Usually when I have works in progress, I am going through several processes (dyeing, mordanting, planning, researching, etc). Since I am using many techniques, I am also preparing several different pieces, at the same time. As I continue to experiment with more techniques, the direction of my work is evolving. I am wanting to experiment more and produce works that are less formal and perhaps in some ways more abstract.
Lately, I have been purchasing up-cycled cotton napkins from the local thrift store. Additionally, I buy up-cycled table cloths and fabric lengths. I am using the napkins, as a way to experiment with various dyes and mordant combinations. In the end, if I’m unsatisfied with the result, the investment of fabric was minimal.
And the napkins will be used for other projects. One idea is to make bias seams, which will be used for other projects. While I’m not a big fan of traditional patchwork items, I can see the value of using up fabric scraps in this way. Currently, I’m considering making a very loose-fitting jacket, using some of my napkins and other dyed pieces of fabric and piecing them together, in an artistic manner.
A new technique which I’m adding to my arsenal, is photo transfer. In the past, I have done photo silkscreen, but that is a more time consuming method of getting a photographic image.
Of the three methods, which were taught at the workshop, my preferred one is using a chemical emulsion which sensitizes the fabric to pick up a photo image. It is then fed into a Printer and voila, a beautiful photo image on fabric! The downside is that the image is quite small, only the size of letter paper.