Monday, February 4, 2013

Learning from Students

'Field of Daisies'
Dye Painting 6 1/2" Square

Square for Re-dyeing

'Free Daisies'
Companion 6 1/2" Square
Did I ever learn something this week about dyeing! One of my student's Eleanor kept painting over and over her piece in class. Last month she sent me photos of the completed pieces. They were rich in colour. Normally one layer of thickened dye is painted, the piece is cured in plastic and then rinsed. Darks are the most challenging to get to maintain their original colour after rinsing. Heat and moisture are important, however sometimes I would have to re-soda soak fabrics that had washed out too light and then re-paint another layer.
I began experimenting. Question: Would there be enough activator (soda ash) after the first initial painting to repaint a second layer and have it activate? Note in the top photo, I painted two layers prior to rinsing and in the second photo I did not. Therefore, the answer is yes there is enough activator to allow the dye to adhere to the fabric in the second layer of painting.
Although it is time consuming to paint another layer of the darks before rinsing the fabric the first time, I think it will be worth it. I will keep experimenting and let you know. Thanks Eleanor and all my other students who have taught me so much!


Win Dinn, Artist said...

That's wonderful, Eileen - I always say that I learn as much from the students as I teach, and I think this is true for nearly every instructor. I can't get over how deeply rich that first and third photo look.

Laura Leeder said...

The rich colors add another layer of depth to your work. New discoveries are so exciting!