Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Overall Fabric Designs

'Over Halifax'
How do I go about designing the hand painted fabrics with the over all designs? Each one is individually thought about and painted by hand with brushes and other mark making tools. When preparing for this type of dye painting, I assemble the cotton fabric that has been pre-soaked in soda ash which is the activating ingredient that makes the dye adhere to the fibres of the cotton. A selection of liquid dyes are brought to room temperature, ready for mixing light, medium and dark values. As well, some of the dyes get thickened with a jelly like substance allowing the dye to stay where it is brushed on. In the washing process the thickener is removed.

To begin, I select a colour or colour combination. This is can change as the piece progresses and dictates to me what is needed. Next shapes and sizes of shapes are considered, trying to thoughtfully place them in a pleasing manner for a overall whole cloth appearance but also providing enough variety of shape and colour that it will also look good cut and used in pieced patterns. The colours must flow throughout the piece.

These really are one-of-a-kind fabric designs and it would be impossible to reproduce two the same. As for what I paint, I tend to be influenced by recent visual information that has left an impression. For instance the fabric pictured looks so much like the scene I saw as I flew out of the Halifax airport. The light billowing green foliage and the dotting of water throughout the scenery. Gorgeous!!!

The fibre reactive dyes that I use are washable and colourfast. Washing in cold water is recommended but these fabrics have already been washed in hot water. They are ready for use in sewing projects or framing.

2 comments:

Laura Leeder said...

This one really caught my eye Eileen. It really does look like an aerial photograph. Great colors and texture!

Win Dinn said...

I love the calligraphic look of this piece, Eileen - and the aerial view is very evident!