, corn syrup is dropped onto the wet dye to create the texture. Corn syrup doesn't seem to completely dry, remaining sticky, and therefore the frame needs to be kept in a horizontal position to avoid the corn syrup from moving in another direction. On this scarf I cannot spritz the silk with water, as I sometimes do to move the corn syrup further, because I have the leaf designs. The spritzed water will leave watermarks on the leaf areas. Which is okay if I want that effect, but not on this piece.
The scarf will be removed from its frame and wrapped in several layers of newsprint and the dyes steam set for 3 hours. Then I wash - rinse - wash -rinse a million times to get the excess dye out. The gutta resist will be removed by dunking the silk into Naptha or sent to the dry cleaners. Then washed, rinsed and ironed damp.

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